Deportation, Tour de Horror, Chronology : The Other Side of the Story

Baca Dalam Bahasa Indonesia

Derek Freal, or Derek William Bassemir, is a US citizen that is currently – at the time of this writing – in quarantine at the Surakarta Immigrations Office. “Freal” is a surname he uses to cover up his real identity, one of the reasons being he was arrested for possession and misuse of illegal drugs several times in the United States.

The use of a fake surname allows Derek to lie about his past. To everyone, including his friends in Indonesia, Derek claimed to be an orphan. His story was that he is an only child and that his parents died in an accident when he was still in his teens. In reality, his Father, Richard Bassemir, along with his siblings Dexter Bassemir and Casey Bassemir, and other family members are very much alive and are living in the United States. According to Richard Bassemir in an email he sent to me, Derek William Bassemir is in fact his son. Richard verified with me that Derek cut off all communication with his entire family more than 8 years ago.

I first met Derek in December 2013 through Twitter. We met in person on May 11, 2014, when he visited me in Bali. He refused to report about his visit and the fact that he was staying with me to local authorities – a legality all visitors are obliged to comply with. We remained friends until he disappeared after borrowing Rp 1.800.000 of my money during a trip we organized together in Java that we called the Tour de Horror. It was also during this trip that we shared hotel rooms and went on trips by land in order to save on travel costs. Along with the Rp 1.800.000, Derek has also stolen important photos as part of our collaboration for our new book project Tour de Horror.

I first noticed some changes in the way Derek behaved during Tour de Horror. This surprised me and caught me off guard, after having communicated with him almost every day for nearly 5 months. He became rude and verbally abusive. This change in behavior was particularly noticeable after I had discovered his real name – as stated by his American passport – when I was trying to book a train in Banyuwangi.

One night during this trip in Java, we were in Malang at 2am. Derek tried to unlawfully break into a historical site, known as Wisma Tumapel, which is also famous for being haunted. His failed attempt made him angry. My refusal to accompany his trespass by climbing over the same fence fueled his anger even more. He called me “coward” and went on about how bad I was as a travel companion. He then refused to return to the hotel and insisted on going to find some liquor; liquor is not openly sold or consumed in Malang. Liquor is something I noticed Derek consumed everyday. A day without it, and he turned into a cranky, angry man.

During this Tour de Horror, Derek repeatedly urinated in various historic (and haunted) sites even though I warned him multiple times not to. On May 20, I experienced a state of trance after Derek urinated inside Rumah Hantu Darmo (Darmo Haunted House) in Surabaya. My altered state of consciousness lasted for an hour or so, and I was ill afterwards. I was debilitated and was vomiting continuously for a while. It became very clear to me that the onset of trance and illness was directly related to my involvement (however passive) with Derek’s irreverent and illegal behavior.

Once I was partially recovered, I asked Derek about the money he borrowed from me, but he didn’t answer and instead left me. On the same night, I discovered that the photos we agreed to take as part of our collaboration were missing from my camera. I tried calling Derek to ask for my money and the photos, but again Derek ignored me by not taking my calls. Derek returned to the hotel early in the morning, visibly drunk, and left soon after without a word. I decided it was in my best interest to leave. It was only at this point that I also finally decided that his actions were no longer tolerable and that continuing our cooperation in Tour de Horror was no longer viable. 

On May 21, I decided to suspend our collaboration. I flew to Jakarta. I went into therapy for two weeks and regained my health. (I’m from Jakarta, so I saw a therapist I know and trust who helped me to recover from the weakness and illness.) I tried contacting Derek again to ask for my money and the photos, but he continued to ignore me. When he finally agreed to speak to me, he said that I have lost my rights over Tour de Horror. I would like, in this post, to confirm that the idea, name, logo, and detailed concept behind Tour de Horror are entirely mine, and I have the evidence to support this claim. 

