• Thu
  • Apr 24, 2014
  • Updated: 1:45am
Erwiana Sulistyaningsih
NewsHong Kong

New employee abuse victims emerge as thousands march for justice for Erwiana

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 January, 2014, 2:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 10:41am

Thousands of foreign domestic workers and supporters of the Indonesian maid at the heart of torture allegations rallied yesterday to demand justice for Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and the prosecution of the employer accused of abusing her.

This came as concerned groups identified two other Indonesian workers who claim they were abused by the same woman who is said to have made Erwiana's life a living hell.

One of them, Susi, yesterday gave a statement to police about the year of abuse she claims to have endured from 2010 to 2011.

"There was a time she asked me to commit suicide because I told her I did not want to work there anymore," Susi, 31, alleged to the Post. "I told her she could hit me but she could not ask me to kill myself. I have a son in Indonesia."

The Justice for Erwiana and All Migrant Domestic Workers Committee said 5,000 people marched from Wan Chai's Southorn Playground to police headquarters and on to the government headquarters in Tamar. Police said 2,100 took part at its peak.

Video: Hong Kong maids march for better protection

Speaking after the march, Susi claimed she was paid just HK$5,000 over the year.

She claimed the housewife did not talk to her husband during the year she worked there and suspected the couple's poor relationship might be why she took her anger out on her. Susi said the woman was always at home, while her husband was usually away on business, and added that the couple have a teenaged son and daughter.

Justice committee spokeswoman Sringatin claimed one more Indonesian maid had been abused by the woman during the three months she worked with the family in 2011.

The maid eventually ran away and sought help from her friends and the police. Sringatin said police had still not made any progress in the case.

"The woman once threatened to kill her with a knife in her hands," Sringatin said.

The maid in that case now works in Singapore but is said to be willing to give testimony to Hong Kong police.

Four police officers and two Labour Department officers were due to fly to Indonesia today to meet Erwiana.

The protesters yesterday called on police to step up their investigation. They also urged the government to abolish a rule that requires helpers to live with their employers, which they said made them vulnerable to abuse.



This article is now closed to comments

indonesian helpers are slaves in wanchai.LOL
Domestic helpers are not our slaves. Being an international city being proud of human rights protection, hong kong should take this case seriously. It is indeed a shame on Hong Kong.
The prices of these maids are far too low. They are being hired by low education and low quality citizens who never had any right to employ or manage another living human being.
Obviously the HKSAR government thinks there is enough room for more hotels for rich tycoons benefiting from the tourism industry to bring tens-of-millions of more mainland tourists to HK so the government argument there is no room for additional housing in HK is bullocks. Its business-state collusion to keep housing scarce to artificially prop up high prices and manipulate the property market. The Brits in HK did it as well. Likewise, there is no room or money for new hospitals but the SAR government found both for a new TCM hospital - because its a pet mainland project. If the HKSAR gov can connect HK to the rest of the PRD with its massive overseas highways then it should be cake for them to solve the housing problem; except they don't want to. Too many vested interests making too much money on the status quo of subdivided flats and crowded hospitals, MTRs, restaurants, schools, streets, sidewalks, etc.
To nmp...
A one man’s avocation from the government for more tourists in Hong Kong in tens of millions is not the representation of this HKSAR government. It has been refuted by another official. But one is safe to say the forward looking property developers after there meals are pushing tooth picks between their teeth contemplating how to make a kill with new hotels. The business logic says they should. I can assure you, CY Leung would worry if it happens.
Be fair and focus on our tourist group and property developers.
This tragedy is a global news item and a total disgrace to the government. However, the petty-minded bureaucracy will either not be aware or care for the damage that this event is having on Hong Kong. It risks an indictment of institutional racism.
If domestic helpers don't live in then where will they live? Who will pay for tha accommodation? Who will insure the domestic helpers who don't live in? Who will pay the transportation.
There are 300,000 domestic helpers in Kong Kong. There are no places for them to live. Even if wealthy employers are willing to pay it would mean taking a place away from a local family. Also who will be willing to rent out their apartment to allow 5 domestic helpers to live there?
The live in rule is on place because Hong Kong lacks space and rents are already high.
People who keep on saying to let them live out have 0 concept of reality and live in their own little bubble.
If there are no places for them to live then do without them. I've never understood the need for servants. Can't you look after your children and do your own housework
We do, but I wonder if you have any real experience. There is a paucity of alternative child care facilities in Hong Kong and this allied to the Government's insistence on enforcing the you can't leave your kids alone at home under the age of 16 means that what you are arguing for is a rather sexist society. Still keep up the good work in being politically correct.
What a crock. You think Hong Kong is the only place in the world that has a lack of child care services and a high cost of living. Most families have both parents working. Other countries have the same issues and get by without servants



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