Posted by News Express | 22 August 2018 | 1,684 times
An Indonesian court sentenced a woman to 18 months in jail under a blasphemy law for complaining that a mosque near to her home was creating too much noise during its call to prayer.
Meiliana, 44, an ethnic Chinese Buddhist, was found guilty on Tuesday of "insulting Islam" and has been jailed for 18 months, a spokesperson for a district court in North Sumatra told reporters.
The court in the city of Medan said her comments, made in 2016, triggered riots that saw Muslims attack Buddhist temples, AFP news agency reported.
Meiliana's lawyer said she would appeal the verdict. Amnesty International urged the court to reverse its ruling.
"This ludicrous decision is a flagrant violation of freedom of expression," Amnesty's executive director for Indonesia, Usman Hamid, said in a statement.
"Sentencing someone to 18 months in prison for something so trivial is a stark illustration of the increasingly arbitrary and repressive application of the blasphemy law in the country."
In 2015, a review into practices employed by Indonesia's estimated 800,000 mosques led by Vice President Jusuf Kalla concluded places of worship should turn down their sound systems and not broadcast lengthy sermons to avoid agitating people living nearby. (Aljazeera)
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