Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School - Green Background

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  • Decision No. 212 K/Pid.Sus/2011/PN.Pso, Indonesia, Poso District Court, 2011.
    The defendant, a physician, agreed to perform an abortion for a woman who was 20-22 weeks pregnant for Rp. 800,000. The defendant performed the abortion in her own home using a ‘Gastrul Pill’ and was criminally charged for intentionally performing an abortion. The defendant confessed to performing the procedure and did not contest the indictment. The court found that the defendant performed an illegal abortion because the woman did not have a prior examination from a counselor and defendant did not have a certificate endorsed by the minister. The court sentenced the defendant to 10 months imprisonment and a fine of Rp. 10,000,000.00.
  • Decision No. 1028 k/PID SUS/2009, Indonesia, Supreme Court, 2009.
    The defendant paid his friend to bring the victim to defendant’s café under the pretext of attending a birthday party. After defendant’s friend abandoned the victim at the café, the defendant told the victim to work as a server but also forced her to have sex with the male clients and kept all payments received for the victim’s services. Because the defendant used fraud to bring the victim to the café and exploited the victim by forcing her to act as a sex worker for profit, the Court of First Instance found the defendant guilty of human trafficking under section 2(1) of Law No. 21 of 2007 and sentenced the defendant to 10 years imprisonment with a fine of Rp. 120,000,000. The High Court upheld the lower court’s decision but amended the defendant’s sentence to 7 years imprisonment. On appeal, the defendant argued that the High Court’s sentence of 7 years was an error since the court did not consider that the victim had stayed with the defendant’s friend before coming to the café and therefore the health and condition of the victim may have worsened before coming to the defendant. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the High Court and did not rule on the sentencing since it was a “judex facti matter (question of fact of the case)”.
  • Decision No. 190 K/PID SUS/2007, Indonesia, Supreme Court, 2007.
    The defendant offered the victim a job as a nanny in her house but instead took her to a café and forced her to work as a sex worker. The defendant threatened to deprive the victim of food if she refused to work and kept 50% of the victim’s earnings along with a portion to pay for boarding and lodging. Defendant was charged with economic and sexual exploitation of a child for purposes of benefitting oneself. The High Court of Jambi found the defendant guilty and sentenced the defendant to 4 years imprisonment and a fine of Rp. 500,000. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the High Court in part, holding that the High Court used an outdated sentencing law and reduced the sentence to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of Rp. 500,000.
  • In re M Insa, Decision No. 12/PUU-V/2007, Indonesia, Constitutional Court, 2007.
    Petitioner, an Indonesian male, challenged the constitutionality of a marriage law requiring monogamy with an exception that allows polygamy only with the consent of the wife and the permission of the court (Law Number 1 Year 1974 regarding Marriage). The law requires the husband to submit an application to the court of his domicile with his wife’s consent in order to engage in polygamy. Petitioner argued that because the law required the husband to obtain consent from his wife and the court before engaging in polygamy, it violated his right to freely exercise his religion because the teachings of Islam allow polygamy. The government argued that Islamic principles encourage monogamy and only allow polygamy when a wife allows her husband to re-marry for the benefit of their marriage. The court held that the practice of polygamy historically had degraded the status of women and the teachings of Islam required the preservation of the dignity of women. In addition, since the purpose of marriage is to “achieve peacefulness (sakinah),” men are required to first obtain their wives’ consent before engaging in polygamy, thus respecting their wives as legally equal partners. Therefore, the Court rejected petitioner’s claims and held the laws constitutional as they guarantee the recognition of women’s rights and allow husbands to exercise polygamy in accordance with the teachings of Islam.