The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) gives is full support to the Alliansi Jurnalis Independen’s (AJI) international appeal demanding the release of Teguh Santosa, chief editor of Rakyat Merdeka Online, who was detained for publishing religiously offensive cartoons, on July 19 in Jakarta.
According to, IFJ affiliate, the AJI, Teguh was questioned for three hours at the Jakarta Police Office in relation to complaints that the Rakyat Merdeka Online’s republished cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammod, which had originally been published by Danish newspaper Jylland Posten in September 2005.
The Rakyat Merdeka Online reportedly removed the cartoon from its site after receiving complaints and the next day published an open apology to those people it had offended.
“Detaining an editor for doing his job, particularly when he has clearly addressed the complaints of his readers, is deplorable and totally inexcusable,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
Teguh was charged with “violating Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) article 156 and 156a” which states that “whomever publicly expresses feelings of hostility, hatred or contempt against one or more groups, ethnic races or religions might be sentenced maximum five years imprisonment”.
According to the AJI the arrest and detention of Teguh violates Indonesian law and its constitution,
The IFJ joins the AJI in calling for the immediate release of Teguh Santosa and calls on all affiliates and partners to support the AJI in its campaign.