Indonesia woman irked by mosque noise on trial for blasphemy

August 14, 2018 - 3:30 am

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian prosecutors have sought an 18-month prison term for a woman who was charged with blasphemy after she complained about the volume of a mosque's loudspeakers.

The ethnic Chinese defendant, Meiliana, 44, was arrested on May 18 about two years after her case triggered a riot in Tanjung Balai, a port town in North Sumatra province.

A spokesman at the local prosecutor's office, Sumanggar Siagian, said Tuesday the sentencing demand for Meiliana was made at the District Court in Medan, the province's capital, on Monday.

Mobs burned and ransacked at least 14 Buddhist temples throughout Tanjung Balai in a July 2016 riot after reports of Meiliana's complaints emerged.

Prosecutors said the defendant had violated Indonesia's criminal code by committing blasphemy against Islam, the dominant faith in Indonesia.

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