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He Placed Lewd Calls to Her. Now She's Going to Jail

Indonesian to serve 6 months for distributing obscene material after she taped a call
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2019 1:58 PM CDT
Imagine being punished after being on the receiving end of an obscene phone call.   (AP Photo/Anick Jesdanun)

(Newser) – Women's rights advocates in Indonesia are outraged over a decision this week by the country's Supreme Court that will be sending the recipient of a lewd phone call to jail, and letting the supervisor who made the call walk away scot-free. Court documents cited by Reuters show Nuril Maknun, a 41-year-old bookkeeper who used to work at a high school on the island of Lombok, complained that the school's principal, known by the single name of Muslim, started placing explicit calls to her starting in 2012. Maknun says she finally got fed up and recorded one of those vulgar calls and played it for her husband and a teacher at the school, per the New York Times. The Washington Post notes that Muslim found out about the recorded call in 2015 and reported Maknun to the police, claiming defamation.

Maknun was arrested and thrown in jail for a month while cops investigated, then charged with disseminating obscene material. Maknun denies distributing the recording, saying another teacher downloaded the file from her phone without her knowing. Maknun was acquitted, but prosecutors got a conviction on appeal, earning her a fine of $35,000 and a sentence of six months in jail—nine if she can't come up with the fine. The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to re-examine the case. President Joko Widodo has previously indicated he would consider clemency for Maknun, but one of her lawyers tells Reuters that a prison sentence must be at least two years long to be eligible for clemency; hoping for presidential amnesty now appears to be her only resort. The Times notes Muslim has not only escaped any form of punishment, but has also enjoyed multiple promotions. (Read more Indonesia stories.)

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