I Nyoman Mardika & Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – The police arrested 10 people for reportedly spreading hoaxes between May 21 and 28 and have now charged them with the crime.
"From May 21-28, we found 10 hoax cases in Jakarta and regional areas," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said in a press conference at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday.
He said that since the violent demonstrations in Jakarta on May 21-22, the number of social media accounts that have been spreading hate speech, hoaxes and provocative content has risen.
The goal of these accounts is to provoke the public and create widespread unrest. "This is dangerous if left unchecked," Dedi said.
These are the 10 hoax cases that have been discovered by the National Police's cybercrime unit:
1. A man with the initials S.D.A. arrested on May 23 for alleging that foreign security officers were employed to secure demonstrations in Jakarta on May 21-22.
2. A.S.R. arrested on May 26 for spreading a hoax that the police had attacked a Muslim cleric.
3. M.N.A. arrested on May 28 for spreading "negative content" alleging that last month's elections were plagued by fraud and a video of security officers allegedly attacking protesters in front of the Al Huda Mosque in Tanah Abang.
4. H.U. arrested on May 26 for spreading "provocative content" of a video with the commentary, "A Brimob [Police Mobile Brigade] officer is attacking a mosque. He's from another country and can't speak Indonesian."
5. R.R. arrested on May 27 for posting threats to kill prominent national figures on his Facebook account.
6. M. arrested by the Central Java Police for spreading racial and ethnic hatred.
7. M.S. arrested by the South Sulawesi Police on May 27 for posting a doctored photograph of a prominent national figure being hanged with the caption, "Hopefully, this savage human is now dead."
8. D.S. arrested by the West Java Police on May 27 for spreading fake news that a 14-year-old teenager had died from being beaten up by security officers.
9. M.A. arrested in Sorong, West Papua, on May 27 for spreading "negative content," a photo and a video threatening the murder of prominent national figures.
10. H. arrested on May 28 for spreading physical threats against prominent national figures, which also contain hate speech.
Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Dr. Petrus Reinhard Golose said in Denpasar on Tuesday that they have also arrested a man suspected of spreading hoaxes on the popular tourist island a few weeks ago.
"We've also caught a man for spreading hoaxes. We're investigating him right now," he said.
Golose said the police will take firm actions against anyone who tries to spread hate speech and fear among the public.
Bali Police commissioner Yuliar Kus Nugroho confirmed they have arrested a suspect, named Hadi. "He was arrested for spreading hate speech," he said.
Yuliar said Bali Police will release a full statement about the arrest soon.