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Criminal Code Rev Disastrous for Human Rights.

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  • Criminal Code Rev Disastrous for Human Rights.

    Hundreds of people are pleading President Jokowi to not sign the revised criminal code (RKUHP) on Tuesday 24th September, because the new article have a lot of negative attitudes towards women, privacy, minorities and other groups. The Lawmakers believe that the current code is based on Dutch colonial-era laws, and needs to be replaces to express Indonesian independence and religiosity.

    Here?s the draft of criminal code?s:

    Article 2 recognises ?any living law? in Indonesia, which could be interpreted to include hukum adat (customary criminal law) and Sharia (Islamic law) regulations at the local level. Indonesia has hundreds of Sharia and other regulations that discriminate against women, religious minorities, and LGBT people. As there is no official list of ?living laws? in Indonesia, this article could be used to prosecute people under these discriminatory regulations.

    Article 417 punishes extramarital sex by up to one year in jail, the current code only says that married couples can be prosecuted for extramarital sex based on police complaints by their spouse or children. While this article does not specifically mention same-sex conduct, since same-sex relationships are not legally recognised in Indonesia, this provision effectively criminalises all same-sex conduct. It will also subject all sex workers to criminal prosecution.

    Article 419 states that couples who live together without being legally married could be sentenced to six months in prison. A village head could report these couples to the police.

    Article 421 criminalises ?obscene acts? in public with a penalty of up to six months in prison. This article could be used to target LGBT people.

    Article 417, 419, 421 harms the right to privacy for consenting adults that is protected under international law. Such provisions can reinforce or exacerbate discriminatory social norms and have heightened impact on women. These articles could also be used to target religious minorities and the millions of Indonesians ? some estimates suggest as many half of all Indonesian couples ? who do not marry legally because of difficulties in registering their marriage. This includes the members of hundreds of unrecognised religions such as Baha?I, Ahmadi, and local religions.

    Article 413 criminalises the production or distribution of pornography, which is poorly defined under existing law. As Human Rights Watch has documented, the 2008 Law on Pornography, which defines portrayals of ?deviant sexual intercourse? to include lesbian and male homosexual sex, has been used for discriminatory targeting of LGBT people.

    Article 414 states that anyone who is ?to show, to offer, to broadcast, to write, or to promote a contraception to a minor? ? children under age 18 ? could face a prison term or fine.

    Article 416 specifies some narrow exceptions for health professionals and authorised ?competent volunteers? to discuss contraception in the context of family planning, preventing sexually transmitted infections, or providing health education.

    Articles 415, 470, and 471

    State that only doctors have the right to decide to perform an abortion. This conflicts with the 2009 Health Law, which says a woman can seek an abortion in ?a medical emergency,? which could be interpreted to include health reasons or rape. A woman who aborts her pregnancy could be sentenced to up four years in prison. Anyone who helps a pregnant woman have an abortion could be sentenced up to five years in prison. These articles might also be interpreted to prosecute those selling or consuming so-called morning-after pills as an abortion tool, with up to a six-month jail term.

    Articles 304 to 309

    Expand the current Blasphemy Law and maintain the maximum five-year prison term. They will punish deviations from the central tenets of Indonesia?s six officially recognised religions ? Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. More than 150 individuals, most of them religious minorities, have been convicted under the Blasphemy Law since it was passed in 1965, including former Jakarta Governor Basuki ?Ahok? Purnama, a Christian, in 2017.

    Article 118 imposes up to a four-year prison sentence on anyone who spreads Marxist-Leninist teachings.

    Article 119 authorises a 10-year sentence for associating with organisations that follow a Marxist-Leninist ideology ?with the intent of changing the policy of the government.?

    Article 219 criminalises ?insults? to the president or vice president.

    Article 220 limits, but not sufficiently, application of the law to cases filed by the president or vice president.

    Source: Human Rights Watch

  • #2
    The slippery slope to extemism ,sad.