Indonesian minister calls for harsh punishments for sexual abuse convicts

Indonesian minister calls for harsh punishments for sexual abuse convicts

JAKARTA - Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Linda Gumelar demanded that the police go all out in hunting those deemed responsible for sexual abuse, and called for severe punishments for those convicted of such crimes.

"The law enforcement stage is crucial. That is why the police need to pull out all the stops in investigating," Linda said.

However, she also criticised the maximum five-year sentence stipulated in the Criminal Code (KUHP) for people found guilty of sex crimes, arguing that it was too lenient to provide a deterrent effect.

"Someone convicted of such an offence can be released and commit the same crime, while the victims suffer for life. This is not just," she said.

Therefore, she went on, the police should have powers to monitor suspects, as they can under the Child Protection Law, which also carries harsher punishments. She said the Child Protection Law's maximum sentence for similar crimes was 15 years' imprisonment.

Recently, the Jakarta Police detained two people, outsourced cleaners at the Jakarta International School, over allegations gang raping a 6-year-old pupil. The police said they were still investigating the case and searching for more perpetrators.

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