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Govt elaborates Criminal Code Bill overseeing communism and Marxism

Tempo - November 29, 2022

Ima Dini Shafira, Jakarta – The civil society coalition deems the Criminal Code Draft Bill (RKUHP) still contains a variety of problematic articles. One of them is Article 188 overseeing the spread of ideas contrary to the Pancasila ideology.

In the draft's November 24 version, Article 188 regulates the Spread or Development of Communism/Marxism-Leninism or Other Understandings Contradictory to Pancasila. The first paragraph states that anyone who spreads or develops this understanding is subject to a maximum imprisonment of 4 years.

The spokesperson for the RKUHP dissemination team, Albert Aries, explained that the clause is intended to cover all understandings that basically aim to replace or change Pancasila as the ideology and basic norms of the state.

He said this article would not sacrifice freedom of thought and opinion, as long as the expression is not intended to spread or develop the understanding banned by law as stated in the draft bill.

"Freedom of thought and opinion of the people is of course guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution, as long as it is not meant to spread or develop ideas that aim to replace or change Pancasila," Albert told Tempo, Tuesday, November 29.

As a comparison but with a slight difference in context, Albert pointed out Article 59 paragraph 4 letter c of the Law on Community Organizations. He said this article also stipulates that mass organizations or Ormas are prohibited from adhering to, developing, and spreading teachings or understandings that are contrary to Pancasila.

"As far as I know, this article has been tested by the Constitutional Court and has never been revoked," he said.

Albert said that there is an exception in article 188 which is contained in paragraph 6, which reads "No person is punished for conducting a study of the teachings of communism/Marxism-Leninism or other understandings that are contrary to Pancasila for the sake of science".

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1662600/govt-elaborates-criminal-code-bill-overseeing-communism-and-marxis