Eka Kurniawan declines official award in protest at Indonesian censorship

Eka Kurniawan has declined an award from the Indonesian Education and Culture Ministry in protest at the government's record on freedom of speech. In a letter to the ministry, Eka said that he would not accept the award because he did not want seem 'complicit with this country’s policies, which have been repressive to the cultural scene. My voice might be not as loud, but I hope it is crystal clear.' He has called on the government to do more to investigate historic human rights abuses and to do mor to protect freedom of speech. Kurniawan also noted the discrepancy between the official cultural award he was offered  – a pin and Rp 50 million (around £2,800) after taxes, according to a report in the Jakarta Post – and the Rp 1.5 billion awarded to athletes who win gold medals at the Asian Games, saying it caused him to question the sincerity of the government's commitment to culture. 

7 October