Demand End to Politically-Motivated Charges Against Indonesian Anti-Corruption Activists
On October 12, 2009, Ms. Illian Deta Arta Sari and Mr. Emerson Yuntho, two staff members of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in Jakarta, were named as suspects in a criminal defamation case. Indonesians accused of corruption are increasingly filing criminal defamation complaints with police in an attempt to silence their critics. This case is especially worrying because the complaint originated from the Attorney-General's Office itself. This office should be preventing baseless investigations, rather than bringing their own unfounded complaints.
At the time that Ms. Deta Arta Sari and Mr. Yuntho were summoned by the police for questioning, ICW and other civil society organizations in Indonesia were advocating against the opening of a criminal investigation into two of the deputy chairmen of the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). ICW has also called for the suspension of the head of the National Police's Criminal Detective Body (Bareskrim).
Threatening critics with imprisonment is the wrong way for the Indonesian government to build a foundation of free expression and vigorous political discourse-unhindered by the corruption that continues to plague Indonesian society.
TAKE ACTION NOW to urge President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to end the politically-motivated investigation of Indonesian Corruption Watch staff members, to investigate efforts to criminalize their legitimate criticism of a state agency, and to work to amend laws criminalizing defamation.
Alert Date: November 4, 2009
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