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Jakarta Post

Indonesian homemakers face up to ten years in prison for sharing false information

  • N. Adri

    The Jakarta Post

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Balikpapan   /   Fri, February 7, 2020   /  09:00 am
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As of last year, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) recorded that there had been 475 criminal cases filed based on violations of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law. Perpetrators were mostly charged for defamation, hate speech and spreading hoaxes and false news. (Shutterstock/Kunst Bilder)

Kazahra Tanzania, a stay-at-home mother who lives in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, advised residents in a Facebook post to wear protective masks because she had heard that a man in the city who had recently visited China had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The information, which she received from her brother who works at a local hospital, turned out to be false, and she quickly took down her post and issued an apology. “Apologies for my previous post, which has been troubling residents of Balikpapan,” she wrote. But panic had already been sown. Residents rushed to get masks to protect themselves after reading the post. Kazahra was detained by the police on Monday for allegedly spreading false information, which, according to the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, carries three to ten years of imprisonment. “Maybe she meant well by warn...