Indonesian Woman Jailed after Complaint over Mosque Noise Triggered Rioting

Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia

Thousands of Indonesian muslims congregated during Eid ul Fitr mass prayer at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Gunawan Kartapranata.

A court in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province on Tuesday sentenced a woman to 18 months after her complaint over noise from a mosque triggered arson attacks on Buddhist temples in 2016.

Meiliana, a 44-year-old Buddhist of Chinese descent who goes by only one name, was found guilty by judges at Medan District Court of showing hostility to religion, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison under Indonesian law.

“[The defendant] is proven guilty beyond reasonable doubts of having publicly and deliberately expressed a feeling or carried out acts of hostility, abuse or blasphemy toward a religion in Indonesia,” chief judge Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo said.

Meiliana wept after the verdict was read. Her lawyer Ranto Sibarani said she would appeal.

In 2016, Meiliana came to a neighbor in Tanjung Balai city and complained that the noise from calls to prayers blasted through mosque loudspeakers was “hurting her ears” and asked that the volume be turned down.

“Your mosque is deafening. I have no peace every day,” she said, according to the indictment.

Meliana has denied saying those words.

Full story: BenarNews

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Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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