Indonesia—A woman reported her colleague for sexual harrassment, but she was the one who ended up with a six-month sentence.
Former school teacher Baiq Nuril Maknun (41), an Indonesian national, received unwanted lewd phone calls from the principal of a school at which she once worked. Maknun recorded the phone calls as evidence and reported them to a colleague who distributed the recording which went viral on social media.
Because of the report, the principal was relieved of his job. In retaliation, the principal reported Maknun to the police for allegedly violating Indonesia’s communications law.
Maknun, a mother of three young children and a victim of sexual harassment from her boss, faces six months of jail and a fine of 500 million rupiah (S$48,260) for “electronically distributing pornographic content.”
She described her sentence as an “injustice” since she merely wanted to “[defend her] rights and [her] dignity as a woman” by reporting the abuse.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” she was quoted as saying in an interview with Reuters.
Human rights groups and public figures expressed outrage at the sentence, arguing that this incident discourages other victims from speaking up and reporting abuse. By sending Maknun to jail, the blame is again being shifted to the victim instead of the perpetrators of sexual harassment.
Supporters have submitted a statement addressed to President Widodo pleading amnesty for Maknun. Human rights groups also argued that her case raises the need to revise Indonesia’s Electronic Transaction and Information Law.
“I hope I will be the last victim,” Maknun said./TISG
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