Sunday, August 14, 2011

Indonesia pop star arrested in sex tape scandal

Indonesian singer Nazril "Ariel" Illham and Luna Maya walk together in Jakarta last July

Jarkarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- Indonesian police have arrested pop star Nazril "Ariel" Ilham for his involvement in sex videos that allegedly feature himself and two other top Indonesian celebrities.

The singer was named a suspect after the police questioned the three celebrities and expert witnesses over the last two weeks.

"We have determine that Ariel is a suspect in the sex video case, we charged him with the pornography law and with the 2008 electronic information and transaction law," said Marwoto Sutowijoyo, from national police public information.

Ariel will be the first high-profile offender of the controversial pornography law that carries a maximum penalty of 12 years.

"We will keep investigating the case and we will arrest the perpetrators once we have enough evidence," Marwoto added.

Alleged celebrity sex tape shocks modest Indonesia

The law and the incident has also revived the government's nationwide censorship plan to filter offensive content on the internet.

"The Ministry of Communication have long been proposing a decree on multimedia content, this is to prevent this kind of things from happening," said Gatot Dewa Broto, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Communications.

If passed, the ministry will create a special unit that will monitor the content in online media and will have the authority to censor anything without consulting any other bodies, he explains.

The first video, allegedly featuring Ariel and his current girlfriend Luna Maya, surfaced on several websites and went viral through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

On Tuesday, after the release of the second video allegedly featuring Ariel and Tari, the term "Ariel Peterporn," a spin on the singer's name and his band, became a top trending topic on Twitter.

The videos have sparked protests by conservative Islamic groups and others around the country condemning the celebrities in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, raids on internet cafes and the search of student cellphones at schools -- both confirmed by police -- have raised fears among defenders of free speech.

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