Foreigner arrested in Indonesia after saying ‘communist’ President Jokowi must be replaced in viral video

Indonesia President Joko Widodo. Photo: AFP
Indonesia President Joko Widodo. Photo: AFP

While Indonesian authorities are still busy arresting alleged provocateurs on charges of treason and spreading hoaxes related to last week’s post-election protests and riots, police in Jakarta arrested a foreigner today over a viral video that they suspect constitutes treason against President Joko Widodo and his government.

Recently, a video surfaced showing a foreigner, identified as “Pak Jerry” in the clip, giving his opinion on the current state of Indonesian politics, particularly President Jokowi’s victory in last April’s election over his challenger, Prabowo Subianto.

“Right now, the condition in Indonesia is extremely worrying, there are so many instances of fraud committed by the current regime. It’s clear that the instruction of communists and others have penetrated Indonesia and they want the country to themselves,” Jerry says in the short video, to the agreement of the person filming, whose identity is not yet known.

“The people of Indonesia are not just the Muslims, we must all unite, we must move forward until this country regains its integrity, until the name of the president is Prabowo, not the one right now.”

Jerry then said President Jokowi must step down as soon as possible and not remain in power before October, when he will officially be reelected.

The Jakarta Metro Police say they arrested Jerry, whose full name they revealed to be Jerry D Gray, in Jakarta today.

“Yes, he has been apprehended and is now being transferred to the West Jakarta Police,” Jakarta Metro Police Spokesperson Argo Yuwono told reporters today, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Argo did not go into further specifics about Jerry’s identity (though some media outlets such as Detik have identified him as a German citizen) or what charges he could face, but his arrest comes at a time when others have been arrested for treason over controversial comments they have made, such as retired military commander Kivlan Zen.

Conspiracy theories and hoax stories have dogged Indonesian President Joko Widodo since his first presidential campaign in 2014, including unsubstantiated allegations that the former Jakarta governor is secretly a member of the long-gone Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) working for the Chinese government and determined to undermine Islam.

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