Erwiana Sulistyaningsih

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.