Indonesia: Rock musician charged with spreading hate speech

26 June 2018
Indonesian musician Ahmad Dhani charged with spreading hate speech via a tweet about the governor of Jakarta; court hearing scheduled 2 July 2018.
Photo: Ahmad Dhani / Instagram


The hearing for Indonesian rock musician, Ahmad Dhani, who is being charged with spreading hate speech online, has been postponed until 2 July by the Chairman of the South Jakarta District Court, Judge Ratmoho, due to a scheduled witness for the prosecution having fallen ill, reported CNN Indonesia.

The investigation was prompted by a tweet the artist sent out on 6 March 2017, which read: “Anyone who supports Penista Religion is a bastard who needs to spit on his face”. The tweet was made in reference to the former Governor of Jakarta, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama. Jack Boyd Lapian, a supporter of the former governor, reported Dhani after he posted the tweet.

The musician has been formally charged with having violated Indonesian parameters set forth in Article 45A Paragraph 2  in conjunction with Article 28 Paragraph 2 of Law Number 19 Year 2016 concerning Information and Electronic Transactions. If convicted, he could face up to six years in prison, explained Kompas.

Dhani is no stranger to controversy. In 2014 he donned Nazi-inspired apparel for a music video tribute to Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, reported Time. Additionally, the musician also has a failed political history, having lost the 2017 Bekasi deputy district head elections, wrote Jakarta Globe.

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