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Silencing critical voices a democratic decadence, says YLBHI

Tempo - June 16, 2020

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) head of networking and campaign, Arip Yogiawan, on Monday addressed the recent hacking attempts against activists' social media accounts which he said shows how many people are anti-criticism.

Yogiawan said to Tempo on June 15 that the unfortunate attempts to silent activists will eventually have a lasting implication towards a democratic society. "Because people will be more cautious in voicing criticism. Even though criticism is the vitamin towards democracy."

He argues that criticism, of varying forms, is seen as a protest. But he defends that protests are closely tied to attempts to fight for one's rights, either in freely voicing one's opinion and expression.

"Academic forums or social media accounts turning into victims of hacking attempts means that decadence in a democracy is happening," said Yogiawan on Monday.

As of Monday noon, the Instagram account of the YLBHI, @yayasanlbhindonesia, was taken over by an unknown perpetrator after YLBHI held a public discussion on Sunday, June 14, that was entitled "signs of authoritarianism within the government." The virtual discussion was originally streamed via Youtube.

However, the YLBHI member is not sure whether the hacking on Monday is connected to the discussion held the day before. "I am not 100 percent certain. However, the YLBHI has actually quite often criticized the government," said the YLBHI head of networking and campaign.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1354090/silencing-critical-voices-a-democratic-decadence-says-ylbhi