Given that the phenomenon of Facebook and social media are relatively new, it's somewhat excusable for courts of law to be unsure how to proceed with regard to matters involving human interaction on the site. That said, there are few supporting an Indonesian court's latest act: A 30-year-old man was sentenced to 30 months of prison and a $10,600 fine for posting pro-atheist and anti-Islam comments on Facebook.
Alexander Aan was charged with posting cartoons of the prophet Mohammed to an atheist Facebook group and for making statements including, "If God exists, then why do bad things happen?" The comments Aan made wound up inciting an angry mob to seek him out and severely beat him. Aan was arrested by police for his own protection.
Since then, Aan has been charged and convincted of "disseminating information aimed at inciting religious hatred or hostility." Amnesty International is calling for Aan's release, branding his conviction "a serious setback for freedom of expression in Indonesia, and [a violation of] Indonesia's obligations under international law."
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