Updated: 01/21/2014 14:08 | By Agence France-Presse

HK investigators interview 'tortured' Indonesian maid

Hong Kong police Tuesday interviewed an Indonesian maid who was allegedly tortured by her employer in the Chinese city, as the Indonesian president phoned the helper to express his sorrow at the "tragedy".

HK investigators interview 'tortured' Indonesian maid

Hong Kong policeman Chung Chi-ming (C) of Hong Kong arrives at the hospital where Indonesian maid Erwiana Sulistyaningsih is receiving medical treatment in Sragen, Central Java - by Anwar Mustafa

It came a day after police in Hong Kong arrested a woman accused of abusing the maid, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, and a second Indonesian helper, as she attempted to board a flight to Thailand at the city's airport.

Sulistyaningsih, 23, was reportedly abused over a period of eight months while employed by the woman. Media reports said she was unable to walk due to her injuries when she flew home from Hong Kong this month.

The case has renewed concern about the treatment of maids in Hong Kong and follows a spate of domestic helper abuse cases and strong criticism from rights groups.

A team of Hong Kong police arrived late Monday in Sragen, on Indonesia's main island of Java, where the maid was hospitalised. On Tuesday they arrived at the hospital to take a formal statement from the maid.

As they arrived the maid's father Rohmat Saputro, 50, told reporters: "I am sure that my daughter will find justice."

Hong Kong police chief inspector Chung Chi-ming said: "We will be focusing our efforts on getting a statement from the victim today and we hope we can finish this as soon as possible so she does not have to experience any unnecessary pain."

The case has provoked anger in Indonesia, with officials threatening to review the placement of maids in Hong Kong if the city does not treat the case seriously.

On Tuesday President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono spoke to Sulistyaningsih and her father on the phone. 

"Believe me, the law will be enforced, justice will be served, what's important is we will help with (your) treatment," he told the maid.

He told her father he had raised the case with Hong Kong's leaders. 

"I am sad and concerned that your daughter has suffered this tragedy. I am also angry at those who have committed this evil," he told Saputro.

"What's important is that you know we are not happy, the government is not happy and I am also angry."

Hong Kong police said Monday that the arrest of the woman who allegedly mistreated Sulistyaningsih was also based partly on evidence collected from a second maid who came forward at the weekend claiming to have been abused.

The case has provoked anger among the large community of domestic helpers in Hong Kong, with several thousand rallying on Sunday to show their support for Sulistyaningsih. 

Hong Kong employs nearly 300,000 domestic helpers, mainly from Indonesia and the Philippines.

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