Law student Florence Sihombing could be facing jail term over a social media post in which she complained about the service at a petrol station in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.
The postgraduate law student was arrested Saturday afternoon after complaining about the service she experienced at a petrol station.
Ms Sihombings lawyer said the 26-year-old tried to bypass a long que of scooters waiting for subsidised fuel by joining a que for more expensive unsubsidised petrol, at which point she was refused service.
Ms Sihombing then posted the following message on social media site Path:
‘Jogja is poor, stupid and uncultured. Friends in Jakarta and Bandung, please don’t stay in Jogja.’
A video of Ms Sihombing complaining was also posted online, attracting vast amounts of negative comments.
A screenshot Sihombing’s message preceeded to go viral. After a barrage of complaints from locals, Yogyakarta police then arrested the 26-year-old student for allegedly breaching the Criminal Code and the 2008 Electronic Transactions and Information Law (ITE), inciting hatred and defamation, reportsJakarta Post.
Ms Sihombing has been released by police pending trial. Spokesperson for the Yogyakarta police Anny Pujastuti said Ms Sihombing could face six years in jail, while Ms Sihombing’s lawyer argues the arrest was unlawful.
The Indonesian government spends billions of dollars subsidising fuel. Limits on its availability last month caused long queues at some petrol stations across the country as people feared fuel may run out.
President-elect Joko Widodo plans to phase out fuel subsidies, which is a controversial topic amongst locals. Attempts to remove fuel subsidies have resulted in civil unrest in the past.