Pros and cons surrounding Banning of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia

Friday, 21 July 2017 , 12:00:00 WIB - Law

Director General of General Law Administration, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Freddy Harris (in the middle), accompanied by staff members from the same ministry, is seen giving statements to the press on the disband of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Jakarta, Wednesday (19/7). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – The government has banned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) spurring pros and cons on the decision, even within the government itself. The decision became official on Wednesday (19/7).

House of Representatives Commission VIII Vice Chairman, Sodik Mudjahid, said he is concerned with the decision.

"I am deeply concerned as it signals the start of authoritarian measures from the government of Indonesia, in this era of reform and democracy. The decision is similar to those introduced during the Old Order and New Order eras," Sodik said, in a press release.

The Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) politician said the Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No.2/2017 on Mass Organizations is illegitimate as here is no emergency situation that requires such law to be issued. In fact, he accuses the government themselves of making up such emergency situation as part of major scenario to silence groups who have been criticizing them, wrongfully accusing the groups off being anti-Panjasila and the 1945 Constitution.

House of Representatives Vice Chairman, Fadli Zon (also from the Gerindra Party), is in agreement with Sodli.

"This is abuse of authority or you could say hat it is an authoritarian decision. An organization would have to go through selections and checks, and other processes, to obtain a license as a legal entity," Fadl said, Jakarta, Wednesday (19/7).

Therefore, he argued, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia obtained its license from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights and this proves that the organization complies with regulations and the Pancasila ideology.

Fadli said the organization’s disband can be cancelled if the House of Representatives decides to turn down the Government Regulation Lieu of Law No.2/2017.

However, House of Representatives Commission II Vice Chairman, Lukman Edy, said Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia would still be disbanded as the government regulation in lieu of law does not apply retroactively.

"A government regulation in lieu off law is executed once it is issued. Therefore, if the House of Representatives decides to turn down the regulation and does not turn it into law, the disband of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia would still apply," Lukman said, Wednesday (19/7).

BRING THE CASE TO COURT – Criminal law expert Indriyanto Seno Adji said Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia may bring the case to court. " Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia can bring their objection to an administrative court," Indriyanto said, Wednesday (19/7).

But h e also said the government have made a firm decision against the organization that they deem is against Pancasila.

"I understand the firm decision from the government against mass organizations that have showed anti-Pancasila and 1945 Constitution activities and stance in Indonesia, including against Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia ," Indriyanto said.

"Many mass organizations have statutes and bylaws that comply with regulations. However, in reality, some are challenging the nation’s sovereignty and existence," he said.

Meanwhile, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia claims the organization’s unilateral disband was unfair and will challenge the decision at court.

"We will study the decision. To date, we have only heard the decision from the government’s press conference," said the organization’s spokesperson, Ismail Yusanto. (dtc)