Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) has handed down disciplinary sanctions against five more serving Army personnel in relation to negative social media posts about the recent attack on the country's chief security minister, following the removal of two soldiers from their positions last week for similar reasons.
Most of the personnel were punished because their relatives or spouses were found to have posted negative comments in regard to the stabbing of Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto on Oct. 10.
Army chief of staff Gen. Andika Perkasa said that as of Tuesday the military had taken disciplinary action against seven soldiers in total.
"The first two are those the public might have seen in the news since last Friday," Andika said as quoted by kompas.com, "[Sanctions] for the other five are still being processed."
Of the seven, six were sanctioned for their relatives' negative remarks about Wiranto's condition. The other one was punished for comments made on social media by himself.
"We're imposing military disciplinary punishments on them. One soldier will be detained for 12 days, while the one who was found to have abused social media will be detained for up to 21 days," he explained.
The seven soldiers held posts at several military commands (Korem) and military district commands (Kodim). Their ranks ranged from master private to corporal and sergeant, one is a captain.
"The one from Korem Padang [West Sumatra] is a master private and the other one from Kodim Wonosobo [East Java] is a lance corporal," Andika said.
"There are two sergeants, one each from Korem Palangkaraya [East Kalimantan] and Kodim Banyumas [Central Java], while the one from Kodim Muko-Muko in Jambi is a captain," he added.
Andika went on to say that they were only removed from their respective positions, not dismissed from the military and that these were legal steps taken to maintain discipline among military personnel.
On Friday last week, Andika announced that the Army had decided to strip two soldiers from their positions as commander and second sergeant in a military district in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, after their wives made negative remarks in regard to Wiranto's condition.
The two soldiers, who have since been removed from their posts, will be detained for 14 days as a form of military punishment.
Wiranto, a retired Army general and a former TNI commander, was stabbed in his abdomen by a man allegedly affiliated with a homegrown terrorist group last Thursday during a working visit to Pandeglang, Banten. (vla)