Former gov’t agency executive involved in one of Indonesia’s biggest harassment scandals claims his name has been cleared

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Photo illustration

A woman behind one of the biggest sexual harassment scandals in Indonesia in the past year has retracted her accusations against the alleged culprit and apologized, according to the latter.

In a press conference in Jakarta yesterday, former Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) executive Syafri Adnan Baharuddin, who was accused of sexually harassing his former secretary Rizky Amelia numerous times, said she has signed a written statement that has cleared his name.

“I apologize profusely to Syafri Adnan Baharuddin for the false accusations,” Syafri said, reading out Rizky’s statement, as quoted by Kompas.

In the handwritten statement, Rizky explained that she fabricated the story that she was harassed by Syafri in order to seek financial damages from her former boss. She also wrote that she was not coerced in any way into making her confession.

To reporters at the press conference, Syafri showed that Rizky’s statement was signed on Nov. 26 and featured a legal stamp.

Syafri said that in light of the statement, he has forgiven Rizky and dropped his defamation complaint against her.

Rizky has yet to issue a public statement since Syafri’s press conference. Furthermore, Haris Azhar, Rizky’s legal counsel, told Kompas that he wasn’t involved in making Rizky’s statement of apology.

“I was not involved. As far as I know, it was between [Rizky’s] parents, the police, and SAB (Syafri),” he said.

“What I know is that [Rizky] is still depressed.”

Rizky — who previously went by the pseudonym Dina before she went public about her case — told the media in December 2018 that Syafri forced her to have sex with him on numerous occasions since 2016. When she filed a complaint with the agency’s supervisory board, she was fired from her job instead.

Rizky then reported Syafri to the police for sexual harassment, leading to his resignation from the agency. But Syafri claimed that his resignation was not an admission of guilt but rather because he wanted to focus on clearing his name. In January, Syafri reported Rizky to the police for defamation under the Criminal Code (KUHP) and the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), which criminalizes the dissemination of any defamatory information online, for posting the sexual harassment allegations on social media.

In August, Rizky’s lawyer said the police had dropped their investigation into her sexual harassment complaint against Syafri due to a lack of evidence. Rizky’s legal counsel has asked for help from Komnas Perempuan (National Commission on Violence Against Women) to pressure the police to resume their investigation into the case.

Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Mariana Amiruddin said the organization is getting in touch with Rizky’s legal and psychological counsels to determine if she truly apologized without coercion.

“We had yet to receive word about the police [resuming investigation into the alleged sexual harassment], and she ended up being implicated with UU ITE,” Mariana told Coconuts.

Updated to include Komnas Perempuan’s comment.

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