A week after I flew to Jakarta, while I was in preparation of launching my new book, Derek got in trouble with the Immigrations Office. He overstayed his visa and was obliged to pay the fine. The Immigrations Office also refused to renew his visa as per the Indonesian immigration law. Do note that Derek has been working illegally using a tourist’s visa. In addition he has also overstayed his visa past its due date already 5 times. Despite the Immigrations Office’s generosity and patience with his previous offenses, Derek decided to lash out on the Immigrations Office and Indonesia in general; this was done on his Twitter account. He accused the Indonesian government of taking all of his money.

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A few days after this issue occurred, Derek went to Jakarta for a modeling audition (still lacking a work visa and also) with his tourist’s visa still expired.

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Soon after I heard Derek was quarantined by the Immigrations Office in Surakarta, I was shocked to discover that he was accusing me of being the cause of his detention. In a statement he made, he claimed that he was quarantined because of his tweets and that I had reported him – and such tweets – to the Immigrations Office. Derek has continued to make further accusations fabricating my role in his arrest. He made no attempts to verify any of this with me, and instead decided to post these accusations on his Twitter account as well as his blog. Although a portion of the tweets and posts containing these accusations have since been partially removed, I can’t help but feel threatened by his actions.

The terror I’ve felt continued when Derek made comments, referring to me as a “crazy bitch” who reported him to the Immigrations Office because I was trying to sleep with him and he had refused. It concerns me greatly particularly since it is false, and I take his actions of slander and libel very seriously, especially because they are damaging my reputation. I’m certain Derek must be familiar with magnitude of defamation, as these are serious legal offenses also in his own birth country.

To answer the questions I have been receiving from friends, Twitter followers, colleagues, and journalists who have been trying to contact me to hear my side of the story, I hereby state that I DID NOT send his insulting tweet to the Immigrations Office, nor did I make any attempt to get this issue noticed by the authorities. The only tweet I forwarded to @imigrasiRI before the detention contains a conversation between Derek and a few friends who pointed out that he has been staying in Indonesia and working here using a tourist’s visa is illegal and against the law, NOT the tweet in which Derek insulted the Immigrations Office which caused him to be detained and (soon be) deported. 


I have had no role in the detention of a foreigner, who claims to love this country, yet has repeatedly broken Indonesian Law and disrespected the authorities. I do not attest to that kind of power. I’m just a common Indonesian citizen.

It is worth noting that, despite the accusations he made against the Indonesian government and its offices, Derek had openly admitted to breaking the law through various comments he made both on Twitter and his blog. The Immigration law also clearly states that the penalties for overstaying your visa are fines and deportation. This law applies to all foreigners visiting Indonesia, including Derek. The law also states that working while visiting Indonesia on a tourist’s visa is illegal, and that the penalties for this are fines and deportation. Ask any Immigration officer here in Indonesia, and you will get the same explanation: detention at the Immigrations Office and deportation are penalties given to any foreign citizen who violated the Indonesian Immigration law. The period between arrest and deportation varies from case to case. It could be anything from a week to several months, depending on the circumstances as well as the process conducted by the Immigrations Office, local authorities, and the embassy related to the matter. This is a decree not uncommon in countries, including Derek’s own nation: the USA.

After a series of negative comments and accusations, I was also alerted to the presence of an anonymous Twitter account, @delosttraveler, who again made similar comments and accusations against me. @delosttraveler openly said my name and made negative remarks regarding me and my friends. It is because of @delosttraveler that I decided to write my side of the story and take further actions. As we all know, defamation is a serious crime and there are laws against it. At the time of this writing, I have reported such defamation and the authorities are conducting their investigation regarding this matter.

At this point, it is clear that Derek has been lying for years about his name and background. He has broken the law in the US and Indonesia on several occasions and was given warnings or even detained by the authorities. He has also continued to break the law and be disrespectful in varying degrees; urinating whilst in historic sites, sending thoughtless and insulting tweets about Indonesia and government agencies, as well as character defamation of a former friend and colleague are the few examples I have explained previously. I have no options but to end the cooperation and dismiss the possibility of continuing any future partnership with Derek William Bassemir.

