An Indonesian atheist who questioned the existence of God on his Facebook page has officially been arrested and is facing the prospect of five years in jail.
The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas-Ham) immediately condemned the move as repressive, saying it was a violation of freedom of expression.
Dharmasraya Police Chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Aziz told the Jakarta Globe on Friday that Alexander, 31, a civil servant in West Sumatra, had been charged with blasphemy and officially detained.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in jail.
Chairul, speaking a day earlier, said Alexander had only been taken into custody for his own protection and that police were seeking advice from the West Sumatra Coordinating Agency to Supervise Religion and Beliefs (Bakorpakem) as well as the Ministry of Religious Affairs before deciding on further action.
Alexander, who works at the Dharmasraya Development Planning Board (Bappeda), was attacked on Wednesday outside his workplace by a group of unknown people after writing “God does not exist” on “Ateis Minang” (“Minang Atheists”), a Facebook account he moderates.
The page has been removed.
The story is developing …