Indonesia: Student actions across the country reject draft intelligence law
Student actions across the country reject draft intelligence law
Indoleft - June 23, 2011
[The following is a selection of articles from the Indonesian media on a national day of action organised by the Student Struggle Centre for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN, <http://pembebasan-pusat.blogspot.com/>, formerly LMND-PRM) against the Draft Law on Intelligence and State Security currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives. In addition to the actions in Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, Samarinda and Yogyakarta translated below, PEMBEBASAN along with other progressive organisations also held protest actions in Bandung, Balikpapan and Ternate.]
* Student protesters say draft intelligence law threat to freedom
* Student protest against draft intelligence law ends in clash
* Anti-democratic, military forces behind draft intelligence law
* Intelligence law will limit democratic space, destroy progressive movement
* Intelligence law designed to weaken people's movement, increase repression
Student protesters say draft intelligence law threat to freedom
Ari Saputra, Jakarta -- Students and workers have again demonstrated against the draft law on state intelligence (RUU Intelijen Negara), this time by covering their bodies with white paint and chaining their hands together to symbolise the shackling of freedom should the draft intelligence law be ratified by the House of Representatives.
"There are articles in the draft intelligence law that are a threat to the freedom of expression and organisation. Such as intelligence [personnel] having the right to make arbitrary arrests and the lack of any control mechanism or clarification with regard to people who are arrested", said action spokesperson Mutiara Ika Pratiwi during a break in a demonstration in front of the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) office on Jl. Diponegoro in Central Jakarta on Thursday June 23.
The chained hands theatrical action itself continued throughout the demonstration. Scores of colleagues from the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN, formerly LMND-PRD) meanwhile shouted slogans and sang songs of struggle while they held up posters rejecting the law. "Defeat the draft law on state intelligence. Fight!", read one of the posters.
The students also found time during the protest action to set fire to photographs of Indonesian military (TNI) generals who they said were human rights criminals. Despite this, the dozen or so police standing on guard did not prevent them from burning the photographs.
As a consequence of the demonstration, traffic from Jl. Diponegoro in the direction of Salemba was congesting because the protesters took up one lane for the action. As of 5.19pm the protest action was still continuing. (Ari/lrn)
[Translated by James Balowski.]
Student protest against draft intelligence law ends in clash
Iwan Taruna, Makassar -- A protest action by hundreds of students rejecting the Draft Intelligence and State Secrecy Law (RUU Intelijen) at the South Sulawesi Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building on Thursday June 23 ended in a clash.
The incident occurred when the students tried to force their way into the building to meet with assembly members but were blocked by DPRD security personnel. A clash also took place outside the building but the two groups were able to constrain themselves and the incident did not continue for long.
In speeches meanwhile, the students said they rejected the draft intelligence law because it will give security forces the right to conduct arrests, which has the potential to violate human rights. (BJK/ADO)
[Translated by James Balowski.]
Anti-democratic, military forces behind draft intelligence law
Medan -- Protesters from the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN, formerly LMND-PRM) in the North Sumatra capital of Medan oppose the enactment of the Draft Law on Intelligence and State Secrecy (RUU Intelijen) because it will muzzle the people's democratic rights and emasculate the 1945 Constitution and the state ideology of Pancasila.
This opposition was conveyed by hundreds of students from Medan City branch of Pembebasan when they held a protest action at the Majestic traffic circle on Jl. Gatot Subroto Medan on Thursday June 23.
Led by Medan city Pembebasan chairperson Nico Silalahi, the protesters said that the draft intelligence law represents the resurgence of the same anti-democratic military forces that operated under the New Order regime of former President Suharto during his 32 years in power.
"If the draft intelligence law is ratified into law, it will result in the people loosing their rights to criticise anti-people government polices. This represents a trick and the killing off of democracy and human rights", said Nico.
If the intelligence law comes into effect, according to Nico, there will be no more freedom of expression, opinion or organisation in a country that claims to adhere to Pancasila and the 1945 constitution.
The most chilling thing about the enactment of the law, said Nico, is that any individual or organisation could be deemed to be a threat to the state (the government's version), and intelligence officials will be at liberty to conduct arrests, carry out interrogations and detain people for 7x24 hours.
"Detentions can also be extended to 90 days, even to 3x90 days as well as not being given the right to be accompanied by an advocate (lawyer), or the right to contact outside parties including their own families and the presumption of innocence will not apply", said Nico.
