The Immigration Office in Bali is set to deport a Danish national named Lars Christensen, after he served time in prison for kicking a shrine in Buleleng regency two years ago.
Christensen was first reported by his ex-wife for damaging the shrines at her house in October 2019, with the whole incident having been filmed by a neighbor. The ex-wife, Ni Luh Sukerasih, then reported the act of vandalism to the police, who immediately launched an investigation.
This was followed with a clarification from Christensen himself, who claimed that he was actually taking down a statue to replace it with another one. Pelinggih, or shrine, is considered sacred by Balinese Hindus, and it is the place where they would place their offerings to the gods.
However, police went on to arrest Christensen earlier this year. He was later found guilty of blasphemy under Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP) and sentenced to 7 months in prison.
The Immigration Office in Bali has held the foreigner in custody following his release last Friday.
“The person is being held at the immigration detention center in Denpasar awaiting the deportation process,” Jamaruli Manihuruk, who heads the Head of the Bali office for the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said in a statement.
According to Jamaruli, Christensen has also violated Indonesia’s Immigration Law for destroying the shrines and is therefore subject to deportation.
“He has committed a dangerous act and should be suspected of endangering safety and public order,” Jamaruli said.