An Indonesian Woman Enslaved for 15 Years in Saudi

Arfi Bambani
Nurhayati who had been enslaved for 15 years in Saudi Arabia
Nurhayati who had been enslaved for 15 years in Saudi Arabia - Nurhayati, an Indonesian Migrant Worker (PMI) from Sriwangi Village, Way Jepara District, East Lampung Regency, has been a victim of slavery in Saudi Arabia for 15 years. The woman born in 1984 does not receive a salary (wages) and cannot communicate with her family in her hometown in East Lampung.

Now Nurhayati is at the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, after 15 years of living with her employer in Saudi Arabia, as reported by

Mistiani, Nurhayati's aunt, said that the family had lost contact with Nurhayati 15 years ago. Short story, it turns out that Nur was isolated by her employer.

"This afternoon at 6 pm, we just called Nur. Nur said she had been held captive for 15 years and was not given the freedom to communicate with her family and was not allowed to leave her employer's house. In fact, Nur said that for 15 years she had not received her rights (wages)," said Mistiani, Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Nurhayati was finally able to escape from her employer's shackles when she wanted to renew her passport. Nurhayati used this opportunity to report to the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh regarding the problems she had experienced for 15 years.

"Every 5 years, the passport must be extended. When extending the length of the first and second passports, Nur was accompanied by her employer. When she extended the third passport, Nur was told to extend it herself. My nephew used this moment to report to the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh," Mistiani explained.

Mistiani said Nurhayati has been at the Indonesian Embassy since April 2022. At the Indonesian Embassy, Nurhayati feels comfortable, being able to communicate with her family even though she has only communicated twice.

"Nur at the Indonesian Embassy only gets a family call once a week. The duration is limited to 12 minutes, but the family is very grateful to be able to communicate via telephone," said Mistiani.

Meanwhile, the head of the Indonesian Migrant Workers' Guard Center (BMI), Imam Khambali, confirmed that Nurhayati had not received a salary for 15 years. Guard BMI is trying to obtain the rights of PMI from East Lampung. The initial step taken by the BMI Guard was to ask the Indonesian Embassy to immediately send a diplomatic note addressed to Nurhayati's employer. If by diplomatic means, Nurhayati's rights are still not accepted, then the BMI Guard will take legal action.

"Reportedly, the Indonesian Embassy has sent a diplomatic note. We hope that through diplomatic means, the problems experienced by PMI from East Lampung can be resolved," said Imam Khambali.

Nurhayati left for Saudi Arabia in 2005. Early in the country, Nurhayati was still diligent in contacting her family back home. "From 2005 to 2007 there was communication, but it can be counted no more than 5 times over the past two years. At that time the contact was still through the public phone," said Sarip, Nurhayati's father.

From 2007 until now, Nurhayati no longer contacted her family. This makes the family panic, and think of something bad happening. The family tried to find out where Nurhayati was through social media and went to the shaman. But all in vain. Sarip admitted that he was desperate.

"We are just ordinary people, village people, and we have crazy thoughts so we often come to smart people, asking for directions so they can find where my daughter is in Saudi Arabia, at least we can communicate," said Sarip.

Tag # an indonesian enslaved in saudi # indonesian migrant worker # indonesia migrant worker # saudi arabia

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