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Jakarta Post

Scientists face harsh penalties

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 17 2019   /  12:28 am

The House of Representatives has passed into law a bill aimed at protecting the country’s rich natural resources from the threat of biopiracy by imposing harsh penalties — including hefty fines and prison sentences — on recalcitrant foreign researchers. Local scientists, however, fear that the punishments are “too excessive” and that the law could end up limiting academic freedom and thus hinder science. The law on the national system of science and technology, enacted on Tuesday, allows the government to file criminal charges against foreign scientists accused of breaking research rules.The law carries several punishments, including up to a two-year prison term and a fine of up to Rp 2 billion (US$143,564) for foreign scientists caught stealing biodiversity samples — such as insects or plants — from
Indonesia. It stipulates that foreign scientists are strictly forbidde...