Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo sent a letter on Monday to the House of Representatives' speaker Bambang Soesatyo to ask for a parliamentary response on his plan to grant an amnesty to Baiq Nuril Maknun, who was sentenced to six months in jail after she documented sexual harassment by her employer.
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.
Baiq Nuril was sexually harassed by the principal of a high school in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, where she worked as a teacher in 2012. Feeling insecure, she recorded one of his improper phone conversations with her.
The recording later leaked out after she shared it with friends to convince them of her story. This prompted the principal to report her to police, who charged her with defamation.
To date, state prosecutors – the executor of court verdict – have delayed sending Baiq Nuril into prison.
"Baiq Nuril has gained sympathy and solidarity from the public, who thinks the sentence imposed on her is unfair. What she did [recording the phone conversation] was only to protect her dignity as a woman and a mother," Jokowi said in his letter.
Baiq Nuril officially filed her request for amnesty on Monday through the presidential staff office.
"This will be a historical event... if President Jokowi grants an amnesty for a non-political case," Usman Hamid, the director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said in a statement released by the office.