On Monday, a candidate for the Indonesian Supreme Court joked before the parliamentary selection panel that women who were raped may have enjoyed it.
Muhammad Daming Sanusi made the comment when he asked whether he considered the death penalty to be a reasonable punishment for rape. He responded “Consideration needs to be taken thoroughly for the imposition of death penalty for a rapist because in a rape case both the rapist and the victim enjoy it.” This comment reportedly elicited laughs from members on the panel.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Daming explained that his comments were a joke to “ease the tension” of the interview process. “I have three adolescent daughters and one of them told me that she is very embarrassed and that she felt as if she did not know me at all,” he said. “[I have] said something that no man should ever say, especially a Supreme Court candidate.”
His comments quickly sparked public outrage in addition to criticism from various Indonesian political parties and organizations. Both the Democratic Party and the opposition Democratic Indonesian Party have announced that they would reject Daming’s application. Chairman of the Indonesian Commission for Child Protection said “It is disturbing that a judge, whose role is to protect the legal rights of women and children, could say something so audacious and consider it as a joke” and called for Daming to be fired from his current position.