Nazril Irham, one of Indonesia’s and Asia’s best known pop stars has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for something that would astonish many people from Europe and the United States.
According to police reports, the singer was arrested purely because of nothing else but on the making and distributing of adult themed tapes on the internet.
Nazril Irham who is popularly known as Ariel is the lead singer of the multiplatinum band Peterpan who have sold thousands of records all over Asia and the world. The arrest came as a big shock to fellow band members and fans of the famous band.
Reports have it that singer Ariel made three inappropriate videos featuring himself and two other female celebrities – TV presenter Luna Maya and soap opera star Cut Tari.
Ariel is the first celebrity and high profile person to be charged under Indonesia’s controversial anti-pornography law that came into effect in the country in 2008.
The 29-year-old celebrity’s videos caused a huge outpour of criticism from conservative Muslims when it leaked. Some conservative Muslims were even seeking for a harsher punishment for the singer.
“Islam has no room for such indecent acts and anyone who engages in such taboos should be severely punished” said a Muslim conservative
According to the verdict, Ariel was found guilty of encouraging other people in the country to follow his footsteps and produce and spread adult videos, which the country’s laws see as a very grave offence.
The Judge on sentencing him said that as a public figure, Ariel should have never even thought of engaging in such abominable behavior, knowing very well the consequences and the fact that his fans might imitate his negative behavior.
Ariel has till date denied distributing the videos, saying he would never indulge in such behavior as he knew very well the ramifications of doing so. According to him the videos were indeed made by him but he kept them safe at home and that they had been stolen and distributed by someone else.
The famous pop star was not only sentenced to 3½ years behind bars but also fined US$28,000.