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Jakarta Post

​​​​​​​Government critic Ravio Patra questioned in WhatsApp hacking case

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 19, 2020   /   05:48 pm
​​​​​​​Government critic Ravio Patra questioned in WhatsApp hacking case Ravio Patra, an independent researcher who was detained and accused of inciting riots via WhatsApp following the alleged hacking of his account in April, speaks during a virtual presser on June 4. (JP/Ghina Ghaliya)

The Jakarta Police’s cyber unit questioned government critic Ravio Patra on Thursday about the alleged hacking of his WhatsApp account after he was charged for incitement after a message was sent from his number on April 22 calling for nationwide riots.

The questioning was a preliminary investigation and a follow up to a cybercrime report filed by Ravio on April 27 regarding the hacking, in accordance with articles 30 and 46 of the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITELaw.

Accompanied by his legal team from a coalition of human rights groups, Ravio was questioned for approximately four hours about the chronology of events, damages he had suffered, potential witnesses and supporting evidence.

Ravio provided some evidence, including screenshots of communications with several parties related to the case. Other evidence was under the control of investigators, the coalition said.

“[We] appreciate the follow up to the report, but we urge the police to continue the investigation into the case and find out who the hackers were and who ordered the hacking,” the coalition said in a statement on Thursday.

Read also: ‘I was kidnapped’: Govt critic Ravio Patra files pretrial motion against police

The members of the coalition include the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Amnesty International Indonesia and the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (IJCR).

The coalition has urged the police to drop the incitement charge against Ravio, restore his good name and return his belongings that had been confiscated by the police.

Ravio is an independent researcher known to be critical of the government, including its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 22, a message calling for nationwide looting on April 30 was spread from Ravio’s WhatsApp account. Labor groups had previously said they would hold a massive protest against the omnibus bill on job creation on April 30 despite the health crisis.

Shortly after, Ravio was taken into custody with the police reportedly arresting him without a warrant. Many believe that Ravio is innocent and a victim of identity theft.