Indonesia bar employees face blasphemy prices over free drinks for folks named Mohammed or Maria

Indonesian authorities stripped a bar and restaurant chain within the capital Jakarta of its working allow after police charged six workers with blasphemy over a promotion providing free drinks for folks named Mohammed or Maria.

Critics have stated Indonesia’s strict blasphemy legal guidelines are getting used to erode a long-standing fame for tolerance and variety on the earth’s greatest Muslim-majority nation.

The drinks promotion on the “Holywings” chain prompted a police investigation after complaints by non secular teams. The six have been charged underneath the blasphemy regulation, which could be punished by as much as 5 years in jail, and a blasphemy provision of the web regulation, which carries a most 10-year jail time period.

In a social media put up that was later deleted, the chain provided a free bottle of gin for males named Mohammed and ladies named Maria each Thursday.

On Tuesday, 12 shops within the capital have been sealed off after authorities stated they didn’t have licenses to serve alcohol, the Jakarta authorities stated in a press release on its web site.

Holywings Indonesia has apologized for the promotion, which it stated was created with out the data of administration.

Police stated the workers created the promotion in an try to fulfill gross sales targets.

Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, stated the blasphemy regulation and a regulation regulating on-line exercise was changing into “more and more harmful.”

“These six people simply made an alcohol promotion, possibly ridiculous on this more and more Islamic nation, however no crime in any respect in response to worldwide requirements,” he stated.

The blasphemy regulation has largely been used in opposition to these deemed to have insulted Islam, together with Jakarta’s former Christian governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama, who was sentenced to 2 years in jail in 2017 on blasphemy prices extensively seen as politically motivated.

Indonesia has jailed greater than 150 folks, largely from non secular minorities, for the reason that blasphemy regulation was handed in 1965, primarily based on knowledge collated by Human Rights Watch.