After giving speeches at the Majestic traffic circle, the protesters held a similar action at the North Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building. (HRK/YEZ)
Samarinda -- Scores of students from the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN, formerly LMND-PRD) held a protest at the East Kalimantan Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) yesterday calling on the assembly to reject the Draft Law on Intelligence and State Security (RUU Intelijen) that is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR).
Speaking before deputy speaker Marten Apuy and other assembly members, action coordinator Andi said PEMBEBASAN's reasons for rejecting the draft law are because a press release by the Draft Intelligence Law Advocacy Coalition said that the bill represents a concrete threat against the people's freedom of expression and organisation.
This is particularly so in the articles related to intelligence information secrecy, arbitrary arrests in the name of secrecy and the complete lack of any control mechanisms by the people in the name of state secrecy.
"For example there is no explanation about the rights of people who are arrested. The phenomena of increasing terrorism and the Indonesian Islamic State (NII) movement, regardless of who the masterminds are, is being used by the state to frighten the people and simultaneously increase repression and the monitoring of the people's political and social activities through this draft law", said Andi.
Andi said that in view of the threat that the draft intelligence law poses to the progressive movement in addressing the objective situation and the ordinary people's anxiety, the students explicitly reject the draft law and call on the East Kalimantan DPRD to likewise reject the law.
Andi added that this does not mean they want revisions to the law but reject it outright, because they are well aware that the basis of the policy behind making the draft law is to emasculate the progressive forces of the people's movement and increase the state's control in regulating and enforcing the continued existence of capitalism in Indonesia.
"In view of the how the planned enactment of the draft intelligence law has progressed, we also believe that the regime of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono has no interest in creating democracy in Indonesia. This is because the draft intelligence law already limits democratic space and will destroy the democratic movement. We are therefore inviting the East Kalimantan DPRD to also reject the draft intelligence law", said Andi.
Marten Apuy meanwhile responded by saying that the views expressed by the protesters would be conveyed to the DPR, although he could not himself comment at length on the issue because the draft law is the domain of the DPR. "The DPRD can only accommodate [them] by conveying the students' wishes and aspirations to the DPR", he said.
Speaking in a similar vein, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) faction chairperson Sudarno also said the student's views would be conveyed to the DPR. Sudarno also invited the students to discuss the particular articles in the law that they object in order that their protests against the law can be conducted in an intellectual manner.
"Don't let us protest the wrong thing, who knows perhaps the draft law currently being deliberated has many benefits for our country. Particularly in the eradication of terrorism which has become disgrace for our country. If [the law] is good, don't let us wrongly protest something that is right", he said.
After listening to a statement from DPRD Commission III members the protesters agreed to hold a discussion at a future but unspecified time, then disbanded in an orderly manner. (fer)
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]
Intelligence law designed to weaken people's movement, increase repression
Yogyakarta -- Scores of students from the Student Struggle Centre for National Liberation (Pembebasan, formerly LMND-PRD) held a protest action in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Thursday against the enactment of the Draft Law on Intelligence and State Security (RUU Intelijen) saying it will kill off democracy in Indonesia.
Pembebasan General Secretary Arif Hasibuan said that based on a press release by coalition of advocates, the draft intelligence law will threaten the people's freedom of expression and right to organise. Moreover in the articles related to information, intelligence officials will be able to carry out arbitrary arrests in the name of state secrecy.
"Without control mechanisms in any shape or form, in the name of state secrecy, there will be no information about people who have been arrested, which will be used by the state to terrify the people. Moreover there will be an increase in the level of repression and monitoring of social activities through this draft law", said Arif during an action at 'point zero' in front of the central post office in Yogyakarta on Thursday June 23.
Arif said that the draft intelligence shows that the regime of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono and the House of Representatives is insincere about upholding democracy in Indonesia and are even threatening the implementation of democracy itself. Because of this the protesters reject its enactment.
"We are well aware that the basis of the policy [behind] making this draft law is to emasculate the progressive forces of the people's movement and increase the state's control in regulating and enforcing the continued existence of capitalism in Indonesia", asserted Arif.
During the action, the protesters also brought a bier covered in a black cloth with the writing "The death of democracy". The bier was then set alight as a symbol that democracy in Indonesia is truly dead. (Ran)