The editor-in-chief of the Indonesian edition of Playboy magazine has been acquitted of distributing and profiting from indecent images. Erwin Arnada had argued in court that his publication was good for a developing multi-ethnic society. But Islamic hardliners did not agree. The prosecution claimed he had “harmed the nation’s moral standing”.
The court stated that there was no case for the Playboy chief to answer because Indonesian law guarantees freedom of the press. The first edition of the magazine last April sparked violent protests even though it contained no nudity and less visible flesh than in many other magazines also on sale in this, the world’s most populous Muslim country. After frequent attacks at the Playboy headquarters, the company has now moved offices to Bali, where the local people are Hindu rather than Muslim. Subsequent editions have continued to be sold during the trial.