30 Months In Prison For Indonesian Atheist

Well, fuck.

Via the Jakarta Globe…

An Indonesian man arrested after writing “God doesn’t exist” on his Facebook page was jailed for 30 months Thursday for sharing explicit material about the Prophet Mohammed online.

Alexander Aan, 30, was found guilty of “deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity,” presiding judge Eka Prasetya Budi Dharma told the Muaro Sijunjung district court in western Sumatra.

Aan posted comic strips. Comic strips. Ok, and a few articles. And for this…

“Under the Electronic Information and Transactions law, we sentence him to prison for a length of two years and six months,” Dharma said.

“What he did has caused anxiety to the community and tarnished Islam.”

Aan was beaten by an angry mob and arrested by police in his hometown of Pulau Punjung in western Sumatra in January after posting the material online and declaring himself an atheist.

The court had earlier indicted Aan with two other charges — persuading others to embrace atheism and blasphemy — and prosecutors had sought a three-and-a-half-year jail term for him.

But the court convicted him of the most serious charge and dropped the other two.

Ah… leniency.

This is freedom of religion without freedom from religion.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, guarantees freedom of religion in its constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but only recognizes six faiths: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Confucianism.

Its courts have in recent years given light sentences to perpetrators of violent attacks on Christians and Islamic minority Ahmadis, some of which have been fatal.

(wow, even this news story omits atheists in this last sentence.) This is, I think, the model that the Tea Party wants for the US.


  1. says

    Typo in title? It says Indian, not Indonesian.

    Yep, this is a sad story. The people who attacked him should be charged. It’s a joke.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    Right you are, and fixed. Probably will wreck a lot of RSS feeds, but I was wrong.

  3. Bill Yeager says

    Before clicking on the link to the source article, I suggest everybody switch off their irony meters and safely store them in a lead-lined bunker several hundred metres underground.

    Related articles: Indonesia ‘Most Tolerant Country in the World’: Religious Minister 5:17pm May 23, 2012

  4. Bill Yeager says

    He was charged with “disseminating information aimed at inciting religious hatred or hostility”

    On Jan. 18, an angry crowd who had heard about his alleged Facebook posts gathered at his workplace and threatened to beat him

    Soooooo, it would appear that he is actually guilty of inciting religious hatred and hostility. It’s a fair cop. Bang to rights.

  5. carpenterman says

    This is why it’s a very good thing I’m not in charge of the US’s nuclear arsenal.

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