Jakarta. An Indonesian migrant worker on death row for murder conviction in Saudi Arabia was released after she paid Rp 15.5 billion ($1 million) in blood money to the kinfolk of the victim.
Etty binti Toyib arrived at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten on Monday afternoon after spending 18 years in a Saudi prison. Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah welcomed her at the airport.
“I’m so happy to finally arrive in Indonesia. It was a very unpleasant experience to be locked up for 18 years and I really miss Indonesia,” Etty told reporters.
She was convicted in 2001 of poisoning her Saudi employer Faisal al-Ghamdi and sentenced to death.
But Etty denied any wrongdoing when she spoke to Indonesian journalists and said she was convicted because of “miscommunication”.
A group of Indonesian Muslim organizations and individuals have helped her collect the compensation fund, or diyya in Islamic terms.
“As a government representative, I would like to thank the communities and the Nahdlatul Ulama in particular for their contribution that has made Etty’s release possible," Minister Ida said.
Ida said Etty cannot directly return to her hometown of Majalengka, West Java. She must first spend 14 days at a quarantine facility in Jakarta to follow the government health protocol related to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel said earlier it took intense negotiations with the Saudi government and the family of the employer before they finally agreed to accept financial compensation and spare Etty from execution.