Indonesian woman has prison term suspended after recording sexual harassment


July 12, 2019 21:46:40

A woman facing six months in prison in Indonesia for recording sexual harassment by her boss is expected to receive a presidential amnesty after an outcry over the sentence.

Key points:

  • Nuril recorded harassment in her workplace and was charged under controversial laws
  • The case has become a “Me Too” movement-like moment for Indonesia
  • President Joko Widodo will make a decision on an amnesty when he receives the case

Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo said he had suspended enforcement of the prison term and a 500 million rupiah ($50,000) fine that was recently upheld by the Supreme Court.

Mr Prasetyo said he was listening to the “growing feeling for justice” for Baiq Nuril Maknun, who recorded lewd phone calls she received from the principal of a high school where she worked as an accountant.

The case has become a #MeToo-like moment for Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim and conservative nation that tolerates child marriage, has high levels of violence against women and imposes virginity tests on women who want to join the military or police.

According to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press, Ms Nuril began receiving telephone calls from the headmaster, Haji Muslim, describing his sexual relationship with another woman.

He also insisted Ms Nuril accompany him and his sexual partner on trips.

Ms Nuril was afraid to report the headmaster but recorded one of the calls and later played it to colleagues to dispel rumours she was having an affair with him.

She argued that she had recorded conversations to gather evidence and protect herself from sexual harassment, but she was charged under Indonesia’s controversial Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) law for circulating indecent content and defamation.

She was initially found not guilty in 2017, but was convicted in Indonesia’s Supreme Court last year and last week lost her appeal.

President Joko Widodo said on Friday (local time) he would make a decision on an amnesty as soon as he receives the case.

“If it’s on my desk, there will be recommendations from relevant ministries and I will decide it as soon as possible,” he said.

A petition started last year calling for Mr Widodo to grant Ms Nuril amnesty has attracted more than 240,000 signatures.

The headmaster was transferred to another position, but not investigated for his behaviour.

He reported Ms Nuril to police for spreading pornographic content and sued her for defamation, which was rejected by one court but upheld in the Supreme Court.











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