Petitioners of Articles on Defamation against Govt Affirms Background

The judicial review hearing of Law No. 1 of 2023 on the Criminal Code (KUHP) on defamation against the Government, Monday (2/6/2023). Photo by MKRI/Bayu.

Monday, February 6, 2023 | 15:15 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held a second hearing for the judicial review of Article 218 paragraph (1), Article 219, Article 240 paragraph (1), and Article 241 paragraph (1) of Law No. 1 of 2023 on the Criminal Code (KUHP). The petition revision hearing for case No. 7/PUU-XXI/2023, filed by law lecturer of the University of Indonesia Fernando Manullang, lecturer of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) of Atma Jaya University Yogyakarta Dina Listiorini, content creator Eriko Fahri Ginting, and university student Sultan Fadillah Effendi (Petitioners I-IV), took place on Monday, February 6, 2023 in the panel courtroom.

Before Constitutional Justices Suhartoyo (panel chair), Arief Hidayat, and Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh, Dina Listiorini (Petitioner II), conveyed the revisions to the petition, which included the background that as an educator, she must teach critical thinking. For her, the a quo norms have lead to fear of restrictions against her freedom of expression while teaching.

“As an educator, I could potentially be criminalized if deemed having insulted [the Government],” she said alongside legal counsel Zico Leonard Djagardo Simanjuntak and Petitioner I Fernando Manullang.

Also read: Petitioners Challenge Articles on Defamation against Govt

At the preliminary hearing on Tuesday, January 24, through legal counsel Zico Leonard Djagardo Simanjuntak, the Petitioners asserted that in exercising the state administration, the Government receives criticisms and inputs from citizens, often in inappropriate ways, which could lead to insults or defamatory statements. Therefore, the Government deserves protection from such acts. However, they argued that it does not afford them a special article in the law.

“It begs the question why there is a special article for anyone who insults the Government when the Criminal Code has regulated insult and defamation against anyone, without exception the Government. The special provision has actually violated the Constitution and the principle of equality before the law as manifested by Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution,” Simanjuntak said.

He also said the provision has indirectly violated human rights as regulated in Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights. For this reason, the Petitioners requested that the Court declare Article 218 paragraph (1), Article 219, Article 240 paragraph (1), and Article 241 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code unconstitutional and not legally binding.

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Muhammad Halim
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 2/8/2023 14:30 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Monday, February 06, 2023 | 15:15 WIB 195