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Legal aid institute cites three indications of government authoritarianism

Kompas.com - June 14, 2020

Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Jakarta – Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Director Asfinawati says that there are three indications of authoritarianism which are still being displayed by the government during the era of reformasi – the political reform process that began in 1998.

She conveyed this during a virtual discussion titled "Democracy Free Speech Forum Against the Oligarchy" on Sunday June 14.

"If we draw a truthful conclusion the signs of the government's authoritarianism at the moment have three patterns", said Asfinawati on the YLBHI's YouTube channel.

First, according to Asfinawati, the government is still obstructing civil and political freedoms such as the right of association, freedom of expression and freedom of religion and belief.

This can be seen by the various hacking attempts against discussions which paint the government in a poor light such as those on the Papua problem and criticism against the government over its ineptitude in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

This, continued Asfinawati, can be seen in the case of independent researcher Ravio Patra whose WhatsApp was hacked. He was subsequently arrested for incitement after criticising the government's presentation of data on Covid-19 infections and deaths.

Patra's WhatsApp account was hacked and used to spread hate speech and incitement to makar (treason, rebellion, subversion) through his hacked account. To this day the police have still not investigated the hacking of Patra's account.

"The second pattern is that the government ignores prevailing laws namely the constitution, the TAP MPR [People's Consultative Assembly Decree] and [other] legislation and the third [pattern] is having a repressive disposition which prioritises the security forces and seeing criticism as a threat", said Asfinawati.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "YLBHI Catat Tiga Pola Otoritarianisme Pemerintah".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/06/14/22561331/ylbhi-catat-tiga-pola-otoritarianisme-pemerintah