Lawyer Reported to Police for Racist Tweet

By webadmin on 03:40 pm Jan 10, 2013
Category Archive

Bayu Marhaenjati

Lawyer Farhat Abbas was reported to the
Jakarta Police Service Center on Thursday by a fellow lawyer after he
sent out a racist tweet in reference to Jakarta Deputy Governor
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is of Chinese origin.

“My report
is related to the statement made by Farhat Abbas through Twitter that
spread hatred against a particular ethnicity. [Such acts] can lead to
disunity among the residents of Jakarta or Indonesia,” lawyer
Ramdan Alamsyah said.

Ramdan added that although it is a
fact that Basuki is of Chinese extraction, it does not mean that
Farhat can make statements that can give rise to hatred.

“It
is true that Ahok is of Chinese descent, but it does not mean that he
[Farhat], through his Twitter account, can say that ‘whatever his
car’s number plate, Ahok remains Chinese.’ This can trigger hatred to
a fellow human,” he said, referring to Basuki by his nickname.

Farhat sent out the prejudiced tweet after Basuki
announced that the B 2 DKI number plate, which should theoretically
be reserved for the official vehicle of the deputy governor, had been
sold by a policeman to another individual.

“Ahok is
protesting here and there that the B 2 DKI number plat had been sold
to someone by a police officer. That is Ahok, making an issue over a
mere plate number. Whatever his plate number, [he] remains Chinese,”
the tweet said in Indonesian.

Ramdan said that the state
ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution acknowledge the
diversity of Indonesia, and statements like Farhat’s are antithetical to Indonesia’s values.

“This state recognizes
difference, recognizes the [country's] various ethnicities and races.
As good citizens, we should mutually respect and embrace each other
regardless of the ethnicity. Farhat’s action hurts and wounds the
values of unity and nationalism very much and therefore we are
reporting him,” he said.

Basuki had not been consulted
over the move, Ramdan said, and added that the report against Farhat
was filed by him as an individual, the Betawi Young Intellectual
Community (KIMB) and the Indonesian Association of Young Barristers
(HAMI).

“This is a common enemy, not just my personal one
or that of my organization. This is for the unity of the Indonesian
nation,” he said.

Ramdan noted that even though Farhat
already apologized to Basuki, he would still move forward with his
case.

“This is a criminal action as stipulated under the
law. Presenting an apology does not then mean that it can wipe away
the law,” he said.

Because of his racist statement, Ramdan
added, Farhat could face charges of violating Article 28.2 of the Law
on Electronic Information and Transaction, as well as Articles 4 and
16 of Law No. 40/2008 which prohibits discrimination.

Farhat
is a vocal lawyer who has repeatedly been in the spotlight for his
various statements and actions. He has in the past declared his
willingness to run for president, pushed for the jailing of actresses
involved in a sex tape scandal and even wed a woman in an unregistered
marriage.