To save our democracy, the lawmakers must delay the vote of the criminal code bill
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo has ordered the Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly to postpone a vote on the criminal code bill that has been criticized by experts and right groups.

At the Bogor Presidential Palace, Friday, the President called on the House of Representatives members of the 2014-2019 period to review the bill by taking the inputs of critics, experts and civil society groups who have called the bill a threat to basic freedom and civil rights. According to the initial plan, the parliament was due to vote the revision of Criminal Code Bill on September 24. However, without the President's support, the bill can only be passed by the newly-elected House of Representatives members of the 2019-2024 period.

The bill had prompted protests and criticism from not only human rights groups, but also some the executive bodies of the university, as well as Indonesia's Secretariat Press Council.

Some articles on the bill might seriously violate civil rights and the basic freedom of people, Human rights watchdog Imparsial explained. The criticized law includes Article Nos. 218 to 220, and 599 and 600 on human rights abuse.

"To save our democracy, the lawmakers must delay the vote of the criminal code bill," the Imparsial director, Al Araf said in Jakarta, Friday.

The bill might violate the freedom of the press while obstructing the work of journalists, Indonesia's Secretariat of Press Council (Dewan Pers), said in its statement. Some Articles from Nos. 217 to 220 were against press freedom.

According to these articles, reporters may end up in jail because of their journalistic work which someone could claim was defaming the President. On the contrary, the law of defamation to the President and Vice President had long been revoked by the Constitutional Court in 2006.

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Translator: Genta Tenri Mawangi/Fathur Roc
Editor: Sri Haryati
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