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

Image on

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.
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.


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