The Jakarta State Administrative Court Suggests To Make Final Decision Before Eid Fitr

January 29, 2020 – The Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) once again held a further hearing on the case for internet shutdown in Papua submitted by the Press Freedom Defender Team with the agenda of hearing the response of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as Defendant II. The trial held at the Jakarta PTUN Building Jalan Pemuda, Rawamangun, this morning was led by Chief Judge Nelvy Christin SH MH, as well as judge members Baiq Yuliani SH and Indah Mayasari SH MH.

The President of the Republic of Indonesia finally gave an answer by sending 5 attorneys from the state attorney’s attorney, after the previous trial was declared absent. Furthermore, as in the agenda of the first trial, the defendant’s response was read directly by the panel of judges.

In their exception, the President delivered a similar answer to the exception made by the Republic of Indonesia Ministry of Communication and Information the previous week (22/1), namely mentioning the lawsuit of the plaintiffs error in persona), the plaintiffs were also deemed not entitled to file a lawsuit (persona standi in judicio) and assessed the contents of the blurred lawsuit (obscuur libel).

Attorney for the Press Freedom Defense Team Ahmad Fathanah Haris said that the argument set forth by Defendant II in the answer was wrong. “Broadly speaking in Defendant II’s response, the plaintiffs’ lawsuit does not have legal standing to sue. But in legal facts, anyone can file a lawsuit if there is a detrimental thing to the action,” said the public advocate from LBH Pers.

Ahmad said, the internet shutdown in Papua and West Papua was felt by journalists who were members of AJI Indonesia (plaintiff I) and members of SAFEnet (plaintiff II). So that AJI and SAFEnet have the right to file a claim with the organization’s claim rights mechanism. “Because the members of the plaintiffs feel first hand,” he continued.

In addition, in Defendant II’s response read out by Chief Judge Nelvy Christin, the President of Indonesia argued that the subject of the dispute was not in conflict with the laws and regulations and the General Principles of Good Governance. In addition, Defendant II also asked the panel of judges to declare that the actions of the President of the Republic of Indonesia which agreed with the actions of the Republic of Indonesia Ministry of Communication and Information which were the object of a lawsuit – internet shutdown, slowing down and extending the termination of access – were not unlawful acts.

Responding to this, the attorney of the Press Freedom Defender Team Muhammad Isnur asserted, that the throttling bandwidth act carried out on 19-20 August 2019, continued the internet shutdown from 21 August to 4 September 2019, and the extension of the termination of internet access from 4 to 11 September 2019 became the basis a lawsuit. AJI and SAFEnet filed demands that President Jokowi and the Minister of Communication and Information were guilty of not obeying the law and violating the principles of good governance. “The issue of internet disconnection policies in Papua then shows that the government has acted arbitrarily in making decisions. Indonesia is a state of law so that this action if not based on applicable law and only based on requests from the security forces, then it can be said as an act breaking the law.” he said.

After hearing the answer from the President of the Republic of Indonesia, the session will resume on February 5, 2020 with the Replic agenda of the Press Freedom Defender Team. Chairperson Nelvy Christin said, his party targeted the entire agenda of the trial to proceed according to schedule so that the verdict could be made in May 2020 or before the upcoming Eid Fitr holiday. “We are trying to arrange the schedule and if this is all done on time it will also end in 5 months and we will try before that. We expect no more than 5 months. Because now the Supreme Court is quite strict, if the red council is immediately reprimanded. Are we going to hearings twice a week? or enough once a week so that all parties beg for all prepared, ” she explained.

Press Freedom Defense Team

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