Jakarta – Civil society organisations in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta which are part of the Yogyakarta People's Alliance for Democracy (ARDY) have sent a subpoena to Yogyakarta (DIY) Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X over a ban on expressing opinions in public.
The coalition has given the Sultan one week to revoke or cancel Gubernatorial Regulation (Pergub) Number 1/2021 on the Control of Expressing Views in Public in Open Spaces.
The coalition threatened that next week it will report the Sultan to the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) over alleged maladministration if the regulation is not revoked.
"If within a time frame of seven days since the subpoena was sent the governor of DIY province he does not revoke or cancel the Pergub 1/2021, then we will report the governor of DIY to Komnas HAM for alleged violation of human rights", said the coalition as quoted from a press release on Tuesday January 19.
In the release, the coalition criticised the regulation which prohibits demonstrations from being held within a radius of 500 metres from a fence or outermost point at several strategic locations, including the State Palace Agung Building, the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate Royal Palace (Keraton), the Kadipaten Pakualaman Royal Palace, Kotagede district and the Malioboro shopping district in the centre of the city.
The stipulations on what is a strategic site (vital object) refer to Tourism Ministerial Decree Number KM.70/UM.001/2016 on the Determination of National Vital Objects in the Tourism Sector.
The coalition also criticised a decision by the Sultan to involve the TNI or Indonesian military in dealing with civilian affairs. Under the gubernatorial regulation elements of the military can be involved in the handling of demonstrations from coordination before, during and after an action expressing an opinion in public.
"Actually, the involvement of soldiers in civil sphere illustrates a desertion of the mandate of 1998 reformasi", they said referring to the political reform movement that began in 1998.
The ARDY also highlighted the Indonesian Democracy Index (IDI) for Yogyakarta which was released by the DIY National Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2019. In the BPS release, the Yogyakarta democracy index stood at 80.67, or a decline of 0.15 percent on the year before.
They agree with the finding that there has been a decline in political rights which stands at 72.51. Quoting from the 2019 BPS report, there were three variables which showed a decline covering freedom of expression, freedom from discrimination and political participation in decision making and monitoring of government policy.
"In this case, the existence of Pergub 1/2021 is absolutely not the solution. Quite the reverse, it will add further the variables [causing] a decline in the IDI in DIY province", they said.
In addition to threatening to report the Sultan to Komnas HAM, the coalition also threatened to report him to the Ombudsman. The coalition will also report the Sultan to the Minister for Home Affairs for the alleged violation of the principles of good public governance.
Efforts to annul the gubernatorial regulation will also be pursued through a judicial review with the Supreme Court. The groups believe that the regulation violates the 1945 Constitution, Law Number 9/1998 on demonstrations, Law number 39/1999 on Human Rights and the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights. (thr/fra)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Koalisi Sipil Somasi Sultan Jogja soal Pergub Pembatasan Demo".]