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Indonesian court acquits Playboy editor in indecent photos conviction case

Jakarta, Sat, 25 Jun 2011 ANI
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Jakarta, June 25 (ANI): The former editor of the Indonesian version of Playboy magazine has been released from prison following his Supreme Court acquittal.

 

The Court overturned Erwin Arnada's indecency conviction in a case that drew widespread debate over public morals in the country, The Wall Street Journal reports.

 

Arnada was sentenced to two years last October for picking and publishing photos of scantily-clad women.

 

The reasons for Mr. Arnada's acquittal were not immediately clear.

 

"My release is evidence that freedom of speech is respected," said Arnada.

 

The acquittal is "a symbol of respect of the state toward freedom of speech," he added.

 

The debate over the magazine and the fate of its editor has illustrated the ongoing tension between Indonesia's many moderate Muslim residents and an influential core of conservatives who back stricter religious laws.

 

The high-profile Playboy magazine that started publishing in 2006, was targeted by radical Islamists, who threatened Arnads's family, trashed his office and reported him to authorities.

 

Playboy Indonesia relocated its editorial offices and staff to the tourist-resort island of Bali in hopes of avoiding more trouble but eventually had to shut down before it had been published for a year.

 

Prosecutors agreed to take Arnada to court, drawing criticism from rights groups that believe the country's laws against indecency and pornography were too strict and were being applied in a capricious manner. (ANI)

 

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