KOMPAS.com – Four women in Sumedang, West Java province have fallen afoul of Indonesia’s draconian Electronic Information and Transaction law, after the quartet uploaded a video on TikTok that showed them cutting up the Indonesian flag.
Dated September 15, 2020, the footage showed at least one woman gleefully cutting up the flag, before leaving it strewn on the floor. At least one child is shown looking in the 29-second video, which also went viral on YouTube and Facebook.
Their stunt got the four more than the views and likes they bargained for. Police summoned the four women who were identified as ISR (36), DYH (30), PO (40), and AN (51) to explain their actions.
West Java Regional Police spokesman Police Chief Commissioner Erdi A. Chaniago told Tribun Jabar, Kompas.com’s regional affiliate in West Java, that the perpetrators did not have any political motives.
“The incident was triggered by DHY’s issues with her five-year-old special needs child. She was frustrated by her child constantly taking the [national] flag wherever he goes, as well as his inability or unwillingness to let the item go,” he said on September 16.
“She then took an acquaintance’s suggestion to cut up the flag, as she was told that it can wean the toddler away from his compulsive habit.”
Likewise, Sumedang Police Precinct chief Police Chief Commissioner Dwi Indra Laksmana said, “[DHY] has no political motives or [seditious] intent against the flag or NKRI [The Unitary State of Indonesia]. However, her friends made a video [of her stunt] and allowed it to go viral. And that is the heart of the problem.”
The police declined to say if they will proceed with the case. Under the Electronic Information and Transaction Law, DHY and her acquaintances can face up to six years in jail. They are also liable to face prosecution if they are proven guilty of defacing the national flag.
(Writers: Aam Aminullah, Sumedang Contributor | Editors: Pythag Kurniati, Aprillia Ika)
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