Two Malaysian sex bloggers have been imprisoned without bail for posting a photo of themselves eating pork stew while greeting Muslims fasting for Ramadan.
Malaysian authorities considered the post particularly offensive because pork is forbidden to Muslims and the couple put a halal, meaning permissible, logo on the post. The couple has been charged with sedition, disharmony on the grounds of religion, and possessing or producing obscene material.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak recently spoke on the charged couple’s actions.
“The insolent and impudent act by the young people who insulted Islam showed that freedom of expression and irresponsible opinion can jeopardize the community,” he said.
The couple, Alvin Tan Vivian Lee, pleaded not guilty to the charges. They posted a video on their YouTube account, named “Sexcussions with Alvivi” that said “We are recording this video to ask for forgiveness for offending Muslims in this holy month of Ramadan.”
The two have lost their jobs due to their controversial sex blog as well. Tan used to be a law student at the National University of Singapore, and Lee is a former kindergarten teacher. Pornography is illegal in Malaysia, and the couple’s erotic blog stirred controversy in the conservative country even before their Ramadan photo.
Malaysia’s attorney general, Abdul Gani Patail, said the couple is being detained because “they have the potential to upload content that could stir public anger.”
The couple sent out an insubordinate tweet last Saturday saying “You may shut us down for now but we will be back and be stronger than ever. Enjoy your Ramadan for now.”
Their court date is set for August 23.