KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian was sentenced to 10 years’ jail when plead guilty to 10 charges over insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad on social media, police said on Saturday.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail or a fine of up to 50,000 ringgit ($12,228) or both.
The sentence was meted out consecutively, said Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
The man charged under laws against causing racial disharmony, incitement, and misusing communications networks.
“The police advise the public not to abuse social media or communication networks by uploading or sharing any form of provocation that can affect religious or racial sensitivities, causing racial tensions within this country’s diverse community,” Mohamad Fuzi was quoted by the Star as saying .
On Thursday, minister in charge of religious affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the ministry would not compromise on any acts insulting the religion and called for punishments against those found guilty of such.
Meanwhile, de facto deputy law minister Hanipa Maidin said the man sentenced to 10-years in jail for insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad can appeal for a lighter sentence.
“The convicted offender can always file an appeal challenging the sentence if he or she is of the view that such a decision was manifestly excessive,” he said.
the Lawyers for Liberty executive director, Latheefa Koya has called for a review of the 10-year jail sentence imposed on a social media user y for insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad, saying the sentence delivered by the Kuching Sessions Court was disproportionate and constituted a breach of the rule of law.
“Shocking and unprecedented that the court passed a sentence of 10 years jail over an offence like this.
“He (the person sentenced) had pleaded guilty, which should have been taken into account. Ten years consecutively is disproportionate and must be reviewed.
“This breaches the rule of law,” she wrote on her personal Twitter account today.
The sentence is believed to be the harshest such penalty on record in the Muslim-majority country, where concerns over racial and religious tensions have grown in recent months.
Another social media user had also plead guilty and a sentencing hearing would be held on Monday. Two others had plead not guilty and were being held without bail.