Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Indonesia has repatriated 76 Indonesian amnesty participants from Saudi Arabia to the country.

Based on a press release received from the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh in Jakarta on Monday, the Indonesian citizens had stayed and worked in Saudi Arabia illegally for various periods of time and were facing difficulties in returning to Indonesia due to their illegal status.

On Friday, Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel had released the official list of Indonesian citizens to be repatriated.

"With the amnesty program launched by the government of Saudi Arabia from Mar 29 to June 26, 2017, Indonesian citizens who have entered the country illegally can finally return to Indonesia without being fined or confined," he revealed.

Maya Koyimah, one of the amnesty participants who had returned home, expressed happiness, as she can meet her children and family.

"I have worked for the original employer for nine months, after which I worked for four years and 11 months. I worked here (in Saudi Arabia) to meet the needs of my children. Thank God, I had sent all my salary to my family. With this amnesty program, I will soon be able to be with my children," she explained.

Abegebriel expressed hope that the repatriation of Indonesian citizens would be beneficial to them and their families.

"Even if they are forced to return to Saudi Arabia, they have to go through a good, formal, and procedural way," he stated.

During the amnesty program in Saudi Arabia, the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh has facilitated the registration of 1,801 Indonesians to be repatriated to Indonesia, of which 1,036 people have received an exit permit from the Saudi Immigration Authority.

Of the 1,036 people who obtained an exit permit, as many as 225 have returned to Indonesia. The Indonesian embassy has estimated that the number of Indonesian citizens under the amnesty program will significantly increase in the last month of the implementation of the program, which is June 2017.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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