Yogyakarta Police grant detention delay to Florence Sihombing
Bambang Muryanto and Slamet Susanto
The Jakarta Post
The Yogyakarta Police have granted a detention delay request filed by Florence Sihombing, 26, a Gadjah Mada University (UGM) graduate law student who was detained because of comments she made on social media that were considered insulting and that had sparked anger among some Yogyakarta residents.
'UGM and Florence's family have given guarantees for the extending of a detention delay to Florence. We will issue her detention delay today,' Yogyakarta Police's director of special crimes (Direskrimsus) Sr. Comr. Kokot Indarto told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
He went on to say that on Monday morning UGM Rector Pratikno, the university's School of Law Dean Paripurna Sugarda and their entourages visited the Yogyakarta Police headquarters. During the visit they discussed the positive and negative aspects of Florence's detainment that had sparked heated debates on the national level.
'UGM has agreed to first implement the ultimum remedium, or the last-resort principle, which means penal law procedures will be conducted as the last resort. They will first carry out an ethics examination process,' said Kokot.
The Yogyakarta Police arrested Florence on Saturday afternoon after a number of local community groups, including an NGO calling itself as Do Not Betray the People's Voice (Jatisura), a reptile-lovers community and bike club Onthel, reported her to the police on Aug. 28. They claimed they were offended by Florence's comments on social media, deeming them insulting to Yogyakarta people.
On her Path account, Florence expressed her anger after being criticized for attempting to cut in front of people who were waiting in line at a Jl. Lempuyangan gas station in Yogyakarta. She wrote: 'Jogja is poor, idiotic, uncivilized. Friends from Jakarta and Bandung, don't stay in Jogja'.
According to the police, her comments violated the Law No.11/2008 on information and electronic transactions.
The university's School of Law dean, Paripurna Sugarda, said the UGM had sought an apology from Florence, having deemed her actions impolite. He said the Yogyakarta Police had agreed with the university's stance that making Florence's harsh comments on social media into a criminal case would not bring benefits to either the student or to Yogyakarta people.
'If we make it into a criminal case, this will not only endanger her future, but also taint the image of Yogyakarta residents as belonging to a society that always forgives,' said Paripurna.
The dean said the UGM would soon hold an ethics hearing on the case, during which Florence would be allowed to give clarifications.
Paripurna said if proven guilty, Florence could face sanctions -- from warnings, to suspension of studies and expulsion from the university. (dyl/ebf)
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