Out­rage in In­done­sia at bid to re­vive pres­i­den­tial in­sult law

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

A bid by the In­done­sian gov­ern­ment to re­vive an au­thor­i­tar­ian-era law that makes in­sult­ing the pres­i­dent a crime sparked out­rage Thurs­day, with thou­sands tak­ing to so­cial media to de­nounce the plan.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo, com­monly known as Jokowi, this week pro­posed re­in­stat­ing leg­is­la­tion which was used by for­mer dic­ta­tor Suharto to si­lence crit­ics dur­ing his three decades in power.

The Con­sti­tu­tional Court re­voked the law in 2006, eight years af­ter the down­fall of Suharto and the in­tro­duc­tion of democ­racy, rul­ing that it un­der­mined free­dom of speech.

The move to rein­tro­duce the law, which could see those who in­sult the pres­i­dent in public jailed for up to five years, sparked anger online.

“Shame­less,” said Twit­ter user SangPem­buru99.

“The pres­i­dent should and must be able to be crit­i­cized be­cause he, as the head of the gov­ern­ment, is run­ning an agenda that con­cerns the public,” tweeted Haris Azhar, chair­man of prom­i­nent rights group Kon­tras.

The pro­posal has also faced crit­i­cism in par­lia­ment, with most law­mak­ers op­pos­ing it, mean­ing it is un­likely to be­come law.

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