2) Indonesia yet to See Freedom of Expression: Kontras
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) said that the state had misused laws on the freedom of expression and the liberty of association and assembly.
“The laws and policies that guarantee those rights have been used to control public’s freedom of expression,” Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar at his office on Saturday, December 26, 2015.
Over the last year, Kontras recorded 238 incidents violations related to freedom of expression. Kontras revealed that police had dominated the list of the violations with 85 cases, followed by public officials with 49 cases, non-governmental organizations with 31 cases, military with 17 cases and universities with 5 cases. West Java has been the region with the highest number of violations (41 cases).
According to Haris, police had conducted demonstration arbitrary arrests, persecution, bans on media coverage, and bans on hijab. Meanwhile, public officials were involved in bans on activities, media, and websites on behalf of radicalism eradication efforts.
In addition, Kontras also highlighted an article on libel against the President that was planned to be included in the Criminal Code revision. Haris said that the policy did not clearly define the libel against the President.
“It also violates the rights to express opinion, input and criticism in a democratic country,” Haris added.
The data, collected by Kontras, was in line with reports published by two International human rights institutions, namely Freedom House and World Justice Project. Freedom House ranked Indonesia as “partly free”.