6 Miss Indonesia Universe contestants lodge sexual harassment complaint against organisers

Six contestants of the Miss Universe Indonesia pageant have filed complaints with the police accusing organisers of sexual harassment. The contestants have alleged that they were subjected to topless ‘body checks’ during the pageants. The police confirmed contestants had filed a report that would be investigated.

The Indonesian beauty pageant was held in the capital Jakarta from July 29 to August 3. The contestants have alleged that the organisers asked five of them to strip to their underwear for physical examinations in a room with more than 20 people which included men. 

Their lawyer, Mellisa Anggraeni stated that there there was no need for such checks. Six contestants had filed complaints, she said.

One of the complainants told a press conference, broadcast by the news channel Kompas TV, that she had been asked to pose inappropriately, including by opening her legs.

“I felt like I was being peeked on, I was very confused and uncomfortable,” said the unidentified woman. The broadcaster blurred her face.

So far no official statement has been made by the organisers or those behind the Miss Universe pageant.

Jakarta police spokesperson Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko said a report from contestants had been received on Monday and it would be investigated.

In the past, several religious groups in Indonesia have objected to beauty pageants. Indonesia is world’s most populous Muslim country. 

Thai celebrity media tycoon and transgender rights advocate Jakapong “Anne” Jakrajutatip bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million last year.

The contest in Jakarta was held to select Indonesia’s entry for the annual Miss Universe competition to be held in El Salvador later this year.


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