Some miscarriages of justice are beyond comprehension. Complaints and protests have been reported in Indonesia after three judges sentenced a teenage girl to six months in prison. The girl received the sentence after having an illegal abortion, having been repeatedly raped and beaten by her brother.
Activists for both women’s groups and children’s groups have met with the Indonesian Judicial Commission in Jakarta to complain and voice their concerns after the “grossly unfair” sentencing of the young girl. Although many are outraged at the treatment of a victim of rape and incest, some in Indonesia view abortion as a very clear-cut issue. Abortion is illegal, unless the woman’s life is endangered, and even then is it available only in certain circumstance. It is sometimes available in cases of rape but, again, only in the first 40 days. “In Indonesia, they only see abortion as black and white, that we really can’t have abortions, whatever happens,” Genoveva Alicia, a researcher from the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) who attended the meeting told the Guardian. “And they [the judges] see this as a normal case.”
Protests in Indonesia as girl raped by brother is jailed for abortion | Guardian https://t.co/PLOdqtWpDi
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The victim’s brother and rapist admitted to raping his sister eight times and beating her when she refused him. He has been sentenced to two years. Despite the fact that there is no confusion over what happened and the severity of the trauma the young girl went through, the judges felt that sending her to prison was somehow fulfilling the course of justice. It’s a harsh reminder of the total dearth of women’s rights, of women’s humanity, when it comes to the law in some areas. Meanwhile, their mother, who assisted the girl in having the abortion, is also facing charges — for helping her abused daughter abort the product of brutal incest. It’s a harrowing and sickening state of affairs.
There have been reports that the 15-year-old girl old plans to appeal her sentence at the Jambi High Court. One can only hope that the pressure and scrutiny the case has come under will lead to some justice for the victim.