The trial of I Gede Ari Astina, who is more popularly known as Jerinx, continued virtually yesterday, with the defendant using the occasion to say he’s willing to delete his social media accounts in the hopes that he could be granted suspension of detainment.
“If it’s required, I am ready to delete my social media account, should it be feared that I could repeat what I did,” Jerinx told the Denpasar Court yesterday.
He has been detained for more than a month now, with a previous request to suspend his detainment rejected, as authorities were concerned that he may repeat his actions. He has since submitted another request, which judges said will be considered.
Jerinx is the drummer of arguably Indonesia’s biggest pop-punk band Superman Is Dead (SID). He previously gained a reputation for activism in his fight against the controversial Benoa Bay reclamation in Bali.
The 43-year-old Balinese musician is on trial for alleged defamation and hate speech, over a social media post deemed insulting by the Balinese chapter of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI).
In a post uploaded to his Instagram account @jrxsid on June 13, Jerinx accused IDI of being “flunkeys” for the World Health Organization (WHO). He said that tests to detect COVID-19 are inaccurate and questioned why the association and hospitals in Indonesia are making testing a requirement for mothers who are giving birth.
Rapid tests are indeed an inaccurate means of screening for the coronavirus, a matter that health experts in Indonesia have also pointed out over the past couple of months. However, the test is still required for many administrative requirements in the country, including for travel and women who are giving birth in hospitals.
Compounding the issue is that Jerinx’s vocal rejection against rapid tests happened along with his active sharing and endorsement of COVID-19-related conspiracy theories on social media, including calls for people to stop wearing masks during the pandemic.
In spite of all that, his detainment also sparked an outpouring of community support from across Indonesia, as it illustrates yet another example of the problematic Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE).
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