Police Release Boy, 14, Detained Over $1.15 Phone Card

The Jakarta Globe

The 14-year-old boy detained for 25 days on suspicion of stealing a Rp 10,000 ($1.15) phone card was released on Tuesday, the day after the story was reported by Indonesian media outlets.


Hendrik Sirait, the chairman of the Indonesian legal Aid and Human Right Association (PBHI), told the Jakarta Globe in a text message that the prosecutor had ordered the release of Deli Suhandi and that his arrest be suspended.

Deli’s father Dede said he was happy to have his son back.

“I was told the news from the PBHI lawyer that the prosecutor had ordered the suspension Deli’s detention. Therefore, he can continue his studies and take the final exam,” he said.

“Even though Deli has not been 100 percent cleared, it is good [that he has been released] for the sake of his education. I hope we won’t be bullied by his friends.”

According to police reports, Deli and his friends Rahmat Wibowo and Muhamad Luki were taking cover near a damaged phone-card stall during a riot in their neighborhood. After the riot had ended, the boys were picking up phone cards scattered on the street when somebody shouted at them, accusing them of stealing. The boys threw away the phone cards and ran away as an angry mob chased them. Luki got caught. The next day police arrested Rahmat and Deli at their respective homes.

The police later released Luki and Rahmat, but continued to detain Deli, who was charged with stealing, under a code carrying a maximum of seven years’ jail. After being detained in the precinct for four days, Deli was transferred to the Pondok Bambu Penitentiary.

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