Take a break, people. Take a break.

Adelia Anjani Putri   03 February 2017 17:45

Unless you live under a rock (no offence, Patrick Star), you might have heard about the alleged sex scandal of Islamic Defenders Front Chief Rizieq Shihab and his close colleague, Firza Husein. Well, if you haven’t, I wrote about it here

Days after the rumor broke out, I heard yesterday that police had started investigating the sexting scandal.

A group called Student Alliance Against Pornography reported the content (Whatsapp chats and nudes) to Jakarta Police on Jan. 30. They wanted police to prove the content’s authenticity as it ‘disturbs’ the young generation. Jakarta Police Spokesperson Sr. Commr. Argo Yuwono said that if the pictures are real, Rizieq and Firza can be charged under the Law on Pornography. They are also seeking to charge the content distributors under the Law on Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE).

On Wednesday, while searching for evidence related to Firza’s other case of alleged treason, police confiscated a pillow, sheet, and television from her house to compare with those seen in the naked pictures of her. 

Excuse me.

I’m all against FPI’s constant effort to use my religion as a political force and I hate their twice-weekly rallies doubling my daily commute, but this time we should leave Rizieq alone. 

First of all, there is no case. There is a report, but there is no case. 

Law on Pornography clearly refers to pornography that is made and intentionally distributed to the public, commercially or not. It does not cover private collections, thus porn made by and for one's own self is excluded from the law. 

The nudes and the sexts, no matter how disturbing they are to your eyes - are private - and not intended for public consumption. So they are not subject to the Law on Pornography. Unless both of them were trying to start a new career in adult industry, on the sly, legally, they'll slip out of this one (wahey!).

The Law on Porn is a no-go, then. What about adultery? Oh I love how people love to criminalize personal affairs.

Article 284 of Criminal Code says consensual sex between single people is not subject to the law (on adultery) and extramarital affairs cannot be punished unless the legal spouse reports it to the police. Has Rizieq’s wife reported him to police? I don’t think so.

This reminds me of the infamous Ariel Noah (then Peterpan) sex tape case, which I recently discussed with colleagues who covered the case. They also don’t understand how someone could be jailed for making a private sex tape.

Rumor has it that the case was driven by someone’s vendetta against Ariel. But, who knows, right?

But is it happening again now towards Rizieq? Is there any subliminal reason behind all this police report?

I can understand public shaming and rage.  After all, for someone who often claims he’s the role model of all Indonesian muslims, a scandal like this is perfect ammunition for many people who hate him and his legion of white-clad conservatives. 

But politicizing a legal case is a whole different thing. Legal affairs should not be driven by political interests.

Well, this is a whole different question if the House finalizes their revision of the Criminal Code. In the draft of Article 484, extramarital sex will be classified as adultery and can be legally punished.

It would still need a formal complaint, but instead of giving the rights only to the spouse, now third parties can also file a report, including “concerned citizens” and police “on behalf of the citizen”. The draft targets prostitution, but I strongly believe that it attacks people's privacy.

But I’m not here to lecture you on law (I studied politics) or morals (I’m no Imam). I just want to ask you people to leave Rizieq and Firza alone on this.

If you (or the police) want to find the distributor of the chats or if the FPI wants to find the person behind the leaks, go ahead.

But for other things? Police, stop wasting your energy. There are lots of things you can focus on at the moment. For a start, Rizieq has five ongoing cases that have nothing to do with his pants or his affairs. 

And you, aren’t you exhausted of talking about Rizieq every day? God knows I am. 

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect Brilio's.  





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