Supriyono Pangribowo, Jakarta – The offence of insulting the president is being used again. This time an activist from the Indonesian National Student Movement (GMNI), Monang Johanes Tambunan, has been charged for making a rude remark about President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The charges against Tambunan were read out by the public prosecutors Ledrik VMT and Edi Saputra during a court hearing presided over by Judge Cucut Sutiarso at the Central Jakarta State Court on Jalan Gajah Mada in Jakarta on Thursday December 3.
The prosecution charged the defendant with insulting the president when they were holding a demonstration critical of the first 100 days of the Yudhoyono administration.
During the action in front of the State Palace on January 26, the defendant gave a speech from on top of a pickup truck with gray registration plate B-9740 using a megaphone. In his speech the defendant stated that “SBY is a dog, SBY is a pig” and spat.
According to the prosecution, SBY is nothing less than an abbreviation for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and therefore the actions of the violated Article 134 and 136 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on insulting the president and vice-president.
Fuel price protests
The court hearing was attended by dozens of Tambunan’s colleagues from GMNI who shouted “Freedom” and “Victory to GMNI” during the hearing.
In a statement signed by GMNI’s secretary general, Sonny Danaparamita, GMNI said that in the first 100 days of the Yudhoyono administration there have been no significant developments as promised during his election campaign. And that Yudhoyono, without prior approval and without making any changes to Law Number 36/2005 on the State Budget, made a policy decision to increase the price of fuel.
GMNI believes that the government intentionally committed actions that violate the law and are against the Constitution, in particular Article 9 of the Constitution regarding oath and vows of the president. It is because of this GMNI is demanding that all of the charges against Tambunan be dropped and that Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla be relieved of their duties. (gtp)
[Translated by James Balowski.]