Indonesian rocker jailed for virus remarks

Ahmad Pathoni
·1-min read

A Bali court has sentenced a punk-rock musician to 14 months in prison for criticising Indonesia's medical association over its coronavirus measures, his lawyer says.

I Gede Ari Astina, drummer for the band Superman is Dead, was charged with defamation in August after he called the Indonesian Medical Association and hospitals "lackeys of the WHO," referring to the World Health Organisation.

He also criticised the association and hospitals for requiring members of the Indonesian public who shows symptoms to undergo coronavirus tests.

Astina, better known by his stage name Jerinx, previously said that COVID-19 is a business scheme concocted by the WHO and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

"My client is disappointed with the verdict," Astina's lawyer Sugeng Teguh Santoso said.

Indonesia reported 4798 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total number of infections to 483,518, the highest in Southeast Asia.

An additional 97 virus-related deaths recorded overnight brought the number of fatalities to 15,600, according to Health Ministry data.