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Raped teen sent to prison for having abortion

July 22, 2018

The teenager's 18-year-old brother received a two-year sentence for having sex with a minor, and both have been banished from their village. The mother is still facing charges for helping her daughter get the abortion.

Indonesian miliary army stand guard at Ngurah Rai Airport during the transfer from Kerobokan prison to Nusakambangan prison
Image: Getty Images/A. Parameswara

A 15-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped by her older brother has been sentenced to six months in prison for having an abortion, according to police and court officials.

Both teens were convicted Thursday by a district court in Jambi province, on the island of Sumatra, according to a local deputy police chief, Singgih Hermawan.

Abortion is illegal in Indonesia except in cases of rape or if the woman's life is in danger. But the abortion must be performed during the first six weeks of pregnancy and it must be done by a professional.

The girl was about six months pregnant when she had her abortion. Her mother is still facing charges for helping her daughter. She says she did so because the incestuous act shamed the family before the community.

Read more: Rape in Asia

The court ruling was criticized by the Jakarta-based Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), which called on the government to re-evaluate the country's abortion laws in order to protect rape victims.

"They should get a proportional protection instead of falling victims twice due to our criminal justice system," ICJR executive director Anggara told the DPA news agency.

Indeed, the two teens have been banned from the village for bringing shame upon them.

A gruesome discovery

The girl was raped eight times since September.

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In May, local residents made a gruesome discovery — a headless, male fetus near a palm oil plantation. Police arrested the brother and sister in June.

The defendants accepted their respective sentences, which include orders for each to undergo rehabilitation at the Institute for Special Education of Children.

Prosecutors had sought a one-year sentence for the girl and a seven-year sentence for her brother; it's unclear if they'll appeal the court's rulings.

Global health officials and human rights groups have long criticized Indonesia's abortion laws. They say women's reproductive rights are limited, which forces them to seek dangerous abortions at illegal clinics.

Read more: Child sex abuse

A World Health Organization report in 2013 concluded that abortions account for 30 to 50 percent of maternal deaths in Indonesia.

Read more: UN report finds widespread sexual assault in Asia

bik/rc (AP, AFP, dpa)

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