Baiq Nuril Maknun, center, looks on as the House of Representatives decides to support her amnesty last week. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

Jokowi Signs Baiq Nuril's Amnesty, Invites Her to State Palace

JULY 29, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo signed a decree on Monday granting amnesty to Baiq Nuril Maknun, the woman sentenced to six months in prison and a Rp 500 million ($35,600) fine under Indonesia's notorious Electronic Information and Transactions Law for defaming the man who allegedly sexually harassed her. 

"This morning, I signed the presidential decree for Mrs. Baiq Nuril," Jokowi said, as quoted by Antara news agency.

"So, please Mrs. Baiq Nuril, if you want to receive it at the State Palace, just have it arranged whenever you're ready. I will be happy to meet you," he added. 

Baiq Nuril was sued for defamation under the so-called ITE Law by Muslim, the former principal of the high school in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, where she worked as a teacher.

Having been uneasy with his sexual advances, she decided to record one of his phone calls to her in which he detailed his sexual relations with a mutual co-worker. A copy of the recording was leaked in 2018, leading to Muslim's lawsuit.  

Jokowi took an interest in Baiq Nuril's case last year, after the Supreme Court rejected her plea for her a case review, trashing her hopes for an acquittal. 

However, granting amnesty to an individual, such as Baiq Nuril, would create a legal and political precedent in Indonesia, where only political prisoners have so far been pardoned.  The president therefore thought it necessary to consult with the House of Representatives. 

The House supported the president and last week made a unanimous recommendation for Baiq Nuril to receive amnesty.