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Rocker in jail for criticizing the Indonesian Medical Association on Instagram

Indonesian court sentenced I Gede Ari Astina, drummer for punk band known as Jerinx, to 14 months in prison for criticizing the country’s medical association’s handling of the covid-19 pandemic on Instagram Asian.

A court in Denpasar, the capital of Bali, found the rocker guilty Thursday, November 19, 2020 of two crimes of incitement to hatred for a June post on the social network in which he called the Association to be “slaves” from the World Health Organization (WHO), for which he will have to serve his prison sentence and pay a fine of 10 million rupees (704 USD).

“When someone criticizes or mocks an organization in the future, does that mean it is hate speech? … Judges need to be more careful when following the reasoning of the prosecution, “he said. in a statement, the Indonesian NGO Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), which called for the sentence to be quashed.

The musician’s criticism of the Medical Association was prompted by the imposition of covid-19 tests on all Indonesians who visit doctors and hospitals, which has often caused difficulties for patients and, according to the ‘ICJR, sometimes caused them. the children were born dead because of the delay in taking care of their pregnant mother.

During the pandemic, Indonesian authorities took legal action to tackle memes and fake news such as erroneous numbers of deaths in the country from the coronavirus or that the disease is cured by drinking water boiled with l ‘garlic.

Last month, the government announced it was preparing regulations to block content on social media and impose penalties on those who post it, which, amid protests against a new labor law, has been denounced by human rights organizations as an attempt to silence activism and political dissent.

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