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Indonesian Christian YouTuber facing 10 years in prison for videos criticising Islam

by Kelly Valencia

A Christian Youtuber who was arrested last year in Bali, Indonesia for uploading a YouTube video which reportedly offended Muslims is facing a ten-year jail sentence.

Since his conversion from Islam to Christianity in 2014, former Islamic cleric Muhammad Kace had been posting videos on the social media platform responding to criticism about Christianity from Muslim preachers, and had published over 400 such videos.

In August 2021, one of Kace’s videos went viral in Indonesia which resulted in his immediate detainment by the Indonesian government.

According to the Indonesian justice system, under the Criminal Code and the Information and Electronic Transactions Act, blasphemy charges carry a maximum five-year sentence. However, prosecutors have decided to press ahead with the charge of spreading fake information to intentionally cause unrest, which carries a much higher sentence of ten years.

Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country with a history of systemic discrimination against citizens who do not belong to the Islamic faith.

A Muslim cleric who in January this year was convicted of blasphemy against Christians in similar circumstances to Kace was charged with only a five-month prison sentence. The contrasting treatment of two purportedly comparable cases has drawn criticism from human rights groups and been labelled as discriminatory.

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