Indonesia police chief urges softer enforcement of controversial internet law

indonesia police chief urges softer enforcement of controversial internet law

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Yudho Winarto

KONTAN.CO.ID – JAKARTA. Indonesia’s police chief has called on officers to use greater discretion when enforcing the country’s internet law, following government signals the legislation, which has ensnared journalists, academics and opposition figures, will be reviewed.

The 2008 electronic information and transactions (ITE) law, which regulates online activity including defamation and hate speech, has long drawn criticism for its broad interpretation.

In a circular issued late on Monday, national police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo urged officers to use discretion when investigating reports of digital infringements, and prioritise “restorative justice” such as mediation rather than prosecution.

The guidelines, he said, had been issued in response to the law’s application, “which is considered to be contradicting the public’s right to freedom of expression in the digital space”.

Between 2016 and 2020, there had been 786 cases involving the law, with 88% of the those charged ending up behind bars, according to Damar Juniarto of digital advocacy group, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet).

In 2019, Baiq Nuril, a woman in Lombok was jailed for six months, after recording a telephone conversation with her boss to prove he was sexually harassing her that was later shared online…

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