Indonesian court drops abortion charge against raped teenager
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Indonesian court drops abortion charge against raped teenager

Jakarta: An Indonesian court has dropped abortion charges against a teenager who was raped by her older brother, an activist says.

A court in the Jambi province on the island of Sumatra on Monday accepted the appeal of the 15-year-old girl's lawyers and agreed to drop the charges against her, Ratna Dewi of the Indonesian Women's Coalition said.

The teenager had been sentenced to six months in prison for having an abortion in July, when she was about six months into her pregnancy.

The court also asked the state to bear the cost of the legal process.

After the ruling, one of the girl's lawyers, Mirna Novita Amir, said that the girl was pardoned because her actions were taken under forced circumstances.

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The verdict follows an intense campaign by several Indonesian and international organisations, who had urged the court to take into account the girl's age and that she was a victim of sexual abuse.

The teen's brother had been sentenced to two years of imprisonment for raping her on several occasions.

According to the Legal Aid Institute of Indonesian Women's Association, there were 39 cases of sexual abuse against minors in 2017 in Jakarta alone, out of which three ran into legal problems when they became pregnant.

Abortion is illegal in Indonesia unless the woman's life is at risk or she has been raped.

The law, however, requires the abortion to be performed by a registered medical professional and within six weeks of the pregnancy.

The girl had her abortion when she was six months' pregnant, court spokesman Listyo Arif Budiman said at the time of sentencing.

EFE