‘Salt to the wound’: NGOs decry early release of employer jailed for torturing domestic worker Erwiana

25 Nov 2018 Ferado

A domestic worker action group has criticised the early release of a former employer who abused Indonesian domestic worker, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, as “salt to the wound of injustice” on Thursday.

“It is a sham and an insult to justice,” wrote Justice for Erwiana and All Migrant Domestic Workers Committee (J4EMDW) in a statement. “Three years of jail time is definitely not enough in the face of the gravity of [Law Wan-tung’s] crime.”Law Wan-tung had been serving a six-year jail term after being found guilty in 2015 of assaulting Sulistyaningsih and two other domestic workers. The former employer had been ordered to pay HK$809,430 by the District Court as compensation for their injuries, though she has yet to pay the sum to the Justice Department, the Committee said.

Law was released a few months ago having served only half of her jail sentence, according to the Justice Department. She is reportedly under supervision until her jail term ends. No reason has been given for the early release.

‘Not even adequate’

Speaking via an audio recording, Sulistyaningsih said that she felt disappointed by the early release: “The six-year sentence is not even adequate for the terrible crimes that she committed against me and other victims,” she said.

“As a human being with a heart [who] does not wish to hold resentment, it is my hope that Law Wan-tung can admit to her wrongdoing, apologise to her victims and resolve never to do to the same thing to anyone ever again,” she added.Sulistyaningsih previously said that she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression caused by Law’s abuse.

Tutik Lestari Ningish, an Indonesian former employee of Law, said that she believes her safety has been compromised by the early release and has asked the government to guarantee her safety while her abuser remains in Hong Kong.

Ningish was subject to false imprisonment and assault while employed by Law as a domestic worker from April 2010 to March 2011. Law was ordered to pay HK$170,000 in damages in February to her but has not yet paid the sum, Ningish said.

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