Lawmaker sees KAMI activist arrests as test for Democracy

Lawmaker sees KAMI activist arrests as test for Democracy

Mardani Ali Sera, legislator from the PKS Party.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Mardani Ali Sera, member of Commission II of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR), has seen the arrests of several activists of KAMI (Coalition for Action to Save Indonesia) by the police on Tuesday (13/10) as a test for the implementation of democracy in the country.

"This is a test for democracy. All arrests must be based on strict legal norms," Mardani Sera, senior politician of PKS, told the press here on Wednesday.

So far Law Number 11 of 2008 concerning Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) has often been used as a basis for arresting someone, he noted.

In fact, the proportion should be positioned in accordance with the basic rights to freedom of expression and the right to associate, he said.

"PKS has initiated a revision of articles in the ITE Law, especially those that are often used as the basis for arrests or legal proceedings based on statements posted on social media," he said.

"Whether the arrests of KAMI activists are a test for that organization or other civilian forces, time will tell," he added

For now, the pro-democracy forces should unite to maintain freedom of speech to continue, he added.

Previously, Brigadier General Awi Setiyono, spokesman of the Indonesian Police (Polri) confirmed about the arrests of KAMI activists, saying that the arrests were based on strong preliminary evidence.

The evidences are in the forms of screenshots of the WhatsApp Group (WAG) conversations, proposals, and other proofs of uploads on social media.

One of the most striking evidences is a content of the KAMI WAG conversation that is suspected of being an attempt at incitement.

"If you read its WA, it's horrified. No wonder if anarchists occur in the field. Those who do not really understand, are easily ignited," Awi Setiyono said at the Police Criminal Investigation Department building here on Tuesday (13/10).

Eight KAMI activists have been arrested in Jakarta and Medan, North Sumatra.

The police are still investigating their conversation promoting incitement and hate speech based on SARA (tribe, religious, race and group) elements, he said..

The incitement by KAMI activists was related to the protests against the Job Creation Law which eventually led to anarchist actions in various big cities in Indonesia.

The press reported that the eight KAMI activists being arrested by the police are Juliana, Devi, Khairi Amri, and Wahyu Rasari Putri from Medan; Anton Permana, Syahganda Nainggolan, Jumhur Hidayat, and Kingkin from Jakarta.
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