Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Galang Dana untuk Korban Kekerasan Seksual

Sebuah kehormatan bagi kami sekeluarga jadi tuan rumah upaya penggalangan dana bagi korban kekerasan seksual. Ia dibuat oleh Hartoyo dan kawan-kawan dari Suara Kita.

Acara online ini sekaligus dijadikan video pendek soal kerja mereka, dari menyediakan makanan sampai bantuan hukum. Mereka jual tas dan sepatu bermerk tapi bekas. Barang-barang ini sumbangan. Istilahnya, pre-loved

Kami hanya sediakan tempat termasuk meja besar, saluran listrik, serta makan malam. Mereka datang dengan barang dagangan dua mobil. Ia termasuk peralatan siaran termasuk lampu khusus buat Facebook Live. 

Saya juga hubungi beberapa kawan saya untuk sumbangkan tas, sepatu, pakaian untuk dilelang. Hartoyo menyebut kawan-kawan ini sebagai "horang kaya." Ada-ada saja. 

Saya sering dapat laporan bagaimana Suara Kita bantu para korban. Dari perempuan yang ditinggal suami dan harus hidupi anak-anaknya sendiri. Atau waria lanjut usia, tanpa dukungan keluarga. Sedih kalau baca Facebook milik Hartoyo. 

Siapa mau ikutan? Silahkan klik video mereka dan catat alamat dan nomor bank.

Hak Asasi Manusia

Saya menulis ratusan esai soal hak asasi manusia, dari kebebasan sipil dan politik hingga hak akan air, dari pelanggaran di Aceh sampai Kalimantan sampai Papua. Pelanggaran dilakukan entah oleh aparat negara --dalam tugas resmi maupun tidak-- atau negara mendiamkan pelanggaran yang dilakukan oleh warga.

Sixteen years on, still no justice for Munir’s death
Indonesia’s harmful restrictions on foreign journalists, academics
Kematian Seorang Waria
‘Religious harmony’ regulation brings anything but

Indonesia Arrests Yet More Indigenous Papuans
Indonesia to Expand Abusive Blasphemy Law

Banyuwangi: Budi Pego soal spanduk komunisme
Interview: Indonesia's anti-LGBT Tirades Disastrous Impact on Health
Fredy Akihary, a Moluccan political prisoner, died in prison in Porong








Thursday, December 24, 2020

Religious minorities in Indonesia face blasphemy prosecutions, intimidation, denial of service


All photos ©2020 Andreas Harsono/Human Rights Watch

Last September, I drove for four hours from Jakarta to a small town in western Java, staying one night in a Javanese-styled hotel at the foot of Mt. Ciremai, a 3,000-meter volcano on Java. When I got to Cisantana, I journeyed down a stone path, looking for the Mother Mary shrine. It was a welcome surprise to see this Catholic shrine, equipped with a tropical version of the Via Dolorosa—the route believed to have been taken by Jesus through Jerusalem to Calvary—and supported by electricity coming from a nearby Islamic boarding school.

The presence of such a shrine was all the more surprising in West Java, one of Indonesia’s most conservative Muslim provinces, where attacks against Christians, Ahmadis, and other religious minorities frequently make headlines in local news. Attacks against women’s rights, private gay parties, and transgender crowds are not uncommon.

I continued walking past avocado farms, a banana plantation, and cornfields and finally came upon an open space where a handful of Sundanese women and men were working to construct a tomb.

They were very pleasant. “It’s a quiet day today,” an elderly man said to me. They were taking a break and welcomed me to sit in their bamboo hut with a fire stove.

A woman showed me phone videos of the work they did with more than 100 volunteers, who used wooden poles and bamboo to bring several huge stones from a nearby river to this spot, which is inaccessible by road. They called the tomb “Batu Satangtung” or the “Human Stone,” intended for their elderly religious leader and his wife.

I imagined the makers of Stonehenge might have used similar methods two or three millennia ago in England.

The Sundanese people are from West Java, a province of about 40 million. They are the second largest ethnic group in Indonesia, after the neighbouring Javanese. The volunteers I met are not only Sundanese but of the ethnic-religious group Sunda Wiwitan. The name literally means “early Sunda” or “real Sunda.” Its practitioners assert that Sunda Wiwitan has been part of the Sundanese way of life since before the arrival of Hinduism and Islam.

Why were they building the tomb here? 

Ela Romlah, the woman with the videos, told me that in 1937 and 1938, when Mt. Ciremai was expected to erupt, Pangeran Madrais—then the leader of this group—and his followers climbed the mountain, carrying a set of gamelan instruments. He and hundreds of his musicians played the gamelan on the mountain for months. They believed their music and prayer stopped the eruption. “They then set up a camp at the foot of the mountain. It was here in Curug Goong.”

Madrais was an inspirational cleric, interpreting old Sundanese and Javanese beliefs. He helped establish the community in 1925.

The Dutch colonial officials in charge at the time were not amused to see this kind of independent behaviour. They tried to prevent hundreds of Sundanese people from staying at Curug Goong. But they said nothing when Mt. Ciremai calmed down.

In August 1945, at the end of World War II, Indonesia’s independence leaders adopted a constitution that vowed to protect all Indonesian citizens equally. But they also reached a political compromise with conservative Muslims, including Wahid Hasjim, the chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama. The agreement, designed to avoid setting up an Islamic state, established the Ministry of Religious Affairs to be “the bridge” between Muslims and the state. The compromise was called Pancasila.

In Garut, about four hours’ drive from Curug Goong, Islamist militants were not satisfied with this and declared the Darul Islam (Islamic State) movement in August 1949, vowing to implement their version of Sharia in Indonesia. From 1950 to 1958, Darul Islam conducted a failed guerrilla campaign in West Java that nonetheless attracted some popular support. They attacked not only the Indonesian military but also religious minorities.

