Indonesian helper, 23, in critical condition after alleged beatings by Hong Kong employers

Hong Kong police have refused to pursue an investigation into the case of an Indonesian domestic helper who has been left in a critical condition after she was allegedly abused and beaten by her Hong Kong employers.

Erwiana Sulistyaningsih is currently undergoing treatment at an Indonesian hospital after leaving Hong Kong following eight months of alleged abuse, said the Hong Kong branch of the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers.

A police spokeswoman said the case has not been turned over to an investigation officer. She said: “The helper’s employment agency made a report to police on January 12 but the agency did not provide evidence to confirm where her injuries came from. We can just hope to get more details.”

This has drawn shock and disappointment from the city’s lawmakers and human rights advocates.

“Anytime someone is physically harmed there is no reason why police should not investigate,” lawmaker Charles Peter Mok said today.

Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, of the Labour Party, said: “If a person is killed and no one reports the murder, I wouldn’t think police would want to wait for someone to turn up to provide evidence before starting an investigation.”

Sulistyaningsih had arrived in Hong Kong on May 27, 2013 to work for employers in Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories. She returned to Indonesia on the evening of January 10, requiring assistance from a friend to walk through Hong Kong airport because much of her body, including legs and feet, were covered in cuts and burns, according to Sringatin, spokeswoman for the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers.

Her employer had given her HK$100 and a t-shirt and asked her not to speak with any Indonesians before boarding the plane, said Sringatin. Sulistyaningsih had not sought help from airport customs officers, according to the Immigration Department.

The 23-year-old is currently in a “critical condition” in Amal Sehat Islamic Hospital in the city of Sragen, Central Java Province of Indonesia, and it is unknown when she will be released from hospital, said Sam Aryadi, Vice Consul for Public Affairs for the Indonesian Consulate General of Hong Kong. Aryadi said the consulate is currently preparing a formal report for police.

But advocates are calling on Hong Kong police to investigate the case immediately.

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