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Woman jailed for TikTok video praying before eating pork

by Agence France Presse

Recently updated on September 27, 2023 06:15 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – An Indonesian court has sentenced a woman to two years in prison and handed her a heavy fine after she recited an Islamic prayer before eating pork in a viral TikTok video widely criticised in the Muslim-majority country.

Lina Mukherjee, 33, was found guilty of “spreading information aimed at inciting hatred against religious individuals and specific groups” at a court on Tuesday in the South Sumatra city of Palembang, according to the verdict.

It came after a resident reported Mukherjee in March for the video that amassed millions of views, in which she uttered a Muslim prayer that translates to “in the name of God”, before consuming crispy pork skin.

Pork is forbidden under Islam, which is the dominant religion in Indonesia.

Mukherjee identifies as a Muslim and her actions were condemned by conservative groups, including the country’s top Muslim clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema Council, which issued a ruling calling the video blasphemous.

She was also fined 250 million rupiah ($16,200) for which her jail term would be extended by three months if it was not paid.

This is the latest in a string of blasphemy cases in the country.

Last year, Indonesian police arrested six people on charges of blasphemy over a bar chain’s free alcohol promotion for patrons named Mohammed.

Rights groups have long campaigned against the laws they say are frequently misused to target religious minorities.

Jakarta’s ex-governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, was jailed for nearly two years on controversial blasphemy charges in 2017.

Purnama, a Christian, was jailed for comments he made on the campaign trail during a re-election bid that saw him accused of insulting Islam.

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