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Indonesia: People Power 2.0

Two days after her release from jail [id] on Wednesday 3 June 2009, the first court session for Prita Mulyasari, an Indonesian housewife  who was arrested and jailed since mid May for “defaming” an international hospital by writing an online complaint letter took place in Tangerang, one of Jakarta's suburban.

Her arrest had the entire Indonesian blogosphere boggling, as many believes that by jailing her could indicate a weak freedom of speech in the country.

With citizens heading for the ballot next month, Prita's case has been as a matter of urgency by three presidential hopefuls.

Poster by Paman Tyo, posted on

"Consumer speaks, (consumer) goes to jail" poster by Antyo Rentjoko, posted by Enda, protected by CC license

The case is now under many Indonesians’ watchful eyes.  Facebookers shows support for Prita through several Groups and Support for Prita Mulyasari Cause has reached 316.448 supporters, while Twitterers write updates about press conferences and court hearing.

Speaking on behalf of the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information (Depkominfo), an official said[id], as quoted by local newspaper Kompas, that the ministry is concerned about the arrest of Prita, adding that the hospital should improve their service excellence instead of suing former patients for defaming them. Depkominfo also urging people not to fear of expressing their opinion openly.

On the eve before her trial, the officials of Omni International Hospital held a press conference.  Blogger Enda Nasution was there to witness the first court  session of Prita vs. Omni Hospital. He said:

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Enda's update from the press conference

Speaking to Jakarta Globe, Prita admitted that she felt traumatized by her 3 weeks in jail. She convinced herself not to be as active on the cyber world after having this horrible experience.

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