Indonesian police raid schools in porn search

Indonesian police raid schools in porn search

The raids in East Java are part of the police response to the online release of videos apparently showing three local celebrities -- male singer Nazril Ariel and female models Luna Maya and Cut Tari -- having sex.

The three young stars could each face 12 years' jail for producing or distributing pornography under a tough anti-porn law passed in the mainly Muslim country in 2008.

"The operation has been conducted to keep the students away from the porn video as it would have a bad impact on them. Students are not supposed to watch that kind of video," local police spokeswoman Sri Sukorini told AFP.

"Our targets are high school students because most of them own mobile phones."

It is not clear how the explicit videos were obtained from Ariel's computer or who uploaded them to the Internet, where they remain widely available despite several police raids on schools and Internet cafes over the past week.

The clips look like they were filmed by Ariel as he had sex with Maya, his current girlfriend, and Tari, his ex-girlfriend, on separate occasions.

The stars' corporate sponsors have dropped them from product promotions, although they have denied any wrongdoing.

The scandal has again highlighted the gulf between liberal, urban Indonesians and those who hold more traditional social values in a country which has seen rapid modernisation over the past decade.

Critics have said the police should focus on serious crime such as corruption, and have questioned why they are not cracking down on distributors of pirated, hardcore pornographic DVDs which are available across the country.

Journalists and free-speech advocates have expressed concern that the scandal could fuel calls from religious conservatives for tighter controls of the Internet in the country of 240 million people.

"These raids (on schools) are silly. The police are over-reacting... because, even under the anti-porn bill, ownership of a sex video is not forbidden," University of Indonesia communications analyst Ade Armando said.