Police Investigate Hate Speech Allegations Against Facebook User


MARCH 04, 2017

Jakarta. Police are investigating hate speech allegations against a suspect who was arrested for allegedly creating derogatory memes involving President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, former President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, which he posted on social media.

The 37-year-old suspect, identified as Ropi Yatsman, is a resident of Kota Tinggi in Pekanbaru, Riau Province. He was arrested in West Sumatra last month.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rikwanto said on Friday (03/03) that the suspect had intentionally spread hate and hostility related to race, religion, ethnicity and group affiliation.

He allegedly uploaded four edited photos on his Facebook account, registered under the name of Agus Hermawan.

"The suspect posted edited photos and [later] tried to delete them. He also has [another] Facebook account under the name 'Yasmen Ropi,'" Rikwanto said.

The police confiscated several pieces of evidence, including Blackberry and Asus smartphones and a personal computer.

Ropi is facing six years in prison and a maximum fine of Rp 1 billion ($75,000) if found guilty.

Indonesia has had various incidents of hate speech over the past year, mainly involving Ahok, who is currently on trial for blasphemy over references he made to a Koranic verse last year.

Jokowi posted a tweet in December last year, saying that libel, hate speech and hoaxes on social media have become increasingly troubling in Indonesian society.

The president said law enforcers had to crack down on anyone engaging in this type of behavior.

Jokowi was falsely accused during his presidential campaign of having had ties with the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).