President's open-to-criticism message not well-understood by police

President's open-to-criticism message not well-understood by police

Member of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Beka Ulung Hapsara. ANTARA/HO-Dokumen Pribadi/FR

It is possible that the president's messages of being open to criticism and that criticism is healthy for democracy were not well-understood by the authority on the field.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Member of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Beka Ulung Hapsara suspects that President Joko Widodo's message of open to criticism was not clearly understood by the government's lower echelons, including the police.

This has led to aggressive action by the police in response to the people voicing their opinions, he noted.

"It is possible that the president's messages of being open to criticism and that criticism is healthy for democracy were not well-understood by the authority on the field," Hapsara told ANTARA here on Thursday.

In addition, he assessed that thus far, several police officers had not yet fully comprehended the citizens' constitutional rights that are clearly stipulated in the law.

"Hence, several members of the police still did not quite understand the right to freedom of opinion and expression," he noted.

Related news: President highlights need for constructive criticism at annual session( Beyond these problems, Hapsara also remarked that management of the president's security on the field should not be done to the extent that it limits the people's freedom of expression.


As long as there are no meaningful threats, such as the spread of hoaxes or slander against certain tribes, religions, and races, then the authority should desist from being aggressive.

This should also be applied in day-to-day operations and not solely when the president is conducting a work visit to a certain place.

Last but not the least, messages of democracy and the advancement of human rights should be disseminated to members of the police coming in direct contact with the citizens.

"I believe that the authority should not only be knowledgeable about matters of the law but also how to apply them within the context of democracy and human rights," Hapsara expounded.
Related news: President respects criticism : Minister

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