In response, Wahid Hasjim, the minister of religious affairs, adopted a 1952 decree to differentiate between “kepercayaan” (faith) and “agama” (religion). In Indonesian vocabulary, “aliran kepercayaan” is officially used to cover multiple minor religions and spiritual movements. Hasjim decreed that “aliran kepercayaan” are “dogmatic ideas, intertwined with the living customs of various ethnic groups, especially among those who are still underdeveloped, whose main beliefs are the customs of their ancestors throughout the ages.”

Meanwhile, “agama” was defined according to monotheistic understandings. If a community is to be recognised as “religious,” it must adhere to “an internationally recognised monotheistic creed; taught by a prophet through the scriptures.” In this way the decree discriminates against non-monotheistic religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism and hundreds of local religions and spiritual movements in Indonesia.

In West Java, the Sunda Wiwitan people faced two serious challenges: the Darul Islam militants, who repeatedly intimidated and attacked them, and the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which actively tried to align “underdeveloped religions” such as theirs with Christianity or Islam.

In 1954, Darul Islam militants attacked the Sunda Wiwitan base in Kuningan. “They managed to burn our paseban (communal spaces) including the kitchen and the garages but fortunately not the main hall,” she said. “They forced our members to convert to Islam,” said Dewi Kanti, a great granddaughter of Madrais.

Similar intimidation and violence took place in neighbouring regencies Tasikmalaya, Banjar, and Garut. Dewi’s grandfather, Pangeran Tedja Buwana, who succeeded Madrais, fled Kuningan to Bandung.

Darul Islam also sent militants into Jakarta. On November 30, 1957, President Sukarno attended a school function at which a Darul Islam militant threw a grenade. Sukarno was unharmed, but six schoolchildren died.

Even after Darul Islam had been militarily defeated, eight Darul Islam militants mingled with a Muslim congregation during a prayer service inside the State Palace on May 14, 1962. They fired shots at Sukarno but missed, hitting one of his bodyguards and a Muslim scholar instead.

Muslim conservatives continued their opposition to smaller religions and spiritual movements. To placate hardliners, Sukarno banned the Indonesian Freemasons (Vrijmetselaren-Loge) along with six so-called “affiliates,” without providing evidence of any illegal links: the Bahai Indonesia organisation, the Divine Life Society, the Moral Rearmament Movement, the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, the Rotary Club and the Democracy League, a non-religious organisation considered to be critical of Sukarno. The Rotary Club was accused of being a Zionist group; this was essentially a conspiracy theory intended to connect the Freemasons to the six organisations.

In June 1964, the Kuningan authorities declared Sunda Wiwitan marriages illegal. The Kuningan prosecutor’s office later detained nine believers—a priest and eight young grooms who married in Sundanese Wiwitan rituals—for several months.

Anticipating increased hostilities, Tedja Buwana, who had returned from Bandung, left the Sunda Wiwitan faith, joined the Catholic church and used their paseban as a church. His move prompted 5,000 Sunda Wiwitan believers to convert to Catholicism, according to a researcher, Cornelius Iman Sukmana, himself a Catholic in Kuningan, who wrote a book about the Sunda Wiwitan and the Catholic church.

“It was an important decision. My grandfather saved thousands of our members from accusations of atheism,” said Dewi Kanti, referring to massacres of the communists between 1965 and 1969. “We can’t imagine what would have happened if he didn’t do it.”

Decades later, when the situation finally calmed down, many of these Sunda Wiwitan people, including Dewi Kanti, openly, but not officially, re-converted to Sunda Wiwitan. Many who converted away from Christianity still go to Sunday mass and wear a cross around their necks. But inside their pockets, they also have Sunda Wiwitan pendants (a mountain, an eagle and two snakes).

“It is common in Kuningan to meet a single family with several religions,” said a vendor near the shrine.

As I walked down from the tomb, I wondered if these conversions and re-conversions prove that religious identity is not a zero-sum game. Identity is somehow imagined like a container with a fixed volume; if you have more of one identity, you have less of another. The Sunda Wiwitan people showed me that they could expand the container and have multiple identities. Thinking of it from this perspective, it is no surprise that I found a tropical Via Dolorosa and an Islamic boarding school near the tomb construction.

The 1965 Blasphemy Law
In downtown Kuningan, I drove to the paseban area, looking at the beautiful wooden hall and sipping a smooth ginger-lemon tea while chatting with Okky Satrio Djati, a Catholic Javanese, who had married the Sunda Wiwitan leader Dewi Kanti almost two decades earlier.

Djati and I used to work together in a newsroom during the Suharto era, publishing online samizdat and managing a mobile internet server. He went to Kuningan in 1998 when President Suharto was facing the mass protests at the height of the Asian economic crisis and helped hide political activists fleeing trouble.

Djati is now a Sunda Wiwitan member, speaking Sundanese, burning incense and sometimes performing midnight prayers in a nearby mountain. “He seems to be more Sundanese than me,” said Kanti, with a giggle.

Djati helps his wife deal with the discrimination that many Sunda Wiwitan members face. “My husband chose Catholicism as his official religion,” Kanti said. “But he practices Kejawen faith. If we insisted on marrying with our own (real) religions, we wouldn’t have birth certificates for our children, or at least, not with my husband’s name on them.”

Under Indonesia’s legal system, an ethnic believer cannot put their kepercayaan on the agama column of their national ID cards and thus cannot legally marry unless they change their kepercayaan to a recognised religion. In these cases, they leave a blank space in the religion column of the card and the civil registration office does not recognise paternity because the couples are not officially married.

Problems for religious minorities escalated in January 1965 when President Sukarno issued a decree that prohibited people from being hostile toward religions or committing blasphemy, which is defined as “abuse” and “desecration” of a religion. Sukarno decreed that the government would steer “mystical sects … toward a healthy way of thinking and believing in the One and Only God.” The decree, which gave official approval only to Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism, was immediately incorporated into the Criminal Code as article 156(a), with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. This has had disastrous effects until the present.

