Indonesian Christian sentenced for anti-Islam Facebook post

The law has been criticised for being unnecessarily vague and giving powerful individuals the ability to criminalise critics and minorities.


PTI | Updated: 25-07-2018 18:21 IST | Created: 25-07-2018 18:19 IST
  • Country:
  • Indonesia

An Indonesian Christian has been sentenced to four years in prison for a derogatory Facebook post about the prophet in the latest conviction under a controversial hate-speech law.

The Medan District court yesterday ordered the 21-year-old university student, Martinus Gulo, to pay a fine of one billion rupiah (USD 70,000) or spend an additional six months in jail.

"Finding the defendant guilty of misusing information by offending believers through his Facebook account, I sentence him to four years," said presiding judge Saidin Bagariang.

Gulo was convicted under Indonesia's electronic information and transactions law, which makes it a crime to spread "hatred or animosity" against an individual or group based on their race or religion.

The law has been criticised for being unnecessarily vague and giving powerful individuals the ability to criminalise critics and minorities.

He was arrested in March after the militant Islamic Defenders Front reported his online post to police.

Gulo, who is Christian, told authorities that he made the post because he was upset that his own religion was criticised online.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, has significant numbers of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and other minorities.

Gulo's conviction comes after a 39-year-old Muslim was sentenced to five years in April under the same law.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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