Coalition Pushes Revision of Total ITE Law After 2 Amnestys

Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) Damar Juniarto assessed that the government has acknowledged that there are problems in the ITE Law. He said this was evident from the attitude of President Joko Widodo who had granted two amnesties to two victims of the ITE Law, namely Saiful Mahdi and Baiq Nuril. Therefore, said Damar, the ITE Law needs to be thoroughly revised by the government and the DPR.

“Our wish is to have a law related to internet crime that is even better. It will all be answered if we completely revise the ITE Law,” said Damar in an online discussion, Tuesday (12/10/2021).

SAFEnet Executive Director, Damar Juniarto.  (Photo: Personal Document)

SAFEnet Executive Director, Damar Juniarto. (Photo: Personal Document)

Damar asked not to limit the articles to be revised in the ITE Law. This is because the restriction will end the same as the revision of the ITE Law in 2016 which still leaves a number of problematic articles.

In addition, he encouraged the government to conduct a moratorium on cases of the ITE Law that ensnared the public until the revision of the ITE Law was completed. According to him, his party is currently handling 25 cases of the ITE Law that have emerged since June-October 2021.

“One recommendation is to revoke the rubber article. The second recommendation is to tighten the articles that have been rubber, more clearly,” he added.

Eight Troubled Articles

The Civil Society Coalition notes that there are 8 problematic articles that shackle the space for freedom of expression and have the potential to criminalize citizens. Chairman of the Advocacy Division of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), Muhammad Isnur explained some of them, namely Article 27 Paragraph 3, Article 28 paragraph 2, and Article 29. These three articles have increased the reporting of defamation cases, hate speech, and threats in recent years. . Including Article 40 paragraphs 2a and 2b which give full authority to the government to cut off internet access.

Muhamad Isnur, YLBH (Photo: Mouab)

Muhamad Isnur, YLBH (Photo: Mouab)

“So these articles are what we are pushing to improve. So if you say, we reject the ITE Law, no. We are limited to rubber articles,” Isnur explained.

Isnur added that there are a number of sentencing issues in the ITE Act. Among others, the formulation of the article is not strict and not a legal norm so that there is repetition in a number of other laws such as the Pornography Law and the Criminal Code.

DPR Members Agree that the ITE Law Needs to be Revised

In response, Member of Commission III of the DPR RI PPP faction Arsul Sani said he agreed with the revision of the ITE Law because there were a number of problems. According to him, the ITE Bill has been approved for inclusion in the 2021 Priority National Legislation Program (Prolegnas). This bill will be the government’s proposal.

Member of Commission III of the DPR RI PPP faction Arsul Sani.  (Photo: Mouab/Sasmito)

Member of Commission III of the DPR RI PPP faction Arsul Sani. (Photo: Mouab/Sasmito)

However, he warned that the revision of the ITE Law would not solve the problem directly. Because, there is still a law enforcement culture that needs to be improved so that the current issue of the ITE Law does not recur.

“In my opinion, what is more important is to improve or change our law enforcement culture. It is much more substantive in changing our law enforcement,” explained Arsul.

Nevertheless, Arsul considered that the demands for revision of a number of articles submitted by civil society were reasonable. He suggested that civil society also prepare a problem inventory list (DIM) to the DPR so that it will be considered during the discussion later. [sm/em]

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