41-year-old Nuril Maknun, a part-time school bookkeeper at a high school in Lombok must serve at least six months in prison for recording her boss’ lewd phone call as proof she was being harassed.
She was charged for distributing obscene material according to the Supreme Court.
Nuril said she was disappointed by the court’s ruling and deemed it an “obvious injustice.”
This was her final appeal in a case that has been closely followed across the country, and which became an issue during the recent presidential election.
“I, as a woman, should be protected, but then I was the one who became the victim,” she said.
“People should know that when we get harassed, there is no place to take refuge.”
Her boss, named Muslim was the principal at Senior High School Seven in Mataram, Lombok’s largest city.
Nuril recorded him using foul language and hounding her to have an affair.
Muslim was not punished for his wrongdoing but instead has been promoted.
Indonesia president Joko Widodo said in the run-up to his re-election that he would consider granting clemency to Nuril once her legal appeals had been exhausted.
Widodo said that he would not comment on the Supreme Court ruling but that Nuril should apply for amnesty as soon as possible so that his office could assume legal authority over her case.
“Since the beginning, my attention to this case has never diminished,” he said. “If it gets to me, then it will be under my authority, and I will use the authority I have.”
Women’s rights advocates said that women in Indonesia have little legal recourse and are expected to tolerate harassment and sometimes sexual relations if they want to keep their jobs.
Nuril was acquitted at trial but prosecutors appealed the verdict.
She was found guilty last year by a three-judge panel and was imposed a sentence of six months and a fine of about $35,000.
Nuril has to serve an additional three months if she doesn’t pay the fine.
A new ruling by a different three-judge panel denied her request for a review of the case.
Mother of three Nuril started facing problems in 2013 when Muslim became the principal of the high school.
Muslim made vulgar remarks and spread a rumour that they are having an affair.
To refute the rumour, Nuril recorded on of his calls and played it for her husband and another teacher.
When Muslim learned of the recording’s existence, he filed a police complaint against Nuril for criminal defamation.
Nuril was arrested and jailed for a month during the police investigation.
The defamation complaint was rejected, but she was instead charged with distributing obscene material.
Nuril denied distributing the recording and testified that a colleague, Imam Mudawin downloaded it from her phone while she was in another room.
The Supreme Court sided with prosecutors who contended that she gave Imam the indecent recording for distribution.
Joko Jumadi her attorney said would apply for amnesty next week but she would not seek a presidential pardon because she was not guilty of any crime.
A grant of amnesty would expunge her criminal record.
“We stand firm that Baiq Nuril is not guilty,” he said, using a local honorific.
“Even though she has to go to prison for this fight, she is ready.”
Supporters collected $26,000 in an online fund-raising campaign to help her pay her fine.
Nuril is proud to fight her “dignity as a woman” but questioned why she was being sent to jail when it was Muslim who made the obscene comments.
“Clearly the person has admitted that it was his voice, admitted that he was the one who called me, admitted that he was the one who said things that were inappropriate,” she said.
“Why can he just casually walk around,” she asked, “while I, as the victim, am the one being punished?”
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