After deposing Sukarno, Suharto and his regime enforced the 1952 decree, which also requires a religion to have a holy book, leading to many bizarre stories of “religious alignment.” In Kalimantan, Dayak tribal leaders created the Panaturan –a collection of Dayak ancestral wisdom compiled into a single “holy book.” This required the creation of a clergy, so Dayak priests were trained. Religious rituals once held in fields and homes were moved into new worship halls called Balai Basarah. But most importantly, Kaharingan religious leaders had to choose a permitted religion to align with. They chose Hinduism, and thus became “Kaharingan Hindu.” But do not ask them about Ganesh or karma!

President Suharto’s wrote about his own Javanese Kejawen faith and Islam in his 1989 authorised biography. He described the syncretism common among the Javanese, conducting his Islamic prayers and celebrating Islamic holidays while also meditating in the sacred places of the Javanese traditions when he wanted to make major decision.

On September 7, 1974, three months before the East Timor invasion, Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam met Suharto in a villa in Mt. Dieng, Java Island, where Suharto was meditating in the Semar Cave, which is named after a mythical Javanese character with whom Suharto identified. That cave is still regarded as sacred. When I visited in 2019 it was locked—the villa is now a museum where photos of the Suharto-Whitlam meeting are displayed. Showing a more open mind towards religious minorities, in 1978, Suharto created a directorate within the Ministry of Education and Culture to service these local religions, telling the Indonesian parliament, “These kepercayaan are part of our national tradition, and need not to be opposed to agama.”

Yet even under a strongman, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, technically in charge of religions, resisted and maintained its opposition to local religions. They have refused to include kepercayaan within their domain and have promoted the inclusion of these believers into monotheistic realms. One reason Muslim groups refuse to recognise kepercayaan is their concern that the percentage of Muslims (88 percent) in Indonesia may decline, threatening their majority status.

In Kuningan, the new atmosphere under Suharto prompted the Sunda Wiwitan to re-convert to their native faith. Some of them legally left the Catholic church. Some maintain the practice of two religions, living with multiple identities. In 1982, the faith registered with the Ministry of Education and Culture’s directorate, seeking government services along with President Suharto’s accommodation of ethnic believers.

During the weekend I spent talking with Kanti, Djati and other Sunda Wiwitan believers, young and old, women and men, I witnessed the pain of the discrimination they faced and the cost of religious intolerance to people full of tolerance themselves.

It is fascinating to see a small religion resisting the power of the state. While Suharto took some important steps to protect religious freedom, it would have been better still if he had shown the moral courage to rescind the blasphemy law and the idiosyncratic and dangerous definition of religion from the Sukarno era. Sadly, Suharto’s successors have also failed to find the necessary political will.

Post-Suharto Discrimination
Jarwan is the only Sundanese man who stays overnight to guard the Sunda Wiwitan tomb in Curug Goong. He is a well-built man, keeping a motorcycle and several guard dogs in the bamboo hut.

“Someone has to stay here,” he said. “I am the youngest of the elders.”

In July 2020, the Kuningan government sealed off the tomb, declaring that the Sunda Wiwitan group had no permit to build “a monument.” Dozens of Sunni Muslim militants accompanied government officials to seal the tomb, saying that “the monument” is idolatrous.

Sunda Wiwitan members argue that the construction is not a “monument” but rather a “tomb” prepared for two of their elders, Dewi Kanti’s parents, Pangeran Djati Kusumah, and Emalia Wigarningsih. “It’s built on their own land. There is no regulation here to ban anyone to have cemeteries on our own land,” Djati said.

This is not an unfamiliar scene in many Muslim-majority provinces in Indonesia. Rights monitors have recorded hundreds of incidents like this involving Sunni militant groups, whose thuggish harassment and assaults on houses of worship and members of religious minorities have become increasingly aggressive. Those targeted include Ahmadis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. To give just one grisly example, on May 13-14, 2018, Islamist suicide bombers detonated explosives at three Christian churches in Surabaya. The bombings killed at least 12 and wounded at least 50 people. Thirteen suicide bombers also died.

In 2006 the government introduced regulations for building permits for houses of worship, prompting Muslim protesters to demand the closure of “illegal churches.” Hundreds of churches were closed. Some Christian congregations won lawsuits allowing them to build, but local governments simply ignored  court rulings. GKI Yasmin Protestant Church in Bogor was shut down in 2008. The congregation won the case at the Supreme Court in 2010 and then-President Yudhoyono asked the local government to reopen the church, but the city government defied the orders, without consequence.

By contrast, in 2010 the Religious Affairs Ministry listed 243,199 mosques throughout Indonesia, around 78 percent of all houses of worship. Recently an ongoing government census using drones and photography has registered at least 554,152 mosques, suggesting that the number of mosques has more than doubled in a decade.

The hardline Islamist preacher, Rizieq Shihab, has just returned to Indonesia from self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia. He then called on his supporters “to behead blasphemers;” on November 27 an Islamist group attacked a village in Sigi, Sulawesi island, beheading a Salvation Army elder and three of his relatives. The attackers also burned a Salvation Army church and six other Christian-owned houses. No action has been taken against Rizieq for inciting violence, although police arrested him for breaking coronavirus restrictions.  

Threats and speeches that incite violence are facilitated by Indonesia’s discriminatory laws and regulations. They give local majority religious populations significant leverage over religious minority communities. Compounding this, institutions including the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society (Bakor Pakem) under the Attorney General’s Office, the Religious Harmony Forum, and the semi-official Indonesian Ulema Council have issued decrees and fatwas (religious rulings) against members of religious minorities, and frequently press for the prosecution of “blasphemers.”

Recent targets of the blasphemy law include three former leaders of the Gafatar religious community, prosecuted following the violent, forced eviction in 2016 of more than 7,000 members of the group from their farms on Kalimantan. A more prominent target was former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama, sentenced to a two-year prison term for blasphemy in a politically motivated case in May 2017. His longtime friend and ally, President Joko Widodo, simply stood by, afraid of the wrath of radical conservatives.

