Halt Execution of Mentally Ill Indonesian Woman in Saudi Arabia

Target: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Goal: To halt the execution of an Indonesian migrant worker who was convicted of murder after being coerced into confession.

The government of Saudi Arabia is going ahead with scheduled executions following a moratorium for Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. In particular, one foreign national is in imminent risk of having her death penalty carried out. Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa, an Indonesian national and mother of two, has exhausted all channels of appeal. She has been detained in a prison in Medina since 1999 when it is said that she “confessed” to committing murder.

Many foreign workers operating in Saudi Arabia suffer greatly at the hands of their employers who they are completely dependent on. There have been numerous reports of assault, rape and other ill treatment of migrant workers. If these workers happen to be arrested, it is often the case that they are coerced or deceived into signing a confession in Arabic, a language that they do not understand. This injustice will often prove fatal, as might be the case for Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa unless action is taken on her behalf. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of execution of women in the world. Letting this execution continue given the facts surrounding the case would be a great injustice.

Besides the case of Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa, human rights organizations are concerned about the lives of over a hundred prisoners who currently face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. Beheading is the preferred form of execution in Saudi Arabia and most executions are carried out in public. The death penalty is cruel, inhumane and degrading, and the ultimate violation of human rights. Saudi Arabia is a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which prohibits the use of evidence that has been obtained through the use of torture or other ill-treatment. While there is no evidence that Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa was abused while under the eye of security forces, her confession was definitely obtained under stressful conditions. Police also noted at the time that she might suffer from a mental illness. Despite that revelation, her sentence was upheld.

Sign this petition and demand that the King of Saudi Arabia halt Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa’s execution and change the oppressive policies that helped get her case to this stage.


Dear King Abdullah,

The execution of Indonesian national Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa must be halted immediately. She then must be allowed a fair trial in which her mental state and human rights be respected. The fact that her confession was written and explained to her in Arabic, a language that she does not understand, should be reason enough to throw the conviction out and begin a new trial. The death penalty is cruel, inhumane and degrading, and the ultimate violation of human rights. Your government is a party to a U.N. resolution that prohibits the use of confessions obtained under duress.

The disproportionately high number of executions in your country of foreign nationals from developing countries is a disturbing trend. The treatment of these individuals has long been an issue in your country and there must be regulations put in place to protect their human rights so that they may not be executed for crimes they did not commit. I urge you to step in and halt this execution so that the human rights record of Saudi Arabia may improve and so that migrant workers do not have to live in fear while trying to provide for themselves and their families back home.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: via Public Domain Image

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One Comment

  1. Lauren Donna Graham says:

    Saudi Arabia uses its wealth and influence to present itself as a modern country, however their laws, especially concerning the oppressive treatment of women, are barbaric. They really have no place among developed societies. Despite the glitz and flash, they are really representative of the 11th century.

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