03/27/2017, 09.14
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Jakarta: incitement to hatred, the most common online crime in 2016

The authorities conducted 199 investigations. The victims targeted for ethnic and religious reasons. Religious and conservative groups increasingly active as vigilantes. The case of the Christian governor is an example of this trend. 

Jakarta (AsiaNews) –Incitement to hatred was the most reported online crime to the police by Indonesian citizens throughout 2016, according to Himawan Bayu Aji, chief commander of the National Police Anti-Crime IT department.

Himawan said that last year the authorities investigated a total of 199 cases. From the Indonesian police reports it appears that, in most cases, individuals or groups of people have been victims of online defamation, harassment, insults, provocations and threats for reasons mainly related to ethnicity and religion.

Analysts reveal how religious and conservative groups are increasingly active vigilantes in spreading "moral panic" in Indonesian society, targeting activities considered immoral and having greater influence on the country's political life.

A clear example of this trend were the harsh attacks that several radical Islamic groups have turned to Tjahaj Basuki Purnama, known to all as Ahok, governor of Greater Jakarta and Christian Sino-Indonesian origin.

Scholars speculate how these incidents are the unexpected results of Indonesia's democratization. While freedom of expression in the country is now guaranteed, incitement to hatred, driven by Islamic fundamentalist groups, however, seems out of control.

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