A candidate Supreme Court justice told members of the House of Representatives that some rape cases might involve consensual sex and require more lenient sentences.
“Both the victims of rape and the rapist might have enjoyed their intercourse together, so we should think twice before handing down the death penalty,” Daming Sunusi told lawmakers on House Commission III on law and human rights on Monday.
While rape carries a maximum penalty of 12 years’ imprisonment under Indonesian law, Daming might have been referring to recent cases involving rape and murder.
Daming’s comments were greeted with laughter from lawmakers overseeing his “fit-and-proper” hearing.
Democratic Party lawmaker Himmatul Aliya Setiawati, for example, she had no problems with Daming.
“He has met the criteria from the answers he gave us. Other factions have said that they won’t vote for him, but we will look at his overall score,” Himmatul told reporters.
However, lawmaker Pramono Anung Wibowo from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said that his party would vote to reject Daming, a career judge from Banjarmasin, East Kalimantan.
This is not the first time, a public official made a statement which blames the victims of rape.
Last year, Former Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo advised women against wearing provocative clothes while riding public transportation in order to avoid being raped.
His statement came after recent gang rape cases on public minivans, including the rape of a Binus University student who was subsequently killed.
On Sunday, A coalition of children and women’s rights groups staged a rally at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle on Sunday calling for more severe punishments for child abusers.
The coalition, led by the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA), urged the government and the House of Representatives to improve child protection measures, for example by amending Law No. 23/2002 on child protection to set a minimum prison sentence of 20 years for child abuse.