Himma Dewiyana Lubis. Photo: YouTube.

A court in North Sumatra, Indonesia found a university lecturer guilty of hate speech and handed her a suspended jail sentence.

On May 23, the Medan District Court sentenced Himma Dewiyana Lubis, a 45-year-old lecturer at the University of North Sumatra (USU) to a year in prison, suspended for two years, The Jakarta Post reported. She was also slapped with a fine of 10 million Rupiahs (US$695.)

The cultural sciences lecturer was put on trial after she shared a post on her Facebook page, on May 12 last year, with the following words: “Skenario pengalihan yang sempurna #2019GantiPresiden” (A perfect diversion scenario #2019 Change President) and “Ini dia pemicunya Sodara, Kitab Al-Quran dibuang” (This is the trigger: The Quran has been discarded).

Her post went viral immediately and police officers of the cybercrime unit arrested her five days later.

Riana Pohan, the presiding judge of the case determined that the lecturer was guilty of spreading information inciting hatred based on ethnicity, race, societal groups or religion with intent and without justification.

Pohan added that if Lubis committed another crime during the probation period of two years she would be imprisoned for a year and pay the fine, or serve an additional prison term of three months.

Defense lawyer Rina Melati said she and her client are considering the option of an appeal but will wait and let things cool down first.

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