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Amnesty blasts police badge award for 'snitching' on social media crimes

Tempo - March 17, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia condemns police's plan to award people with a 'badge of honor' for reporting alleged criminal offenses committed in the vast social media-sphere. This plan was initiated by the police's cybercrime team from the Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim).

"If this badge awarding is truly enacted it would potentially scare people off of having an opinion especially if it's a critical opinion against a state official," said Amnesty International Indonesia Director Usman Hamid in a written statement on March 16.

He strongly argues that police's intention to reward the public for reporting online suspected crimes and the existence of the Information and Electronic Transactions Law (ITE Law) will certainly scare people away from expressing opinions online.

Especially considering that the revision of ITE Law has not been prioritized by House legislators, Usman believes police should not produce counterproductive policies that contradict the government's intention to revise the law many believe enables wide interpretations.

The possible outcome of this 'police badge award' is that it may spark social conflict and the recurrence of a recent police summoning against an online criticism against Solo Mayor and President Jokowi's son, Gibran Rakabuming, which sparked public outcry.

"Citizens of a country should not be threatened by criminal charges or be forced to apologize just because of expressing their opinions peacefully," said the Amnesty International Indonesia Director.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1442937/amnesty-blasts-police-badge-award-for-snitching-on-social-media-crime