UPDATE: Kartini is Free At Last!

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Subject: UPDATE: Kartini is Free At Last!
From: Human Rights School (hrschool@ahrchk.org)
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 09:00:07 EDT


RE: UA13/00 and UA16/00: "Save Kartini from being Stoned to Death"
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Indonesian national sentenced to death by stoning

UPDATE: Kartini's stoning sentence commuted

Dear Friends

Kartini is free at last! The appeals court in the United Arab
Emirates has commuted her "death by stoning" sentence, and she has
been joyfully reunited with her husband and two sons in her small
village in Karawang district, Indonesia.

At first it seemed that in spite of the commuted sentence Kartini
would be detained for longer in jail, but she was suddenly released.
No doubt the immense international letter-writing pressure
contributed to this early release as well as to the overturning of
her sentence. Also vital to her release were the Indonesian migrant
workers' organisations and the Indonesian government.

"The most happy one for me is my husband (Warsin) and two sons, who
have accepted me again after we have been separated for 18 months. I
never thought that I could go back to Indonesia. I got the good news
on Monday [1st of May]", said Kartini upon her return. Asked about
her future by a reporter from Kompas (the Indonesian newspaper that
covered her return home), Kartini, 36, replied "Suddenly my feeling
is that I am old already. Who would want to employ me? I do not
want to go back to work again in the UAE. Honestly, which mother
would not feel upset and sad because she has to leave her child to
live with other people there [in the UAE]. However, Naidah [the baby
she gave birth to in prison] is my child, my own blood relative."

Many migrant women workers around the world suffer from the
combination of unscrupulous agents in their home country, employers
who refuse to even pay minimum wages, and the isolation of not being
able to leave their place of work. Many do not know their rights nor
how to defend them; many are abused by their employers; some are held
in a form of prison for up to a year before even being sent overseas,
and then forced to pay the entire first year's wages to the agent who
kept them in detention. Even for those who have the minimum
conditions, most of their meagre income is sent home to provide for
their extended family who may have no other form of income.

AHRC wishes to thank everyone who passed on information about
Kartini's situation, wrote letters, organised petitions, covered the
story in the media and offered all types of assistance. Kartini's
story proves that human rights know no cultural boundaries, that
barbarism is barbarism no matter where it is practiced, and that
ordinary people can make a very big difference through simple actions.

Please forward this good news to all of your friends and networks who
you informed of the Urgent Appeal. Please let them know that they
can make just as big a difference in many other cases of human rights
violations by joining the AHRC Urgent Appeals mailing list. Simply
REPLY to this update at the email address <ua@ahrchk.org> with the
word 'Subscribe' in the subject line, or write to the address
provided below.

Celebrate today, because Kartini is alive and free thanks to a small
but very effective action by many compassionate people around the
world! A beautiful picture of Kartini reunited with her husband can
be found at the Kompas website:

AHRC Ugent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission
Unit D, 7th Floor, Mongkok Commercial Centre,
16 - 16B Argyle Street, Kowloon, HONGKONG
Tel: +(852) - 2698-6339
Fax: +(852) - 2698-6367
E-mail: ua@ahrchk.org

Please contact the AHRC Urgent Appeals Coordinator if you require
further information or to make requests for further appeals.
AHRC has an Urgent Appeal Programme which operates around the clock.
AHRC issues urgent appeals on behalf of persons or groups of persons
whose human rights have been violated. All urgent appeals released
by the AHRC since late 1997 can be accessed at our website:

Lin Chew
Human Rights School <hrschool@ahrchk.og>

Asian Human Rights Commission
Unit D, 7/F Mongkok Commercial Centre
16-16B Argyle Street
Kowloon Hong Kong
Tel. (852) 2698 6339
Fax.(852) 2698 6367
Email: ahrchk@org
Web: http://www.ahrchk.net

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