The Case of Baiq Nuril: Miscarriage of Justice

dafluff

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If you follow Indonesian jurisprudence, you will quickly become jaded at the many judicial decisions that defy sanity. It's not just the high profile cases, such as the Ferdi and Neil (Jakarta International School) case, which apparently allowed testimony regarding a "magic stone" overrule medical experts. Nor is it just the cases that receive intense public pressure, such as the Ahok blasphemy case or the case of Meliana, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison over complaining about a mosque's loudspeaker. (Nevermind that the people who burned no less than 7 temples in retaliation to that complaint received less than 3 months).

Sometimes even small cases, cases that would have never made the news were it not for the ridiculousness of the decision, can be a head shaker. One such case I have written about in this forum. In it, a small laundromat owner was jailed for 3 months over some misplaced laundry.

Another one is currently making the news. The story pertains to a Ms. Baiq Nuril Maknun, a temporary high school teacher (guru honorer) in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara.

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Ms Baiq Nuril, via CNNIndonesia


Ms Nuril claims that in 2012 she was harassed multiple times by her superior, Mr. M, the principal of the school where she taught. The harassment was sexual in nature, and was done over the phone. Mr M would call her many times, and detail sexual escapades with women who are not his wife. He would then continue with suggestive and seductive remarks directed at Ms Nuril.

Ms Nuril in an attempt to fight back, made a recording of one of the conversations. Yet, she never actually followed through on it, as she was afraid for her job.

What she did though, was show her colleague, Mr Imam Mudawin, the recording. The latter then transferred the recording from Ms Nuril's phone to a laptop and then to the Mataram Youth and Sports Services, after which the recording was spread all over town.

Hearing back about this recording, Mr M then reports Ms Nuril to the police over violating Article 27.1 in the ITE (Information and Technology) Law, and the case went to trial. The State Court of Mataram ruled that Ms Nuril was innocent, which obviously is the correct decision. However, similar to the laundromat case, the overzealous prosecutor, takes the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Inexplicably, the highest court in the land decided on Nov 9, 2018, that Ms Nuril is guilty, and sentences her to 6 months in prison and Rp 500 million in files. Her remaining option now is a judicial review (peninjauan kembali), and failing that, a presidential pardon. Thankfully President Jokowi has indicated that he is willing to do this.

This still leaves one problem, namely that the actually guilty party in this situation, Mr M, has not been prosecuted for his harassment of a woman who was also his subordinate. This is the case that should have gone forward.


References:

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181114133306-12-346485/kronologi-kasus-baiq-nuril-bermula-dari-percakapan-telepon

http://jogja.tribunnews.com/2018/11/20/pengacara-baiq-nuril-ungkap-penggalan-isi-pembicaraan-kepsek
 

William King

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This still leaves one problem, namely that the actually guilty party in this situation, Mr M, has not been prosecuted for his harassment of a woman who was also his subordinate. This is the case that should have gone forward.


References:

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181114133306-12-346485/kronologi-kasus-baiq-nuril-bermula-dari-percakapan-telepon

http://jogja.tribunnews.com/2018/11/20/pengacara-baiq-nuril-ungkap-penggalan-isi-pembicaraan-kepsek
This is a big issue. Why are police not following up

.they have evidence.

The six months jail is no surprise, Prita was jailed for same in around 2007 against Omni hospital. The lady should have been more careful.

But the pick and choose nature of policing in Indonesia is infuriating
 

dafluff

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An update:

Ms Nuril's judicial review (peninjauan kembali) has been refused by the Supreme Court. Her sentence of 6 months in jail and Rp 500 million fine (or an additional 3 months in jail) has been upheld.

I kid you not, but the Supreme Court ruled Baiq deserves the punishment because her action has caused embarrassment to Haji Muslim's (Mr. M) family. Really? In that case maybe they should lock up Haji Muslim first...

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4611890/pk-ditolak-baiq-nuril-tetap-dibui-karena-rekam-perilaku-mesum-kepsek
 

jstar

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^some might not know this, but Haji is not a name but a honorary title here for people undertook the pilgrimage to .....
 

snpark

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A N Other is helping police with their inquiries. What a nice man! So helpful

John Doe was found dead. Again. Seems like an unlucky name.
 

waarmstrong

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I suspect that the basis of the high court's ruling could be described as, "There but for the grace of Allah go I."
 

Edward

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^some might not know this, but Haji is not a name but a honorary title here for people undertook the pilgrimage to .....
Is it known whether Mr Muslim got demoted or promoted throughout all of this?
 