Violence against religious minorities and government failures to take decisive action negate guarantees of religious freedom in the Indonesian constitution and international law, including core international human rights conventions ratified by Indonesia. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Indonesia acceded to in 2005, provides that “persons belonging to…minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion.”

Throughout there have been occasional and modest examples of progress. The Rotary Club began operating again in 1970 after Sukarno died. In 2000, President Abdurrahman Wahid, the eldest son of Hasjim Wahid, cancelled President Sukarno’s 1962 decree banning the Freemasons and alleged associate organisations. After more than a dozen members were detained under the law during the New Order, the Bahai community has since been able to revive their network; however, they have been denied permission to build a temple so they continue to worship in private homes.

A major reform took place in 2006 when President Yudhoyono signed the Population Administrative Law, which no longer requires kepercayaan believers to convert to official religions to be listed on ID cards. But many civil servants are still not aware of or ignore the law, so religious minorities face problems if they refuse to choose one of the six religions that these officials recognise. “They simply say you’re a godless woman if you want to keep the [religion] column blank,” said Kanti, whose ID card has a blank space after the word agama.

In Kuningan, Indonesia’s Ombudsman finally helped mediate the dispute between the Sunda Wiwitan community and the local government, prompting the local authorities to lift the seal on the site and permitting the group to continue constructing the tomb.

The Ombudsman’s Office also helped the Dayak Kaharingan, pressuring several local governments to drop decades of discrimination. Ombudsman Ahmad Suaedy said in a webinar: “The key issue is that they [local religious groups] should get public service. The religious minorities should take courage to report their difficulties.”

In 2017, four Indonesian citizens petitioned the Constitutional Court, demanding the right to have their religions listed on their ID cards. They represented four Indigenous religions including the Marapu  (Sumba ), the Sapto Darmo (Java ), and the Parmalim and the Ugamo Bangsa Batak (Sumatra). On November 7, 2017, the court ruled in their favour.

But the Ulama Council objected to the decision. The Ministry of Home Affairs, which issues and manages ID cards, has since failed to implement the court decision. The Ulama Council argued that the ruling “hurts the feeling of the Islamic ummah,” but it is not clear on what legal grounds the ministry refuses to do its duty.

Separately, the Constitutional Court rejected three petitions to revoke the blasphemy law between 2009 and 2018, declaring that religious freedom was subject to certain limitations to preserve public order (former President Abdurrahman Wahid joined the lawsuit in 2009). Those limitations, the court stated in its 2010 decision, were to be defined by “religious scholars,” thereby outsourcing the rights of minorities to unelected members of the majority religion.

There are more than 180 ethnic-religious communities spanning from Sumatra to the smaller islands in eastern Indonesia. They are estimated to encompass around 10 to 12 million people, although the 2010 census recorded only 299,617 people or 0.13 percent of Indonesians claiming to be exclusively ethnic believers. It is still hard and even dangerous to publicly declare one’s religion in Indonesia.

Indeed, it is gruelling work to battle against both government officials and the Sunni ulama. Spineless politicians, feckless government bureaucrats, and narrow-minded ulama officials hamper the development of democracy and human rights in Indonesia.

Jarwan in Curug Goong knows very well that he cannot rely on the government or anyone else to protect the tomb he stands guard over. “We have seen this mistreatment and intimidation for decades. We must guard our sacred places ourselves."

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Brutal Attack in Indonesia Targets Christian Farmers

Arrest Assailants, Protect Religious Minorities

Andreas Harsono
Indonesia Researcher

On November 27, Islamist militants attacked the Christian-majority village of Lembantongoa in Sulawesi, Indonesia, killing the village elder and three other Christian farmers. The attackers burned a Salvation Army church and six houses, prompting about 750 villagers to flee their homes. This horrific attack is the latest example of increased threats faced by religious minorities in Indonesia.

Survivors told police that the leader of the East Indonesia Mujahideen, Ali Kalora, and about 10 others arrived in the village and accused the elder, Yasa, of informing the police about the group’s whereabouts. Kalora reportedly killed the elder with a knife in front of his family before attacking his son-in-law and two other relatives who tried to intervene.

President Joko Widodo condemned the murders as “beyond the limits of humanity,” ordering the police and the military to find those responsible. This is important, but the problem runs much deeper than one attack.

An affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS), the East Indonesia Mujahideen has previously attacked those they claim to be “non-Muslims” and “Muslims who worship other than Allah.” Since 2012, the group has killed at least 20 people. The victims have been Muslim, Christian, and Hindu farmers the group has accused of helping police.

National police chief Idham Azis told parliament last year that authorities have difficulty arresting members of the group because they have “the support of the local population. The people are sympathetic to the Ali Kalora group.” In 2016, police killed Kalora’s predecessor, Santoso, in a gun battle. Thousands of mourners attended his burial as a “martyr.”

Attacks on religious minorities in Indonesia have been a largely overlooked crisis for the past decade. Human rights monitors each year record hundreds of increasingly violent attacks by militants. There is no easy answer, but the problem will only get worse so long as the government lacks a coherent strategy that includes education, awareness raising, countering hate speech including by officials, disrupting illicit weapons sales, and ensuring that police actions are rights-respecting. Foreign governments should publicly support administration efforts to ensure Indonesia’s religious minorities are protected.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Human Rights Abuses in Post-Suharto Indonesia

Menschenrechte in Indonesien und Timor-Leste 2020
Watch Indonesia!

In July 1997, when the Asian economic crisis began to hit Indonesia, as a journalist, I also began to travel to many parts of Indonesia, the world’s fourth most-populated country, covering the disappearance of staple foods from markets and suppression of uprisings.

In May 1998, President Suharto stepped down after 33 years in power. But the violence became bigger with many ethnic and religious groups trying to seize more political power and economic benefit from Java Island -- Indonesia’s most important island where both Suharto and his predecessor Sukarno had centralized governance since the 1950s.

