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Indonesia: Coins for justice

Earlier today, Prita Mulyasari, a housewife who was prosecuted for writing a complaint email regarding a bad hospital service, was found guilty for defaming a private hospital by the Tangerang High Court. The court ordered her to pay a fine of Rp. 204 M (US$ 21,680) to OMNI Internasional Alam Sutera hospital.

Salary of a factory worker in Jakarta is roughly US$ 106 per month.

Indonesian net users are buzzing to collect the sum in form of coins because they are outraged by the court decision and they hope the coins will overwhelm the hospital, said one activist to local newspaper Kompas.

“When justice is spared, we collect coins”, says tagline of Koin Keadilan, coins for justice, a new website dedicated to collect coin donation to pay Prita's fine.

Image on www.koinkeadilan.com

Image on www.koinkeadilan.com

An online declaration on the site says:

Tentang cara, kita bisa dan boleh berbeda pendapat. Misalnya tentang perlu atau tak perlu dalam pengumpulan koin. Yang pasti kita sama-sama di posisi ini: rasa keadilan kita terlukai. Spirit kita pun sama, bahwa keangkuhan kekuasaan yang ingin mengenyahkan kebebasan berpendapat melalui kriminalisasi harus kita lawan.

About the method, we might disagree with one another. Whether it's necessary to put donations in coins or not. But we agree in one thing: that justice is being hurt. We feel the same thing, that power and arrogance that wish to eliminate the freedom of expression  by criminalizing it, should be fought.

Protests and solidarity tweets are being sent out using the hashtags #freeprita and #helpprita.

AdibHidayat: Rencana acara akan dibuat di Hard Rock Cafe Jakarta. Detail akan kami update secepatnya. Konser Amal Pengumpulan Coin #freeprita

A concert is planned in Hard Rock Cafe Jakarta. Details and updates coming up. Charity Concert for coins.

Treespotter: Dear All, drop a coin for Prita – drop a coin for common sense. Or lots of coins. She needs 2,5 tons of it. http://koinkeadilan.com/
el15abeth: Social media does not expire..we know Prita is innocent. The verdict will only give Omni hospital a bad rep. #freeprita

hiYano: #freeprita gambaran sebuah “dpr online” yang bisa lebih “berbahaya” daripada “dpr jalanan” jangan pernah remehkan kami yang “online”

#freeprita is an illustration of online people's parliament which could be more “dangerous” than street parliament, never underestimate us who are online.

Legal experts said that Prita's prosecution under the new cyber law is unfair because the law won't be fully implemented before April 2010.

Blogger Aditya share his thoughts about the power of Microblogging:

Saya percaya dengan kekuatan jejaring sosial untuk menyebarkan kabar ini seluas-luasnya, paling tidak se-massive gerakan facebookers untuk gerakan “cicak vs buaya”. Tapi, saya tidak tahu apakah uang sejumlah itu dalam bentuk koin busuk pula akan terkumpul dalam waktu cepat.

Bukan saya mau meremehkan gerakan ini, tapi tahu sama tahu, biasanya yang seperti ini hangat-hangat di awal saja. Mudah-mudahan tidak ya!

I believe in the power of social network tools to spread this sort of news widely, at least as seen on massive movement of facebookers in support of Gecko v. Crocs (author's note: anti corruption battle between citizens’ backed graft fighter versus the police). But, I wonder if that sum of money in form of coins could be collected soon.

Not that I want to underestimate this movement, but we all know, that this kind of thing usually could end up cold like yesterday's potato. Well, hopefully not!

Concluding his post, Adithya asks his readers:

Kawan, jika dan hanya jika, Anda peduli dengan persoalan kebebasan berpendapat dan perlindungan atas hak-hak konsumen, bergeraklah.

Friends, if and just if, you really care about freedom of expression and the protection of consumer's right , get a move on.

13 comments

  • In Indonesia, social media may be practically developed massively , with more than 25mio Internet users, who come from the middle class (who do have a duty as the agent of change). The problem is: Indonesian middle class is not fully aware that they carry out these tasks.
    But, after seeing the development from these 2 days in the collection of coins, to be honest I feel proud to be part of Indonesia.
    Caroline, you should see a lot of people coming with plastic bag filled with coins showing their empathy, not only sympathy.
    God Good!

  • […] Carolina Rumuat writing for Global Voices Online blog has a post on a online coin collection campaign in defense of an Indonesian housewife.  She was “prosecuted for writing a complaint email regarding a bad hospital service, was found guilty for defaming a private hospital by the Tangerang High Court. The court ordered her to pay a fine of Rp. 204 M (US$ 21,680) to OMNI Internasional Alam Sutera hospital.” In response Indonesian net users are collecting the “sum in form of coins” in part to show their outrage at the court decision and also to inundate the hospital with the coins. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Today’s News 10/28/2009Today’s News & Opionion 10/30/09 (Updated Throughout the Day)US State Department releases International Religious Freedom Report 2009Videocast: AFP News reports on the Bush Legacy Tour […]

  • Manzoor H. Sarkar

    I am glad to see Indonesian netizen’s awareness to react to arrogance & might showed by the Hospital Authority & injustice done by the HC ( which is surely influenced by corrupt judges & high Govt. officials) . I am sure that such mass support & solidarity will give the desired result , and the Hospital will be exposed to wide public for its poor service and arrogant behaviors towards the patients . Wish the net bloggers success .

  • […] geplant. Einzelheiten und Aktualisierung erfolgt später. Benefiz-Konzert für Münzen. Treespotter: Hallo, spendet eine Münze für Prita – spendet eine Münze für den gesunden […]

  • andi gunawan

    seperti yg pernah di ucapkan pak Mahfud MD \”jangan pernah mencoba melawan arus kekuatan rakyat\” meskipun keadilan tidak bisa didapat dari pengadilan, tp saya yakin, rakyat lebih mengerti dan kekuatan keadilan dari rakyatlah yang akan menang.

  • […] the hospital and ordered her to pay 204 million Rupiah, around US$ 21,680 (more stories can be read here and […]

  • […] und verurteilte Sie zur Zahlung von 204 Millionen Rupiah, ca. € 15.000 (weitere Berichte gibt es hier und hier). Die Strafe des Bezirksgerichtes führte zu einem Massenprotest und einer Online-und […]

  • […] und verurteilte Sie zur Zahlung von 204 Millionen Rupiah, ca. € 15.000 (weitere Berichte gibt es hier und […]

  • […] is also known to champion the highly controversial Cyberlaw Bill that prosecuted Prita Mulyasari, a homemaker who was slapped with defamation charges for writing and publishing a complaint email […]

  • […] is also known to champion the highly controversial Cyberlaw Bill that prosecuted Prita Mulyasari, a homemaker who was slapped with defamation charges for writing and publishing a complaint email […]

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