Indonesian judge faces axe over 'rape joke'



Zeenews Bureau

Jakarta: A high court judge in Indonesia faces dismissal and is to confront ethics tribunal after making an outrageous comment on rape victims while appearing for Supreme Court interview.

The judge named Muhammad Daming Sunusi suggested that that there was a possibility that women victims enjoy the despicable act of rape.

The offensive remark from the judge came when he was sitting for an interview by a parliamentary panel for a post at the Supreme Court.

On being asked whether the death penalty was a suitable punishment for rape, Sanusi said that since both the attacker and the victim "might have enjoyed it we have to think twice about imposing the death penalty."

The lawmakers interviewing him reportedly broke into laughter on the judge’s rape ‘joke’.

The senseless remark has sparked public outrage in the Muslim country with the women’s groups protesting against it.

A judicial commission looking into judges’ code of conduct has recommended his dismissal and is investigating whether Mr Daming broke the code of ethics.

Also a House of Representatives ethics committee is mulling to probe the lawmakers who reportedly laughed at the rape remark of the judge, an Indonesian newspaper reported.

The judge in question has apologised for his comment saying that he just meant to lighten the tense interview atmosphere. He also said later at a press conference that he had "said something that no man should ever say, especially a Supreme Court candidate".

"I have three adolescent daughters and one of them told me that she is very embarrassed and that she felt as if she did not know me at all," he said.

This is not a first instance any such derogatory comment has been made about rape.

Earlier Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo had earned notoriety for saying that women should avoid wearing miniskirts to avoid any untoward incidents.

Uncalled for remarks on rape are not uncommon as was seen in remarks o US Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who suggested “woman’s body could shut the process of rape” and “even if a life is born during rape, it is god intended”, respectively.

India, where December 16’s Delhi gang-rape drew widespread outrage inside and outside the country, is no stranger to strange comments about rape from politicians cutting across party lines.