On Sumatra Island, Aceh freedom fighters openly organized their ceremonies with AK-47s, having deadly clashes with the Indonesian military. On Kalimantan Island, at least 6,500 ethnic Madurese minorities were massacred as rival ethnic Dayak and Malay militants flaunted their muscles, demanding more say in governing the natural resource-rich island. On Sulawesi Island, the tension broke off around Lake Poso in which 600 people were killed in the Muslim-versus-Christian violence. 

East Timor was burned after Indonesia lost in the August 1999 referendum, opening the gate of history, and making the tiny nation a new sovereign state. In Papua and West Papua provinces, state repression against indigenous people simply continued with new forest concessions and mining operations. 

The biggest violence, however, took place in the Moluccas Islands where Christian militias battling Muslim jihadists, involving a large Salafi group that sent more than 5,000 fighters from Java. Several Afghanistan war veterans, including Al Qaeda’s operators, also went to the Moluccas Islands. It killed at least 25,000 people between 1999 and 2005. At least, 90,000 people were killed in that violent period in Indonesia.

In Jakarta, student protesters demanded, “Reformasi.” It was the most difficult battle cry.

Alas, the world did not know about the Indonesian violence.

Al Qaeda launched the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, triggering the United States-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Arab Spring and war in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East sucked up the international media’s attention.

It reminded me how the Vietnam War had also overshadowed the 1965-69 massacres that took place against communists in Indonesia, killing around 1 million people and outlawing then the third largest communist party in the world (after China and the Soviet Union).

General Suharto rose to power after those mass killings – the biggest one in the history of Indonesia. Post-Suharto presidents did little to address those gross human rights violations, nurturing the culture of impunity and violence. It should not shock any observer when mass violence also took place after Suharto’s departure. 

But President B.J. Habibie allowed a U.N. referendum in East Timor in 1999. President Abdurrahman Wahid revoked the ban on Chinese language, Chinese characters, and Confucianism. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed to a European Union-sponsored peace negotiation on Aceh in 2005.

In 2004, the Indonesian parliament passed the local governance law, decentralizing much of the central authorities to the provinces and regencies. The law says that six sectors will remain the domain of the central government: foreign affairs; defense; policing; judiciary; fiscal, monetary; and religious affairs. But responsibility for everything else, from handing over forest concessions to managing education, was handed over to provincial authorities.

The idea to establish Islamic sharia – something that had been debated since 1945-- emerged again via that law, prompting Muslim politicians in predominantly Muslim provinces to write ordinances that meet “Islamic values.”

Yudhoyono, who ruled between 2004 and 2014, accommodated those demands, ignoring the religious affairs restrictions in the autonomy law. His administration strengthened the blasphemy law office, within the Attorney General Office, prosecuting and jailing 125 individuals for blasphemy in a decade --a steep rise from only 10 cases in the four decades after Sukarno wrote the 1965 blasphemy law.

The blasphemy law recognizes only six religions in Indonesia: Islam; Protestantism; Catholicism; Hinduism; Buddhism; Confucianism. Under the Yudhoyono administration, it was also expanded to discriminate against smaller non-Islam Sunni minorities such as Ahmadiyah and Shia. In 2016, a derivative of the blasphemy law was used to force the violent eviction of more than 7,000 members of the Gafatar religious community from their farm houses on Kalimantan Island.

The blasphemy law became a political weapon to mobilize Muslims, including against Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama, himself a Christian, in the 2017 local election in which 500,000 Muslim protesters demanded the government to prosecute Purnama. He lost the election and ended up in prison for two years.

In 2006, the Yudhoyono administration also introduced the “religious harmony” regulation, replacing the constitutional principle of “religious freedom.” The principle of “religious harmony” is that the majority has the veto power over the minorities. His administration set up “Religious Harmony Forums” in every province, city, and regency, as “advisory bodies” to approve new houses of worship and other religious matters. The composition of the forums should be proportional with the compositions of the six religions, which in practice entrenches discrimination against minorities. It prompted the closure of more than 1,000 churches in a decade across Indonesia.

Yudhoyono’s  administration tolerated local politicians writing discriminatory regulations against women and girls. In 2016, Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) identified more than 400 discriminatory national and local regulations that harm women, including forcing women and girls to wear the hijab in government buildings, schools, or other public places. They also included curfews, sex segregated sitting areas, and other restrictions against women and girls. The hijab regulations mandate that women and girls wear hijabs, prohibiting them from wearing close-fitting clothing, and requiring them to cover their bodies except their hands, feet, and face.

Some provinces and regencies have introduced local rules that force even non-Muslim girls to wear hijabs, such as West Sumatra and Aceh on Sumatra, and Yogyakarta and Banyuwangi on Java. Some politicians argued that non-Muslim schoolgirls should “adapt” to the Muslim majority. On Lombok Island, a regent even asked female Muslim civil servants to wear the niqab –a full veil that covers the face but their eyes—as well as long dresses that do not reveal the shapes of their bodies.

Gross human rights violations that took place since President Sukarno declared independence in 1945, including the 1965-69 massacres, as well as ethnic and religious violence after the fall of President Suharto, have not been addressed. President Yudhoyono also avoided a U.N. investigation on abuses in East Timor, having only rudimentary trials against some local officials but not touching Indonesian military and police generals involved in the looting and killings there.

When Joko “Jokowi” Widodo won the presidential election in 2014, he promised to find “missing people,” including the famous poet-cum-dissident Wiji Thukul, and to promote religious tolerance. His administration organized a 2015 symposium on the 1965-69 massacres and released Papuan and Moluccan political prisoners, but he stopped there. He did nothing to revoke discriminatory regulations against women and girls or religious minorities. His administration soon arrested Papua and Moluccan activists again, continuing decades of arbitrary detention of political prisoners. Jokowi also tolerated the rise of discriminatory regulations against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) individuals.

Jokowi and his Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan, PDIP) chose to use “Pancasila” to promote religious tolerance.

