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Second person charged under Electronic Information and Transaction Law

(AJI/IFEX) - An Indonesian woman was arrested on 13 May 2009 for allegedly circulating online defamatory statements against a hospital in Banten province, Indonesia.

The prosecutor of Tangerang, Banten said Prita Mulyasari was charged with violating Article 27.3 of the Law on Electronic Information and Transaction. The charge carries a 6-year prison term.

Prita, who had been a patient at the Omni International Hospital, asked her doctor for her medical record. When the doctor refused, Prita sent out copies of her complaint via e-mail.

As a result of these e-mail complaints, the hospital filed a case against Prita. She is the second person to be charged under the Electronic Information and Transaction Law, after Iwan Piliang, an Indonesian blogger.

Recently, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) submitted a petition for judicial review of the law before the Constitutional Court to remove Article 27.3. The Constitutional Court rejected AJI's demand.

This article stipulates that anyone found guilty of publishing defamatory or insulting information on the Internet face six years' imprisonment and a penalty of RP 1 billion (approx. US$98,000.00).

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