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Jakarta Post

Gorontalo civil servant demoted for Facebook status

  • Syamsul Huda M.Suhari

    The Jakarta Post

Gorontalo   /   Mon, November 28, 2016   /  07:53 pm
Gorontalo civil servant demoted for Facebook status Yusniar, a defendant in a defamation case concerning her Facebook status, kisses the ground on Nov. 24 after the Makassar District Court in South Sulawesi suspended her detention and put her under city arrest. (JP/Andi Hajramurni)

A civil servant in Gorontalo regency has been moved to another position as a disciplinary measure after ten local councilors reported him to the police over his Facebook status, which the councilors found offensive.

If the case continues to court the civil servant, identified only as ML, could lose his job, a Gorontalo administrative official, Hen Restu, said Monday.

Hen said ML had been moved to a lower level office, from the regency office to the district office.

The punishment could be harsher if the councilors insist on pursuing the matter through legal means. “If the sentence is more than two years, he could be fired,” he said.

On Nov. 21, ten councilors from Gorontalo Council reported ML to the police for his Facebook status. The councilors accused him of violating Article 27 paragraph 3 of the Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) Law, which is often used to send laypeople to jail for comments they made on social media.

ML posted a comment on Nov. 5, complaining about an “oknum”, or wayward official in the council who had complained to him about the late delivery of flood relief aid.

ML was apparently referring to Sahmid Hemu, a counselor who had reprimanded him, but nine other councilors reported ML as well.

On Nov. 22, ML apologized through his Facebook account. The administration hopes the case will be settled out of court.

Limboto Police have said they have yet to name a suspect in the case. (evi)

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