Luhut warns lawsuit against activists 'a lesson for us all not to talk carelessly'

CNN Indonesia – September 27, 2021
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan says that freedom of expression is indeed allowed but he warned that it should not create problems for other people.

Pandjaitan said this after being questioned by the Metro Jaya regional police in Jakarta about his lawsuit against rights activists Lokataru Law and Human Rights Office Executive Director Haris Azhar and Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti for alleged defamation.

"This is what I think is important. So it's a lesson for us all, don't talk carelessly. Don't use human rights or freedom of expression as a pretext to make things difficult for other people, you're not allowed to this", said Pandjaitan on Monday September 27.

Pandjaitan agrees that everyone has the right to express and opinion, but he also emphasised that other people who are the subject of such talk also have rights.

"So, don't just talk about the human rights of those speaking, those being spoken about also have human rights. So, I also don't want my grandchildren to feel that as a parent, a grandfather, that I have committed irregularities in Papua, which I have never done", he said.

Pandjaitan emphasised that he is not involved in mining businesses in Papua as stated by Azhar and Maulidiyanti. He also invited any parties that want to reveal the data related to this to do so.

Furthermore, Pandjaitan said he would follow the legal process that applies and he wants to safeguard his good name through legal channels.

"Once again I am warning, don't always seek refuge behind human rights or freedom of expression, which can injure people, and I will not stop, I repeat, I will not stop and I will prove that I am in the right", he said.

As has been reported, Pandjaitan filed a lawsuit with police against Azhar and Maulidiyanti for alleged defamation. The police report is registered as Number STTLP/B/4702/IX/2021/SPKT/POLDA METRO JAYA, dated September 22, 2021.

The report was filed after Azhar and Maulidiyanti were involved in a discussion uploaded on YouTube. The video uploaded on Azhar's YouTube channel was titled, "There is Lord Luhut behind the Economic Relations-Military Operations in Intan Jaya!! There are also State Intelligence Agency Generals!!. (dis/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Luhut: Ini Pembelajaran untuk Semua Jangan Sembarang Omong".]