Ramadan raid on frail Indonesian food seller sparks anger

2016-06-13 15:08

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jakarta – Indonesian netizens have reacted with fury and a flurry of donations after footage emerged of a frail food seller breaking down as her cafe was raided for staying open during the daytime in Ramadan.

Video of the 53-year-old business owner desperately begging officials not to confiscate her food went viral at the weekend, and social media users have donated almost $20 000 to a crowdfunding site to help her and other vendors.

It is common for food outlets in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country that remain open during the daytime in the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims are supposed to fast from sunrise to sunset, to be raided.

But the case of food seller Saeni, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, has touched a nerve, with many criticising authorities for being heavy-handed during the raid in Serang, west of the capital Jakarta.

"You should be tolerant towards those who are not fasting, cruel authorities," wrote Facebook user Elisabeth Oktofani.

The food seller was deeply in debt and so had decided to keep the cafe open during daylight hours to make extra cash, she was quoted by local media as saying.

President Joko Widodo condemned the raid and ordered his staff to make a personal donation, with his spokesperson saying that the action "cannot be justified".

In the footage, a group of public order officers, who assist police in maintaining order but have fewer powers, march into the small food outlet, which consisted of a few goods in a glass case and some shabby chairs and tables.

Saeni, wearing a blue Muslim headscarf, begs them not to take the food but they put it into plastic bags and march off.

Local authorities defended the raid, saying that the food seller was breaking the law. While many restaurants in bigger cities stay open throughout Ramadan, local bylaws in smaller places often forbid vendors to sell food during the daytime.

A crowdfunding campaign launched in response to Friday's raid has raised over 265 million rupiah ($19 900), with the organisers planning to distribute the money to Saeni and other food sellers targeted for staying open during daylight hours in Ramadan.

Most Indonesians practise a moderate form of Islam, but the country is also home to a vocal, hardline fringe.

Read more on:    indonesia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.