Indonesian Teen: Police Rejected Rape Report Because I’m Unvaccinated

A health worker administers a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a convention hall building in Banda Aceh on July 26, 2021. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP) (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images)

A teenage resident of Indonesia’s Aceh province claimed on Tuesday a local police station refused to accept her report of an alleged rape attempt on Sunday because she was not vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus, Indonesia’s Coconuts Jakarta news site reported Thursday.

A 19-year-old female college student from a village in Aceh’s Besar regency allegedly escaped an attempted rape by an unknown man on October 17. She told village officials about the alleged crime who then consulted the local Banda Aceh Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) for assistance reporting the incident to higher authorities. LBH representatives accompanied the teen to the local Banda Aceh Police station on October 18 to file an official report about the alleged rape attempt.

“However, officers turned away the woman from the station, saying that unvaccinated people are not allowed inside the building,” Coconuts Jakarta reported on October 21.

When the party arrived at the station’s main gate, police officers asked the young woman for a vaccine certificate “as a condition for entering the [building],” LBH’s Head of Operations, Muhammad Qodrat, told reporters on October 19.

“The victim has a medical note exempting her from getting vaccinated, but she had left it at home. At the time, LBH was representing two other people [at the same police station] who were vaccinated, and they were allowed inside,” Qodrat said, as quoted by Indonesia’s Detik News.

The police officers allegedly refused to allow the girl to file a report about the alleged crime because she lacked a vaccine certificate.

“The police insisted that the report must have a vaccine certificate,” the LBH leader said.

LBH representatives then took the teenager to another police station nearby, the Aceh Provincial Police Station, “where there was no vaccine mandate to report a crime.” She was again denied assistance in filing a report about the incident, this time due to her alleged inability to accurately describe her supposed perpetrator’s physical traits.

“[D]etectives there refused to process the case as the victim had little recollection of the perpetrator’s physical characteristics,” Coconuts Jakarta reported on Thursday.

Banda Aceh Police Station’s spokesman, Kombes Winardy, denied on Thursday that his station refused to assist the young woman in filing a criminal report. He told reporters the teenager left the police station after officers suggested she be physically examined by a doctor “to confirm” the medical condition she said prevented her from being eligible for a Chinese coronavirus vaccination.

“So there was no refusal [to admit her], don’t use misleading language. What happened was she was advised to get vaccinated and would have been allowed to come back to file the report,” Winardy said on October 21.

The representative claimed Banda Aceh police officers had since visited the teenager’s home, where the attempted rape allegedly occurred, to gather evidence about the case and file an official report about the incident.

“Investigators have taken complete information from the complainant at her home, so now the case of the alleged rape is officially handled by the Ditreskrimum Polda Aceh [Banda Aceh Police Station],” Winardy told Detik News on Thursday.


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