Criticism without solution

Source – July 15, 2022

Abridged translation from a article titled Under RKUHP, the media could be subject to prosecution if they make criticisms without providing solution.

Press Council Chairperson Pers Azyumardi Azra says that there is an article in the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) which threatens the press if it criticises the government. The threat is contained in Article 218 on attacking the values and dignity of the president and vice president.

"For example also you're not allowed anymore to criticise or carry criticism except if the criticism is accompanied by a solution", said Azra at a press conference at the Press Council building in Central Jakarta on Friday July 15.

Azra noted that the article also applies to the authorities in general. "So [it applies] if the press carries [criticism] against the authorities in general, not just the present and vice president, but also the government which is below them, even down to the lowest level", he said.

"So because of this media which carries a criticism without a solution could be subject to this offense", said Azra.

Azra is concerned that the article is like the catchall articles which can target anybody with the intention of criminalising them such as the articles in the Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) Law.

"The government, when I asked about this said, 'Yeah, it doesn't have to be like that', but our experience is that catchall articles like that are like the catchall articles in the ITE Law", said Azra.