Safenet questions House, government's priorities after ITE Law revisions dropped

Source – March 9, 2021
Placards read 'Victims of ITE Law', 'Revoke the ITE Law' – Undated (Line)

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (Safenet) Executive Director Damar Juniarto is questioning the government and the House of Representatives' (DPR) scale of priorities after revisions to the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law were not included in the 2021 priority National Legislation Program (Prolegnas).

Juniarto admitted to being surprised at the attitude of the government and the DPR who have sidelined the public’s desire to see the ITE Law revised. According to Juniarto, this shows that the government and the DPR do not support efforts to save democracy in Indonesia.

"We're questioning the scale of priorities and the DPR's failure to save democracy which has been sidelined in favour of improving taxation and the regulation on alcoholic beverages", said Juniarto when contacted by on Tuesday March 9.

Juniarto said that many people, particularly those who have fallen victim to the injustices of the ITE Law are disappointed with the government and DPR's decision.

"This is of course disappointing and gives rise to suspicions that the government and the DPR are not really serious about revising the ITE Law. At the very least this disappointment is most felt by those who have been victims of the injustices of the ITE Law, organisations and academics who have submitted input about the problems with the law", explained Juniarto.

Nevertheless, Juniarto said that he still hopes that the government and the DPR will include the ITE Law revisions in the next Prolegnas. Safenet will also continue to push for the ITE Law to be revised and for it to be included in the 2022 Prolegnas.

At a DPR Legislative Body (Baleg) working meeting today, the government and the DPR only agreed to remove the Draft Law on the Elections from the 2021 Prolegnas.

The draft election law as replaced by the Draft Law on General Taxation Stipulations in accordance with input from the government.

Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly argued that the discourse about revising the ITE Law is still being discussed by the government.

"On the matter of the ITE Law, Pak [Mr] Chairperson, it's currently being discussed and public hearings are being held. This is also related to the Draft Criminal Code which has already been discussed in depth", said Laoly during a Baleg working meeting at the DPR on Tuesday.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Revisi UU ITE Tak Masuk Prolegnas Prioritas 2021, Safenet Pertanyakan Skala Prioritas Pemerintah-DPR".]