Jakarta – The police have detained and named teacher Asteria Fitriani for allegedly spreading hate-induced fake news in her post on Facebook in which she allegedly urged people not to put a photo of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on display.
She allegedly made the Facebook status on June 28 in response to the ruling issued by the Constitutional Court related to 2019 presidential elections dispute that rejected the lawsuit filed by team of rival Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno.
Jokowi and running mate Ma'ruf Amin were then declared the election winners by the General Elections Commission.
On her Facebook account, Asteria allegedly wrote "If I can throw an idea, schools should no longer put photos of the President and Vice President on display. Take the photos down. As teachers, we don't want to teach our students to allow injustice and fraud to take place right? Just put the photo of Governor Anies Baswedan."
Anies Baswedan was endorsed by Prabowo in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections.
Photos of the sitting president and vice president are commonly put on display on the walls of schools and government offices.
The post went viral and sparked online discussions among netizens. A user identified only as TCS reportedly screenshot the status and reported it to the North Jakarta Police over alleged online hate speech content. The police arrested Asteria on Tuesday.
"We believe the suspect has violated the Criminal Code, Electronic Information and Transactions Law" North Jakarta Police chief Sr. Cmr Budhi Herdi Susianto said on Thursday as reported by kompas.com.
Through her Facebook post, he accused the mother of five of spreading hate speech and fake news that could spark unrest and insult the government.
Budhi explained initial questioning suggested that she was triggered by the emotion surrounding the 2019 presidential elections when she allegedly wrote the status.
"She was influenced by the postelection conditions. She could not contain her emotion that prompted her to write the post," he said.
The teacher who teaches after school was taken into custody by the North Jakarta Police and her sentence could be above five years imprisonment, Budhi added.
The police slapped her with multiple charges including the controversial 2016 ITE Law, Article 15 of the Criminal Code for spreading fake news, Article 160 on provocation and Article 2017 for insulting those in power of legal institutionsShe could face six years in prison or a Rp 1 billion (US$71,469) fine.
Asteria had expressed her apology following her arrest. She said that she regretted her misconduct and that she was fueled by emotion at that time. "I had no intention to provoke people to do something like what people had accused me of," she said as reported by kompas.com.
Asteria was the latest person charged under the controversial ITE Law that has long been criticized by activists. Initially passed to regulate electronic transactions, activists have noted that the law has been used to prosecute alleged to have committed defamation and hate speech. (das)