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Jakarta Post

Ex-HTI members to challenge new ‘Ormas’ law in court  

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 25, 2017   /   04:51 pm
Ex-HTI members to challenge new ‘Ormas’ law in court   Standing up for rights: Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia members and sympathizers of Islamic organizations from Greater Jakarta stage a rally to protest the the 2017 Regulation in a Lieu of Law (Perppu) on Mass Organizations in Jakarta on July 17. (JP/Ibrahim Irsyad)

Former members of the now-defunct Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) plan to lodge a judicial review against the recently endorsed regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) on mass organizations (Ormas) to the Constitutional Court.

The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to endorse the Perppu, which replaces the 2013 Law on mass organizations, on the grounds it is necessary to protect the state ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

The hard-line HTI was the first group to be disbanded under the controversial Perppu, which grants the government the power to disband any groups it deems to be anti-Pancasila. Under the 2013 law, this power lay with the court.

The government believed HTI posed a threat to Pancasila as it sought to establish an Islamic caliphate in Indonesia.   

"The endorsement [of the Perppu] will open the door for the birth of a repressive regime [...] who knows which organizations will be disbanded next in the name of protecting kebhinekaan [unity in diversity]?," former HTI spokesman Ismail Yusanto said on Wednesday.

He also questioned whether the House truly represented the public's aspirations as many mass organizations invited by the House to a previous hearing rejected the Perppu on the grounds it could grant the government the power to disband organizations without due process in law.

"We want to urge the government and all relevant stakeholders not to use the endorsed Perppu as a way to obstruct preaching and criminalize Islamic teachings and preachers," Ismail said. (ahw)