Porn law casts a shadow over human rights

Indah Setiawati and Ni Komang Erviani ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta, Denpasar   |  Wed, 12/10/2008 7:49 AM  |  Headlines

The newly enacted anti-pornography law threatens to further stain Indonesia’s already sullied human rights record, rights groups warn, as Bali prepares to spearhead national opposition to the law.

Activists have expressed deep disappointment in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who signed the much-criticized bill into law days before the celebration of World Human Rights Day, which falls every Dec. 10.

Ifdal Kassim, chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM), said the law, which would invade people’s privacy, could trigger human rights violations.

“It threatens the existence of minority groups such as homosexuals and transsexuals. It will further increase human rights violations in the future,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

“The law will also create disharmony among the people. It will only spark suspicion among them.”

The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam) also raised concerns over possible rights violations increases stemming from the anti-pornography law.

“Some articles are not for the protection of human rights. There are loopholes that could be misinterpreted,” said Surpiyadi Widodo Eddyono, Elsam legal services coordinator.

He encouraged activists to propose a judicial review of the law by the Constitutional Court.

“Now is the right time for a judicial review, because the law has just been enacted by the President,” he said.

Local authorities and organizations in Bali expressed shock and dismay that Yudhoyono had enacted the law without considering stiff protests from groups across the country.

Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika earlier said his province would not adopt the law because it was not in line with Bali’s philosophical and social values.

Ngurah Harta, coordinator of the Bali People’s Component (KRB), said he would meet with other KRB members to discuss prompt legal action to have the law reviewed by the Constitutional Court.

“I really regret the President’s decision, because he did not accommodate the minority’s aspirations. We will try hard to finish the draft of our request for a judicial review. We hope the draft will be ready to be filed this week,” he said.

The KRB’s petition has received the Bali Legislative Council’s full endorsement.

Deputy council speaker I Gusti Ketut Adhiputra said the council would join the KRB in filing for a judicial review.

“Our stance is clear. Bali won’t be able to adopt the porn law because it restricts our cultural and religious lives,” he said.

Harta added if the judicial review did not work, the KRB would request the island become an autonomous province, in protest at the anti-pornography law.

“And if both options fail, we will encourage the people of Bali to unite in civil disobedience by not implementing the law here and not paying taxes. Our tax revenues have been spent on such an asinine law, so why should we pay?” he said.

Bali Sruti, an NGO dealing with women’s issues on the island, also called Yudhoyono’s move regrettable.

“We will endorse the realization of the judicial review of the porn law because the latter will clearly victimize women,” said activist Luh Putu Anggraeni.

Adianto P. Simamora from Jakarta contributed to the article.

About erviani

Jatuh cinta dengan dunia jurnalistik sejak bergabung dengan Lembaga Pers Mahasiswa Indikator, Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Brawijaya. Sempat bekerja untuk Harian Warta Bali, 2003 - 2005, Koresponden Majalah GATRA untuk wilayah Bali, anggota redaksi Media HIV/AIDS dan Narkoba KULKUL, TPI, dan Koran Seputar Indonesia. Menulis lepas kini menjadi aktivitas keseharian. Kini aktif sebagai kontributor untuk beberapa media yakni Bali Daily-The Jakarta Post, Mongabay Indonesia, dan Khabat Southeast Asia.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s