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Heavy jail sentences for spreading communist ideas under Draft Criminal Code

CNN Indonesia - September 18, 2019

Jakarta – The Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) includes jail sentences for anyone who spreads communist, Marxist and Leninist teachings in public.

Article 188 of the RKHUP states that anyone who spreads or develops communist, Marxist and Leninist teachings or develops them though any kind of media will be subject to a maximum jail sentence of four years.

"If such actions are carried out with the intent of changing or replacing the [state ideology of] Pancasila as the basis of the state they will be sentenced to seven years in jail", reads the article.

If the dissemination of these ideas causes riots or financial losses then the sentence is 10 years jail. Meanwhile if it results in serious injuries to a person, the sentence is 12 years jail, and if it causes the death of a person then the sentence is 15 years jail.

However the RKHUP provides exceptions for people who are studying communist, Marxist and Leninist ideas for scientific purposes. "Not subject are people who are studying communist, Marxist and Leninist ideas for scientific purposes".

Article 189 meanwhile stipulates a jail sentence of 10 years for anyone who establishes an organisation that is suspected of adhering to communist, Marxist and Leninist teachings.

"Also subject is anyone who has a relationship with or accepts assistance from an organisation, both domestic and foreign, which adheres to communist, Marxist and Leninist teaches to change the basis of the state or overthrow the legitimate government".

The stipulations in the article have been criticised by several parties. The KUHP Alliance believes that they are vague, unclear and could be used as a tool to violate human rights and are a new method of restricting freedoms.

In addition to this, the stipulations are only directed at one ideology, communism, Leninism and Marxism.

Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Chairperson Asfinawati believes that these stipulations make no sense. According to Asfinawati prohibitions should be applied to actions not ideas such as communism, Marxism and Leninism.

"This regulation makes no sense. What should be prohibited are actions, not ideas", she said.

A number of parties have criticised the government for having a colonial mentality because it is attempting to revive anti-democratic articles in the RKUHP such as insulting the president.

The House of Representatives (DPR) says it will ratify the RKUHP at a plenary session scheduled for September 24. (psp/arh)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "RKUHP Pidanakan Penyebar Komunisme, Kecuali untuk Keilmuan".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190917191121-12-431329/rkuhp-pidanakan-penyebar-komunisme-kecuali-untuk-keilmuan