Depok rape victim ‘expelled’ from school
Yuli Tri Suwarni
The Jakarta Post
A teenager in Depok, West Java, who was reportedly kidnapped and repeatedly raped by a Facebook “friend” has been expelled from school, her mother claims.
The 14-year-old girl, identified only as SAS, returned for classes at her school for the first time on Monday after a one-month absence following her traumatic ordeal, only to be told to return home as the school “could no longer accept a student that has tarnished the school’s image”.
“The statement was made by a [school foundation] staffer during a flag-hoisting ceremony that was attended by hundreds of students. When [my daughter] wanted to enter the classroom, she was barred. Have pity on my child. Her life has already been ruined and now she cannot go to school,” SAS’ mother told reporters.
The 39-year-old said her daughter came to her crying and said that she had been expelled from school. That day, the third-year junior high student was supposed to join the other students in taking the mid-semester examination.
Her mother said she had tried to meet with the school’s principal to talk about the fate of her daughter, but the principal refused to meet her.
Officials from the school’s foundation declined to comment on the incident. Reporters seeking confirmation were told to give copies of their IDs and were not given a chance to ask questions.
One teacher, however, denied that SAS had been expelled, saying that the school was only advising students to be careful when asked to go with strangers. “There was no expulsion,” the teacher said.
He added that the foundation had not issued a letter to expel SAS, although he admitted that he could not speak on the foundation’s behalf.
The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) sent a letter to the foundation protesting its decision to expel SAS.
Commission chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said that as educators, teachers should protect SAS instead of judging her in front of other students.
He criticized the school for treating SAS as a perpetrator instead of a victim of a crime, while it was clear that the girl had been kidnapped and raped. “We protest this kind of treatment,” he said.
He accused the school of denying the girl’s right to an education, saying: “They do not appreciate her willingness to go back to school after such a traumatic experience.”
SAS is believed to be the latest in a long list of victims of an alleged human trafficking ring operating on widely used social media outlets. The girl had been reported missing for a week following a meet-up with a man she met through Facebook.
The man, identified as Den Gilang alias Yugi who befriended mostly minors on Facebook, asked to meet her outside a department store on Sept. 23, where a public minivan with several of the man’s friends on board was waiting.
According to SAS’ statement to the police, they headed to a house in Parung, Bogor, where several other teenage girls were also being held. For one week, Yugi allegedly raped SAS, threatened to kill her and forced her to have sex with other men under the influence of alcohol.
Her lawyer, Dwi Handy Pardede, said that his client was to be sold to someone in Batam, Riau Islands. The captors aborted the plan and left her at a bus terminal, where local residents recognized her from flyers distributed by her family.
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