Jakarta – Indonesian Police Chief (Kapolri) General Tito Karnavian is threatening to use the maker (treason, subversion, sedition) articles to deal with mass movements or people’s power protests which have been called for by several parties following the April 17 presidential and legislative elections (pemilu).
According to Karnavian, the stipulations under Article 107 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) can be used if a people’s power movement seeks to overthrow the government.
“If supposing there is a call to use people’s power, this is a public mobilisation to convey a view, it must be through this mechanism. If it doesn’t use this mechanism, moreover if there is language referring to overthrowing the government, then Article 107 of the KUHP is clear”, said Karnavian speaking at a House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I working meeting at the Senayan parliamentary complex in Jakarta on Tuesday May 7.
The plan to mobilise people’s power was first thrown up by National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Amien Rais during a 312 action in front of the General Election Commission (KPU) office in Central Jakarta on Sunday March 31. The 313 action was demanding that the KPU hold the April 17 presidential and legislative elections in an honest and fair manner.
Karnavian explained that if people want to hold an action, then the representatives of the protesters have to first submit a written notification with police.
The notification must cite the meaning, aim, place, location, route, time, format, sponsor, organisational name and address, group or individual, the materials that will be used, and or the number of participants. The notification must also be submitted at least three hours before the activity is to start.
The mechanisms regulating protest actions, he continued, are also regulated under Kapolri Regulation Number 7/2012, which includes restrictions such as disturbing public order and government activities.
“In strict terms it must be coordinated from what time [it will start] until what time [it ends]. This must be through coordination, so it can’t be announced through [the application] WhatsApp announcing that they will gather at a certain place. There must be a prior notification given for protest actions. There must be a letter, then Polri [the national police will issue] a receipt”, said Karnavian.
As has been reported, the police have already questioned the chairperson of the Activists and Islamic Clerics Defense Team (TPUA) Eggi Sudjana in relation to the calls for people power.
Sudjana was reported to the national police headquarters criminal investigation division (Bareskrim Mabes Polri) by a volunteer from the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Centre (Pro Jomac) on charges of incitement. The official receipt of the report designated LP/B/0391/IV/2019/BARESKRIM was dated April 19, 2019.
In addition to this, Sudjana was also reported by Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) legislative candidate Dewi Ambarita or Dewi Tanjung to the Jakarta Metro Jaya regional police over the people’s power call.
Ambarita reported Sudjana for alleged criminal conspiracy or maker and allegedly violating the Information and Electronic Transaction Law (UU ITE) and Article 107 of the KUHP in conjunction with Article 87 of the KUHP or Article 28 Paragraph (2) in conjunction with Article 45 Paragraph (2) of Law Number 19/2016 on Information and Electronic Transactions.
The report was received by police and designated with the number LP/2424/IV/2019/PMJ/Dit.Reskrimsus and dated April 24, 2019. (mts/ain)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Kapolri Ancam Gunakan Pasal Makar untuk Aksi ‘People Power’”.]