Transcript by Newsy****
BY TRACY PFEIFFER
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For those in the United States, it’s a familiar tale -- celebrity makes sex tape, sex tape gets out on the Internet, and everyone starts talking about it.
But for Nazril Irham, an Indonesian rockstar better known as “Ariel”, it means something else -- jail time. The frontman for the highly popular band “Peterpan” was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and slapped with a hefty fine for allegedly making two sex tapes. (Video: MetroTV)
Irham and his current girlfriend, an actress, denied any involvement in the videos, claiming it’s simply people who look like them -- though some media are reporting the clips were stolen off of his personal computer and published without his knowledge. A second video is said to feature Irham’s ex-girlfriend, another actress -- but she later confirmed her involvement and issued an apology. (Video: Corriere)
The case has aggravated tensions between hardline Islamic minorities and a moderate majority. Conservative Indonesian Muslims have pushed legislation targeting anything perceived as blasphemous, including the anti-porn laws. The Asia Sentinel highlights a comment on the trial expressing the concern of more moderate Indonesians.
"I am disgusted with myself and every fellow Indonesian, because we have stood by, and watched, and allowed our nation be hijacked by the corrupt elite, and the barbaric Islamic extremists. This is now anarchy."
Critics have also expressed concern over the perceived push for the re-introduction of censorship in the young democracy. But Indonesia’s Communications Ministry chief dismisses that claim in an interview with BBC -- back when the story first made headlines in the summer of 2010.
"Democracy doesn't mean absolute freedom … The internet is just technology. It has a good side and a bad side. We can't forget there is always a risk for the misuse and even the abuse of the internet - that it could violate our values and our future generations."
And analysts for the Wall Street Journal say, the pornography laws don’t seem to indicate an imminent return to censorship -- yet.
SIMON CONSTABLE: “This is just pornography that they're talking about, they’re not talking about anything else. They’re not talking about freedom of speech or other issues, it seems. Is that fair?”
SPENCER ANTE: “It does seem fairly straightforward, but when you let people in the door you just don’t know what they’re going to look at it. They said they’re going to be looking for these things, but it opens up the potential for other kinds of surveillance."
The Jakarta Post reports eight people have been identified as suspects in publishing the videos, though no arrests have been made.
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