I fully realize how this has been an expensive lesson for me personally; far too expensive in this case. I trusted someone I barely knew through social media/internet too quickly, I was reckless in making decisions along the way, and now I have a number of problems I did not expect. I have learned my lesson, and I have learned it the hard way.

This post is not made to reproach any party involved in this whole ordeal. It is also not written to generate sympathy or to persuade readers to take my side in the matter. I’m simply taking the chance to explain my side of the story chronologically and present the evidence I have. At the end of the day, there are two sides to every story. I rest the decision to read, analyze, understand, and judge in your hands.

I personally thank you for your time and attention, and hope this lays to rest many of your questions and concerns about this matter.

Read It in English

Derek Freal, atau Derek William Bassemir, adalah warga negara Amerika yang saat artikel ini ditulis sedang menjalani karantina di ruang detensi Kantor Imigrasi Surakarta. “Freal” adalah nama belakang samaran yang digunakan Derek untuk menutupi identitas aslinya yang telah berulangkali ditangkap atas penyalahgunaan dan kepemilikan obat-obatan terlarang di Amerika Serikat.

Nama samaran ini juga memungkinkan Derek dengan leluasa berbohong mengenai latar belakangnya. Kepada semua orang, termasuk teman-temannya di Indonesia, Derek mengaku bahwa dirinya sebatang kara; anak tunggal yang tidak memiliki keluarga karena orang tuanya meninggal dalam kecelakaan saat ia berusia remaja. Kenyataannya, ayah kandung Derek, Richard Bassemir, dan kedua adik Derek, Dexter Bassemir dan Casey Bassemir, serta anggota keluarga mereka yang lain masih hidup dan tinggal di Amerika Serikat. Dalam emailnya kepada saya, Richard Bassemir menyatakan bahwa Derek William Bassemir adalah puteranya, dan bahwa Derek telah memutuskan segala bentuk komunikasi dengan seluruh anggota keluarganya selama lebih dari 8 tahun.

Perkenalan saya dan Derek terjadi pada bulan Desember 2013 melalui sosial media Twitter, dan kami bertemu pada 11 Mei 2014 ketika Derek mengunjungi saya di Bali. Di Bali, Derek menolak melaporkan keberadaannya ke kantor polisi setempat sebagai syarat tinggal sementara untuk orang asing. Akhirnya, Derek menghilang setelah meminjam uang saya sebesar Rp 1.800.000 saat kami melakukan perjalanan Tour de Horror di Jawa, di mana kami berbagi kamar hotel dan menempuh perjalanan darat demi menghemat biaya. Tidak hanya itu, Derek juga mengambil foto-foto penting dari kamera saya yang sedianya akan digunakan dalam penulisan buku Tour de Horror.

Saya mulai mendapati perubahan pada sikap Derek selama Tour de Horror. Hal ini mengejutkan saya, terutama setelah berkomunikasi dengan Derek hampir setiap hari selama hampir 5 bulan. Sikap Derek berubah kasar dan abusif setelah saya melihat dan menggunakan nama asli yang tercantum di paspornya untuk memesan tiket kereta api di Banyuwangi (nama asli berdasarkan paspor bagi warga negara asing mutlak diperlukan untuk melakukan pemesanan tiket melalui telepon).

Saya juga sempat menjadi sasaran kemarahan Derek saat berusaha mencegahnya menerobos pagar sebuah tempat angker di Malang, yakni Wisma Tumapel, pada pukul 2 dini hari. Saat saya menolak memanjat pagar, Derek menyebut saya pengecut tidak bernyali, rekan yang buruk karena tidak mendukung perbuatannya, dan bersikeras tidak akan kembali ke hotel sampai mendapatkan minuman keras yang tidak dijual bebas di Malang. Minuman keras adalah sesuatu yang wajib dikonsumsi Derek setiap hari. Satu hari saja tanpa minuman keras akan membuat Derek uring-uringan dan mudah marah.

