Indonesia Summons Malaysia Ambassador Over Migrant Worker Killings
Relatives of the migrant workers who were shot to death in Malaysia filed complaints with the West Nusa Tenggara Police on Monday. JG Photo/Fitri￼
(Jakarta Globe) - Indonesia on Tuesday summoned the Malaysian ambassador to explain why three Indonesian migrant workers were shot and killed by Malaysian police and unconfirmed reports the deceased’s organs were harvested.
“We want them to come as soon as possible and bring along the clarification [from Malaysia],” said Tatang Razak, the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s director for the protection of Indonesian citizens overseas.
He also said the ministry was coordinating with police in Lombok to conduct autopsies to verify reports organs had been harvested from the three dead men.
The Indonesian government is demanding that Malaysia release the autopsy results and chronology of the deaths of workers.
Tatang said on Monday that there had been reports from the Malaysian government that the three were had been involved in a criminal activity when they were shot by Malaysian authorities.
“We will find out if [the workers] really committed a crime. If they are innocent, someone must take responsibility,” he said.
The foreign affairs minister, Marty Natalegawa, expressed concern about the lack of transparency in determining what happened to the victims.
“The government will facilitate another autopsy if that is what the [victims’] families want. Anything the families desire will be facilitated because this is our problem too,” he said
The bodies of the three — Abdul Kadir Jaelani, 24, Herman, 28, and Mad Noor, 33 — were returned earlier this month to their hometowns in East Lombok. They were found dead in Malaysia on March 30, each with gunshot wounds.
Suspicions over the motive for their killings arose when two family members of the victims saw the condition of the bodies and said they believed their organs had been harvested.
Rieke Dyah Pitaloka, a lawmaker from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said an independent autopsy was needed to determine if the three were the victims of organ traffickers.
She said the responsibility for the autopsies should not be the burden solely of the migrant worker placement agency, PJTKI.
“The government needs to be proactive and work together with the Malaysian government. This is not just the responsibility of PJTKI,” Rieke said on Monday.
Tubagus Hasanuddin, a PDI-P lawmaker who is deputy chairman of House of Representatives Commission I, which oversees foreign affairs, said the deaths could be related to an organ trafficking ring and should be probed further.
“This is a gross human rights violation and the government must investigate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the West Nusa Tenggara Police told the families of the slain workers to wait for a letter from the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur providing a detailed chronology of the deaths before filing complaints.
“We’re not rejecting their complaints, but we advised the families and BP3TKI [the Migrant Worker Placement and Protection Agency] to wait for a letter from the Indonesian Embassy in Malaysia first,” said West Nusa Tenggara Police spokesman Lalu Wirajaya. “None of the family members … witnessed the incident, they only heard about it.”