An Indonesian woman who posted a video of herself reciting an Islamic prayer before eating pork has been jailed for two years under the country’s blasphemy laws. Lina Lutfiawati, 33, who goes by the name Lina Mukherjee on TikTok, was convicted of spreading information that was intended to incite hatred against religious individuals and groups. She was also fined 250 million rupiah ($ 16245) and could face an additional three months in prison if she fails to pay.
The video, which went viral in March, showed Lutfiawati saying “Bismillah” – meaning “in the name of God” – before consuming crispy pork skin. She said she tried pork out of curiosity while travelling in Bali, a Hindu-majority island in Indonesia. The consumption of pork is strictly forbidden in Islam, which is the dominant religion in Indonesia.
The video sparked outrage among many Muslims, who accused Lutfiawati of insulting their faith and mocking their rituals. A local resident reported her to the police, who charged her with violating the blasphemy article in the Indonesian criminal code. Several conservative groups, including the Ulema Council, the country’s top Muslim clerical body, issued fatwas declaring the video as blasphemous.
Lutfiawati, who has more than two million followers on TikTok and runs a business in India, expressed shock and regret over the verdict. She told a local news station that she knew she made a mistake, but did not expect such a severe punishment.
Indonesia’s blasphemy laws have been widely criticised by human rights groups and activists, who say they are often misused to target religious minorities and dissenters. In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases involving blasphemy convictions, such as the former governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who was sentenced to two years in jail in 2017 for allegedly insulting Islam.