Selama Tour de Horror, Derek berulangkali pipis sembarangan di berbagai tempat bersejarah (dan angker) meskipun saya berulangkali memperingatkannya. Tanggal 20 Mei, saya mengalami trance setelah Derek pipis di Rumah Hantu Darmo, Surabaya. Trance tersebut berlangsung sekitar satu jam dan saya menjadi sakit sesudahnya. Dalam keadaan lemas dan muntah-muntah, saya sempat menagih uang yang dipinjam Derek. Derek tidak menjawab dan pergi begitu saja. Pada malam yang sama, saya mendapati bahwa foto-foto penting di kamera saya, yang akan digunakan dalam penulisan buku Tour de Horror, hilang. Saya berusaha menelepon Derek untuk meminta uang dan foto-foto tersebut, namun Derek tidak menjawab ponselnya. Derek kembali ke hotel menjelang pagi dalam keadaan mabuk dan segera pergi lagi tanpa sepatah kata pun. Saya memutuskan bahwa tindakan tersebut adalah sesuatu yang tidak lagi bisa ditolerir dalam hubungan kerja sama kami sebagai rekan seperjalanan. 

Tanggal 21 Mei, saya membatalkan kerja sama kami dalam Tour de Horror dan terbang ke Jakarta, di mana saya menjalani terapi selama dua minggu untuk memulihkan kesehatan. Di Jakarta, saya berusaha menghubungi Derek untuk mendapatkan uang saya kembali, namun Derek tidak menghiraukan permintaan tersebut dan akhirnya menyatakan bahwa saya telah kehilangan hak atas Tour de Horror. Perlu diketahui bahwa ide, nama, logo dan konsep Tour de Horror adalah murni milik saya dan saya mempunyai bukti-bukti pendukung yang dapat menguatkan hal ini. 

Tepat satu minggu setelah saya kembali ke Jakarta, saat saya sedang mempersiapkan peluncuran buku terbaru saya, Derek terlibat masalah dengan kantor imigrasi, di mana ia harus membayar denda dan perpanjangan visa turisnya ditolak karena terlambat diperbaharui (overstayed visa). Derek juga bekerja secara ilegal di Indonesia dengan menggunakan visa turis dan terlambat memperbaharui visanya sebanyak lima kali. Dalam kemarahannya, Derek mencaci-maki kantor imigrasi dan negara Indonesia melalui akun Twitter-nya, serta menuduh pemerintah Indonesia dengan sengaja mengambil semua uangnya.

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Beberapa hari setelah peristiwa tersebut, Derek pergi ke Jakarta untuk menjalani audisi modeling dengan visa turis yang belum diperpanjang.

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Tidak lama berselang, saya mendengar bahwa Derek dikarantina oleh Kantor Imigrasi Surakarta. Namun, saya sangat terkejut ketika tersiar kabar bahwa Derek membuat pernyataan bahwa penahanan dirinya, atas kicauannya yang berisi makian, disebabkan oleh pengaduan saya. Tidak hanya itu, Derek juga melontarkan kecaman dan serangan terhadap saya melalui status-status/tulisan yang ia publikasikan di sosial media. Sebagian status/tulisan ini sudah dihapus sehingga tidak menyisakan bukti, namun tidak urung saya merasa terancam dengan perilakunya.

Teror tidak berhenti sampai di sana, Derek juga melancarkan fitnah dengan menyebut saya sebagai “crazy bitch” yang melaporkan dirinya ke imigrasi karena tidak berhasil tidur dengannya. Hal ini sangat merugikan saya, karena reputasi dan nama baik saya dipertaruhkan di sini.

Menjawab pertanyaan teman-teman, Twitter followers dan jurnalis yang menghubungi saya untuk mengetahui sisi lain kasus ini, saya menyatakan bahwa saya TIDAK mengirimkan tweet berisi caci-maki Derek ke kantor imigrasi, dan saya TIDAK PERNAH mengadukan makian tersebut ke instansi terkait. Tweet yang saya lampirkan ke akun Twitter @imigrasiRI adalah tweet berisi percakapan Derek dengan beberapa orang yang menyatakan bahwa ia berusaha tinggal di Indonesia dengan visa turis—di mana hal ini ilegal secara hukum—dan BUKAN tweet berisi caci-maki yang, menurut Derek, menyebabkannya ditahan dan dideportasi. 


