Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) urged the National Police (Polri) to prioritize the principles of promoting and respecting labors' rights, including the right to stage rallies and go on strike in response to employer-employee conflicts.
"In issuing a labor-related policy, the National Police chief should realize that the labor issue is a latent one that has never ended since Indonesia proclaimed its independence," Chairman of the IPW Presidium Neta S. Pane noted in a written statement here on Tuesday.
Speaking in connection with the National Police chief's telegram number STR/645/X/PAM.3.2./2020, dated October 2, 2020, to his ranks and files in 300 cities and districts in 25 provinces to ban demonstrations, Pane noted that the order is too excessive and is not independent and fails to promote workers' rights.
The IPW is cognizant of the fact that the ban on rallies aims to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and maintain the security situation and public order in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated.
However, he opined that the ban contained in the telegram appeared to reflect arrogance and underestimate the law since Law No. 9 of 1998 on the freedom of expression does not ban anyone from echoing their aspirations or staging demonstrations, he stated.
"To this end, the National Police chief should act prudently by reminding workers that during the COVID-19 pandemic, public safety is the supreme law. To this end, workers should apply self-restraint in exercising their rights," he emphasized.
Earlier, National Police Chief General Idham Azis had issued a telegram ordering his ranks and files to take precautionary measures against rallies and labor strikes on October 6-8 to protest against the passage of the job creation bill into law.