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ITE Law victims group urges Aceh police to stop investigation against lecturer

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2019

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – A group that calls itself Victims of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law Community (PAKU ITE) has urged the Aceh Police to stop the investigation into Saiful Mahdi, a lecturer from Syiah Kuala University, who is a suspect in a defamation case.

Saiful was accused of defamation following a message he sent in the university's WhatsApp group chat. In March, Saiful sent a text to the group chat to complain about the selection of the university's engineering faculty board.

"Innalillahiwainnailaihirojiun [We belong to Allah and to Allah we return]. I received sad news on how common sense died during the engineering faculty's board selection yesterday. It's proof that the engineering faculty's determination is so easy to corrupt. Gong Xi Fat Cai [a wish for a prosperous New Year in Chinese]. Why does a faculty that used to be glorious downgrade itself like this? What is this [new] faculty that is [considered] worthy to be proud of? Because the mediocre or those who get into debt are afraid of [facing] meritocracy."

PAKU ITE chairman Muhammad Arsyad said Saiful could not be charged with the ITE Law because he merely delivered his opinion in a private forum. Moreover, Saiful also did not direct his text to a particular person, but to the whole faculty.

"What Saiful did was express his opinion, which is protected by the law as stipulated in Law No. 28/1945 on human rights," he said in a written statement received by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/03/ite-law-victims-group-urges-aceh-police-to-stop-investigation-against-lecturer.html