A demonstration in support of Baiq Nuril Maknun. (Antara Photo/Feny Selly)

One Step Closer to Justice: Lawmakers Discuss Jokowi's Amnesty Plan for Baiq Nuril


JULY 16, 2019

Jakarta. The House of Representatives is deliberating on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's plan to grant amnesty to Baiq Nuril Maknun, a woman from Lombok who was sentenced to six months in prison for documenting sexual harassment by her employer.

Lawmakers discussed the president's plan in a plenary session on Tuesday and decided to hold further discussions during a separate session. 

The Supreme Court earlier this month refused Baiq Nuril's request for a case review, forcing her to serve a six-month prison sentence, which will increase to nine months if she is unable to pay a Rp 550 million ($39,000) fine. 

The sentence was for defaming Muslim, her alleged harasser, after a recording of his lustful phone call to her leaked to the public.

Baiq Nuril has since become an icon of Indonesia's #MeToo movement after her court fight against her boss' defamation lawsuit captured public attention.

Her failure to get justice represents the fear shared among many Indonesian women that a fight against sexual harassment, even if it is brought to court, could always be thwarted by a defamation lawsuit. 

"Thank you, God. And thank you all my friends who keep supporting me," Baiq Nuril said when told the parliament will continue its deliberation on the presidential amnesty.