Latest Criminal Code Bill; Insulting DPR, Police Punishable by 1.5 Years in Prison

7 July 2022 18:08 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe final draft of the criminal code bill (RKUHP) still regulates rules on insults to authorities and state institutions and its sanctions. It is noted in Article 351.

“Every person in public who insults public authorities or state institutions orally or in writing is sentenced to a maximum imprisonment of 1 (one) year 6 (six) months or a maximum fine of category II,” reads Article 351 (1).

In the explanation chapter, these provisions are made so that the public respect general powers or state institutions. It is also noted that the authorities or state institutions include the People's Representative Council (DPR), Regional Legislative Council (DPRD), the National Police (Polri), the Attorney General's Office, and local governments.

The criminal penalty is increased to a maximum of three years if the insults lead to riots in the community. This is regulated in Article 351 (2). In Article 351 (3), the act can only be prosecuted based on complaints from the insulted party.

Additionally, Article 352 (1) states that anyone who broadcasts, shows, or pastes writing or pictures or spreads recordings, or publishes content about insults towards authorities or state institutions via information technology platforms with the intention of making the insults to be known or more known by the public face a prison sentence of up to two years.

The National Alliance for Criminal Code Reforms previously assessed that the articles have the potential to be a ‘rubber article’ or vague ones that could curb the rights and freedoms of citizens.

“And it can also be subversive articles,” said the alliance’s representative Erasmus Napitupulu in a written statement, Thursday, June 10, 2021.

He argued that besides being vague and having multiple interpretations, the articles are no longer relevant to the development of basic social values in modern democratic society. Moreover, he emphasized that articles on the criminal code bill on insults should not be used to protect subjective, abstract things and such a concept.

DEWI NURITA

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