Virtual police arrest Instagram user over comment on Jokowi's son Gibran

CNN Indonesia – March 15, 2021
President Widodo's eldest son Solo Deputy Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka – Undated (Antara)

Jakarta – The Surakarta (Solo) Virtual Police team has arrested a resident of Slawi, AM, who wrote a comment deemed to be a hoax about President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo eldest son Solo Deputy Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Through his Instagram account he commented on a posting on the account @garudarevolution about Gibran asking for the Menpura Cup soccer semi-finals and finals to be held in Solo.

"What does he know about soccer, he only knows he was given his post", wrote AM on his private account @arkham_87 on Saturday March 13 at 6 pm local time.

Police only released the man who is still pursuing his education in the nearby Central Java city of Yogyakarta after he deleted his comment and issued an apology.

The apology was made publically through a video uploaded on the Surakarta municipal police official Instagram account @PolrestaSurakarta in which AM apologised for insulted Gibran and the people of Solo.

"I regret [making the comment] and won't do it again. I won't do it again", said AM in the video.

Meanwhile Solo municipal police chief Senior Commissioner Ade Safri Simanjuntak said that AM's comment was deemed to contain elements of a hoax because it said that Gibran obtained his position as Solo mayor from his father, President Widodo.

According to Simanjuntak, the comment was incorrect because Gibran holds the office of Solo deputy mayor because he won the Solo city election of regional heads (Pilkada) in 2020.

"The comment has deeply hurt the KPU [General Elections Commission], Bawaslu [General Elections Supervisory Board}, the TNI [Indonesian military], the Polri [Indonesian police], and all the people of Solo city who were directly involved in organising the Pilkada in accordance with the 1945 Constitution", he said.

Simanjuntak said the Virtual Police team had first consulted with a language expert, a criminal expert and expert on the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law before arresting AM.

Not only that, the Virtual Police also contacted AM through Direct Messaging on his Instagram account. "We continue to prioritise persuasive measures", he said.

Simanjuntak claimed that AM was only arrested in order to ask for clarification and that AM confessed to uploading the comment directed at Gibran. The Solo police then asked AM to delete the comment and publically apologise to Gibran and the people of Solo.

"The person concerned has deleted the comment and apologised. So we prioritised a restorative justice approach in dealing with it", said Simanjuntak. (syd/ain)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Polisi Virtual Ciduk Warga Slawi Karena Mengolok-olok Gibran".]