Indonesia is very tough about their laws and how they censor their freedom of speech on delicate subjects against their beliefs. Some time ago, the news regarding some metalheads sentenced to death for smuggling drugs into the country made its way around the Internet. The case got the attention of several renowned metal artists like Napalm Death, Axl Rose and even Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, who sent letters to the president of the country, who happens to be an avid metal head fan. Unfortunately, their please to give them a lesser sentence fell on deaf ears, as they were executed.
Now it seems like the owners and employees of a record store over there have been arrested for selling a Kreator t-shirt, featuring the hammer-and-sickle symbol widely used by the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The display of any communist affiliations has been banned in the country for decades and, according to the reports, the store has sold several of the shirt featuring the communist symbol, which has been interpreted by the authorities as treason.
After some investigation, the authorities determined that it was a metal shirt and not propaganda. Kebayoran Baru police chief Ary Purwanto said:
“At the moment, [the shop owners are] just being questioned. There is no indication of treason. According to the suspects, they didn’t know it was the PKI symbol [on the t-shirts].”
Communism has been banned there since the 1965-66 massacre, which was sparked by a coup attempt blamed on the communist party.