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Bandung students say mass organisation law threatens freedom of expression

Kompas.com - July 2, 2013

Putra Prima Perdana, Bandung Ė Voices of protest against the Draft Law on Mass Organisations (RUU Ormas) have again been taken up by students.

This time 10 members of the National Students Front (FMN) and the People's Struggle Front (FPR) in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung held a protest action in front of the governor's office on Tuesday July 2.

During the action, three of the students covered their mouths with masking tape and wrapped their bodies in black plastic. "This is to symbolise that if the RUU Ormas is enacted, then it will defiantly impact on weakening the critical voice of the people", said FPR public coordinator Vichi Fadhli Rahman when sought out during a break in the action.

Rahman said that the RUU Ormas violates the fundamental principles of democracy. "It will threaten freedom of expression and deprive the people of their sovereignty", he asserted.

In addition to this, specifically in the education sector, the law will impact on enslaving students and other academic activities, as well as creating high levels of fear and depression about voicing rights said Rahman.

Students, said Rahman, will no longer be free to develop and articulate their views on various phenomena and conditions on campus. "The contents of this draft law clearly show the extremely fascist character of the government", said Rahman.

In addition to rejecting the enactment of the RUU Ormas, the students also stated their opposition to a packet of regulations that threaten the people's democratic space. They also called on the government to guarantee the right to the freedom of association and expresson for all Indonesians.

[Tolak RUU Ormas, Mahasiswa Bungkam Mulut Pakai Plakban - Kompas.com. Selasa, 2 Juli 2013. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]

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