Bali: Russian man to be deported for posing naked on sacred Mount Agung

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A Russian man is to be deported from Indonesia for stripping off his clothes atop a sacred mountain in Bali.

A photo of the man posing with his pants around his ankles on Mount Agung went viral last week.

The man, identified only as Yuri, has apologised but will be barred from re-entering Indonesia for at least six months.

Bali has recently increased efforts to crack down on badly-behaved foreign tourists.

Mount Agung, the highest point on the island, is believed by Hindus to be the home of the gods. A local official said there was “no excuse” for his behaviour.

“He violated norms and showed no respect for our culture,” Bali Law and Human Rights Office head Anggiat Napitupulu told The Jakarta Post.

In a video posted on Instagram in Russian, Yuri said: “My action has no excuse. The only thing that led to what happened was my personal ignorance.”

He later took part in a special cleansing ceremony for the mountain – a ritual often held by locals after such incidents.

Wijaya, Russia’s honorary consul general in Bali, told CNN Indonesia that the tourist was “crazy” and that deporting him was the right thing to do. Many locals on social media also supported his deportation.

It follows other similar incidents. Last year, Canadian actor Jeffrey Craigen was deported from Indonesia after posting a video of himself dancing naked on Mount Batur in central Bali.

In 2021, uproar resulted when a three-minute video circulated of a Russian couple having sex on Mount Batur, another sacred Balinese peak.

On Tuesday, a top immigration official called for a “no compromise” policy in handling foreign nationals caught up in legal issues, according to The Jakarta Post.

Earlier this month, authorities said they planned to ban foreign tourists from using motorbikes in Bali, after a spate of cases involving people breaking traffic laws.

Bali’s governor, I Wayan Koster, also announced plans to revoke visa-on-arrival permits for tourists from Russia and Ukraine, saying that many people from the two countries had “flocked to Bali” amid the war but were often not abiding by local regulations.

In addition, the Bali provincial administration plans to limit tourist access to the island’s mountains in light of what they termed excessive tourism.

But locals are also concerned about tighter rules affecting tourism, which contributed 60% to Bali’s annual GDP before the pandemic.

According to the province’s statistics bureau, Australia was the largest contributor of foreign tourists to Bali in January 2023 – with more than 91,000 Australians arriving in the province.

Russia took the second spot, with about 22,000 of its citizens visiting the province that month.

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