An Indonesian man was jailed for five years on Monday for a Facebook post deemed offensive to Islam. This is the latest conviction under Indonesia’s controversial electronic information law.
39-year-old Arnoldy Bahari was found guilty of spreading hate speech for a Facebook post in which he claimed to have experienced God’s presence and questioned the faith of other Muslims.
“He’s been sentenced to five years’ jail and has to pay a fine of 100 million rupiah ($7,200),” said Bahari’s lawyer Andi Komara.
“We will most likely appeal because many facts weren’t taken into account and were twisted.”
Bahari, from the town of Pandeglang in West Java province, was charged with blasphemy and hate speech in December 2017, after a local leader of the militant Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) complained to police.
Rights groups have long campaigned against Indonesia’s controversial defamation laws, which they say are unnecessarily vague and allow officials and wealthy individuals to criminalize critics and minorities.
“Indonesia needs an internet law that can protect rights to express opinions or even questions about religion,” Damar Juniarto, Indonesia coordinator for digital rights group SAFEnet, told AFP.
“This Arnoldy case proves that people who only express their thoughts about a regular situation on Facebook… can be punished by the law.”
Photo courtesy of detik.com