Charges dropped in cartoon controversy


September 21, 2006
Original Alert: July 20, 2006

Teguh Santosa, Rakyat Merdeka Online


A three-judge panel at the South Jakarta District Court ruled that the indictment of Santosa on a charge of “publicly expressing or inciting animosity and defamation toward … Islam” was “unacceptable.” In February, Santosa reproduced 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that had first appeared in the Danish Jylland’s-Posten daily. The cartoons appeared on Rakyat Merdeka’s online version for about a day before they were removed after complaints from readers.

The charges were brought under Indonesia’s 1999 Press Law, instead of the Criminal Code.