Indonesian police have taken into custody a former editor of the local edition of Playboy magazine who was sentenced to jail for indecency, so he can serve his punishment, a prosecutor said Saturday.
Erwin Arnada, who was sentenced by the Supreme Court in August to serve two years in jail for indecency despite a lack of nudity in the publication, was picked up on the island of Bali after ignoring three orders to surrender.
“We picked him up from Bali today to fly him to Jakarta. He did not turn himself in to us here,” South Jakarta chief prosecutor Mohammed Yusuf told AFP.
Arnada’s lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis said they would lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court early next week.
“For me the sentence for Erwin is something that is not considered a crime in other countries,” Lubis told reporters.
“I’m disappointed that Erwin has been treated like a terrorist. As a matter of fact he is just a regular journalist. This is actually a case of press freedom.”
Arnada said he was glad to have a lawyer to help with the appeal.
“Since April 2006 I’ve been following the rules as a good citizen,” Arnada told reporters at the prosecutor’s office in Jakarta.
The case is seen as showing the increasing influence of Islamist extremists, who launched violent protests against the magazine when it appeared in 2006 and pushed the Supreme Court to overturn the editor’s earlier acquittal.
The Islamic Defenders Front or FPI, known for its armed attacks on minorities and moderates, has condemned Arnada as a “moral terrorist” and ordered its militants to track him down.
The magazine published only a few issues, none of which contained nudity, before Islamic hardliners forced it to close in 2006.