Press Council Asks Jokowi to Postpone Enactment of New Criminal Code
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Press Council wrote to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on November 17, 2022, asking for the enactment of the criminal code bill (RKUHP) to be postponed as it contains articles that hinder press freedom.
"The contents of the RKUHP still limit press freedom and have the potential to criminalize journalistic work," said the acting chairperson of the Press Council Muhamad Agung Dharmajaya, in an official statement, Sunday, November 20, 2022.
The Press Council had submitted proposals to revise crucial articles to the government since July 20, 2022. However, the government in its response last October through the Ministry of Law and Human Rights had not yet accommodated it.
Furthermore, there was no explanation from the government about which articles have been accommodated and which articles have not been accommodated. In addition, the government did not provide any argument concerning the articles.
Agung also stated that the Press Council had submitted a request to revise the draft bill to the House of Representatives (DPR) Legal Commission at a public hearing on August 23, 2022. The DPR also welcomed the request and then forwarded it to the government.
Other than postponing the bill ratification, the Press Council suggested case simulations on several articles that have the potential to impede press freedom and called for transparency related to the draft bill sent to the DPR so that it could be easily accessed by the people.
Agung however, continued to underline that the Press Council will continue to support efforts to reform the Criminal Code as outlined in the RKUHP academic text.
Despite the protests, discussions on the RKUHP will continue. The DPR's Legal Commission along with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights will discuss the final draft of the bill on Thursday, November 24, 2022. The spokesperson for the bill socialization team, Albert Aries, stated that the draft would continue to be finalized in discussions with the DPR later.
"Any input and suggestions from civil society will certainly always be heard [right to be heard] and considered [right to be accommodated] by the government and the DPR as a form of meaningful participation," Albert said concerning the criminal code draft bill to Tempo on Monday, November 21, 2022.
Click here to get the latest news updates from Tempo in Google News