Indonesian Lina Mukherjee, 33, was recently sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of around 15 thousand euros after publishing a video on TikTok in which she appeared eating pork after an Islamic prayer. The video had gone viral, attracting the attention of millions of users across the Indonesian archipelago. The sentence was handed down by judges in Palembang, a city located in the south of the island of Sumatra.
Reactions to the video
Mukherjee was found guilty of “spreading information with the aim of fomenting hatred against religious persons and specific groups”. The case emerged last March, when a TikTok user reported the video to the authorities. In the footage, she Mukherjee recited a prayer with the words “in the name of God” before consuming a pork skin kibble. Reactions to the video were intense, with numerous criticisms directed at the woman. The Indonesian Ulema Council, the body of highest religious authority in the archipelago, had considered the content of the video blasphemous. In Indonesia, a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, issues related to offending Islam are particularly sensitive.
This is not the first case of religion-related controversy in Indonesia. Last year, six people were arrested for offering free alcoholic drinks to customers named Mohammad. In 2017, the then governor of Jakarta, the Christian Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was sentenced to two years in prison for comments considered blasphemous towards Islam during his election campaign.