There have been calls an Indonesian judge interviewing for a job at the Supreme Court to be dismissed after he joked that some rape victims enjoy the experience, the Daily Mail has reported.
Muhammad Daming Sunusi made the remark to a parliamentary panel grilling him ahead of his possible appointment as one of 23 justices at the court.
Sunusi later apologised, saying the remark was intended to be a joke to ‘ease the tension’ of the interview.
But the Democratic Party, which holds a parliamentary majority, said it would reject Mr Daming’s application to the Supreme Court, and that he should give up his post as head of the Banjarmasin High Court in South Kalimantan.
The comment occurred when Sanusi was questioned whether the death penalty was a suitable punishment for rape.
He said that since both the attacker and the victim ‘might have enjoyed it we have to think twice about imposing the death penalty.’
Members of the commission reportedly laughed at the remark.
Afterwards Sunusi said ‘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.’
At least two political parties said they would now reject Sunusi’s nomination.
Women’s rights groups are protesting the remarks as alongside calls for him to stand down or be fired.
Activists are concerned his comments will not help the attitude to rape in Indonesia and say rape cases are often not taken serious by the authorities or fail to reach a conviction.
‘The comments were inelegant, inappropriate and unbecoming of a judge and a Supreme Court hopeful,’ one politician, Sarifuddin Suding, told the AFP news agency.
‘We believe that he should not have said that, as a judge who makes decisions on behalf of God, he should not joke about law especially not when he was undergoing a fit-and-proper test to be a supreme justice,’ legislator Marzuki Alie told BBC Indonesian.