ATKI Press Statement
Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers
c/o APMM, No. 2 Jordan Road, Kowlon, HK SAR
Tel. No.: 27237536 Fax No.: 27354559
8 May 2005
“We are dying. What are you doing?”
Indonesian helpers score gov’t for neglect
The case of Suprihatin, an Indonesian domestic helper who succumbed to death after fighting for her life for more than a week, has yet again shown the neglect of the Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong in particular and the Indonesian government in general to the plight of Indonesian migrants.
Suprihatin allegedly jumped from the 19th floor kitchen window of her employer’s house at Pok Fu Lam. However, reports have reached the Indonesian migrant’s community and migrant-serving institutions in Hong Kong that it may not be a clear cut case of suicide.
Thus it has to be more thoroughly investigated and justice should be served for Suprihatin.
Justice for Suprihatin though does not only pertain to the criminal aspect of her case. A comprehensive justice for Suprihatin also means the prosecution of Consulate officials who have neglected her case. It also means the prosecution of the employment agency that did not lift a hand to help Suprihanti.
More importantly, it means the respect and provision of the right of Indonesian migrants for a full and comprehensive service from the Indonesian government and its overseas posts. This right, however, is denied and gravely violated by existing policies of the Indonesian government on migration and migrant workers.
What service can the Indonesian Consulate claim if they have only managed to inform Suprihanti’s family of her condition after she died? Upon inquiry, they even said that Suprihanti’s case is already closed despite the fact that the Hong Kong police are still conducting their investigation.
Together with their refusal to release information on the family of Suprihatin, this can only mean that the Indonesian Consulate is trying very hard to downplay the case of Suprihatin. What the Indonesian government is trying to avoid is making it well-known that Indonesian migrants are very much in crisis – underpaid by our employers, suffering from physical and sexual abuse, overcharged by recruitment agencies and neglected by Indonesian overseas posts.
Suprihanti’s death is a tragedy not only for family but for all Indonesian migrants. As long as the Indonesian government denies the full protection and rights of Indonesian migrants, the different abuses that we already suffer from will always be a tragedy waiting to happen.
Indeed, government neglect and irresponsibility kills.
More than 50 members of ATKI held a protest action yesterday morning, 8 May 2005, outside the Indonesian Consulate General in Causeway Bay. Representatives from Filipino (UNIFIL-HK), Nepalese (FEONA) and Thai (TRA) community affiliated with the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB) gave their solidarity messages. Also present were members of An-Nisaa International Muslim Society and the Asian Students Association (ASA) to extend their sympathy and support for Suprihatin, her family and friends.
The relatives of Suprihatin, also members of ATKI, gave a touching and emotional appeal to the protesters and more than 50 other Indonesian migrants watching the protest action.
ATKI together with AMCB vowed to put more pressure to the Indonesian government to assist the Hong Kong authorities for further investigation and find out the truth behind the mysterious death of Suprihatin.