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CPJ: Playboy editor's case is a test for Indonesia JAKARTA - Erwin Arnada, editor of the now-defunct Indonesian edition of Playboy, was released for several hours on Wednesday in order to stand trial at Indonesia's Supreme Court on charges of public indecency. The former chief editor was arrested earlier this month after an arrest warrant was issued for him, allegedly because he failed to show up in court.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and other international human rights groups, have asked the Supreme Court to reverse its decision to send Arnada to jail for two years after Playboy Indonesia's launch in 2006 caused a public stir around the country, describing the magazine as a symbol of moral decadence.

In 2007, Arnada was cleared of all charges after a district judge considered the photographs of Playboy not to be pornographic, but a July 2009 prosecutor's appeal was passed and Arnada was sentenced to two years in prison for public indecency. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling.

So far, these appeals have not had any result. "We hope this will change," CPJ said. "Arnada has cooperated with authorities from the beginning. He does not pose a flight risk. He surrendered himself to prison authorities on October 9, even though his conviction followed rulings from two lower courts, both of which overturned the charges against him."

Arnada's appearance in court on Wednesday marked the beginning of an appeals process that could take up to a year. Arnada has repeatedly said that he wants to work through the legal system to contest the charges against him and prove his innocence.

The published pictures were said to be offensive despite many considered them as rather mild by Indonesian newsstand standards. However, since the launch of the Indonesian edition of Playboy in 2006, Arnada has been the target of attacks by the Islamic Defenders Front.

The group allegedly attacked the magazine's Jakarta offices, forcing Arnada to move to Bali, where Islam is not as strongly supported as in the Indonesian capital city. After publishing ten issues, he stopped the distribution of the magazine in 2007 after realizing he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

CJP considers Arnada's case as a test on Indonesia. "On one side is a nation that muzzles its media; on the other, a modern Muslim democracy," the organization said.


Related blog entries (category 'General') Related blog entries (category 'General'):
30 June 2007 · There she is, the Indonesian Playboy
05 April 2007 · Playboy editor cleared of indecency in Indonesia
13 March 2007 · Playboy editor faces two years in prison
29 December 2006 · Playboy trial closed to public
08 December 2006 · Indecency trial begins for Playboy Indonesia editor
26 July 2006 · Playboy tests tolerance in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'General') Tags: indecency, case, court, editor, Playboy


Posted in General @ 28 October 2010 02:50 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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