Police search for more evidence in alleged defamation of Jokowi in Bangka
The Jakarta Post
Bangka Belitung Islands Police continue to gather more evidence in their investigation into alleged defamation against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, which implicates at least two underage boys.
"We are still collecting more evidence before bringing the case into the court," Bangka Belitung Islands Police chief Brig. Gen. Syaiful Zachri said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
The police have named two suspects in the case, including a 16-year-old boy identified only by his initials, FZ. The other suspect is SD, 20.
Meanwhile, another underage boy, IK, 15, remains a witness in the case.
Both FZ and SD are charged with online defamation under Article 27, Paragraph 3 of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, which carries a maximum sentence of four years behind bars.
The case first emerged after footage of a video call showing SD uttering harsh words against Jokowi went viral on social media and messaging platforms. Local residents later reported the video to the police.
"The President is the symbol of the state; therefore, [people] shouldn't make fun of him, especially by calling him foul words," Syaiful said.
First enacted in 2008, the ITE Law has become a scourge of the country’s internet users.
According to data from the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network, 200 people have been prosecuted using the draconian law since it was first implemented. (kuk/ipa)
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