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Jakarta Post

New Terrorism Law no silver bullet, says rights researcher

  • Moses Ompusunggu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 25, 2018   /   03:01 pm
New Terrorism Law no silver bullet, says rights researcher On guard: Members of the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad escort security officials in possession of evidence from the residence of Tuah Febriwansyah, who is allegedly affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group, in Setu, South Tangerang, Banten, on March 22, 2015. (Antara/Muhammad Iqbal)

The newly passed Terrorism Law will not immediately resolve core problems in the country's fight against terrorism, a human rights researcher said on Friday.

The House of Representatives passed on Friday the revision to the Terrorism Law, replacing the prevailing 2003 law following years of protracted deliberation.

Enny Nurbaningsih, head of the Jokowi administration's team charged with deliberating the terrorism bill, emphasized in a recent interview that the new legislation would ensure security against deadly terror attacks.

However, after a House plenary session agreed to pass the bill into law, Andreas Harsono, a Human Rights Watch (HRW) Indonesia researcher, said on Friday that the new law "isn't a silver bullet."

"It's time for a sober assessment of why most deradicalization programs have not worked. It's time to look at what can be done to strengthen Indonesia's ability to monitor members of ISIS sent back from Turkey, as well as convicted terrorists after their release from prison," Andreas told The Jakarta Post, referring to the Islamic State (IS) group by its alternate acronym.

Andreas’ comment came following a series of terror attacks initiated by pro-IS group militants, including the recent coordinated bombings in Surabaya, East Java. It is believed that the perpetrators were radicalized by militants who had returned from Syria.

The new legislation includes numerous provisions on terror prevention, including a legal basis to charge IS group militants returning from Iraq and Syria.

The House and the government have also agreed to grant the Indonesian Military (TNI) a greater role in counterterrorism by inserting the phrase "intention to disrupt security" as among the motives that constitute terrorism in Article 43J of the new law.

"We could interpret that [the article] will allow the military to be involved, albeit in a restricted role. The authority of the BNPT is central [in the new law],” Andreas said, referring to the National Counterterrorism Agency. (swd)