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Jakarta Post

Asma Dewi sentenced to jail for using swear words to criticize government

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 15, 2018   /   10:38 pm
Asma Dewi sentenced to jail for using swear words to criticize government Asma Dewi is sentenced to five months and 15 days in jail for hate speech. (Shutterstock/File)

The South Jakarta District Court sentenced Asma Dewi on Thursday to five months and 15 days in jail for using the words koplak (loosely translated to stupid) and edun (loosely translated to crazy) to criticize the government on Facebook.

Asma was found guilty of violating Article 207 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) for insulting those in power or legal institutions.

Upon her arrest in September 2017, police said she was possibly linked to the Saracen group, a news outlet accused of producing hate speech. The police said Asma sent money to Saracen.

However, Asma’s lawyers later said the police’s dossiers and the indictment against Asma did not mention anything about Saracen or money.

During Thursday’s hearing, the judges said Asma’s criticism on Facebok was not “constructive”. “Don’t use koplak or edun, which can be construed as insulting according to this article,” said presiding judge Aris Bawono as quoted by kompas.com.

The judge said both words were not in the Indonesian official dictionary, but both had negative connotations.

Koplak can mean many things: stupid, imbecile, strange, not right in the head,” he said.

Asma’s sentence takes into account her detention period, therefore she may walk away free.

The sentence was lighter than the two years’ imprisonment and Rp 300 million fine sought by prosecutors. (evi)