Hariz Azhar Expresses His Hope to Constitutional Justices

Human Rights activist Haris Azhar (center) addressing the constitutional justices at the judicial review hearing of the Criminal Code and the EIT Law, Wednesday (9/20/2023). Photo by MKRI.

JAKARTA, MKRI Human Rights activist Haris Azhar attended the material judicial review hearing of Law No. 1 of 1946 on the Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with Law No. 4 of 1976 on the Amendment and Addition to Articles in the Criminal Code Relating to the Expansion of the Applicability of Provisions on Criminal Law, Aviation Crimes, and Crimes against Aviation Facilities/Infrastructure in conjunction with Law No. 27 of 1999 on the Amendment to the Criminal Code Relating to Crimes against State Security (Law No. 1 of 1946); the Criminal Code (KUHP); and the Amendment to Law No. 11 of 2008 on Electronic Information and Transactions (EIT Law).

At this third hearing to hear the Government’s and the House of Representatives’ (DPR) testimonies, as the Petitioner of case No. 78/PUU-XXI/2023 he gave his testimony Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other constitutional justices on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 in the plenary courtroom.

“I appeal to the constitutional justices to offer context on the articles I petitioned, not only legal considerations but also time limit relating to the process in the district court. The material petitioned is legislative material that I believe has lost its historical context. I hope the Court provide flexibility in looking at the history of the articles,” he said.

Haris hoped with his petition, democracy and freedom of expression are maintained. “But [I hope democracy and freedom of expression] are also not disturbed. On the other hand, there are requests for [the articles] not to be overused but on the other hand, freedom of expression guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution [should] also not threatened,” he hoped.

This third hearing was supposed to hear the House and the Government but the Registrar’s Office had received a letter from their proxy, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, requesting a postponement of the hearing.

“Therefore, this hearing is postponed until Monday, October 9, 2023 at 11:00 WIB to hear the House’s and the Government’s testimonies,” said Chief Justice Anwar Usman.

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In their petition, Haris Azhar and Fatiah Maulidiyanti (Petitioners I and II) argue that their constitutional rights have been impaired due to the articles being petitioned. They believe those articles have criminalized them, whose work is focused on promoting human rights and the eradication of corruption, collusion, and nepotism (KKN). They also argue that the a quo articles were in fact used to criminalize those who critique of state officials and government policies. Petitioners I and II claimed that law enforcement officials prioritized criminal proceedings against them rather than following up, examining, and adjudicating cases that actually matter.

The Petitioners hoped the Court would accept and grant their provisional petition and order the East Jakarta District Court to stop and postpone the examination of cases No. 202/Pid.Sus/2023/PN Jkt.Tim and No. 203/Pid.Sus/2023/PNJkt.Tim until the Constitutional Court hands down a decision on this case. They also request that the articles petitioned be declared unconstitutional and not legally binding.

Author         : Utami Argawati
Editor          : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR              : M. Halim
Translator    : Nyi Mas Laras Nur Inten Kemalasari/ Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

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.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 | 13:48 WIB 321