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Justice ministry to ban Greenpeace Indonesia to conduct demonstrations

20th June 2012 | 2.495 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The ministry of justice and human rights will ban Greenpeace Indonesia to conduct demonstrations to protest government policies or companies in the country which are legal public domain, a ministry official said.

"Greenpeace as an association may not conduct a demonstration. It may only convey ideas social or cultural," the Head of the Social Legal Entities Section of the Sub-Directorate of Legal Entities, Abriana Kusuma Dewi, said here on Wednesday when receiving the coordinator of anti-foreign non-governmental organizations student alliance, Rudy Gani.

The students alliance has earlier also met with the ministry`s secretary general, Bambang Ranta, and minister`s expert staff Widi Asmoro for consultations with regard to the status of Greenpeace SEA Indonesia Chapter.

As has been known Greenpeace Indonesia has often criticized the government and companies in Indonesia through demonstrations such as against the coal-fired power plant belonging to state-owned electricity company PT PLN and against oil palm plantations that had led to a boycott of Indonesian CPO products by the US and occupied Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in various regions.

Sharing Abriana former director general of public law administration of the ministry, Prof Dr Romli Atmasasmita said Greenpeace has violated Law Number 9 of 1998 on freedom of speech with its demonstrations before the public so far.

"It is only an organization that is allowed to conduct a demonstration. Everyone in Indonesia is free to express opinion before the public but has to report first to the police. With regard to an association there are certain regulations. An association also has to be registered and the registration is effective for life," he said.

He said Greenpeace Indonesia has broken the law by receiving foreign funds without a government permit. "Foreign funds may not enter the country without permits from Bank Indonesia, the foreign ministry and the home affairs ministry. So, they cannot do anything at will," he said.

He said as an association Greenpeace is also not allowed to collect funds from the public. "The association is social and they must have funds to be donated to people. If they collect funds from the public they are no longer an association," he said.

He said Greenpeace Indonesia as an association also has to register itself to the court and not the public law administration.(*)