Journalist Arrested in Alleged Violation of the Infamous ITE Law



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A work of journalism has yet again been subjected to the Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE Law) as the former editor in chief of local media startup, Diananta Putra Sumedi, was arrested on Monday after undergoing 4-hours of investigation at the South Kalimantan Police headquarters. 

    The former editor in chief saw himself entangled in an alleged violation of the ITE Law after - a partner of national news media Kumparan - published an article entitled “Tanah Dirampas Jhonlin, Dayak Mengadu ke Polda Kalsel” (Jhonlin seizes land, Dayak complains to the South Kalimantan Police).

    The person who filed the police report is Sukirman, who represents the Majelis Umat Kepercayaan Kaharingan. The report alleges that the article had spread hatred and is saturated with the societal division. 

    “Diananta was questioned as a witness and the investigation ended at 12:00 Western Indonesia Time (WIB). We waited until the afternoon at 17:30 just to be met with a restraining order,” said Diananta’s lawyer, Bujino A. Salam to Tempo on Monday.

    The lawyer expressed disappointment as police rejected a request to suspend his client’s detention after police argued that the former editor in chief is at a high-risk to run from the law and eliminate the pieces of evidence. 

    However, the lawyer stated that there is a possibility that counters Sukirman’s report with their own police report as he believes the arrest on the former-editor in chief is an attempt to criminalize journalists. 

    He also asserts that the issue had been taken to the Press Council on Thursday, January 9, 2020, as a means to mediate the two conflicting parties which also produced recommendations to solve the issue. But this was not heeded and had somehow ended with a police report being filed under the ITE Law. “This issue should have ended in the Press Council,” said the lawyer.