Punk rock icon Jerinx may face defamation charge over ‘insulting’ 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/avid conspiracy theorist Jerinx has been accused of defamation by the Balinese chapter of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) over a social media post deemed insulting by the group.

According to the Bali Provincial Police, 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.

The police said Jerinx has been summoned for questioning on Thursday after he said he was unable to testify today.

Jerinx may be charged with defamation under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), which is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of IDR750 million (US$51,029).

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

Meanwhile, Jerinx has publicly apologized for his post and says he’s ready to face a police enquiry over the matter.

“I apologize if IDI were insulted, when I wrote that my heart was broken upon hearing stories of women who were refused to undergo labor [at hospitals] because they couldn’t afford COVID-19 testing. I imagined if that happened to my wife,” he said today.

Arguably more dangerous than defamation is misinformation spouted by people with a platform in Indonesia, including Jerinx. Since at least late March, Jerinx has shared conspiracy theories on his Instagram — where he has over 1 million followers — and further called on his fans to be wary of reports coming out from the mainstream media and to question Bill Gates, WHO, and what he termed as the “global narrative.”   

Jerinx appears to be putting up a fight against the “global elite,” though without valid references or accountable research that goes beyond the act of theorizing. Early on, one of Jerinx’s references came from David Icke, a notorious conspiracy theorist whose Youtube channel has just been deleted by the platform. Icke is known for having baselessly linked COVID-19 symptoms and 5G mobile networks.

Related — Maskless protesters gather in Denpasar against rapid and swab tests requirements in Bali 

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