The editor of the Indonesian version of Playboy magazine is on trial for indecency in the world’s most populous Muslim state. The magazine contains no nudity, but the prosecution cited the “inviting expressions” of the underwear-clad models as one of the reasons it is asking for the maximum penalty of 32 months.


Editor-in-chief Erwin Arnada has argued Playboy was good for developing a pluralistic society in Indonesia. But the prosecution told the South Jakarta court that the edition was lewd and broke the law, alleging that Mr. Arnada selected revealing pictures of female models in underwear, some showing partially exposed breasts.

The magazine’s first edition sparked protests in Indonesia in April although it had no nudity and less flesh was visible in the issue than many other magazines on sale in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

“Photos, drawings and articles in Playboy Indonesia magazine were results of the defendant’s selection. They were unsuitable for civility and could arouse lust among readers so they violated feelings of decency,” said prosecutor Resni Muchtar, who is demanding the maximum sentence.

“The models also had inviting expressions on their faces,” he added.

The subsequent editions of the magazine are still on sale in Indonesian cities and there has been no government move to ban it.


Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig