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Lampung comedian named blasphemy suspect after performing at Anies campaign event

Jakarta Post - December 11, 2023

Jakarta – Police have named Aulia Rakhman, a Lampung-based stand-up comedian, a suspect for blasphemy after he was accused of making insulting comments about the Prophet Muhammad in a skit performed at a campaign event for presidential candidate Anies Baswedan.

"After questioning seven witnesses and five experts, it was found that the comic with the initials AR was suspected of having committed religious blasphemy," said Lampung Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Umi Fadillah, as quoted by Kumparan.

Umi added that the suspect had been detained at the Lampung Police headquarters for further investigations since Friday.

Aulia performed the skit on Thursday before the main event, a public discussion between Anies and university students. His skit was recorded and shared on social media, inciting protests from Muslim viewers.

"Let's check in prison, how many people named Muhammad are there? It seems that the name Muhammad has become important now – everyone [with that name] is in prison," Aulia said in the recorded skit, as quoted by detiknews.

Advocacy group Lingkar Nusantara (Lisan) Lampung reported the incident to the police. Before being questioned by the Lampung Police, Aulia uploaded an apology video on his social media account. He said he had no intention of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, expressed regret and apologized to all Muslims insulted by his words.

In response to the news, Billy David, the spokesperson for the Anies-Muhaimin (AMIN) campaign team, said his team would respect the ongoing legal process.

"We respect the ongoing legal process resulting from the report made by Lisan against Aulia. This is a warning for AMIN National Team to be more selective in curating materials before an event," said Billy, as reported by detiknews.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/12/11/lampung-comedian-named-blasphemy-suspect-after-performing-at-anies-campaign-event.htm