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Jakarta Post

Experts insist blasphemy law undermines freedom

  • Arghea Desafti Hapsari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 25 2010   /  09:25 am

Critically acclaimed cinematographer and cultural observer Garin Nugroho, who testified as an expert in a hearing of the judicial review request of the 45-year-old Blasphemy Law on Wednesday, said the law discouraged people from discussing religious issues.“It is the biggest setback in the history of this nation in terms of democracy and its agenda for pluralism,” said Garin, whose controversial interpretation of a Hindu epic in his piece Shinta Obong drew rebukes from a Hindu youth organization. “Several articles in the law have vague interpretations. This law has the potential to side with the majority to the detriment of minorities,”  he said.Cole Durham, a professor of law at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA, said in his testimony that the law failed the necessity test in several respects.Apart from discriminating against certain groups, Durham said via telec...