Bali punk rock musician Jerinx detained over allegedly defamatory post about Indonesian Doctors Association

Jerinx, the controversial drummer from Bali punk rock band Superman is Dead. Photo: Facebook
Jerinx, the controversial drummer from Bali punk rock band Superman is Dead. Photo: Facebook

Balinese punk rock icon I Gede Ari Astina, who is more commonly known as Jerinx or JRX, has reportedly been detained over a social media post deemed insulting by the Balinese chapter of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI). 

Yuliar Kus Nugroho, who heads the criminal investigation unit at Bali Police, confirmed the detainment today

“He is [a suspect], he fulfilled the police summon with the status of a suspect, we have investigated, and there is evidence and the criminal offense element was confirmed,” Yuliar said, adding that his detainment begins today.  

IDI Bali filed an official complaint against the Superman is Dead (SID) drummer on June 16 over the latter’s Instagram post, in which he derided the association for requiring pregnant women to take COVID-19 tests before labor. 

“Because they are proud of being pawns of the WHO, IDI and hospitals feel they can just mandate COVID-19 testing on those giving birth,” part of the post read.

IDI Bali Chairman I Gede Putra Suteja said the association “felt insulted” by Jerinx’s post.

Police today alleged that Jerinx’s social media post was defamatory toward the healthcare professionals.

Jerinx has been charged with articles under Indonesia’s Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) and criminal code (KUHP) on defamation and hate speech, which Bali Police spokesman Syamsi said is punishable by up to six years in prison. 

Last week, Jerinx defended the post and said it was a form of criticism, which he claimed to have expressed with no intention of insulting the healthcare professionals. 

Jerinx has long been a controversial figure, but more recently turned into an avid conspiracy theorist on social media amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with some of his recent posts on Instagram ⁠— where he has more than one million followers ⁠— urging people to stop wearing masks, despite large consensus from health experts around the world that masks can be helpful in reducing and even preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to reflect the charges against Jerinx, as confirmed by the spokesman from Bali Police. 

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