Intelligence law will limit democratic space, destroy progressive movement

Pos Kota Kaltim – June 23, 2011
Pembebasan student protest draft intelligence law - June 23, 2011 (Pembebasan)
Pembebasan student protest draft intelligence law - June 23, 2011 (Pembebasan)

Samarinda – Scores of students from the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN, formerly LMND-PRD) held a protest at the East Kalimantan Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) yesterday calling on the assembly to reject the Draft Law on Intelligence and State Security (RUU Intelijen) that is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR).

Speaking before deputy speaker Marten Apuy and other assembly members, action coordinator Andi said PEMBEBASAN’s reasons for rejecting the draft law are because a press release by the Draft Intelligence Law Advocacy Coalition said that the bill represents a concrete threat against the people’s freedom of expression and organisation.

This is particularly so in the articles related to intelligence information secrecy, arbitrary arrests in the name of secrecy and the complete lack of any control mechanisms by the people in the name of state secrecy.

“For example there is no explanation about the rights of people who are arrested. The phenomena of increasing terrorism and the Indonesian Islamic State (NII) movement, regardless of who the masterminds are, is being used by the state to frighten the people and simultaneously increase repression and the monitoring of the people’s political and social activities through this draft law”, said Andi.

Andi said that in view of the threat that the draft intelligence law poses to the progressive movement in addressing the objective situation and the ordinary people’s anxiety, the students explicitly reject the draft law and call on the East Kalimantan DPRD to likewise reject the law.

Andi added that this does not mean they want revisions to the law but reject it outright, because they are well aware that the basis of the policy behind making the draft law is to emasculate the progressive forces of the people’s movement and increase the state’s control in regulating and enforcing the continued existence of capitalism in Indonesia.

“In view of the how the planned enactment of the draft intelligence law has progressed, we also believe that the regime of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono has no interest in creating democracy in Indonesia. This is because the draft intelligence law already limits democratic space and will destroy the democratic movement. We are therefore inviting the East Kalimantan DPRD to also reject the draft intelligence law”, said Andi.

Marten Apuy meanwhile responded by saying that the views expressed by the protesters would be conveyed to the DPR, although he could not himself comment at length on the issue because the draft law is the domain of the DPR. “The DPRD can only accommodate [them] by conveying the students’ wishes and aspirations to the DPR”, he said.

Speaking in a similar vein, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) faction chairperson Sudarno also said the student’s views would be conveyed to the DPR. Sudarno also invited the students to discuss the particular articles in the law that they object in order that their protests against the law can be conducted in an intellectual manner.

“Don’t let us protest the wrong thing, who knows perhaps the draft law currently being deliberated has many benefits for our country. Particularly in the eradication of terrorism which has become disgrace for our country. If [the law] is good, don’t let us wrongly protest something that is right”, he said.

After listening to a statement from DPRD Commission III members the protesters agreed to hold a discussion at a future but unspecified time, then disbanded in an orderly manner. (fer)

Source: Mahasiswa Minta Dewan Tolak RUU Inteligen – Pos Kota Kaltim. 2011-06-24

 [Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]