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Jakarta Post

Bill may give police authority to prevent 'community diseases'

  • Tri Indah Oktavianti


Jakarta   /   Tue, July 14 2020   /  01:00 am
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (on screen) leads the a ceremony to commemorate National Police’s 74th anniversary at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.(Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)

An article in the controversial omnibus bill on job creation that broadens the scope of the National Police's authority has raised concerns among activists and observers who fear the bill will increase the potential for abuses of power. Article 82 of the omnibus bill grants the police the authority to take action to prevent and contain the spread of so-called “community disease” as well as to monitor the propagation of beliefs that are deemed to undermine the unity of the nation.  The article does not provide a detailed definition of “community disease”, but mentions homelessness, prostitution, gambling, drug abuse, drunkenness, human trafficking, loan sharking and extortion.  The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) has spoken out against the bill, expressing concern it would be used as a justification for the violation of human rights a...