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Indonesian student may be expelled for calling city "stupid" on social media

An Indonesian law student may be suspended or even expelled from university after she called a city in Java "stupid" and "uncultured", in a social media posting.

The postgraduate student at Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University (UGM) faces an ethical hearing by the school this week to decide her fate.

Ms Florence Sihombing, 26, had tried to jump the queue at a petrol station in Yogyakarta, but was criticised​ by others ​for doing so, reported The Jakarta Post.

Unhappy with the situation, she put up a post on social networking site Path blasting the city.

She wrote: "Jogja is poor, stupid and uncultured. Friends from Jakarta and Bandung, don’t stay in Jogja."

"How can Indonesia progress? You all want to be enslaved by the situation. STUPID all the way down to 7 generations. And Jogja want to be enslaved by Pertamina Monopoli. No wonder POOR," she added.

Released from detention

Her comments went viral in the country and infuriated local community groups.

She was arrested on Friday and released on Monday. She has to report to the police every Monday and Thursday.

Investigations are ongoing for alleged defamation and inciting hatred. If found guilty, she could be jailed for up to six years.

Yogyakarta Police’s director of special crimes Sr. Comr. Kokot Indarto said: “UGM and Florence’s family have given guarantees for the release from detention of Florence."

'Sincerely apologise'

The school's law dean, Mr Paripurna Sugarda, said turning Ms Sihombing's comments into a criminal case would benefit no one.

"If we make it into a criminal case, this will not only endanger her future, but also taint the image of Yogyakarta residents as belonging to a society that always forgives," he said.

Ms Sihombing issued an apology following her release, saying: "First of all, once again I sincerely apologise to the Sultan and entire Yogya people for the actions that I had done.

"I fully pleaded that this apology is accepted by all people. I hope the people of Yogya understand and willing to forgive wholeheartedly."

Sources: Mail Online, Global Indonesian Voices, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Globe, ABC

 

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