Indonesian Police Arrest 3 Men For Protesting Eid al-Fitr Travel Ban
The Jakarta Metropolitan Police has arrested three men for agitating against the government’s ban on mudik, or the annual homecoming travel during the Eid al-Fitr or Idul Fitri Islamic holiday between May 6 to 17.
“[The suspects] spread messages from their WhatsApp group on Friday calling on transportation companies to hold protests attoll roads in Java, Bali, and Sumatra, so as to pressure the government into lifting the holiday travel ban,” Yusri asserted on Saturday.
The suspects denied planning the unrest. “The three men claimed that they merely forwarded the message from one of their WhatsApp groups onto another group in the apps. They also maintained that they do not know the details of the activity, or even plan to participate in the protest,” he noted.
Yusri added that the police are trying to find the suspects organizing the protest. The police confiscated three cell-phones and sim cards that the three men used to forward the provocative messages.
The police charged the three men for spreading misinformation under the country’s Electronic Transaction and Information Law. If found guilty, they face up to six years in jail and a Rp. 1 billion [$70,646.40] fine.
The government imposed a total ban on homecoming travel throughout Indonesia during the Idul Fitri holiday to prevent large-scale transmission of Covid-19 cases, as well as a potential surge in the pandemic such as that which occurred in India.
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