Lina Mukherjee (Credit: taken from social media)
(CNN) -- A Muslim woman has been sentenced to two years in prison under Indonesia's blasphemy law for a video she shared on TikTok in which she appeared reciting an Islamic prayer before tasting pork while visiting the resort island of Bali.
Lina Lutfiawati, known as Lina Mukherjee on social media, was tried Tuesday at the Palembang District Court on the island of Sumatra.
The 33-year-old woman was convicted of "disseminating information intended to incite hatred against religious persons and specific groups," according to court documents.
In addition to the two-year prison sentence, the court fined him $16,245 (250,000,000 Indonesian rupiah), a small fortune in a country where the annual salary per capita hovers around $4,300. The court added that the jail sentence could be extended by three more months if he fails to pay the fine.
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Mukherjee was shocked by the ruling.
"I know I was wrong, but I really didn't expect this punishment," he said, according to CNN affiliate CNN Indonesia. He may file an appeal, CNN Indonesia added.
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Blasphemy cases on the rise
Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation, where 231 million people, at least 93% of its adult population, identify as Muslim.
Religious conservatism has been on the rise in the country in recent years and rights groups have warned that blasphemy laws are being "increasingly used as a weapon" against religious minorities and those deemed to have insulted Islam.
Pork is forbidden in Islam and eating it remains taboo among most Indonesian Muslims. However, millions of non-Muslims consume it regularly, including the Chinese population and the inhabitants of the Hindu-majority island of Bali.
Mukherjee, who identifies as Muslim, has more than two million followers on social media.
Known for her lifestyle and food videos in which she tastes various dishes, she received criticism for a video she shared on TikTok in March, in which she appeared sitting at a table and reciting the Islamic phrase "Bismillah" (In the name of Allah) before consuming crispy pork skin.
Bismillah is one of the most important and common sacred phrases in Islam. It is the first phrase of the Quran and Muslims usually pronounce it before eating. It is also frequently used as a generic statement.
In the video, which Mukherjee said had been recorded when he was traveling in Bali, he was shown tasting babi guling, a popular street food made of rice and pieces of roast pork and pork rinds served with vegetables.
The woman speaks to the camera and grimaces while tasting a piece of greaves.
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The video garnered millions of views but was condemned by religious groups, including Indonesia's Ulema Council, the country's top Muslim clerical body, which issued an opinion calling it "blasphemous."
It also sparked a public outcry that triggered police investigations, which led to Mukherjee's prosecution.
Photos and videos taken of Mukherjee throughout the trial and broadcast by CNN Indonesia often showed her crying and accompanied by a heavy security presence.
"It hasn't done anything wrong, but it says a lot about (the state of) Indonesia... how a country that calls itself a moderate Muslim is becoming a radicalized Muslim nation," Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, told CNN.
"The blasphemy chapter in the Penal Code has been moved from one to six articles, which is a serious setback for the protection of freedom of religion and belief in Indonesia," he added. "It's a global trend of not enforcing blasphemy laws or eliminating them altogether."
One of the most notorious cases of blasphemy in Indonesia was that of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an Indonesian politician of Chinese ethnicity known as Ahok, who was the first non-Muslim governor of Jakarta in 50 years.
He was tried for blasphemy in 2017 after angering Muslim hardliners by referencing a verse from the Koran during his 2016 re-election campaign and was jailed for two years despite publicly apologizing.