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Jakarta Post

New agency feared may be draconian

  • Dicky Christanto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 2 2010   /  09:42 am

Human rights activists and a lawmaker have voiced concerns over the new antiterrorism agency, saying the agency may hold too much power that could mimic the way the authoritarian New Order regime quashed citizens it found too critical of government.

Criticism has emerged over the unclear definition of terrorist activities and greater participation of the military in the antiterrorism movement as stipulated in the presidential regulation on the establishment of the National Antiterror Agency (BNPT), which critics said might be used as an excuse to wrongfully intimidate innocent citizens.

NGO Imparsial and the National Commission on Human Rights recommended the government and House of Representatives improve the regulation to prevent the agency from becoming a superpower body.

“It’s no doubt, terrorism and the actors have become a serious threat to our nation. But,...