Indonesian police arrest six for 'blasphemy' over bar's religious-named drink promotion


Placards reading “Shut down Holywings” and “Blasphemous Holywings” put up by an Islamic group in Jakarta. - AFP

Jakarta, June 25, 2022 (AFP): Indonesian police arrested six people on charges of blasphemy over a bar chain's free alcohol promotion for patrons named Mohammed, officials said late on Friday, in a case that has sparked outrage in the Muslim-majority country.

In a now-deleted social media post, the Holywings bar had offered a free bottle of gin for men named Mohammed and women named Maria -- a popular figure in the Bible -- every Thursday if they presented their ID cards.

Alcohol is considered forbidden under Islamic law and while drinking is not prohibited for any religion in the secular country's bars, the act itself is frowned upon by conservative Muslims.

The post caused fury online, and several youth organisations reported the management to police for allegedly committing blasphemy, while other groups threatened to raid the bar chain's locations.

Late on Friday, police presented six suspects, including Holywings' creative director and the head of its promotional team, during a televised press conference.

"Six people have been named suspects and they all work for the company," South Jakarta police chief Budhi Herdi Susianto said.

All six were dressed in the orange shirt usually worn by criminal offenders in Indonesia, with their faces covered.

"The suspects made the content to attract customers to their outlets, especially those making less than 60 percent of their sales targets," Susianto said.

The group was charged with multiple offences, including blasphemy and spreading religious hatred, the police said, and could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

After the outrage, Holywings issued a public apology and claimed management was unaware of the promotion. - AFP

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Indonesia , Bar , Six Arrested , Drink , Promotion

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines as at 9pm on Friday (Sept 30)
Thailand's health and�beauty industry rejuvenates thanks to ageing society
HK to allow more people at tables in restaurants, bars
At least 12 sailors die of suspected food poisoning on ship off Vietnam
Tiangong space station marks key step in assembly
Cambodia's Hun Sen issues new income tax rates
Shah Alam stadium to be demolished, new state-of-the-art facility to be built in its place
THAI plans new luggage allowance rules for passengers with effect from April 1
Man slashed passer-by with razor blade after hearing voices calling him a transvestite
Passenger wounded as Myanmar rebels shoot airliner: junta

Others Also Read