Man arrested in Bali over defamatory YouTube videos about President Joko Widodo

File photo of President Joko Widodo. Photo: Instagram/@jokowi
File photo of President Joko Widodo. Photo: Instagram/@jokowi

A man was arrested in Bali — then released — after he posted YouTube videos outlining his gripe with President Joko Widodo and his government.

HSD, a 41-year-old Medan, North Sumatra resident, was arrested in Kuta on Friday. On his YouTube channel, which he launched in August of this year, HSD had posted dozens of videos criticizing Jokowi — some of which containing baseless conspiracy theories like how the president supposedly faked his college diploma.

Defamation and the dissemination of false, inciting content are serious crimes under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE).

Today, the Bali Police said charges against HSD have been dropped.

“The culprit regrets his actions and has pledged not to reoffend. The culprit has apologized in a video, so the case was halted,” Bali Police spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto said.

HSD confessed to making the videos to channel his dissatisfaction with the central government.

HSD may consider himself lucky that the case was brought against him now and not sometime in the near future.

In the coming weeks, parliament is expected to ratify the bill for Criminal Code reforms (RKUHP). Under the latest draft of the bill, insulting the president or vice president in public would be a crime punishable by up to three years in prison, or four years if the insult is posted online.

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