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  • » 01/15/2013, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Ordinary Indonesians against judges and politicians who "justify" sexual violence

    Mathias Hariyadi

    An official from Sharia-ruled Aceh province blames "sexy women" for rape. A judge claims that both rapist and victim "enjoy" the act, hence the death penalty is inappropriate. Such views, which follow the death of an 11-year-old girl who was gang-raped, have outraged women.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Statements by politicians, judges and high ranking government officials on the responsibility of women in their own rape are causing outrage among ordinary Indonesians. A judge, for example, joked about sexual violence before a parliamentary committee. In Indonesia's only Sharia-ruled province, an official said that women wearing "sexy outfits" are "asking for it", an especially ill-timed statement made not long after an 11-year-old girl died in Jakarta after being gang-raped, in a case not unlike that of the 23-year-old Indian woman whose story moved the world.

    In a recent statement, Ramli Mansur, head of the North Aceh Regency, said that "sexy women" are "easily subject to rape" because their clothing is "un-Islamic". In his view, such women "are asking for rape, including gang-rape" because of their "good looks".

    In an attempt to defuse the controversy, the Indonesian government said the official's words were misconstrued, that in fact, he only wanted to warn women to dress more in line with Islamic precepts, which are the law in Aceh.

    Judge Daming Sunusi, speaking before a parliamentary committee charged with appointing new Supreme Court justices, said that since "rapists and their victims enjoy the sex", the death penalty "should not be imposed on the former."

    Even more disturbing than the judge's remarks was the reaction of the committee members. Instead of reprimanding the former for his lack of sensitivity and the danger his words carry, they simply laughed at his "joke".

    This was especially thoughtless coing a few days after the death of an 11-year-old girl who was gang-raped by a group of thugs in broad daylight in Jakarta.

    Ordinary Indonesians and human rights groups reacted quickly in online forums, blogs and other Internet sites.

    "This is too much. The judge should apologise to the Indonesian people," a Jakartan wrote.

    Others have gone further, expressing doubts about his "moral integrity" and his ability to perform his functions fairly and impartially.

    The indifference and shallowness with which the issue is addressed has also been a cause of indignation.

    In the end, it is victims who have to face a bleak future, suffering from the traumatic consequences of their mental and physical experiences.

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    See also

    28/04/2014 PAKISTAN
    As Pakistani Catholics pray against sexual violence against children, more rapes reported in Punjab
    Torchlight processions and prayers are held for Sara, who is in hospital in critical condition. In the past few days, two more cases have been reported: a six-year-old girl sexually assaulted in Faisalabad, and a nine-year-old girl raped and killed in Jhang District. A recent study confirms the trend, but acknowledges that only a few cases are reported.

    04/02/2006 Pakistan
    Pakistan: a new norm to protect women, victims of rape

    A woman who is a victim of rape will no longer be condemned for adultery as under the old norm introduced in 1979.  Peter Jacob: "An important verdict but we need a definitive solution to all discriminatory laws".



    07/03/2016 19:49:00 THAILAND
    Thai Bishop: action against violence against women, for women’s rights and freedom

    On the eve of International Women's Day, Mgr Philip Banchong Chaiyara slams the “double standard" that continues to victimise women. In recent years, violence against women has been rising in the family and society. Confinement, beatings, and rape are the most widespread forms of abuse. The prelate also calls on women to make the most of “their abilities”.



    18/07/2014 INDIA
    For Catholic doctor, violence against women can destroy India
    A member of the Pontifical Academy for Life talks to AsiaNews about the gang rape of a novice in Bangalore. "The fight against this culture of violence must start with respect for life, especially for the girls for whom violence begins in the womb with female feticide and infanticide," he said.

    15/01/2014 MYANMAR
    Catholic activist speaks of unspeakable violations as military continues to use rape as a "weapon of war"
    A report released by the Women's League of Burma mentions at least a hundred cases between 2010 and 2013. For its authors, they are but "the tip of the iceberg." Most cases of sexual violence, which also involves girls as young as eight years old, are concentrated in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities. Kachin leaders tells AsiaNews that abuses are an indication of "serious deficiencies in security."



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