Freedom of Expression is important matter in developing democratic society. It is Very is difficult to develop democratic system without freedom of expression.
Indonesian as a country that respecting human right, has constitutional guarantee for freedom of expression through Article 28 E and Article 28 F Second Amendment of UUD 1945. And to strengthen its commitment, Negara Indonesia also enact various regulation concerning protection of freedom of have expression through Law No 39 Year 1999 concerning human right and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights through Law No 12 Year 2005.
Freedom of speech as part of freedom of expression should become the important base to protect the lifeblood of democracy because it is a peaceful channel to test the truth of the opinion and idea in market of ideas. Society may any decision that may be able to limit their freedom if the decision arguable widely. Society is also a judgment for any candidate and does the correct choice in general election if such independence has a notion to be opened wide. Freedoms of speech as part of watch observation framework done by the society might be able to minimize the abuse of the power done by government bodies or the business entity which also run public services.
But, challenge for freedom of expression especially freedom of speech always get the strong challenge from the government by enacting many laws that may limit the freedom of speech by passing usage of criminal instrument in defamation.
Criminal Defamation regulation in Indonesia spread over at least in three laws that is KUHP (Indonesian Penal Code), Law No 32 Year 2002 concerning Broadcasting, and Law No 11 Year 2008 concerning Information and Electronic Transaction with the more flexible formula and even greater penal sanction. Therefore the challenges of the Indonesian society to be able to exercise its basic rights can be seriously threatened. Because oftentimes have happened abuse of criminal law concerning defamation, in general to protect the practices of abuse of power and to limit the access of information.
In commemoration of the International Human Rights day, the National Alliance of the Cyber Law Reform in Indonesia expresses our concern as it below:
- Insist the goverment of Indonesia and the DPR (Indonesian Parliament) to revoke the criminal defamation law in KUHP (Indonesian Penal Code), the Law No 32 Year 2002 on Broadcasting and Law No 11 Year 2008 on Information and Electronic Transaction
- Urges the Indonesian Police for not processing any report that using criminal defamation law and insist the National Police to advice the parties to use the civil defamation law to protect their reputation and its interest.
- Advice the tax payer to refuse the usage of their tax to process the criminal defamation, because tax should be use only to protect the public interest and no to protect individual and/or private interest
- Remind any parties that imprisonment is not a legitimate sanction under the International law on criminal defamation.
Jakarta, 9 December 2008
The National Alliance for Cyber Law Reform in Indonesia