TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-Ade Armando, lecturer in the Communication Science Program at University of Indonesia showed up at Jakarta Metro Police on Thursday, June 23, 2016, to fulfill the summons of Jakarta Police Special Criminal Investigation Unit after being reported over alleged blasphemy.
“I have been summoned as a witness after [being reported by] an informant named Johan Kahn, an employee of Trans Corporation. I have been accused of blasphemy and inciting hatred against ethnicity, religion, race, and inter-group relations,” Ade told Tempo at Jakarta Metro Police complex.
Ade was accompanied by attorneys from Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Pers, LBH Jakarta and SAFENET. He said that the legal advocacy is undertaken without payment. “They assist me voluntarily, pro bono,” he said.
According to Ade, Johan had reported him since May based on Ade’s status in his Facebook page on May 20, 2015. The status reads: "Allah is not an Arab. Allah will be happy if His verses are being recited with Minang, Ambon, Chinese, Hip hop, Blues style..”
Ade played down the notion that the status was aimed at defaming a religion. He said the status was made in response to the pros and cons of an idea from Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim about a festival of Quran recitation with archipelagic style.
He was then charged of likening God to men. Ade said that he would not make a counter-lawsuit against Johan, despite him being offended over the accusation. “For me, God is the Almighty who created men,” Ade said.
Ade claimed that he didn’t know who Johan was. He has received some information about Johan from his friend after Johan reported him last week.
Ade’s Facebook status had been circulating on Twitter. Johan initially reponded to Ade’s status in his twitter account. He had threatened to report Ade to the Police if he fail to delete the status within three days. Ade, however, claimed that he did not read Johan’s response, he also did not delete the status.
Ade had tried to meet Johan to resolve the issue. Johan, however, did not show good intentions to meet him in person, according to Ade. “He said: ‘Let it be settled by the law’,” he said, imitating Johan.