Published February 20, 2013
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has officially fired a district chief whose brief marriage to a teenager triggered public outcry in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Aceng Fikri, chief of Garut district in West Java province, took a 17-year-old as his second wife in July, but quickly divorced her via a short text message, arguing she was not a virgin. He said he spent about $26,000 on the wedding.
Officials said the president signed Fikri's dismissal letter on Wednesday. The local council in Garut had recommended Fikri's dismissal following protests by students and rights activists, and the Supreme Court approved it last month.
Some Muslims believe that men can end a marriage by simply telling their wives they are divorcing them. However, divorce by text message is uncommon.