Editorial: Rape Joke Reveals Much About Judges
Rape is a heinous crime and its perpetrators must be dealt with
according to the law. It is no laughing matter, which is why the huge
public uproar over the insensitive comments made by a potential Supreme
Court judge should come as no surprise.
Indonesian people have every right to be outraged over the comments made
by Muhammad Daming Sunusi, chief of the Banjarmasin High Court, during
his screening by House of Representatives Commission III. He has
tearfully apologized for his comments but it is clear that it would be a
huge slap on the face of the nation and the Indonesian people if he
were to be confirmed as a Supreme Court judge.
His views are beyond shocking. They reflect an underlying attitude that
does not fully recognize the rights of women and children. It is the
reason why many judges impose lenient sentences on rapists. Daming may
have been trying to break the ice during his screening but his words
provide an insight into how he thinks and how he would act if an accused
rapist was brought before him.
We must change this viewpoint if we are to progress and protect the
rights of women and children. If we have judges that make light of rape,
we will only encourage more attacks on women and children, such as the
sickening assault on the 11-year-old girl who later died after
sustaining an infection and injuries when she was raped.
Whether or not rapists should be sentenced to death is a debate we, as a society, should have.
But if the victim suffers serious injuries and dies as a result, it appears that murder has been committed.
we are to combat rape, we need judges who take a very serious view of
the crime. Jokes aside, we cannot have Supreme Court justices who think
rape victims are willing participants in the crime.