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Prosecutors seek 18 months' imprisonment for student who allegedly insulted 'tauhid' flag

Jakarta Post - February 27, 2019

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – Medan prosecutors have sought 18 years' imprisonment for Agung Kurnia Ritonga, a 22-year-old student from North Sumatra University's School of Agriculture, for allegedly insulting a flag bearing the tauhid on social media.

The case was tried on Tuesday at the Medan District Court. The tauhid is the core of the Islamic faith and expresses the belief in Allah as the one and only God.

Prosecutor Rahmi Shafrina said Agung had spread hatred on social media and therefore charged him under Article 28 (2) and Article 45A (2) of Law No 19/2016 on electronic information and transactions.

"[We demand that] the panel of judges punish the defendant with a year and six months' imprisonment and Rp 10 billion (US$713,635) in fines or an additional three months in prison," Rahmi said Tuesday.

The aggravating factor in the case, Rahmi said, was that the defendant could disrupt interfaith harmony. Agung acknowledged his wrongdoing and apologized for what he said on his Instagram account.

In an Instastory post, Agung reportedly said, "What's wrong with a tauhid flag being burned? Is your God burned too? That's why you shouldn't attend sermons that teach [Islamic] culture too often. Your God is chill, currently sitting while playing guitar, getting drunk and writing a porn poem while you guys are busy [defending him]."

Agung said he would propose a defense statement to respond to the prosecutors' demand.

Following a report filed by the Alliance of Islam People, police arrested Agung for allegedly insulting the tauhid flag on social media on Oct. 24, 2018. Agung admitted to doing so in protest of people who got angry over the burning of a tauhid flag. (swa)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/02/27/prosecutors-seek-18-months-imprisonment-for-student-who-allegedly-insulted-tauhid-flag.html