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Jakarta Post

Secrecy bill threatens press freedom

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 24 2009   /  09:12 am

Journalists reporting on sensitive issues face imprisonment or the death penalty if the government and the House of Representatives pass the current draft of the state secrecy bill into law. “Journalists could be in danger because the bill’s definition on state secrets is vast and vague,” Abdullah Alamudi, a member of the Press Board said during a discussion at Hotel Nikko in Central Jakarta, on Thursday. Abdullah said the vast scope of the bill would allow any bureaucrat to use any interpretation they wanted to classify sensitive information as confidential. “The result is, that if a journalist obtains sensitive information, which the bureaucrats consider to be confidential, then he or she could serve between seven and 20 years in prison or even be subject to the death penalty if the country is at war,” he said. Abdullah then said that most of the clauses...