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 Medan Police to exhume body of tortured maid

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BerichtOnderwerp: Medan Police to exhume body of tortured maid    ma 1 dec 2014 - 22:45

The Jakarta Post, Medan, Monday December 01

The Medan Police plan to exhume the body of a domestic worker from Central Java identified as Cici, which was buried in Kabanjahe, Karo regency, North Sumatra.

Cici was allegedly killed in Medan last month after being tortured by members of a family headed by suspect Syamsul Anwar. A hospital in Kabanjahe, which gave Cici the name of Mrs. X, buried her body after it was found in Barus Jahe, Karo, some 80 kilometers from Medan, on Oct. 31, 2014.

The Medan Police’s detective and crime unit chief, Comr. Wahyu Istanto Bram, said the family allegedly disposed of Cici’s body in the region after torturing her to death on Oct. 28, 2014.

“The suspects have admitted so. We will unearth the grave this Saturday [Dec. 6],” Wahyu told The Jakarta Post in Medan on Sunday.

He said the exhumation would be conducted to investigate the cause of Cici’s death. Based on information from the victim’s coworkers, he said, Cici died after being submerged in a bathtub.

“If the autopsy confirms that she died because of being tortured by the suspects, they can be charged using [...] articles 338, 351, 170 and 221 of the Criminal Code and the Domestic Violence Law,” he said.

Wahyu said there were seven suspects in the case: Syamsul and his wife Radika, their son M. Tariq, their nephew Zakir, their workers Kiki Andika and Bahri, as well as a driver named Fery.

The seven were arrested on Thursday at the family’s house on Jl. Beo, East Medan district.

The police raided the residence, which also functioned as a shelter for domestic workers, after receiving information from locals.

During the raid, Wahyu said, the police also rescued three female workers — identified as Endang Murdaningsih, 55, from Madura in East Java; Anisa Rahayu, 25, from Malang in East Java; and Rukmaini, 43, from Demak, Central Java.

Wahyu said the three workers had not yet been sold to employers because they carried a high price of Rp 16 million (US$1,312) per person.

The three had reportedly been subjected to torture for several years while working at the suspects’ house without receiving payment.

“The three domestic workers were found in the house in a very concerning condition. Indications of torture were found all over their bodies,” Wahyu said.

On Saturday, the police searched the house and found over 100 identification cards of women from Java as well as copies of documents indicating their transfer to a number of employers in North Sumatra.

“Based on our investigations, the suspects have tortured many. There may be dead victims other than Cici. We are still looking for their identities,” Wahyu said.

Survivor Endang said that she had been tortured by the family for five years for simple reasons such as not appearing promptly when called. The same treatment was also reportedly experienced by Anisa and Rukmaini.

The torture, according to Endang, ranged from being slapped in the face to being kicked and beaten with broomsticks, wooden spoons, belts and dusters.

“The most sadistic one is the wife. She liked to kick us. She even once fed us with husks,” said Endang.

She expressed gratitude at being found by the police. Otherwise, she said, she and the other two workers could have ended up dead like Cici.

“I saw it with my own eyes how Cici was tortured to death because of being submerged in a bathtub,” said Endang, adding that she planned to return home to Madura.

Earlier this year, another case of abuse against domestic workers involving the wife of a retired police general also made headlines.

In the case, the police evacuated in February at least 16 maids who were abused and locked up in a house in Bogor, West Java.

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