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Asia Pacific

Indonesian DJ faces pornography charges over COVID-19 bikini protest

3 minute read

JAKARTA, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Indonesian police have charged a DJ with violating the country's controversial pornography law after the 28-year-old staged a street protest against COVID-19 movement curbs dressed in a mask and red two-piece bikini earlier this week.

Dinar Candy was seen in footage widely shared on social media standing by the side of a Jakarta road holding a sign which said she was stressed by Indonesia's extension of movement restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"Her actions did not heed cultural and religious norms," Azis Andriansyah, police chief for the Indonesian capital's southern districts, said in comments aired by the Kompas TV broadcaster on Thursday. She had not been detained, Azis added.

South Jakarta police and Dinar Candy did not respond to requests for comment. Dinar Candy's lawyer, Acong Latief, told Reuters her actions may have been motivated by stress.

Muslim majority Indonesia has in recent years seen a rise in conservatism, with religious groups demanding a larger role for Islam in politics and society. Its controversial pornography law carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment or a 5 billion rupiah ($350,000) fine.

Indonesia has since July been battling a devastating second wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus. This week, President Joko Widodo extended social distancing measures until August 9.

The Southeast Asian country passed a grim milestone of over 100,000 deaths on Wednesday. read more

Maidina Rahmawati, a researcher at the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), a Jakarta-based legal activist group, said Dinar Candy's stunt should be understood as a protest, not pornography.

"This is very dangerous and could lead to arbitrary and excessive enforcement, or over-criminalisation," she said.

($1 = 14,365.0000 rupiah)

Reporting by Stanley Widianto and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Editing by James Pearson and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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