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ARTICLE 19 calls for clear steps to guarantee freedom of expression

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - The following is an ARTICLE 19 press release:

Indonesia: ARTICLE 19 Submission to UN Human Rights Council on Freedom of Expression

ARTICLE 19 has provided a submission on freedom of expression in Indonesia to the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

Despite some positive recent changes, including the repeal of some more repressive defamation provisions and a decrease in violence against journalists, freedom of expression in Indonesia remains fragile. Much needs to be done to bolster the democratic gains of the last decade and to place freedom of expression in Indonesia on a firmer footing.

ARTICLE 19 urges the Universal Periodic Review to call on the government of Indonesia to take clear steps to guarantee freedom of expression in Indonesia. ARTICLE 19's key recommendations are as follows:

- Defamation should be fully decriminalised and civil defamation provisions should be amended to bring them into line with international standards, particularly by limiting the size of the damage awards.

- The authorities should allocate sufficient resources to ensure that all cases of violence against media workers are investigated properly and the perpetrators prosecuted whenever possible.

- The legal framework for broadcasting should be substantially revised. Licensing should be undertaken by an independent body and restrictions on the content of what may be broadcast should be brought into line with international standards.

- Right to information legislation should be introduced as a matter of priority and the draft laws on Secrecy and Intelligence should be revised to bring them into line with international standards.

To view a copy of the submission, see: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/indonesia-unhrc-sub.pdf

ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organisation that works globally to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees free speech.

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