Have we forgotten Erwin Arnada?

The Jakarta Post : Letter: Have we forgotten Erwin Arnada?
| Fri, 04/08/2011 8:00 AM |

Free Erwin Arnada !

How does the Indonesian justice system work? And is there consistency in judgments in relation to and the implementation of the law and respect for civil and human rights?

I am referring to Erwin Arnada, editor in chief of the now defunct Playboy Indonesia, languishing in jail at the whims of right wing Muslim fundamentalists who pressurized the courts to impose a two-year sentence in a maximum security prison.

And what was he accused of — merely being the editor of a magazine that is considered to be an American icon? The said magazine did not have any indecent photographs nor was it obscene in any manner. The Committee to Protect Journalists, cpj.org, worldwide has made representations to the Indonesian government but to no avail.

So have we, the media, forgotten Erwin Arnada, who did not commit a crime but is serving two years in prison, because it is not news anymore?

While at the same time reporting that the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd have approached the Indonesian government with a request for leniency regarding convicted Australian drug smugglers on death row and Schapelle Corby.

I suppose in the final analysis the truth remains that the lives of innocent incarcerated Indonesians appear to be dispensable by their own government and courts.

This is shameful.

Mark Ulyseas
The Jakarta Post -01
Committee to Protect Journalists
First Amendment Coalition