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Jakarta Post

Meiliana’s blasphemy conviction ludicrous: Amnesty International

  • Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 22, 2018   /   01:17 pm
Meiliana’s blasphemy conviction ludicrous: Amnesty International An Amnesty International activist wears handcuffs during a protest against the arrest of rights activists in Turkey, including Amnesty International's Turkey director, on July 20, 2017, near the Coliseum in Rome. (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)

The blasphemy conviction of Meliana, a resident of Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra, for complaining about the volume of adzan (a call to prayer) was ludicrous and should be overturned, a human rights group has said.  

Amnesty International Indonesia has demanded that the Chinese-Indonesian woman be immediately released from prison, saying that complaining about the volume of a loudspeaker was not a criminal offense.

“This ludicrous decision is a flagrant violation of freedom of expression,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The Medan District Court ruled on Tuesday Meiliana guilty of blasphemy as stipulated under articles 156 and 156A of the Criminal Code.

Usman said the verdict was a stark illustration of the increasingly arbitrary and repressive application of the law on blasphemy in the country.

“The higher court in North Sumatra must reverse this injustice by quashing Meiliana’s sentence and ensuring her immediate and unconditional release.” (ahw)