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Indonesian rocker JRX sentenced to prison for hate speech

A popular Indonesian rocker was sentenced to 14 months in prison for hate speech in which critics have called the sentencing a threat to freedom of speech in Indonesia. According to Coconuts, I Gede Ari Astina aka Jerinx or JRX was “proven to have legitimately and convincingly conducted a criminal act by deliberately and unsightly spreading information that has the purpose of creating a hatred or enmity among the public” according to the Denpasar Court. Prosecutors wanted a harsher sentence of 3 years in prison. JRX’s lawyers said they might appeal the ruling.

The 43-year-old drummer of the pop-punk band Superman is Dead(SID) was on trial for insulting the Balinese chapter of the Indonesian Doctors Association(IDI). He accused the IDI of being “flunkey” to the World Health Organization on his Instagram account. Additionally, he questioned the accuracy of COVID-19 rapid tests and shared conspiracy theories undermining mask use.

Jerinx explained in court, that he said those things to arouse a reaction from the IDI.

“I wished to gain a response, because I had asked IDI to discuss previously and they did not respond,” he said. “So I was forced to use an eccentric diction with the hopes that it will be responded to.”

His trial was streamed live on Youtube with many calling for JRX to be freed. However, he was found guilty and will spend time in prison minus the three months he already served prior to his conviction.

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