Revoke the Defamation Regulation in the Indonesian Criminal Law !

Press Release No 03/ANRHTI/XII/2008

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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



  1. Rob said:

    I agree that the criminal provisions need to be repealed. There are limits to free speech and paramount among these is the idea that with rights come obligations. Freedom of expression cannot be a free for all and must include an element of responsibility.

    For example if I wanted to write in my blog that I thought John Howard was an idiot or call him “Jackboot Johnny” for the manner in which he handled issues relating to refugees and immigration, then I could.

    Could I say the same thing in Indonesia about the President or Vice-President? More to the point in a previous post on this very blog I had some kind words for Roy Suryo the telematika and IT expert who still has not managed to work out the difference between a blogger and a hacker!

    Should I be worried that he might come after me, a nobody bule from Australia, for holding an opinion contrary to his and then expressing not only that opinion but questioning the validity of his expertise and the reasons for his actions?

    These are indeed interesting times in which we live!

    • anggara said:

      well the bad things, is the constitutional court still, at least, uphold the criminal defamation provision in Indonesian Penal Code

  2. Kojeje said:

    The law has to be done properly…

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