Government's 'Criminal Code Kick Off' socialisation event marred by lively protests

Source – August 23, 2022
Citra Referandum holds placard in front of Hiariej during protest at Ayana Hotel – August 23, 2022 (Tribune)

Ilham Rian Pratama, Jakarta – Activists from the National Alliance for Criminal Code Reform held a lively protest during a socialisation event titled "Draft Criminal Code Kick Off" (RKUHP Kick Off) at the Ayana Hotel in Central Jakarta on Tuesday August 23.

Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) public defender Citra Referandum along with three of her colleagues from the National Alliance interrupted Deputy Justice and Human Rights Minister (Wamenkumham) Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej or Eddy Hiariej as he was speaking from the podium.

They also brought different posters with messages such as "Stop criminalizing private matters", "#SemuaBisaKena" (this affects everyone) and "Reject the RUU KUHP" (Draft Criminal Code).

"This socialisation is only one way, we reject the RKUHP!", shouted Referandum in the middle of an explanation by Hiariej.

The socialisation event was disrupted for several minutes although Hiariej continued speaking about articles in the RKUHP which the public have raised issues with.

Referandum and her colleagues meanwhile were directed by the organising committee to leave the room. An argument broke out between Referandum and one of the male committee members.

The committee stated that they have allocated time for the pubic to discuss the RKUHP with the government and the RKUHP Drafting Team after Hiariej finishes speaking.

"After this there will be time for you to give input, we have allocated a portion for our friends from strategic groups", they said.

Referandum and her colleagues however said they did not need this because the inputs which they had already provided have not been taken into consideration.

"We don't have any time for this, we've already spoken out but no changes have been made. In the [latest] July 4 draft of the RKUHP there also isn't any changes", said Referendum.

"What has been the [government's] focus has only been 14 [problematic] articles, meanwhile there are many other problematic articles in it", she said.

Referandum asserted that the National Alliance for KUHP Reform opposes the ratification of the RKUHP because it has not accommodated any meaningful public participation.

"We reject this forum because it is only socialisation in one direction, meanwhile meaningful participation is not just one way", said Referandum.

According to Referandum, meaningful participation must include listening to and considering the views of the public seriously. "During the process which has gone on for years and years our views have not been listened to", she said.

The RKUHP Kick Off event was attended by government representatives, the RKUHP Drafting Team, the National Alliance for KUHP Reform and representatives from student and other social organisations.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aliansi Nasional Reformasi Protes Kala Wamenkumham Pidato di Kick Off RKUHP".]