ELSAM questions giving police wiretapping powers under National Police Bill

Kompas.com – June 2, 2024
Ahmad Mustafad Vauzi (second left) at press conference on RUU Polri in Jakarta – June 2, 2024 (Kompas)

Ambaranie Nadia Kemala Movanita, Jakarta – The Institute for Public Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) has criticised the plan to give police the authority to conduct wiretaps, which is included in the revisions to the National Police Law (UU Polri).

ELSAM Program Manager Ahmad Mustafad Vauzi said the authority to conduct wiretapping by the police is contained in Article 14 Paragraph 1 Letter o of the Draft Law on the National Police.

In that article it explains that such actions can be conducted by referring to the law on wiretapping.

"Well, even though in Indonesia itself no law exists on wiretapping up until now. It doesn't exist", said Vauzi at the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) building in Menteng, Central Jakarta on Sunday June 2.

Vauzi is concerned that the article on to wiretapping will in fact be interpreted and used in an intended manner if the current National Police Bill is passed into a law.

"These principles actually need to be regulated. We are of the view that wiretapping should be regulated separately in a law. The rules must be detailed", said Vauzi.

"Whereas in the RUU Polri there is only one article on that, which could actually be interpreted very broadly, that's our opinion. So this RUU Polri could if fact severely restrict citizen's [rights]", he added.

The violation of citizen's privacy rights by the actions of police officers will also be increasingly threatened in concert with the granting these powers.

"Never mind that in the bill it's only mentioned like earlier, it's only mentioned that it's done based on the law. While we do not have the law [yet]", he said.

Yet continued Vauzi, wiretapping must fulfill a number of principles in legal and also proportional terms. This is so that the actions taken remain in accordance with legal corridors.

The House of Representatives (DPR) has approved revisions to four laws as proposals imitated by the DPR's, namely revisions to the State Ministry Law, the Immigration Law, the Indonesian Military (TNI) Law and the National Police Law.

The approval of the bills was passed during the 18th plenary session at the parliamentary complex in Jakarta chaired by DPR Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad from president elect Prabowo Subianto's Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) faction on Tuesday May 28.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "RUU Polri Beri Polisi Wewenang Penyadapan, ELSAM: Ini Bisa Sangat Liar...".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2024/06/02/20502561/ruu-polri-beri-polisi-wewenang-penyadapan-elsam-ini-bisa-sangat-liar