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Sandiaga Uno visits Ahmad Dhani at East Java's Medaeng prison

Tempo - February 17, 2019

Sidoarjo (Antara) – Indonesian Vice Presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno expressed deepest sympathies to prominent musician Ahmad Dhani by visiting him at the Medaeng Prison in Sidoarjo District, East Java Province, on Saturday.

Speaking to journalists after visiting Dhani at the prison, with maximum capacity of just some 700 inmates, Uno expressed serious concern over the fact that Dhani had been jailed in the penitentiary that is currently facing the problem of overcapacity.

"Of course, we are deeply sympathetic for him, but we are concerned about his condition. Alhamdulillah (Thank God), he has a positive mindset and looks healthy," the running mate of Prabowo Subianto competing with the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin pair noted.

Currently, the prison is accommodating more than two thousand inmates, Uno remarked, highlighting the need to solve the problem of overcapacity faced by several prisons across Indonesia in future.

"I hope that Dhani would remain resilient in facing the entire trial process. The legal procedures that he should undergo also demand mental strength," he emphasized.

Hence, Dhani, who has been facing another hate speech trial after calling his political rivals "idiot," sought the prayers and well wishes of his friends for his good health. He also sent his best regards to them, Uno added.

The Surabaya prosecutor's office charged the musician for a statement made on his Instagram account.

"Those, who are protesting defend the ruler. It is funny. These are the idiots protesting against people, who are not in power," according to the video containing Dhani's statement.

Before being transferred to the Medaeng Prison in Sidoarjo District on February 7, 2019, Dhani was jailed at the Jakarta-based Cipinang Prison after being found guilty of a hate speech tweet on his Twitter account.

He was awarded a 1.5-year prison term by the South Jakarta Court on Jan 28 this year. His tweet in March 2017, considered a hate speech, read: "Those supporting blasphemy are bastards who need to be spit on their faces."

Ahmad Dhani had appealed to a higher court, but the judge decided that he must be immediately imprisoned after the Jakarta Court trial.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1176499/sandiaga-uno-visits-ahmad-dhani-at-east-javas-medaeng-prison