Sex videos gripping Indonesia

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Three sex videos featuring popular singer Nazril Ariel from the pop group Peterpan have caused an uproar in Indonesia. The three videos, which have been posted on the internet, also feature actresses and TV hosts Luna Maya and Cut Tari.

Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, disapproves of extra-marital sexual relations and both moderate and radical religious leaders have expressed condemnation, but legally there is nothing that can be done.

MP Eva Kusuma Sundari says: “Indonesia’s anti-pornography laws do not include a ban on distribution via the internet. Proof must be presented that the recordings were made with an intent to distribute, and that the people involved personally posted the videos on the internet.”

Ms Sundari was involved in the drafting of the country’s anti-pornography laws, under which the production and distribution of pornographic material is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 12 years. However, there is no law against making pornographic recordings for private use. The MP and women’s rights activist feels the behaviour of the celebrities in question is irresponsible. It is not known who put the videos on the internet.

Nazril Ariel is a teenage idol who regularly attends religious activities. Luna Maya is an ambassador of the United Nations World Food Programme. Cut Tari once won a Qur’an recitation contest and often features in Islamic soap operas.

The videos have also attracted international attention. Newspapers from Australia, the United States and even from South Africa have published the story. Entering the words ‘Video Cut Tari Ariel’ in search engine Google results in more than one-and-a-half million hits. For a short while the videos were the most popular subject on Twitter. Famous US and Japanese porn actors have praised the performances of the Indonesian celebrities.

Downloading videos
Ms Sundari is most concerned about the ease with which young children and teenagers can download the videos. She wants the government to crack down on the distribution of pornography via the internet, but internet expert Romi Satria Wibowo from Jakarta says this will not be easy.

"Technically speaking, it is a big problem, because so many different links would have to be filtered."

The total number of porn sites worldwide is estimated at 500 million, and new ones are added each day. The internet expert says it would a better idea to address the problem via youngsters’ social environment.

"I lived in Japan for 10 years. The supply of pornography there is huge, and legal for adults. If an intimate video of a popular star popped up on the internet, it would not create such a commotion as it did in Indonesia. Maybe, the general public there is better informed and better educated, just like in the Netherlands."

He blames the uproar on the media, and particularly on television. Mr Wibowo says television has inspired large groups of people to download videos on their mobile phones.