Amendment of Law on Terrorism Eradication: Balancing the National Security and Human Rights Protection

ELSAM, Jakarta – Government efforts to strengthen the terrorism eradication in Indonesia will be realized by revising the Law No. 15 Year 2003 on Terrorism Eradication. However, the material contents of the revised Law has raised arguments among the society, particularly related to the military involvement in the terrorism eradication and also enabling an individual to be detained for 6 (six) months for the investigation. Therefore, it needs the consideration from Pansus (special committee) of Bill on Terrorism Eradication to formulate the amendment of Law on Terrorism Eradication which will not violate human rights.

Above matter emerged in the National Seminar on Human Rights Protection and Law Enforcement in Eradicating Terrorism held by Pansus of Bill on Terrorism of House of Representative in Nusantara Building I, DPR RI on Wednesday (25/05). The seminar chaired by Vice Chairman of Pansus of revised Bill on Terrorism Supiadin A. Saputra invited the expert on politic and military Salim Said, observer of intelligence andmilitary Ridlwan Habib, Chairman of LPSK (Victims and Witness Protection National Agency), ELSAM’s researcher Wahyudi Djafar, and Coordinator of Kontras Haris Azhar as the resource persons.

The Head of Pansus, Muhammad Syafii, stated that his party agreed to settle the discussion at the right time. Even so, they do not want to be hasty.”There are a lot of inputs from the stakeholders and society needed so that it will be comprehensive. There are a lot to be accommodated,” he said when opening the National Seminar.

However, according to Wahyudi Djafar, the Bill is still risking to victimize starting from mis-arresting to violence by the officers. For instance, Article 43A which specified the authority of the investigator and prosecutor to arrest and locate somebody for 6 months as suspected that they will terrorize a certain place.

In ICCPR (international Convention on Civil and Political Rights), it only takes 72 hours. This is detention for six months before trial. They don’t communicate even can suffer from torture,” he said.

Meanwhile, the chairman of LPSK, Abdul Haris Semendawai, stated that the Bill has not regulated the guarantee for the victims. The parties mentioned as protected by the state from the possible threat of terrorism are only investigator, public prosecutor, judge, advocate, plaintiff, expert, witness and the correctional facility officers and their families.

“The position of victims in the Bill has not had enough attention. More attentions are to the witnesses while the victims are the most suffering,” he said.

He also regretted about the irrelevance between Law on Victim and Witness Protection and amendment of Law on Terrorism Eradication. According to him, Law on Victim and Witness Protection has been detailed in regulating the remedy to the victims, namely, compensation, restitution and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, he cleared, the mechanism has not been supported by Law on Terrorism Eradication.

The Head of Pansus, Muhammad Syafii, also agreed that the three things important for the revision of Law on Terrorism eradication are the terrorism eradication, law enforcement and human rights protection. To do so, he said, it needs the establishment of Supervisory Board of Densus 88/Antiteror of Indonesian National Police (Polri). Their tasks will be to audit the working performance, human rights protection, and financial of the unit.