The Jakarta Post
The House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs agreed during a meeting on Wednesday that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should grant amnesty to Baiq Nuril Maknun, a woman convicted of defaming her alleged sexual harasser, after hearing the views of concerned parties well as the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
“We agree, by acclamation, to suggest the President grant amnesty to Baiq Nuril. Hopefully we can read out this decision during tomorrow’s plenary session,” Commission III chairman Azis Syamsuddin said.
The hearing was also attended by Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, who said in his speech that forgiving Nuril was in line with one of the key priorities of the President’s nine-point development plan (Nawa Cita) to protect women from all kinds of violence.
“If we turn a blind eye to this case, it will only discourage women who experience similar things from speaking up and fighting for their dignity,” Yasonna said before the commission members.
Nuril was convicted of defamation after being accused of defaming her alleged sexual harasser, Muslim.
Amnesty was Nuril’s only remaining legal avenue after the Supreme Court rejected a petition for a case review filed by her legal team.
The court decided in September last year that Nuril was guilty of defamation and sentenced her to six months in prison with a fine of Rp 500 million (US$35,755). The decision also overturned a lower court’s verdict that found her “not guilty”.
Earlier this month, Nuril visited the State Palace to request amnesty from Jokowi, who subsequently asked for the House’s approval, as Article 14 of the 1945 Constitution states that the President must take into account the House’s consideration when granting amnesty.
“The punishment imposed on Baiq Nuril Maknun has elicited widespread sympathy and solidarity from the public, who feel that [her] conviction contradicts the public’s sense of justice,” Jokowi wrote in his letter.
“Given that no legal options remain that could be pursued through the judicial process, we request the House of Representatives [to consider] the plan to grant Baiq Nuril Maknun amnesty, as stipulated in Article 14 Clause 2 of the 1945 Constitution,” he continued.