Pancasila was a political compromise made during the declaration of independence in 1945. Pancasila, which is about five principles for Indonesia, was included in the opening of the Constitution. The prepared text began with the first principle that the Republic of Indonesia is based on “the belief in the One and Only God, with the obligation to abide by Islamic law for adherents of Islam.”

On August 17, 1945, delegates from East Indonesia, which included Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali, and the Moluccas Islands, successfully argued that the sharia phrase be removed or else they “won’t join Indonesia.” Other Muslim leaders compromised with Pancasila becoming only “Belief in One God.”

But the Sukarno and Suharto regimes used the notion of Pancasila to justify the elimination of their opponents. Suharto used Pancasila to legitimize the mass killings. One of the biggest militias in Indonesia uses Pancasila in its name. It is not a surprise that some Muslim organizations oppose the PDIP’s move to introduce a Pancasila indoctrination law. It is obviously not the answer to eliminate discriminatory regulations and to protect human rights.

Post-Suharto electoral democracy helped reduce ethnic and religious violence but civil liberties, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights, religious freedom, and the rights of the minorities, are in decline.

Some popular movements have emerged such as the #ReformasiDikorupsi hashtag (reformasi has been corrupted). In 2019, hundreds of thousands of students, indigenous peoples, and minorities protested when the parliament tried to pass a new Criminal Code with more discriminatory articles that would violate rights. Some Indonesian students began to challenge racism against dark skinned Papuans like the #BlackLivesMatter in the U.S, organizing unprecedented protests against the criminalization of Papuan students and activists.

Indonesian leaders need to learn from the failures of the last seven decades in not addressing past human rights abuses and prevent these historical burdens from being passed down to future generations.

Andreas Harsono works for Human Rights Watch, based in Jakarta, recently published his book Race, Islam and Power: Ethnic and Religious Violence in Post-Suharto Indonesia.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Dinas Perhubungan Tutup Perlintasan Kereta Palmerah

Pagi ini
 seorang tetangga saya, mengirim surat ke Whatsapp group warga Apartemen Permata Senayan, persis tetangga Menara Kompas. Isinya, surat pemberitahuan dari kepala Dinas Perhubungan Jakarta Syafrin Liputo kepada manajemen Menara Kompas bahwa perlintasan dan jalan depan apartemen akan ditutup mulai besok. 

Liputo menulis bahwa jalan akan ditutup demi "mendukung pelaksanaan program penataan stasiun Palmerah dan peningkatan keselamatan perjalanan kereta api dan pengguna jalan."

Surat ini terdiri dari empat halaman. Ia dikirimkan kepada beberapa gedung sekitar perlintasan termasuk manajemen stasiun Palmerah, sekretariat Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, SMAN 24, Persatuan Penembak Indonesia, PT Senayan National Golf, Senayan City Mall, Plaza Senayan, STC Senayan, Panin Group, Ratu Plaza, FX Sudirman, TVRI, Kompas Gramedia, Hotel Mulia, Hotel Sulthan, Hotel Century Park, Hotel Fairmont, Gelora Bung Karno dan beberapa perusahaan lagi. Semua gedung ini terletak di Kelurahan Gelora. 

Ironisnya, Apartemen Permata Senayan dan Pasar Palmerah tak termasuk dalam surat pemberitahuan. Sebagai warga Kelurahan Gelora, yang akan terkena dampak dari penutupan jalan ini, saya tahu bahwa warga terbanyak dalam kelurahan ini tinggal di daerah sekitar Pasar Palmerah. 

Gedung dengan jumlah warga terbanyak di kelurahan ini adalah Apartemen Permata Senayan. Gedung-gedung lain di kawasan ini adalah gedung perkantoran dan perbelanjaan. Orang tentu sedikit yang tinggal di sana. 

Liputo menulis bahwa ada timeline penutupan perlintasan dengan sosialisasi pada 16-18 November, pertemuan pers pada 23-25 November, uji coba pada 27-28 November serta ditutup pada 29 November. 

Dalam surat tersebut tak disebutkan hasil studi atau pertimbangan menutup jalan. Berapa orang yang meninggal karena kecelakaan di palang kereta api tersebut? 

Saya sudah tinggal di daerah ini sejak 1993 dan melihat dua persimpangan ditutup: Permata Hijau dan Slipi. Saya lihat penutupan kedua persimpangan tersebut memang memudahkan motorisasi, lalu lintas kendaraan bermotor lebih lancar, namun juga membuat pelanggaran jalur satu arah meningkat. Banyak pengendara motor, yang tak mau berputar beberapa kilometer, melanggar aturan lalu lintas. 

Pejalan kaki dibikin susah untuk berjalan apalagi menyeberangi rel kereta api. Beberapa kali saya menyeberang jalan di Permata Hijau. Wuh ... bahaya sekali. 

Menarik untuk tahu bagaimana evaluasi terhadap penutupan jalan-jalan tersebut. Seberapa jauh ia mengurangi dampak dari motorisasi di Jakarta terutama daerah Pejompongan, Palmerah, Senayan sampai Permata Hijau. 

Bagaimana dampaknya pada polusi udara? Bagaimana dampaknya pada makin sulitnya orang buat bersepeda dan berjalan kaki --dua moda transportasi yang bersahabat dengan alam-- serta dukungan dua moda tersebut terhadap pengembangan kereta api di seluruh daerah Jakarta dan pinggirannya? 

Bukankah pemerintahan Gubernur Anies Baswedan mulai mengembangkan trotoar di Jakarta termasuk daerah sekitar stasiun Palmerah dan Senayan? Bagaimana dengan membangun jembatan buat penyeberang yang berjalan kaki?

Saya tentu ingin tahu lebih banyak studi guna mendukung penutupan lintasan kereta dan jalan yang menuju Pasar Palmerah. Pada 1989-1993, saya banyak belajar soal transportasi publik yang berkelanjutan dari Michael Replogle.

