NasDem politician detained over 'blasphemous' Facebook post
The Jakarta Post
A NasDem Party councilor in Tanjungjabung Barat regency in Jambi province has been detained on charges of inciting hostility toward Muslims after writing a Facebook post deemed to be blasphemous.
Riano Jaya Wardhana, who heads the NasDem Party’s branch in the regency, has been accused of "defaming Islam and Muslims" for criticism he allegedly wrote in a Facebook post about the way some Muslims had treated former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is now in prison for blasphemy.
He allegedly said: “I am personally disgusted by Muslims, who practice the same faith as me but are senseless, as if they are the most righteous; they abuse religion [...] and do not forgive other people, as if they are as bad as the devil.”
“We detained him on Wednesday for further investigation,” Tanjungjabung Barat Police chief Sr. Adj. Comr. Alfonso Dolly Gelbert Sinaga said on Thursday, adding that the suspect had been charged under Article 28 of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.
The article criminalizes those accused of disseminating information aimed at causing hatred for or hostility toward individuals and/or groups based on ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup affiliation. It has been increasingly used to prosecute people accused of making so-called blasphemous remarks on social media.
Riano was reported to the police by Ahmad bin Kurdi of the Tanjungjabung Barat Muslim Community Alliance in May.
He claims his account had been hacked and that he never wrote the controversial Facebook post. (ary)
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