Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – A panel of judges at the Medan District Court in North Sumatra has sentenced a 44-year-old man to 18 months' imprisonment after declaring him guilty of blasphemy for having thrown the Quran inside a mosque in the city.
Presiding judge M. Ali Tarigan said the man, identified as M. Qadafi aka Udin, had violated Article 156 of the Criminal Code on religious defamation.
"[We] sentence the defendant M. Qadafi to one year and six months' imprisonment," Ali read out the court's verdict on Monday afternoon.
Udin was reading the Quran inside Al-Mashun Mosque in Medan while lying down on the floor on March 25. A woman passed by him and asked Udin to sit properly while reading the Quran.
Udin reportedly asked the woman to pay him some money in exchange for complying with her request, to which the woman agreed. However, shortly after he sat up straight, Udin closed the Quran and threw the book before him and left the mosque afterward.
The punishment handed down by the court on Monday was lighter than the prosecutor's demand of two years' imprisonment. Both the defendant and the prosecutor accepted the verdict.
Earlier last month, the district court had also sentenced a Medan man identified as Doni Irawan Malay to three years in prison for having desecrated the Quran at a mosque earlier this year. The court also found him guilty of blasphemy. (dpk)