An Indonesian woman who recorded her boss’ lewd phone call to prove she was being harassed will serve at least six months in prison for distributing obscene material -- meanwhile, her boss got a promotion.
Nuril Maknun, 41, worked as a part-time bookkeeper at a high school in Mataram, the largest city on the religiously conservative island of Lombok.
Her allegations against her boss, who goes by the single name Muslim, as is common in Indonesia, began in 2013 when he took over as principal at the high school she worked at.
According to the New York Times, Muslim made vulgar remarks against her and spread a rumor the two had been carrying on an affair.
Nuril complained multiple times of receiving lewd phone calls from her boss and, in one instance, recorded him using explicit language and hounding her to have an affair – all without his knowledge. She gave the recording to a third person and eventually distributed it on an electronic device.
When Muslim became aware of the recording, he filed a police complaint against Nuril for criminal defamation. She was arrested and jailed for a month.
Prosecutors then charged her with distributing obscene material.
Nuril was initially cleared of the charges of violating the country’s strict anti-pornography laws by distributing the recording in a bid to expose the man’s history of lecherous behavior.
Prosecutors appealed the verdict, however, and. on Thursday, the country’s top court reversed the decision and sentenced her to six months in prison. Nuril was also ordered to pay a $35,383 fine, Al Jazeera reported.
She told the New York Times on Friday that she was disappointed by the court’s “obvious injustice” in its decision.
“I, as a woman, should be protected, but then I was the one who became the victim,” Nuril told the Times. "People should know that when we get harassed, there is no place to take refuge.”
The Times reported that Nuril’s boss has never been punished for harassing her and instead has been promoted repeatedly.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who recently won a second term in office, said earlier that Nuril could seek clemency from him if she did not find justice through a judicial review.
On Friday, the president told reporters that he would not comment on the Supreme Court ruling, but that Nuril should apply for amnesty as soon as possible so that his office could assume legal authority over her case.
“Since the beginning, my attention to this case has never diminished,” he said, according to the Times. “If it gets to me, then it will be under my authority, and I will use the authority I have.”
An online fundraising campaign has reportedly raised more than $26,000 to help pay her fine.
Meanwhile, Nuril said she is proud to fight for her “dignity as a woman” but questioned why she was going to jail when it was Muslim who made the obscene comments.
“Clearly the person has admitted that it was his voice, admitted that he was the one who called me, admitted that he was the one who said things that were inappropriate,” she told the Times. “Why can he just casually walk around, while I, as the victim, am the one being punished?”