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Indonesia

Widodo grants pardon to woman in sex-pest case

Baiq Nuril Maknun becomes 'first non-political convict in Indonesia to receive a presidential pardon'

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Widodo grants pardon to woman in sex-pest case

Baiq Nuril Maknun, a 42-year-old mother of three convicted after reporting her boss for sexual harassment has received a pardon from Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (Photo courtesy of thejakartapost.com)

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has signed a presidential decree pardoning a 42-year-old former schoolteacher convicted of recording a phone call from her boss to prove he was sexually harassing her.

Widodo made the announcement on July 29, four days after parliament approved a presidential recommendation to grant a pardon to Baiq Nuril Maknun after the Supreme Court rejected her appeal against her conviction.

The mother of three from Lombok Island recorded a phone conversation in 2012 with the headmaster at the school she worked at and who she had accused of sexually harassing her.

The recording was later used in an official complaint against the man by one of her colleagues and also went viral on social media resulting in him being fired.

He then laid a police complaint against her for distributing the recordings. 

She said a friend took the recordings off her phone and distributed them.

The Supreme Court sentenced her to six months in prison in September last year for uploading indecent material in contravention of the country’s computer crime laws, which some observers say are often used to silence critics.

The court also fined her 500 million rupiah after overturning a lower court’s verdict in 2017 that found her not guilty.

An appeal to review the Supreme Court decision was rejected by the same court earlier this July.

Joko Jumaidi, Maknun’s lawyer, said his client was very happy to hear the news.

“After fighting for five years, she finally gets a pardon — the only solution to her case,” he told ucanews.com by phone on July 30.  

According to him, Maknun is the first non-political convict to receive a pardon.

“This is legal history. It was a progressive move taken to protect the rights of victims of violence,” he said.

“We are ready to meet the president [to formally receive the pardon]. But we are still waiting for his aides to arrange it,” he said.

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