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Indonesian TikTok Influencer sentenced to 2 years in prison for controversial TikTok video on religious blasphemy

In a landmark ruling, Lina Mukherjee, an Indonesian TikTok influencer, has been sentenced to two years in prison and fined IDR 250 million (US$16,200) for her contentious video, where she uttered “bismillah” before eating pork, igniting a debate on religious insensitivity in Indonesia.




INDONESIA: Lina Mukherjee’s name has gained widespread recognition among the Indonesian populace, primarily due to a viral video where she can be seen saying “bismillah” before consuming pork.

This video, originally posted on TikTok but subsequently deleted, garnered immense attention on various social media platforms.

The video depicted Lina preparing to enjoy a meal at a food stall in Bali. It began with her uttering “Bismillah” before indulging in fried pork skin.

It’s important to note that in Islam, pork is considered “haram” or prohibited.

This sudden rise to infamy sparked public outrage, leading to several individuals reporting Lina for religious blasphemy.

Lina was sentenced to two years in prison and fined

Following a trial held at the Palembang Class I District Court in South Sumatra, Lina Mukherjee, whose legal name is Lina Lutfiawati, has been sentenced to two years in prison and fined IDR 250 million (US$16,200).

The presiding judge, Romi Sinatra, announced the verdict on Tuesday (19 Sep), stating, “The defendant, Lina Lutfiawati alias Lina Mukherjee, has been tried and sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of IDR 250 million (US$16,257), with a subsidiary penalty of three months in prison.”

The panel of judges determined that Lina Mukherjee had intentionally and unjustifiably disseminated information aimed at inciting hatred toward specific individuals and religious groups, thereby concluding that her actions were unlawful.

The verdict delivered by the panel of judges aligns with the prosecution’s demands.

In response to the court’s decision, Lina Mukherjee expressed her intention to consult with her family and consider filing an appeal before making any final decisions.

In this case, Lina Mukherjee faced charges under Article 45A, Paragraph (2), in conjunction with Article 28, Paragraph (2) of the Information and Electronic Transactions Law (UU ITE).

These charges pertained to the dissemination of information with the intent to incite hatred or hostility toward specific individuals and/or societal groups, based on factors such as ethnicity, religion, race, and intergroup dynamics.

Complainant welcomes verdict on Lina Mukherjee

Sapriadi Samsudin, one of those who reported Lina Mukherjee to the police involving consuming pork while saying “bismillah”, was relieved to hear the verdict. He expressed gratitude for the two-year prison sentence handed down to Lina.

Sapriadi emphasized that the outcome should be viewed as an opportunity for learning rather than revenge.

He urged content creators to exercise caution and prioritize educational content over content that could incite controversy.

“We should avoid causing disturbances and instead respect one another. We are grateful for Lina Mukherjee’s verdict. ”

“This is what we have been awaiting, reaffirming that our nation upholds the law and respects the belief in Almighty God,” Sapriadi emphasized.

Sapriadi concluded by emphasizing the cultural and religious diversity that characterizes Indonesia, emphasizing the country’s enduring commitment to fostering respect among its citizens, regardless of their individual religious affiliations, and firmly discouraging any form of harassment.

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