x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Indonesians protest against district chief's text message divorce

Hundreds demand a district chief's resignation following his text message divorce to a teenage girl four days after their marriage.

JAKARTA // Hundreds of Indonesians have rallied to demand a district chief's resignation following his text message divorce to a teenage girl four days after their marriage.

Forty-year-old Aceng Fikri, chief of West Java district in Garut, took 17-year-old Fani Oktora as his second wife in July.

But he quickly divorced her via a short text message, alleging Oktora was not a virgin when they married as he had expected. He says he spent about US$26,000 (Dh95,498) on the wedding.

Today, students and rights activists in Garut spit and trampled on pictures of Mr Fikri before burning them outside the local council building.

Some Muslims believe in an Islamic ritual allowing men to end a marriage by telling their wives they divorce them. However, divorce by text message is uncommon in moderate Indonesia.