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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 16:01 GMT
Rape victim jailed for dumping baby
An Indonesian woman who was raped by her Saudi employer has been jailed for dumping her newborn baby after giving birth in the toilet of a plane.

She was sentenced to 10 months for "committing a crime and inhuman deed" by Tangerang District Court.


The judges failed to see the case in the context of the problems of her life

Lawyer Salma Safitri
The court heard that the woman, known as Imas, became pregnant after she was raped by her boss while working as a maid in Saudi Arabia.

She was dismissed and gave birth to a baby girl on 1 November last year in the toilet of a plane as she flew home.

Panic stricken, Imas wrapped her baby in tissues and hid her in a locker.

The baby girl was only discovered when cleaners boarded the Garuda Airlines plane.

Imas, who is married with two children, broke into tears upon hearing the verdict.

Her lawyer Salma Safitri criticised the court for not properly taking into account the psychological consequences of rape.

"The judges failed to see the case in the context of the problems of her life and her background. She was a victim of sexual violence," she added.

Servants

About 1.5 million Indonesians are registered as working abroad.

Most are employed as domestic servants in Malaysia, Singapore or the Middle East.

Indonesia's migrant workers send hundreds of millions of dollars home - a significant contribution to the economy.

But many are abused or raped while working overseas.

Campaigners for migrant workers accuse the government of doing little to protect those it encouraged to work abroad.

Camapigner Fifi Rahayan said: "The government takes a very materialistic view of overseas workers.

"They only think of how much money they send back, not about their human rights or why they have no jobs over here."

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See also:

27 Sep 00 | Middle East
Amnesty raps Saudis over women's rights
06 Mar 01 | World
One in five women assaulted
28 Feb 00 | Middle East
UAE death sentence by stoning
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