Bahar bin Smith, the leader of the Tajul Alawiyyin Islamic boarding school in Bogor Regency, West Java, has once again been detained by police.
He is being held at the West Java Police Detention Centre and has been undergoing investigations since Monday 3rd January at 12:50 pm. He is a named suspect in a case of spreading fake news.
The investigative team explained that the investigation started from a report on behalf of TNA on 17th December 2021 to the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Police. This case was then transferred to the West Java Police because of the location and the majority of witnesses were in the jurisdiction of the West Java Police.
In the report, Smith was reported for spreading false news by deliberately causing trouble in the community during his lecture at Margaasih, Bandung district, on 11th December 2021. The following is the complete chronology of Bahar bin Smith’s detention.
Beginning of investigation
The West Java Regional Police stated that they had raised the case of hate speech containing elements of ethnicity, religion, and race that Smith had allegedly committed. Investigators submitted a Notice of Commencement of Investigation (SPDP) to Smith at his residence in Bogor on 28th December 2021.
The West Java Regional Police summoned Smith to undergo questioning related to alleged hate speech on 3rd January 2022. Requests for Smith’s examination by the police were sent on Thursday 30th December 2021.
The summons was made following an order for the commencement of the investigation (SPDP) which had previously been sent. The letter was sent by the Directorate of General Criminal Investigation of the West Java Police.
A joint team from the Directorate of Special Criminal Investigation and the Directorate of General Criminal Investigation at the West Java Police is handling this case, as instructed by the West Java Deputy Chief of Police Inspector General Pol Edi Soemitro.
On 2nd January, the West Java Police opened a case of alleged hate speech that included Smith. The police also asked for information from TR, the person who had uploaded a video lecture that allegedly contained hate speech by Smith.
The police confirmed that they would act professionally; according to procedures, transparently, objectively, and accountably in investigating cases of alleged hate speech containing elements of ethnicity, religion, and race.