International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) joins the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) in
expressing alarm at the threat to free media presented by Indonesia’s Information and
Electronic Transactions Act.
AJI, an IFJ affiliate,
has joined forces with other Indonesian free speech groups and Indonesian
bloggers to challenge the Act (Law No 11 of 2008).
reports that some articles in the law,
which is usually used to regulate pornographic content and gambling on internet
publications, present a real and
immediate threat to Indonesia’s
free press in the scope for interpretation.
27(3) contains an attack on freedom of speech and the press by making it an
offence to deliberately publish (electronically) anything containing “insulting
or defamatory materials”:
Every Person deliberately and without
right distributes and/or transmits and/or enables access to an Electronic
Information and/or Electronic Document containing insulting or defamatory
person held in breach of this article faces potential prosecution by the police, up to six years’ jail and/or a fine of up to 2
billion rupiahs (about US$180,000).
IFJ joins AJI and the Advocacy Team for Freedom of Expression in Indonesia in calling for the immediate repeal of
the law, and strongly supports a
legal challenge filed with Indonesia’s
challenge has been mounted by a group of plaintiffs represented by the Advocacy
Team for Freedom of Expression in Indonesia. The aim is to have the
article struck down as dangerously vague and uncertain and antithetical to the
principles of democracy underlying Indonesia’s Constitution.
long struggle against Indonesia’s
criminal defamation laws has seen some successes,”
IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline
“However, the effect of the Information and Electronic
Transactions Act will have a draconian impact and override some of those successes, and so must be countered.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide