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22 February 2024

Indonesian official sacked over SMS divorce


Indonesia's president on Wednesday sacked a district chief who took an 18-year-old as his second wife but divorced her after four days via text message, accusing her of not being a virgin.

The case of Aceng Fikri, the chief of the town of Garut 200 km southeast of Jakarta, has angered residents who wanted him removed from his position.

Following a wave of protests, the local parliament launched an investigation and found that Fikri, 40, had breached multiple laws in his brief marriage. It recommended he be sacked, a decision later confirmed by the Supreme Court.

"The president has signed the dismissal letter for Aceng today," home affairs minister Gamawan Fauzi told reporters.

Fauzi said he would pass on the letter to West Java's governor so Fikri could be dismissed, a process which would take about one week.

Earlier one of Fikri's lawyers, Eggi Sudjana, had said the penalty on his client was too harsh.

"I must admit that from an ethical point of view his act was wrong, but ethical violations do not bear any sanction other than social, such as being jeered at or insulted," Sudjana said.