Responding to the news that a district court in Medan, North Sumatra has sentenced Meiliana, an ethnic Chinese Buddhist woman, to 18 months in prison for blasphemy after she complained about the loudspeaker volume at a local mosque, Usman Hamid, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director said:
“Making a complaint about noise is not a criminal offence. This ludicrous decision is a flagrant violation of freedom of expression.
“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.
“The higher court in North Sumatra must reverse this injustice by quashing Meiliana’s sentence and ensuring her immediate and unconditional release.”