Citing 38 cases in 5 months, YLBHI calls for abolition of blasphemy articles

Source – June 9, 2020
YLBHI Director Asfinawati speaking at press conference in Jakarta – January 1, 2020 (Kompas)

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) recorded 38 cases of religious blasphemy between January and May, 2020.

YLBHI Chairperson Asfinawati revealed that there were three pieces of legislation which were used to indict people in these cases.

“The articles which were used were Article 156a of the KUHP [Criminal Code], Article 59 (3) of the UU Ormas [Law on Social Organisations] and Article 28 (2) Jo 45a (2) of the UU ITE [Electronic Transaction and Information Law]”, said Asfinawati during a virtual discussion on Tuesday June 9.

Blasphemy cases meanwhile were spread across 16 provinces covering South Sulawesi with six cases, East Java with five cases, North Maluku with five cases, West Java with 4 cases and North Sumatra with four cases.

Then in South Kalimantan there were two cases, Riau Island two cases, Jakarta province two cases, Bali one case, Gorontalo one case and Jambi with one case.

Following this was West Nusa Tenggara with one case, Papua with one case, Riau with one case, North Sulawesi with one case and South Sumatra with one case.

Asfinawati revealed that out of these 38 cases, there was one that involved a mob. “There was even a case where the community detained and then brought them to the police station and the police were indeed in quite a dilemma about it”, she said.

In addition to this, out of these cases, there were 11 cases which have not yet been finalised.

Asfinawati also said that there were quite a number of cases involving suspects under the age of 18 years with five underage people being indicted in two cases.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Catat 38 Kasus dalam 5 Bulan, YLBHI Minta Hapus Pasal Penodaan Agama”.]