Safrin La Batu and Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Jakarta – Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) has condemned the government's decision to revoke the Muslim organization's legal status, calling it an arbitrary act.
Speaking to The Jakarta Post right after the government announced the move on Wednesday, HTI spokesman Ismail Yusanto said the group had never received a warning letter.
According to Article 62 of the 2017 Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) on Mass Organizations, the government should issue a warning letter and terminate activities of an organization before revoking its status as a legal entity.
"The government has violated its own regulation. According to the Perppu, we should be subject to administrative sanctions first, not immediate disbandment," Ismail said.
The Law and Human Rights Ministry announced earlier that it had revoked HTI's legal entity status because the group had conducted activities opposed to Pancasila, the state ideology.
Even though HTI had stated in its statutes and rules of association that it adopted Pancasila values, the group had advocated the establishment of a caliphate, reflecting an ideology that was not in line with Pancasila, the ministry said.
The government's move to issue the Perppu has been criticized, because it allows the ministry to disband any mass organization deemed to oppose Pancasila without court approval, which some have called a setback for democracy, since the government could curtail the freedom of association and expression. The HTI is the first organization to be affected by the Perppu.
"We won't remain silent. We'll fight back through a legal process," Ismail said, adding that the group had not yet decided what kind of legal process it would take, as it would first examine the government's decision. (ebf)