Activists Send Letter to Lawmakers Over Rights Concerns in Antiterrorism Bill i

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar addressing the media in Jakarta on Nov. 30 regarding the arrest of terrorists in several regions of Indonesia. Activists sent a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday (06/12) in protest of a range of stipulations under the antiterrorism bill, which they say could lead to widespread human rights abuses. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

By : Alin Almanar | on 11:06 PM December 06, 2016
Category : News, Human Rights

Jakarta. Activists sent a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday (06/12) in protest of a range of stipulations under the antiterrorism bill, which they say could lead to widespread human rights abuses.

The government seeks more power for authorities to act against terrorists with the bill, which it proposed earlier this year when the country was on heightened alert over terror threats.

Lawmakers have since deliberated the revisions to the Antiterrorism Law amid objections from rights activists, and protests are now mounting against a range of stipulations in the bill.

In Tuesday's letter, Amnesty International director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rafendi Djamin and Institute for Criminal Justice Reform director Supriyadi Eddyono said the bill is "extremely flawed."

"This draft neglects the protection of people from arbitrary detention, fails to provide them with protection from torture and undermines their rights to citizenship," said the letter, sent to Muhammad Syafi'i, chairman of the House special committee for the terrorism bill.

It seeks a maximum period of arrest of an alleged terrorist of 30 days, compared to the seven days stipulated under the existing law. The maximum period of detention of a terror suspect is also increased to 450 days from 180 days.

The bill further seeks preventive detention, which will allow alleged terrorists to be placed in specified locations for six months, as stipulated under what many opponents have called the "Guantanamo article." The revocation of alleged terrorists' citizenship is also sought.

"We urge a complete revision of this draft before its finalization is agreed in several months to come," Tuesday's letter said.

Activists also urged lawmakers to "include explicit statements that there is no single stipulation in the law that can be interpreted or implemented in ways that violate or are inconsistent with Indonesia's international human rights obligations."

The government moved to revise the Antiterrorism Law in January, when an Islamic State-linked terror attack in Jakarta gave rise to concerns over increasing militancy in the country.

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