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Alliance says draft criminal code same as version that triggered 2019 mass protests

Kompas.com - June 8, 2021

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The National Alliance for Criminal Code Reform says it regrets a move by the Justice and Human Rights Ministry (Kemenkumham) to start socialising revisions to the Criminal Code (KUHP).

Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Advocacy Division Head Muhammad Isnur noted that the Kemenkumham has already organised 11 socialisation activities around the country.

The irony of this is that the material being socialised is no different from the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) which failed to be ratified by the House of Representatives (DPR) in September 2019.

"The draft RKUHP being distributed turns out to be a draft without any changes at all from the draft RKUHP which the public opposed in September 2019", said Isnur in a press release on Tuesday June 8.

The Alliance noted that socialisation took place in Medan (North Sumatra) on February 23, Semarang (Central Java) on March 4, Bali on March 12, Yogyakarta (Central Java) on March 18 and Ambon (Maluku) on March 26.

Then in Makassar (South Sulawesi) on April 7, Padang (West Sumatra) on April 12, Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan) on April 20, Surabaya (East Java) on May 3, Lombok on May 27 and Manado (North Sulawesi) on June 3.

Isnur said that in these 11 cities the government only took the initiative to distribute five materials which were brought by the drafting team to each city. Access to the principle object of the socialisation however – the draft RKUHP itself – was only provided to participants in Manado.

According to Isnur, access to the RKUHP document has been very exclusive because it was only distributed to participants who physically attended a socialisation at the Manado Four Point Hotel or attended online through the Zoom channel.

Yet the draft should be able to be accessed offline through the Kemenkumham and the Agency for National Legal Development (BPHN) or online through their websites which can easily be accessed by the public.

This is in accordance with Article 96 Paragraph (4) of Law Number 12/2011 the Drafting of Legislation.

Given that here have been no changes to the RKUHP, said Isnur, automatically this means that the current draft has failed to accommodate the problematic points conveyed by the public in 2019.

"Thus the 24 problematic points of the RKUHP which the Alliance has already mapped out still exist, it hasn't been revised", explained Isnur.

According to Isnur, this contradicts President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's statement on September 20, 2019 when he said that the government had cancelled the enactment of the RKUHP on the grounds it would look into the contents of the law.

"Also, it was reported on the Legislation Directorate General website in mid-2020 that the government is intensively discussing the RKUHP despite being in the midst of a pandemic. So if nothing at all has been changed, then what was discussed by the government?", he asked.

Earlier Kemenkumham public relations division head Tubagus Erif said that versions of the draft RKUHP which have been circulating over the last few days are the draft which was agreed to by the government and the DPR in September 2019.

"It was the draft agreed to in 2019 that wasn't enacted", said Erif when contacted on Monday June 7. He said that the government has already completed the draft but it has not yet been agreed to by the DPR. "Officially an agreement between the DPR and the government can be said not to exist yet", he said.


According to the draft revisions to the KUHP which have been circulating, insulting the dignity of the president or vice president could result in a three-and-a-half year prison sentence or a fine of 200 million rupiah (US$14,013), and insulting the DPR or other public institutions is punishable by two years in prison – and could be more severe if the insult causes public unrest or disturbance. Like the draft KUHP which triggered widespread and sometimes violent protests in September 2019, the draft still includes a six month prison sentence for cohabitation, five years for blasphemy and a 10 million rupiah (US$700) fine if poultry trespasses onto other people's property.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aliansi Sayangkan Kemenkumham Tetap Gelar Sosialisasi meski Materi RKUHP Tak Berubah".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/06/08/11535781/aliansi-sayangkan-kemenkumham-tetap-gelar-sosialisasi-meski-materi-rkuhp-ta