Sejak 1993, saya setidaknya menolong lebih dari selusin orang yang terlibat kecelakaan lalu lintas. Namun jumlah kecelakaan terbanyak bukan dari kereta api namun dari motor yang tak berhenti saat lampu merah dekat lintasan kereta api. Mereka kebanyakan menabrak penyeberang jalan atau kendaan lain. 

Saya harap Gubernur Baswedan dan Liputo mau menunda penutupan jalan ini nanti malam. Buatlah konsultasi publik yang memadai. Bukalah data dan angka. Perhatikan kritik terhadap motorisasi. Pikirkan nasib pejalan kaki, pengendara sepeda pancal dan beberapa kusir dokar yang bekerja di Pasar Palmerah. Ini daerah padat. Banyak orang menyeberang jalan. Motorisasi bukan satu-satunya jawaban dari persoalan transportasi di Jakarta. 

Update 29 November 2020

Jalan lintas ditutup dini hari 29 November 2020. Ia hanya dilakukan "sosialisasi" selama tiga hari. Tak ada hasil riset yang dibagikan kepada warga soal penutupan jalan serta dampak dari jalur satu arah. Dinas Perhubungan tampaknya tak punya riset soal pelanggaran lalu lintas akibat jalur satu arah. 

Monday, November 09, 2020

Cerita dan Obituari

Berbagai cerita remeh, tapi menarik, setidaknya bagi keluarga saya, soal pengalaman hidup saya, dari kegembiraan sampai kesedihan, dari kawan sampai adik, mungkin juga kompetitor atau lawan.

Saya selalu tinggal di Pulau Jawa --Jember, Lawang, Malang, Salatiga, dan Jakarta-- namun pernah bermukim di Phnom Penh dan Cambridge. Saya pernah bekerja buat suratkabar di Bangkok dan Kuala Lumpur, sering datang di dua kota tersebut. Saya juga bekerja untuk Human Rights Watch di New York. Banyak cerita muncul dari semua tempat ini. 

Saya menganggap diri saya "orang Jakarta." Kedua anak saya lahir di Jakarta. Saya kenal banyak gang dan cerukan di daerah Palmerah --lingkungan dimana saya tinggal sejak 1994. Saya tahu banyak sekali tempat makan yang maknyus di Jakarta. 

Saya mengatur bagian ini berdasarkan tahun penerbitan. Ia tentu mencakup masa kecil, remaja, kuliah sampai kehidupan dewasa saya, terutama di Jakarta.







Atiek C.B. dan keluarga Joe Biden di Delaware

KALAU tak salah ingat, saya mulai kenal penyanyi Atiek C.B. pada awal 2009, ketika saya datang ke New York buat ikut program Human Rights Watch. Saya seorang penggemarnya sejak 1980an. Kami jadi sering mengobrol: Wilmington maupun Jakarta. Dia tinggal di sebuah rumah di Wilmington, sekitar 90 menit dari New York. Kami juga kenal keluarga masing-masing. Saya kenal suaminya, Laurance Smith, dan anak-anak mereka. Atiek juga kenal Sapariah dan anak-anak kami. 

Sabtu malam lalu, saya menerima kabar kemenangan Joe Biden sebagai presiden Amerika Serikat dari Atiek C.B. Masih siang di Wilmington. 

Saya sudah tidur, sudah Minggu dini hari di Jakarta, kecapekan menunggu hasil perhitungan suara dari Pennsylvania. Dia kirim macam-macam berita juga layar CNN, televisi yang pertama kali menyatakan Joe Biden sudah dapat 273 suara, tambahan 20 suara dari Pennsylvania. 

Dalam sistem pemilihan umum di Amerika, seorang kandidat menang bila dapat separuh lebih dari total 540 suara (electoral college).

Atiek memang suka dengan Joe Biden. 

Sejak Biden masih wakil presiden bersama Presiden Barack Obama, Atiek sering cerita soal Biden, dari kebiasaan dia naik kereta api Wilmington-Washington D.C. setiap hari selama 30 tahun sampai kecelakaan yang merengut isteri dan anaknya pada 1972. Pada 2015, anak sulung Joe, Beau Biden, juga meninggal karena kanker dalam usia 46 tahun. Rumah keluarga Smith sekitar 10 menit dari rumah keluarga Biden di Greenville, Wilmington. 

Kini rumah keluarga Biden, menurut Atiek, “Gak bisa masuk dijaga ketat banget, soalnya Proud Boys militia sepertinya gak happy.” 

Atiek juga kirim foto ketika dia selfie bersama Dr. Jill Biden, isteri Joe Biden, di Cristiana Mall Delaware, pada 2018. Atiek bilang Jill setir sendiri mobil Honda CRV, juga bawa barang belanjaan sendiri. 

Proud Boys adalah organisasi kanan jauh, neo-fasis, keanggotaan hanya khusus lelaki, di Amerika Serikat dan Kanada. Mereka sering terlibat demonstrasi dukung fasisme serta anti-Islam dan anti-Marxisme. Beberapa anggota mereka juga ditangkap karena lakukan kekerasan. Polisi Amerika menilai jaringan ini sebagai "organisasi ekstrimis." Proud Boys juga dilarang oleh Facebook, Instagram, Twitter dan YouTube. Mereka pendukung Presiden Donald Trump yang kalah lawan Biden. 

Kami tentu lega orang macam Joe Biden dan Kamala Harris terpilih sebagai presiden dan wakil presiden Amerika Serikat. Kamala Harris adalah wakil presiden perempuan pertama dalam sejarah Amerika. Dia juga wakil presiden pertama dari keturunan ayah Jamaica dan ibu India. 

Biden dan Harris membuat tanggungjawab kami sebagai orang tua jadi lebih ringan ketika mendidik anak-anak kami bahwa kepribadian yang baik --hormat orang lain tanpa pandang kelas sosial atau ras atau agama atau iman, berpikir kritis, percaya pada ilmu pengetahuan-- sangat penting buat masa depan mereka. 

