Indonesia fires its top election commissioner over sexual abuse


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s election commission fired its chairman on Wednesday after finding him guilty of sexual abuse, following a complaint from an employee.

The General Electoral Commission’s ethics council said its chairman, Hasyim Asyari, carried out the October attack and that the council had “fully accepted” the prosecutor’s complaint, the head of the commission’s honor council said.

The woman, identified only by her initials, worked at the commission’s office in The Hague, Netherlands, where she said Asyari had asked her to come to his hotel room during his visit. The commission said in its ruling that Asyari “had been proven to have used his power and abused state facilities to fulfill his personal desires.”

In April, another woman filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Asyari, and the ethics council punished him with a “stern warning.”

The last prosecutor attended the commission’s hearing in the capital Jakarta on Wednesday. It was unclear whether the woman plans to file a case with the police.

“From the beginning until now, I have experienced many ups and downs,” she told reporters after the verdict. “I want to inspire all victims in similar cases to be brave, especially women, to challenge or fight for justice.”

In a brief statement, Asyari told a news conference that he accepted the electoral commission’s ruling. He did not comment on the case.

Indonesian Parliament passed a far-reaching law in 2022 which establishes penalties for sexual violence and guarantees provisions, restitution or other remedies for victims and survivors.

The National Commission on Violence Against Women recorded 289,111 cases in 2023, including about 4,179 cases of sexual violence in Indonesia. Data shows that the figure has decreased by about 12% compared to 2022.

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