Govt Keeps Articles on Insults to President in Criminal Code Draft Bill

6 July 2022 18:00 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government decided to keep including the articles on insults to the president in the criminal code draft bill (RKUHP). Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej said explanations of criticism to distinguish between insults and criticism were added.

“There are additional explanations regarding criticism related to Article 218 (2) which is about an attack on the dignity of the president or vice president,” said Edward at the Parliament Complex, Senayan on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Insults to the president and vice president are contained in Articles 218 to 220 of the draft bill of the criminal code. Article 218 reads as follows:

  1. Any person who publicly assaults the dignity of the President or Vice President shall be sentenced to a maximum imprisonment of 3 (three) years and 6 (six) months or a maximum fine of category IV.
  2. It is not counted as an assault on dignity as referred to in paragraph (1) if the act is carried out for the public interest or self-defense.

The following are six points of explanation added to the articles on insulting the president in the latest draft bill of criminal code:

- What is meant by "conducted for the public interest" is to protect the public interest which is expressed through the right of expression and the right to democracy, for example through criticism or opinions that are against the policies of the president and vice president.

- Criticism is to express opinions on the policies of the president and vice president accompanied by descriptions and considerations of the pros and cons of the policies.

- Criticism is constructive and provides an alternative or solution as much as possible and/or is voiced in an objective manner.

- Criticism contains disapproval of policy or other actions of presidents and vice presidents.

- Criticism can also be in the form of exposing mistakes or shortcomings that are seen in the president and vice president or advocating the replacement of the president and vice president in a constitutional way.

- Criticism is not expressed with malicious intent to demean or attack the dignity and/or character or personal life of the president and vice president.

“So what is prohibited is insulting [the president and vice president], not [expressing] criticism,” Eddy concluded the controversial article in the draft bill of the criminal code.

DEWI NURITA

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