Indonesia Shrugs Off UN's Statement on New Criminal Code

Diana Mariska
Protest held against the freshly-passed new criminal code. (Photo: Winanto)
Protest held against the freshly-passed new criminal code. (Photo: Winanto) - Indonesia’s Minister of Law and Human Rights said statement released by the United Nations in relation to the country’s new criminal code that was passed earlier this month was “too late”.

In response to Indonesia passing the controversial new criminal code, the UN sent a letter in which it offered assistance, especially to resolve some articles that are widely-regarded as problematic, including ones related to freedom of expression and human rights. However, Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej claimed the letter was a little too late.

“We received the letter on 25 November, and it was sent to the House of Representatives instead of the government. So, yes, it was too late,” he said on Monday, December 12, as reported by Antara.

According to him, the new criminal code had already received a first-degree approval by the time the letter arrived.

Hiariej emphasized that prior to its passing, the government had heard suggestions and recommendations from different public elements. He also ensured that to avoid misinterpretation of the new criminal code, the government will continue to disseminate information to and educate law enforcement agencies and members of the public about its contents.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Teuku Faizasyah revealed that the Ministry had summoned the UN’s representative in Jakarta in regards to the body’s statement.

“The reason [for the summoning] is because this is also part of a diplomatic relations. It’d be better for foreign or UN’s representatives to use [proper] communication channel to discuss different issues … we don’t use mass media as a tool to convey something that has yet to be verified,” Faizasyah said.

The new criminal code is seen by many as a threat to journalism, freedom of expression, and human rights.

Minister of Law and Human Rights has publicly welcomed groups or individuals to apply for judicial review in the Constitutional Court if contents of the new criminal code have been found to be unconstitutional.

Tag # new criminal code # kuhp # rkuhp # ministry of law and human rights # indonesia criminal code

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