An Indonesian Teacher Recorded Sexual Harassment By Her Employer And Was Jailed For It

She was charged for "recording and spreading 'indecent' material".

Cover image via Karnia Septia for

A teacher in Indonesia has been sentenced to six months in jail as a result of recording audio proof of her employer sexually harassing her

Baiq Nuril Maknun.

Image via Fitri/

37-year-old Baiq Nuril Maknun had recorded a telephone conversation of hers with the head of the school where she worked at in Lombok.

According to Amnesty International, the recorded conversation where the principal allegedly made sexually explicit and abusive comments had been shared among staff members of the school.

Nuril's acquaintance then used it to lodge an official complaint against the principal - who is named Muslim - with the local education agency. The audio had also gone viral.

The sentence comes from the Supreme Court, overturning a local court's previous verdict that found Nuril not guilty of defamation against Muslim

Indonesia's Supreme Court.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Jakarta Post reported that Nuril will need to serve a six-month sentence and pay a Rp 500 million (roughly RM143,470) fine after being found guilty of violating Article 27 of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law for "recording and spreading 'indecent' material", according to Thomsom Reuters Foundation.

Although the ruling was delivered in a closed-door deliberation on 26 September, it was only made public this week.

"The supreme court judges were satisfied that she has violated the law," the Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Meanwhile, The Jakarta Post reported that Muslim has been promoted to a position within the local education agency.

Various non-profit organisations based in Indonesia are angered over the latest ruling against a victim of sexual harassment

"She is innocent, she is the victim and yet she is the one who is being punished. Where can her family get Rp 500 million when it is already difficult for her, her husband, and three children to pay for their daily needs," a Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) volunteer Furkan Rudy Ermansah told The Jakarta Post. Rudy added that Nuril had been fired from her position when the case first came to light in 2014.

Amnesty International Indonesia's executive director Usman Hamid released a statement saying, "It is a travesty that while the victim of the alleged abuse has been convicted for recording this call, little if any action appears to have been taken by the authorities to investigate what appear to be credible claims."

In this case, it appears a woman was criminalised simply for taking steps to redress the abuse she experienced.
Amnesty International Indonesia’s executive director Usman Hamid

Maidina Rahmawati from the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform said the verdict will deter other victims from reporting future abuses, adding, "This case is just an example of how the law, which is too vague, could be used against vulnerable women who were trying to protect themselves."

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