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Jakarta Post

Arrest of Jokowi Undercover writer violates freedom of speech: Komnas HAM

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 5, 2017   /  10:13 am
Arrest of Jokowi Undercover writer violates freedom of speech: Komnas HAM Against defamation – National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Rikwanto shows “Jokowi Undercover”, a book reportedly containing slanderous information written by Bambang Tri Mulyono, after a press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday. (Antara/Rivan Awal Lingga)

The arrest of the author of the book Jokowi Undercover is a violation against freedom of speech that must not happen in the democratic era, a commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) says.

Komnas HAM Commissioner Natalius Pigai criticized the National Police, and thus the state, over abuse of power for restricting the right of Bambang Tri Mulyono to express his personal opinion in the book, which according to the police contains defamatory claims about President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“The government should have taken progressive and professional efforts to clarify that the information provided in the book was untrue instead of being defensive and restricting the rights of the writer,” Natalius said Thursday.

Natalius said he was aware of the sensitivity of the issue that Bambang discussed in his book against Jokowi as a symbol of the state and thus suggested the government to set up an independent team to officially investigate the roots of Jokowi’s family for clarification.

Read also: Police hunt mastermind behind 'Jokowi Undercover') 

He explained that the team should comprise scholars, historians, law enforcers and members of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the military’s Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS) to collect facts and conduct a scientific investigation into Jokowi’s identity.

“During the process, Jokowi must be treated equally like ordinary citizens who are allegedly defamed,” Natalius emphasized.

The National Police have named Bambang a suspect for writing the book about Jokowi due to an alleged lack of valid data and references. The police will also pursue the masterminds behind the publication, believing that Bambang lacked the capability to compile the book on his own. (dmr)

 

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