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UNRI sexual harassment case verdict a 'bad precedent,' says legal aid

Tempo - April 6, 2022

Annisa Firdausi, Jakarta – The Pekanbaru Legal Aid Institute (LBH) which had legally represented the victim of an alleged sexual harassment by campus dean Syafri Harto argues that the court acquittal against the UNRI dean has set a bad precedent on how the country's legal system handles sexual harassment cases.

In a virtual press conference on April 5, the victim's lawyer Rian Sibarani expressed concern for future cases and that it can lead to similar cases happening more often in other universities.

"The judge's argue that sexual violence conducted in open spaces need to be backed by witness testimony. Meanwhile, the same thing is not possible when it happens in closed spaces," said Sibarani.

In addition, the Public Prosecutor (JPU) has submitted an appeal to the Pekanbaru District Court, Monday, April 4, 2022.

In regards to this matter, Rian urges the Public Prosecutor to prepare a memorandum of cassation to more specifically describe the legal facts revealed at the trial with the assertion to strengthen the demands that have been read at the previous trial.

Rian also urged the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (MA) to appoint Supreme Court justices who handle cases with a gender perspective.

The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) commissioner Siti Aminah revealed the data gathered in the past seven years shows that sexual violence happens in all academic levels but universities tops it all.

"In the past seven years, most perpetrators or 77 percent of them should have been the educators and protectors for the victims. This is concerning, campuses must take notice and understand the context of power relations between educators and students," said Aminah.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1579030/unri-sexual-harassment-case-verdict-a-bad-precedent-says-legal-ai