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Indonesia sacks its ‘Thurki’ election commission chairman Hasyim Asyari

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s electoral commission dismissed its chairman on Wednesday after finding him guilty of sexual assault following a complaint by an employee.

The General Election Commission’s ethics council stated that its chairman, Hasyim Asyari, committed the assault in October and accepted the accuser’s complaint “entirely.”

The woman, identified only by her initials, worked at the commission’s office in The Hague, Netherlands. She reported that during his visit, Asyari asked her to come to his hotel room. The commission’s ruling stated that Asyari “was proven to have used his power and misused state facilities to fulfill his personal desires.”

In April, another woman had filed a sexual harassment complaint against Asyari, resulting in the ethics council issuing him a “stern warning.”

The latest accuser attended the hearing at the commission in Jakarta on Wednesday. It remains unclear whether she plans to file a police report.

“From the beginning until now, I have experienced a lot of ups and downs,” she told reporters after the ruling. “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 accepts the ruling by the election commission.

Indonesia’s Parliament approved a comprehensive law in 2022 that sets punishments for sexual violence and guarantees provisions for 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. This represents a decrease of around 12% compared to 2022.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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