Puspawarna

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Speaking as someone outside Indonesia, I am sad to report that there has been essentially zero coverage in the US. The only reason independent of this message board that I know about the case is that the Jakarta Globe has been covering it, and I receive their emails.
 

harryopal

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We are assured that Islam is a religion of peace, love and tolerance but I find it disappointing that we don't seem to find serious advocacy from a Muslim group faced with such obvious injustice as that in the case of Ms Nuril. I am hopeful someone will reply with some outstanding instances to prove my assumption wrong.
 

harryopal

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This case is a lot more sordid than the English press has disclosed over recent days. This article from end 2018 is much more detailed.
https://kumparan.com/@kumparannews/jejak-hitam-haji-muslim-pelapor-baiq-nuril-1543215520385348934
After reading this story and reflecting upon my remarks it becomes clear that the way this has been ignored is not a Muslim cultural matter so much as the way in which many organizations demanding loyalty from their followers respond to allegations against fellow members. Worldwide, the Catholic church's inability to come out along ago on behalf of children and others suffering abuse from priests is an example of this. The way in which the Australian special forces soldiers in Afghanistan closed ranks when allegations emerged about unlawful killings of civilians. And of course police officers rarely are prepared to break ranks when it comes to giving evidence against fellow officer in cases of impropriety. Most professions protect their own even if it is not always in the public interest.

As an Australian interviewing ex POWs in Singapore I was told of end of war retaliation against Japanese soldiers. I'd never heard a whisper of this before. And there was an extraordinary story which played the front pages of Australian newspapers during the Vietnam war with photographs of a young Vietnamese woman being water boarded during an Australian army interrogation. That dropped out of sight very quickly. I don't recall demands for an enquiry. And later going through taped interviews with returned soldiers from Vietnam still haunted by atrocities perpetrated against Vietnamese civilians. Again something of a taboo issues as "our boys" are always heroic soldiers.

I guess it is a very human reaction that none of us want to know about the misdeeds of one of our own.
 

waarmstrong

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Speaking as someone outside Indonesia, I am sad to report that there has been essentially zero coverage in the US. The only reason independent of this message board that I know about the case is that the Jakarta Globe has been covering it, and I receive their emails.
Same here, where "here" is in the US Midwest even thought we happen to be in Jakarta at the moment.
 

ericjancoen

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i think the legal problem is not the harassment, but "wiretapping" then spreading it on the internet, the higher court decide her action does indeed violate UU ITE, regardless of the harassment issue.
 

William King

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i think the legal problem is not the harassment, but "wiretapping" then spreading it on the internet, the higher court decide her action does indeed violate UU ITE, regardless of the harassment issue.
Absolutely. However, when this issue is pressed but the harassment apparently ignored it is not a good look for Indonesian justice
 

centurion

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i think the legal problem is not the harassment, but "wiretapping" then spreading it on the internet, the higher court decide her action does indeed violate UU ITE, regardless of the harassment issue.
True indeed, however, the mentioned article 27.3is as follows:

PERBUATAN YANG DILARANG
Setiap Orang dengan sengaja dan tanpa hak mendistribusikan dan/atau mentransmisikan dan/atau membuat dapat diaksesnya Informasi Elektronik dan/atau Dokumen Elektronik yang memiliki muatan penghinaan dan/atau pencemaran nama baik.
PROHIBITED CONDUCT
Everyone who intentionally and without rights distributes and / or transmits and / or makes access to Electronic Information and / or Electronic Documents that have content of insult and / or defamation.

However, in this case, the content was not insulting-it was transmitting the factual thing-the conversation between 2 persons. It is true that the content was embarrassing for Mr. Muslim, but that was because of his own actions, not because Mrs Baiq insulted him or ridiculed him.

I think that the court made wrongdoing here in interpretation.
 

dafluff

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However, in this case, the content was not insulting-it was transmitting the factual thing-the conversation between 2 persons. It is true that the content was embarrassing for Mr. Muslim, but that was because of his own actions, not because Mrs Baiq insulted him or ridiculed him.

I think that the court made wrongdoing here in interpretation.
This is one of the ironies in this case. Apparently being a lecherous dickhead is not nearly as embarrassing as being exposed as one.

Think of the logical ramification of this ruling: Say you caught a thief on your CCTV, and that recording got out. You are now liable to being accused of defaming this thief....lol.

Note: No I don't think the above is a possibility, but that is the same logic that these "judges" employed.
 

Edward

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I think we will find the main problem is the the law itself. I believe it may be in the parliament now to be amended.

Surely also, fairness or unfairness will be related to the rules of evidence that apply in this country; for example, the weight and/or admissibility given to the digital recording taken from Nuril's phone, in separate future trial(s).
 
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jstar

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Think of the logical ramification of this ruling: Say you caught a thief on your CCTV, and that recording got out. You are now liable to being accused of defaming this thief....lol.
In many countries that is the case, for instance in Europe. Quite some people get into trouble since they post their CCTV footage on Facebook or so, with criminals who are recognizable. The thinking is that even burglars have a right of privacy and it is a job of the police to identify and arrest a person, not of the general public. Whether we agree or not, it is illegal to post this and people have been charged with defamation after thiefs filing complaints.
 

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