Gang rape, murder of Indonesian girl sparks call for reform

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The rape and murder of a teenage girl by 14 men has reignited calls in Indonesia for a sexual violence law that is languishing in Parliament to be enacted.

The attack on the girl in Bengkulu province in western Indonesia occurred April 2 and went largely unnoticed at a national level until social media users began highlighting its brutality.

Activists from the Alliance for Community Care of Victims of Sexual Violence called on the government on Tuesday to urgently pass the Elimination of Sexual Violence Act.

Half of the suspects are less than 18 years old and the maximum sentence they can receive because of Indonesia's child protection law is 10 years.

A local police chief in Bengkulu, Eka Chandra, said trials have begun for the seven minors and prosecutors are seeking 10-year sentences.

Local media reported the girl was dragged into a forest by one of the perpetrators on her way home from school. She was found three days later.

Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of the National Commission for Child Protection, said the adult suspects could receive the death penalty if there is evidence the girl's murder was premeditated.

Two of the men are still at large.

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