Indonesian workers hired to build US Embassy in Iraq 'stranded'

September 8, 2007 08:23

Indonesia demanded access Saturday to 12 migrant workers sent to Iraq to help renovate the US Embassy, saying they were being held against their will following a labor dispute, a foreign ministry official said. The laborers, hired by PT North Java Sea Group in early 2006 to work for an unnamed US construction company in Baghdad, have been detained at a US camp for the last three months, said ministry spokesman Kristiarto Legowo. Their employers allegedly seized their passports after the workers and employers accused each other of breaching a 17-month contract. Legowo said the Foreign Ministry wants to confirm the whereabouts of the 12, and to be granted consular access. If the workers want to return home, Jakarta says it will provide them with one-way passports.

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