Saya tidak memiliki andil dalam penahanan orang asing, yang mengaku mencintai Indonesia namun telah berulangkali melanggar hukum yang berlaku dan bersikap tidak hormat kepada aparat berwenang. Saya tidak mempunyai ‘kuasa’ untuk membuat seseorang dideportasi. Saya adalah seorang warga negara Indonesia biasa.

Penting untuk diperhatikan bahwa terlepas dari makian dan tuduhan yang dilontarkan Derek terhadap instansi pemerintah dan negara Indonesia, Derek telah melakukan pelanggaran hukum secara terang-terangan yang dituliskannya di akun Twitter dan blognya, yang dapat dibuktikan dan memberatkannya secara hukum. Hukuman bagi visa yang terlambat diperpanjang adalah deportasi. Hukuman yang sama berlaku bagi warga negara asing yang bekerja atau mencari penghasilan di Indonesia secara ilegal, dalam kasus ini, penyalahgunaan visa turis yang dilakukan Derek secara berulang. Silakan tanyakan pada petugas imigrasi mana pun, Anda akan mendapatkan jawaban yang sama: karantina di kantor imigrasi dan deportasi adalah hukuman yang berlaku bagi setiap warga negara asing yang melanggar hukum di Indonesia. Rentang waktu antara penangkapan hingga deportasi sendiri dapat bervariasi—dari satu minggu hingga berbulan-bulan—tergantung proses yang melibatkan Kantor Imigrasi, Kepolisian dan Kedutaan negara yang bersangkutan. Peraturan serupa juga berlaku di banyak negara lain di dunia, termasuk Amerika Serikat.

Tidak lama setelah komentar negatif dan tuduhan terhadap saya tersiar, muncul akun Twitter anonim @delosttraveler yang lagi-lagi melancarkan fitnah dan serangan secara terbuka terhadap saya, sehingga saya tidak bisa lagi tinggal diam. Perbuatan @delosttraveler inilah yang akhirnya mendorong saya menuliskan artikel ini dan mengambil tindakan selanjutnya. Pencemaran nama baik adalah pelanggaran hukum yang serius di Indonesia. Saat artikel ini ditulis, aparat berwenang telah menerima laporan atas pencemaran nama baik saya dan tengah melakukan pengusutan atas oknum di balik akun @delosttraveler.

Setelah mengetahui tentang kebohongan Derek mengenai nama dan latar belakangnya, pelanggaran hukum yang dilakukan secara berulang di Amerika Serikat dan Indonesia, perbuatan yang tidak bertanggungjawab di tempat-tempat bersejarah, caci-maki terhadap Indonesia dan instansi pemerintah, hingga tuduhan serta fitnah yang dilancarkannya terhadap saya, saya memutuskan untuk mengakhiri segala kerja sama dan tidak akan lagi terlibat atau berhubungan dengan Derek William Bassemir dalam bentuk apa pun.

Saya sepenuhnya menyadari bahwa kejadian ini merupakan pelajaran yang teramat mahal. Terlampau cepat menaruh kepercayaan kepada orang asing yang hanya saya kenal melalui sosial media/internet dan kurang berhati-hati dalam mengambil keputusan penting berujung pada masalah yang tidak saya duga-duga. I have learned my lesson, and I have learned it the hard way. 

Tulisan ini tidak dibuat untuk menyudutkan pihak mana pun. Tulisan ini juga tidak bertujuan menggalang dukungan, simpati atau keberpihakan. Apa yang saya tuliskan di sini adalah murni pengalaman pribadi berdasarkan kronologis dan bukti-bukti yang dapat dipertanggungjawabkan. Pada akhirnya, sebagaimana setiap cerita selalu memiliki dua sisi, keputusan untuk menilai, memilah dan menelaah informasi yang kita terima senantiasa berada di tangan kita masing-masing.

Semoga apa yang saya tuliskan di sini menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan yang mungkin timbul atas kasus ini dengan jelas. Atas atensi Anda semua, saya ucapkan banyak terima kasih.