Erwin Arnada

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Arnada, editor of the now-defunct Playboy Indonesia, surrendered to authorities at Cipinang Prison in East Jakarta to begin a two-year sentence on charges of public indecency. The Supreme Court, reversing two lower-court acquittals, convicted Arnada on indecency charges related to material published in a 2006 issue of the magazine. Although the Supreme Court’s ruling was dated 2009, it was not publicly disclosed until August 2009.

Soon after opening, the magazine came under fire from the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI. After militants sought to vandalize the magazine’s Jakarta office, Playboy Indonesia moved to the island of Bali. But political pressure eventually led to Arnada’s arrest in 2007 and to the closing of the magazine after just 10 issues.

By numerous accounts, the magazine was considered no more provocative than numerous other publications available in Indonesia. FPI leader Ahmad Shobri Lubis acknowledged to The New York Times that Playboy Indonesia’s photographs were less revealing than those printed in many Indonesian publications.

Defense lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis said an appeal was being pursued. He said Arnada was being held in the general population at Cipinang, a high-security facility that has often been used to hold political activists and accused terrorists.