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Jakarta Post

Ahmad Dhani gets 18 months for insulting Ahok supporters

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 28, 2019   /   07:02 pm
Ahmad Dhani gets 18 months for insulting Ahok supporters Musician Ahmad Dhani makes a hand gesture after he listens to the verdict that sentenced him to 18 months' imprisonment at South Jakarta District Court on Jan. 28. (JP/Iqbal Yuwansyah)

Musician Ahmad Dhani was sentenced to 18 months in prison by South Jakarta District Court on Monday for hate speech in connection with a tweet he posted in March that incited people to attack supporters of former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who now prefers to be called “BTP” but who was formerly known as “Ahok”.

Dhani was found guilty of violating Article 45 of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.

During the gubernatorial election campaign in March 2017, which coincided with Ahok’s blasphemy trial, he tweeted “anyone who supports the blasphemer is scum and deserves to be spat in the face”

Presiding Judge Ratmoho said that Dhani was guilty of deliberately inciting hatred toward a group of people based on race, ethnicity or class.

“The court sentences Ahmad Dhani to one year and six months in prison,” Ratmoho said on Monday while delivering the verdict.

The sentence against Dhani is six months lighter than the public prosecutor’s demand. On March 9 2017, members of the BTP Network of Ahok supporters reported the singer to the police for allegedly spreading hate speech.

In October last year, the East Java Police named Dhani a suspect in a hate speech case after he made a vlog calling his political rivals "idiots". He has yet to face trial in that case.

The Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) has recorded that at least 381 people have been imprisoned for violating the ITE Law since it was first enacted in 2008, 90 percent of those imprisoned had been charged with defamation while the rest were jailed for hate speech. (ggq)