The Arrest of Men Protesting Jokowi in Blitar Is Violating the Law

CNN Indonesia | Wednesday, 08/09/2021 19:30 WIB

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia –– Non-governmental organization (NGO) Imparsial said the police violated the law when they arrested a farmer who unfurled a poster to the President Joko Widodo in Biltar, Tuesday (7/9).

Imparsial's Director Gufron Mabruri said the display of the poster was part of freedom of expression. According to him, this is guaranteed by Article 28E paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution and the Law on Freedom to Express Opinions in Public.

"The act of obstructing, let alone prohibiting and arresting farmers who express their opinion is an excessive use of force and should be suspected of violating Law Number 9 of 1998 concerning Freedom to Express Opinions in Public," said Gufron in a written statement. , Wednesday (8/9).

Gufron said the repressive measures added to the list of violations of freedom of expression and opinion during Jokowi's era. He reminded that the Indonesian Democracy Index recorded by the Central Statistics Agency has continued to decline since 2018.

Imparsial urges Jokowi to improve. They expect Jokowi to protect people who express their opinions and expressions in public.

"The Jokowi government must not be allergic to criticism or protests from the public and strictly forbid state apparatus to act repressively against those who protest or criticize the government," said Gufron.

Furthermore, Imparsial urged the release of farmers who unfurled posters to Jokowi. They also urged the police leadership to process the members who carried out the act.

"So that the police leadership takes concrete steps by evaluating members who are proven to have committed violations both ethically and criminally," said Gufron.

Previously, a man unfurled a poster when Jokowi made a working visit to Blitar, Tuesday (7/8). The moment took place when Jokowi left the Covid-19 vaccination site and headed to Bung Karno's grave.

The poster reads, "Mr. Jokowi Please Help Farmers Buy Corn at a Reasonable Price". The poster was unfurled when Jokowi smiled and waved at the residents.

Shortly after, the poster was confiscated. Then, a policeman arrested the man who spread the poster to Jokowi. He was led to a police car.