Arnada's Supreme Court appeal continues in Indonesia

By Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator on October 28, 2010 12:32 PM ET

Indonesian Playboy editor Erwin Arnada is appealing his conviction and two-year jail sentence. (AP)

Here's a quick update on the Indonesian Supreme Court's ongoing hearing to review its decision to sentence Playboy Indonesia editor Erwin Arnada to two years in jail for "public indecency." It's a case I've been following closely, because the outcome is an indicator of which direction Indonesia will be moving in the coming years -- toward or away from more media freedom. On September 30, CPJ wrote to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono about the case.

Here's what happened Wednesday, according to a member of the legal team:

The presiding judge asked us to present our case, which we did, after which the state prosecutor got his turn. He requested that he be allowed to present his case some time next week, which was granted by the presiding judge. The state's arguments will be heard next Wednesday, November 3, at 9 a.m.

Observers attending the session included the Press Council and the Legal Aid Institute for the Press, an organization run by the Indonesian Independent Journalists' Association. The Legal Aid Institute for the Press has also prepared an amicus brief, soon to be submitted to the Supreme Court.

After the hearing Arnada was returned to the high security Cipinang prison, where he has been held since October 9.


On behalf of my friends in Indonesia and me, terima kasih CPJ and in particular Bob Dietz for pursuing the case of Erwin Arnada. Indonesia journalists/media need the support of the international media to protect them.

I had written to many of my associates in Bali and no one wanted to even write a "letter to the editor" of a local newspaper in support of Erwin Arnada for fear of retribution.

Please keep Erwin's case in the limelight so that justice should not only be done but seen to be done because if Erwin's appeal fails it will spell doom for the Indonesian Press and in the end affect Bali in more ways than one.

Matur Suksama

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