Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Cmr. Argo Yuwono, right, and head of detectives and general crimes unit Dep. Cmr. Ade Indradi show a picture of a man who reportedly threatened to behead President Jokowi in a viral video. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)
Jakarta. Police have arrested a man who was seen in a video making a threat to behead President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. The man has been charged with treason, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, an official said on Monday.
The viral video showed the man among a crowd in front of the Election Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu) last Friday, threatening to kill Jokowi.
“From Poso, [I am] ready to behead Jokowi…. Jokowi, prepare to be slaughtered…. God willing,” he said. The crowd around him responded with chants of Allahu akbar (God is great).
Poso is a district in Central Sulawesi that became a flashpoint for a bloody sectarian conflict involving Muslims and Christians in 1998-2001.
According to Dep. Comr. Adi Indradi, the head of Jakarta Police’s detectives and general crimes unit, the video was taken during a rally in front of Bawaslu by supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga Uno.
A group of Jokowi supporters who called themselves Jokowi Mania filed a police report on Saturday demanding that the police take legal action against anyone who makes death threats to the president.
The police have since arrested a 25-year-old man from a house in Parung near Bogor, West Java, on Sunday morning.
The man was identified by his initials, H.S., a resident of West Jakarta who was hiding at the house of a relative when the police captured him.
Officers then brought him to his home in West Jakarta to collect evidence.
Police said H.S. works for a foundation called Yayasan Wakaf Al-Quran (Quran Donation Foundation) in Tebet, South Jakarta.
“We’ve charged him with article 104 and/or 110 and article 336 of the Criminal Code and article 27 (2) of the ITE (Information and Electronic Transaction) Law. He now faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment,” Adi told journalists at the Jakarta Police headquarters.
“The man is charged with treason, for threatening and having the intention to kill the president,” Adi said.
Article 104 of the Criminal Code stated that “any attempt undertaken with intent to deprive the President or Vice President of his life or his liberty or to render him unfit to govern, shall be punished by capital punishment or life imprisonment or a maximum imprisonment of twenty years.”
Investigators are working to find out what motivated H.S. to make the death threat against Jokowi – if he was part of a group or an organization, or if he was ordered by other people to make the threat.
The police are also looking for the person who shot the video footage, who is also believed to be the one who uploaded it on social media for the first time.
Adi said this person is likely to be a woman from Sukabumi, West Java. Her initial is A. Jokowi Mania has also filed a separate report about the woman to the Jakarta Police.
President Jokowi himself has responded the death threat by urging everyone to show patience.
“This is the fasting month. Let us do our fasting. Let’s be patient,” he said at the inauguration of a new toll road in Malang, East Java, on Monday, as quoted by Antara.
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