Rights activists question real agenda behind criminal code postponement

CNN Indonesia – September 21, 2019
Protest against Draft Criminal Code in Jakarta (CNN)
Protest against Draft Criminal Code in Jakarta (CNN)

Jakarta – Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) Chairperson Asfinawati has questioned why President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo did not intervene in the deliberation and enactment of other crucial laws as he did with the Draft Criminal Code (RKHUP).

After coming under intense public pressure, on Friday September 20 Widodo called for a postponement of the enactment of the RKUHP. According to Asfinawati however, Widodo did not do this in the case of other crucial laws despite coming under similar pressure.

“It seems that the president is choosing the issues. There was public pressure which was just as strong but he didn’t do the same thing”, said Asfinawati during a discussion in Central Jakarta on September 21.

Asfinawati explained there are a number of laws which Widodo should also pay attention to because he has similar interests in postponing their enactment.

She cited the revisions to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law (which has now been passed), the law on correctional institutions and the law on water resources.

“The water resources law opens the way for the privatisation of water and so forth so we are also questioning this, and this is the question we must jointly pose to the president”, she said.

Aside from Asfinawati, the postponement of the RKUHP was also questioned by criminal law expert Suparji Ahmad, who noted that the RKUHP was an initiative of the president and the government bureaucracy and the draft had been deliberated for years.

“You [Widodo] were the one who started it, you were the one that stopped it”, he said during the discussion.

Ahmad said he was confused about the postponement because if Widodo’s consideration was listening to the public’s wishes, then why didn’t he postpone the deliberation and enactment of the revisions to the KPK law.

He also questioned whether there was a specific intention behind the postponement of one law but not the others.

“If they have already been discussed and proposed then they should followed through to the next stage. What’s going on, it’s like there’s some [hidden] agenda”, he said.

Earlier, Widodo decided to postpone the deliberation and enactment of the RKUHP at the House of Representatives (DPR).

“I have instructed the Menkumham [Justice and Human Rights Minister] to convey my stance to the DPR RI, namely that the enactment of the RUU KUHP be postponed. And, that it not be enacted during the DPR’s current term”, said Widodo in a press release at the Presidential Palace in Bogor on Friday September 20.

Widodo also said that there were 14 problematic articles which still need to be discussed but he did not explain exactly which articles. (ani/stu)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “YLBHI Pertanyakan Jokowi Tak Tunda RUU Krusial Lain”.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190921191510-12-432604/ylbhi-pertanyakan-jokowi-tak-tunda-ruu-krusial-lain