Students protest across Indonesia over new criminal code

Students protest across Indonesia over new criminal code

Agency News

Bangkok, Sep 25: Tens of thousands of students are rallying for the second consecutive day across several Indonesian cities, including the capital of Jakarta, to oppose a controversial draft of the new criminal code, media reported on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters who gathered in front of the parliament building, the Jakarta Post newspaper reported. Dozens of people were injured in the clashes, the media said.
Despite Parliament postponing discussions on the amendments to the criminal code in the wake of the protests, students remain in the streets for the second day, the newspaper said.

The draft duplicates some provisions of Sharia law, including criminal sentences and terms of imprisonment for infidelity, cohabitation without marriage and the practice of LGBT relations, as well as introduces criminal punishment for insulting the country's president.

Protesters also disagree with amendments to the law on the national anti-corruption commission, which parliament has already approved, and which the government and President Joko Widodo insist on enacting.

The new version of the law allows the commission investigators to independently, without a court order, wiretap suspects on phones and other means of communication, and close corruption cases on their own.

Protesters believe that wiretapping without a court ruling is contrary to democracy, while the option to independently close cases contributes to corruption in the commission itself, which could become a tool that allows officials to avoid punishment. (UNI)