Following the recent acquittal of Malaysian woman S. Ambika, who stood trial for the murder of Indonesian migrant worker and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) native Adelina Sau last year, several NGOs associated with the Aksi Rakyat Indonesia Menggugat movement in Kupang, NTT, have signed a petition pushing for further legal action.

The Legal Advocacy Board of Timor Evangelical Church, the NTT Migrant Worker Association, the Resource of Governance and Social Change Institute and the Kupang Volunteer Association for Humanity are among the NGOs that signed the petition.

Lambasting the Penang High Court’s acquittal of S. Ambika, who was Adelina’s employer, the NGOs have urged Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad look into the case as it concerns a violation of human rights.

The NGOs have also urged the Indonesian government to push for an immediate appeal against the Penang High Court ruling. Through the petition, the NGOs are calling on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to play a more active role in protecting the rights of migrant workers who experience abuse.

Furthermore, the NGOs are demanding that both Indonesian and Malaysian governments work together to resolve issues related to violations of migrant workers’ rights.

On Monday, hundreds of Aksi Rakyat Indonesia Menggugat members protested in front of the NTT Police headquarters and the NTT governor’s office.

“Adelina Sau died tragically and the alleged murderer was cleared of all charges,” field coordinator Ardy Milik said as quoted by tempo.co.

Adelina died in a hospital in February last year after succumbing to wounds allegedly inflicted by her employer.

Rights advocates alerted the authorities to the East Nusa Tenggara native’s condition after they found her battered and bitten and forced to sleep outside with her employer’s pet Rottweiler for more than a month.

The case attracted public scrutiny and sparked diplomatic tensions between the neighbors, with Jakarta threatening to stop sending Indonesian domestic workers to Malaysia. The government has also voiced concerns about Adelina possibly being a victim of human trafficking. (rfa)