Indonesia's top court jails woman sexually harassed by her boss

Indonesia's top court jails woman sexually harassed by her boss

President Joko Widodo, left, who recently won a second term in office, said earlier Maknun could seek clemency from him if she did not find justice through a judicial review.
President Joko Widodo, left, who recently won a second term in office, said earlier Maknun could seek clemency from him if she did not find justice through a judicial review.

JAKARTA: Indonesia's Supreme Court has jailed a woman who tried to report her employer for alleged sexual harassment, in a ruling that rights groups said on Friday risked turning victims of sexual abuse into criminals.

The Supreme Court on Thursday found Baiq Nuril Maknun, who was a teacher on the island of Lombok, guilty of violating strict anti-pornography laws. It overturned her acquittal by a lower court and jailed her for six months. 

She was also ordered to pay a 500 million rupiah (US$35,383) fine. The Supreme Court's decision cannot be appealed.

"We are concerned about the impact of this decision because it opens a door for perpetrators of sexual violence to criminalise victims," said Ade Wahyudin, executive director of the Legal Aid Foundation for the Press.

Maknun had complained of getting lewd phone calls from the principal of a high school where she worked from 2012, court documents showed.

She recorded some of the phone calls without the knowledge of the headmaster and gave a recording to a third person, and distributed it on an electronic device, which resulted in the principal losing his job, the documents showed.

In 2015, the principal reported Maknun to police, which resulted in her being prosecuted under the anti-pornography law.

Maknun's legal team said a prison sentence had to be at least two years long before clemency could be sought, but the president could grant an amnesty.

"The only thing possible now is amnesty from the president because we have exhausted all other legal avenues," said Aziz Fauzi, a lawyer for Maknun.

President Joko Widodo, who recently won a second term in office, said earlier Maknun could seek clemency from him if she did not find justice through a judicial review.

A spokeswoman for the president's office declined to comment on the latest ruling.

Indonesia's #MeToo movement has gained some traction with some women sharing their experiences of sexual harassment.

But the movement has had limited impact in the predominately conservative society of the world's most populous Muslim country, compared with that seen in some other countries.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (24)

Selective lockdowns

Construction workers’ camps in Bangkok area locked down for a month, along with hot spots in southernmost provinces, as authorities strive to avoid a broader Covid shutdown.

19:14

Police weigh charges over Thursday rallies

Leaders and supporters of Thursday's unauthorised pro-democracy rallies in Bangkok face a range of police charges.

17:10

Missing trawler found with dead skipper, no crew

SONGKHLA: A fishing boat reported missing almost a week ago has been found floating near Vietnamese waters with only the dead captain on board and no sign of the crew.

16:31