Editor of Playboy Magazine in Jail
Culture & Politics, October, 2010
Erwin Arnada, editor of the banned version of Playboy Magazine in Indonesia, will serve two years jail after his voluntary surrender to the authorities in October 9.
Arnada was editor of a modest edition of Playboy in Indonesia. The magazine did not contain nudity and survived only a year, from 2006 to 2007. The authorities closed it after riots in Jakarta. The riots were organized by Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) - religious hard-liners that describe themselves as a "Pressure Group" aiming to influence Indonesian leaders to improve and maintain Muslim's morale and faith.
Indonesia was for a long time known as tolerant to religion, but Arnada's conviction is widely seen as a victory for the Islamic conservatives in the country.
"I don't yet believe there's democracy in Indonesia; at least my case makes me think that. If there was democracy in Indonesia, then freedom of the press would be guaranteed and valued. The press and journalists shouldn't be criminalized as I have," Arnada said by BlackBerry message for The New York Times.
In 2006, Bellamy Benedetto Budiman, an Indonesian blogger, wrote "Somehow I wondered if our country is sane enough to give judgment just about anything. When a magazine is called "Playboy", it doesn't mean it is filled upside down inside and out with porn, although yeah, you probably thought that the word "Playboy" is identical to porn. Oh how we often judge things only from the skin. Is that probably why we're still a third-world country? Perhaps."