The Jakarta Post
Indonesian people must stay on guard against gang rape, a growing phenomenon across Indonesia, a National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA) commissioner has said.
Komnas PA chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said gang rape perpetrators were not only adults but also children.
“The latest gang rape incident, which affected a 12-year-old girl who was still in sixth grade at elementary school, has shocked our society. Earlier, a similar case occurred in Bengkulu, affecting a junior high school student, who later died. Other cases occurred in Tangerang [Banten], North Sumatra, Pemalang [Central Java] and several other areas across Indonesia. We must fight against this crime,” said Arist after he met with six suspect perpetrators of a gang rape at the Semarang Police station in Semarang, Central Java, on Wednesday.
Arist said he had also met with the female victim, who was reportedly raped on three separate occasions between May 7 and May 21. He said the victim, who just finished her final exams, was getting better.
Citing a recent statement from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s, the Komnas PA chairman said sex crimes were extraordinary crimes.
“This crime attracts a base sentence of minimum 10 years in prison and maximum 20 years. That sentence can be increased to life imprisonment. If the sex crime is planned and involves a premeditated murder, the perpetrator might be sentenced to death,” said Arist.
Violations of Article 82 of the 2002 Child Protection Law carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for sex crimes and 5 years at a minimum. With the President's recent amendment of the law, a sex crime perpetrator now faces a minimum 10-year imprisonment.
The Semarang Police have compiled three case dossiers for six suspects allegedly involved in the rape of the 12-year-old girl. The police said they were ready to hand over their case dossiers to the Semarang Prosecutor's Office so the case could be brought to trial at the Semarang District Court.
The six suspects have been identified as Wahyu, 38, Lutfi, 18, Johan, 18, Iq, 16, Rif, 16, and Ir, 16.
The Semarang Police’s deputy chief for crimes and investigation, Comr. Sukiyono, said the police were still pursuing two other suspects. One of the suspects, identified only as Naim, reportedly introduced the suspects to the girl.
Arist said that from his conversation with the suspects, he learned that they all raped the victim, each having sexual intercourse repeatedly with her, and for each time they each paid Rp 20,000 (US$1.46) to Naim.
Commenting on the finding, Sukiyono said: "We will investigate it further to find whether there was a human trafficking aspect in this case.” (ebf)
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