Indonesian woman jailed and fined $34,000 for exposing sexual harassment suffered from her boss

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An Indonesian woman who exposed her cheating boss has been jailed for six-month jail term for her trouble.

Indonesian woman jailed and fined $34,000 for keeping record of sexual harassment she suffered from her boss

Baiq Nuril Maknun was handed the sentence after discovering her boss was having an affair with a colleague.

The 36-year-old worked in a school as an administrator on the island of Lombok and had herself rebuffed the principal’s repeated advances.

Baiq Nuril Maknun recorded a phone conversation with her former boss and her boss conversation with another colleague to protect herself from his unwanted sexual advances. The recorded telephone conversation was with the head teacher of the school where she worked. She accused him of making repeated unwanted sexual advances and the recorded call was supposed to be her evidence.

But the Supreme Court found her guilty last week of defaming her alleged harasser after a recording of his lustful phone call to her leaked to the public. The court sentenced Nuril to six months imprisonment and a fine of Rp 500 million ($34,000) for “violating decency” under Article 27 of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law, overturning the verdict of a lower court, which found her not guilty.

The supreme court’s shock ruling overturned an earlier court decision that had cleared her of breaking a controversial law against spreading indecent material.

‘I’m saddened and shocked by this sentence’, Maknun’s husband Lalu Muhamad Isnaini said today in reaction to the ruling, which was issued last week.

The odd case stretches back to 2012 when Maknun recorded a conversation in which the principal of the school where she worked revealed graphic sexual details about an affair he was having with another colleague.

Co-workers of the school administrator later convinced Maknun to release the recording in a bid to expose the man’s history of lecherous behavior, according to her lawyer Joko Jumadi.

He said: ‘The principal shared very graphic details about his affair with the school’s treasurer in the recording.’

In response, the principal fired Maknun and filed a complaint with authorities.

Maknun was initially cleared of the charges by a local court in Lombok, next to holiday hotspot Bali.

But last Friday, Indonesia’s top court reversed that decision, finding her guilty of violating the electronic information law and sentencing her to six months’ jail along with a 500 million rupiah ($36,000) fine.

Indonesian woman jailed and fined $34,000 for keeping record of sexual harassment she suffered from her boss

After she was found guilty, she said in a video published by the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (Safenet):

The Mataram District Court’s ruling proved I am not guilty. I am truly a victim of sexual harassment, and this isn’t just.

Maknun told local reporters that the ruling was unfair, saying at the time: ‘I’m just a victim, what did I do wrong?’

The court did not give reasons for its verdict.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, human rights group Amnesty International Indonesia said unsolicited, sexually explicit and abusive telephone calls, such as the one Nuril reportedly received from Muslim, her former boss, constitute sexual harassment.

Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said:

It is a travesty that while the victim of the alleged abuse has been convicted for recording this call, little if any action appears to have been taken by the authorities to investigate what appear to be credible claims.

Nuril’s case has also garnered public attention, with an ongoing fundraising campaign aimed at getting money to help her pay the fine. More than 800 people had donated nearly Rp 100 million as of Thursday afternoon.

The prosecutor’s office in Lombok told AFP today it is reviewing the case before Maknun begins her sentence.

Indonesia’s corruption-riddled justice system has long been criticized for the quality of its rulings, while the electronic information law itself has come under fire for being too vague and open to misuse.

 

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