Rights group says cyber torture new threat against freedom of expression

Kompas.com – June 26, 2020
Rivanlee Anandar at Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation offices in Jakarta – September 22, 2019 (Kompas)

Fitria Chusna Farisa, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that cyber torture has become a new form of torture which is predicted to become widespread in the future. This type of torture is not carried out from up close like physical torture.

“Cyber torture is a new phenomena in the field of torture which will emerge and become widespread in the future perhaps to carry out torture which can’t be done not from close up like physical torture”, said Kontras researcher Rivanlee Anandar during a virtual press conference on Thursday June 26.

Kontras is of the view that cyber torture – which is done digitally – can take the form of intimidation, harassment, shaming, slander and manipulation of a victim’s private data and information.

The state, non-state actors and organised crime have the capacity to conduct such cyber operations and perhaps also carry this out with the aim of torturing someone.

A recent case of cyber torture targeted independent researcher Ravio Patra who often criticised the government.

In April, Patra was even arrested and charged with spreading provocative sounding messages through his WhatsApp account, which at the time had been hacked.

Cyber torture was also suffered by committee members of the Constitutional Law Society (CLS) at the Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta.

The committee members were terrorised by an unknown individual in the form of death threats through phone messages and the home of a committee member was even attacked by unidentified individuals.

As a consequence of these threats, a discussion titled Dismissing the President in a Pandemic, a Constitutional Perspective which was scheduled to be held on Friday May 29 had to be cancelled.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Kontras Ungkap soal Penyiksaan Siber yang Ancam Kebebasan Berekspresi”.]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/06/26/09085531/kontras-ungkap-soal-penyiksaan-siber-yang-ancam-kebebasan-berekspresi