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Jakarta Post

YouTube prankster who gave garbage-filled ‘aid’ packages to transwomen abused in jail

  • Tri Indah Oktavianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, May 10, 2020   /   06:12 pm
YouTube prankster who gave garbage-filled ‘aid’ packages to transwomen abused in jail YouTuber Ferdian Paleka wears an orange detainee shirt at the Bandung Police headquarters in Bandung, West Java, on Friday. (Antara/Ahmad Fauzan)

A video showing YouTube prankster Ferdian Paleka — who was arrested on Friday for giving out "aid" packages filled with garbage to transwomen — being abused by fellow detainees in a West Java jail has gone viral over the weekend.

In the video, apparently recorded inside a Bandung Police jail, Ferdian and two of his friends who had also been arrested for their part in the prank were stripped to their underwear and told to do physical exercises such as push-ups and squat jumps by their fellow detainees. Ferdian’s head was entirely shaved in the video.

The other detainees could also be heard telling the pranksters to climb into a dumpster and instructing them to say “I am stupid” in Sundanese.

Bandung Police chief Sr. Comr. Ulung Sampurna Jaya confirmed the authenticity of the video, saying that the detainees abused the pranksters because they disapproved of the “aid” prank.

He said the video had been taken by a detainee who had been able to smuggle a mobile phone into the jail.

The police have seized the mobile phone, intensified their surveillance of the detainees and separated Ferdian and his friends from the others, he added.

Read also: YouTube prankster arrested after giving out garbage-filled 'aid packages' to transwomen

In a written statement on Sunday, the West Java Police said their Bandung counterparts were also investigating the officers who were responsible for guarding the jail. 

National Police Commission (Kompolnas) member Poengky Indarti condemned the incident but applauded the police’s “fast response” in the matter.

“Even though the three had insulted the dignity of others with their prank, there should be no retaliation against them inside the jail,” she said in a statement on Sunday. “The police have done a good job by investigating the detainees who harassed them but also the jail personnel.”

The Institute of Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) also condemned the incident and said the focus should be on providing restoration to Ferdian’s victims rather than inflicting pain on Ferdian and his fellow pranksters.

“Torture and degrading and inhumane acts toward anyone, including suspects, is against both national law and international law,” ICJR executive director ICJR Erasmus Napitupulu said in a written statement on Saturday. “In dealing with discriminatory acts against minorities, the main focus should be returning the dignity of the victims and compensating the loss suffered by the victims.”

Ferdian was arrested by the West Java Police on the Tangerang-Merak toll road on Friday after the 21-year-old YouTuber posted a video of him and his friends giving out “aid packages” containing garbage to transwomen and mocking them afterward. 

The video has sparked outrage and YouTube has since removed the video for its harassment content.

Police charged Ferdian under Article 45 and Article 36 of the Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE) Law on defamation, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of Rp 12 billion (US$ 804,000).