Ban on public affection in Mexico’s kissing capital

Last August, Manuel Berumen, a university professor, received the shock of his life after kissing his wife as they strolled with their four-year-old son in a public plaza in Leon, Guanajuato. A woman complained about the “indecency” and he ended up in jail.  Berumen was victim of Guanajuato’s anti-obscenity laws, which ban kissing in public. The law was introduced in 2009 under mayor Eduardo Romero Hicks, of the conservative right win National Action Party, (PAN).

Stephanie Zieber

Couple kissing photo from Shutterstock

Berumen had demanded justice for wrong imprisonment and urged that the police officers who arrested him be punished. But now, a local inquiry body, called the Honor and Justice Committee has exonerated the police officers who arrested Berumen and said they were only protecting local law.

Indonesia: Playboy editor jailed for “indecency”

The former editor-in-chief of Playboy Indonesia has begun a two-year prison sentence for publishing images of women in underwear. Erwin Arnada was found guilty of violating indecency laws during a closed trial at the Supreme Court in August, overturning the acquittal decided by South Jakarta District Council in 2007. Islamic hardliners launched legal action against Arnada in 2006, attacking Playboy Indonesia offices shortly after the magazine’s launch. Spokesman for the Islamic Defenders Front, Soleh Mahmud, said that the case shows “pornography has no place in Indonesia”.

Malaysia: New guidelines for Film Censorship Board

The Malaysian Home Ministry website has just published new censorship guidelines for films this week. Restrictions around profanity and displays of intimacy between adults have been relaxed, if they are “appropriate” to the context of the film. However the Board still remains firm on nudity, sex and negative depictions of Muslims, unless the filmmaker is wishing to “depict a person’s transformation from being evil to good”.