Kami juga perlu pemimpin yang bisa mengatasi ancaman dari perubahan iklim, setidaknya mau berusaha secara serius menjaga lingkungan hidup. Ini akan jadi salah prioritas Biden plus tiga usaha lain: wabah coronavirus, rasialisme sistematis di Amerika Serikat, dan kesulitan ekonomi. Amerika adalah negara dengan korban meninggal tertinggi karena coronavirus: 230,000 orang. 

Joe Biden memandang setiap orang dengan "dignity and respect." 

"The average guy is important to him," kata seorang masinis kereta api Amtrak, langganan Joe Biden. 

Tugas kami sebagai orang tua terganggu ketika pemimpin populis macam Trump, maupun lainnya di berbagai negara lain, berkuasa dan sering berbohong, menyebarkan kebencian atas nama ras atau agama. Trump mencabut kesertaan Amerika dari perjanjian Paris soal climate change

Jill Biden tetap mengajar bahasa Inggris ketika Joe jadi wakil presiden (2009-2016). Kini Jill Biden juga tetap jadi dosen North Virginia Community College sambil menjadi "first lady" Amerika Serikat: menyiapkan kuliah, menilai makalah mahasiswa, dan sebagainya. 

Sejak Donald Trump muncul Jumat malam untuk bilang dari Gedung Putih bahwa pemilihan umum di Amerika Serikat "dipenuhi kecurangan," tanpa sama sekali mengajukan bukti, Trump tak muncul ke hadapan publik. Dia cuma main Twitter saja. Itu pun sering diberi keterangan oleh Twitter bahwa kicauan Trump tanpa bukti. 

Saya setuju dengan langkah Twitter untuk memberikan peringatan pada setiap kicauan Trump yang ngawur. Twitter tak bisa take down account Trump karena dia seorang pejabat negara. Tapi langkah tersebut bisa diambil bila Trump sudah turun dari kepresidenan. Saya takkan kaget bila account Trump dihapus Twitter. Langkah ini perlu dilakukan terhadap semua pemimpin di dunia. 

Atiek mengirim pesan, "Lame duck president dua hari ini plays golf terus di Virginia, mumettt 😀"

Monday, October 26, 2020

Apakah Perbuatan Hoax Perlu Dihukum Penjara?

Andreas Harsono,

DALAM dua hukum utama soal penghinaan di Indonesia sebenarnya tak dikenal istilah “hoax”. Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Pidana 1918 dan Undang-undang Informasi dan Transaksi Internet 2008 memakai kata: penghinaan, menyerang kehormatan atau nama baik, kejahatan pencemaran, dan fitnah. Ia dilakukan baik secara tertulis (termasuk gambar) maupun lisan. Hukuman tertinggi tujuh tahun penjara.

Namun amandemen KUHP pada 1946, setahun sesudah proklamasi kemerdekaan Indonesia, memasukkan istilah “kabar bohong” dengan ancaman tertinggi 10 tahun penjara. Saya kira definisi “kabar bohong” paling cocok dengan istilah “hoax”.

Ini pasal yang dikenakan pada Ratna Sarumpaet, seorang pendukung kandidat presiden Prabowo Subianto, pada September 2018 ketika dia memotret dirinya, sesudah operasi plastik, namun mengesankan dia dikeroyok orang. Kedua matanya terkesan babak belur. Belakangan Sarumpaet mengaku dia berbohong. Dia dihukum penjara dua tahun. Amandemen 1946 tersebut juga ada pasal soal “kabar tak pasti” sebagai delik umum. Polisi bisa tangkap orang dengan dugaan menyebarkan kabar tak pasti maupun kabar bohong.

Dalam bahasa Inggris, medium perbuatan tersebut dibagi dua kategori: libel (tertulis) dan slander (lisan). Kata lain yang penting dalam bahasa Inggris adalah defamation dari kata kerja “to defame” (merusak kehormatan).

Dalam KUHP, pasal-pasal penghinaan  dari pasal 310 sampai 321. UU ITE mengatur cybercrimes termasuk berbagai penghinaan dan pencemaran nama baik yang dilakukan lewat internet. Khusus di internet, menurut ITE, hukuman tertinggi empat tahun penjara serta denda Rp 750 juta lewat amandemen pada 2016.

Pasal 28 berbunyi, “Setiap orang dengan sengaja dan tanpa hak menyebarkan informasi yang ditujukan untuk menimbulkan rasa kebencian atau permusuhan individu dan/atau kelompok masyarakat tertentu berdasarkan atas suku, agama, ras, dan antargolongan (SARA).”

Contohnya, wartawan Dianana Putra Sumedi dari Banjarmasin dihukum 3.5 bulan penjara dengan pasal tersebut sesudah menulis tiga berita soal sengketa lahan di Kotabaru. Berita diunggah 7-9 November 2019, dengan judul: 
  • Demi Sawit, Jhonlin Gusur Tanah Warga Tiga Desa di Kotabaru
  • Tanah Dirampas Jhonlin, Dayak Mengadu ke Polda Kalsel
  • Dayak se-Kalimantan Akan Duduki Tanah Sengketa di Kotabaru
Jhonlin Group adalah kelompok bisnis raksasa, mungkin organisasi swasta paling berpengaruh di Kalimantan Selatan, yang bergerak di bidang tambang, pelabuhan, transportasi, perkebunan, peternakan, infrastruktur hingga jasa keamanan.

Ada beberapa pembatasan soal penghinaan di Indonesia. Pertama, materi dari perbuatan tersebut, benar atau salah. Bila materi tersebut salah, saya kira, polisi atau jaksa bisa lebih mudah lakukan proses pidana. Bila materi tersebut benar, ia juga sulit diproses.

Anda perhatikan kasus Gerakan Pemuda Ansor versus Suri Nur Rahardja dimana Suri Nur mengibaratkan Nahdlatul Ulama sebagai sebuah bus dalam sebuah wawancara video pada 16 Oktober 2020, “… penumpangnya liberal, sekuler, macam-macam di situ, PKI numplek di situ. Ngorokok, minum, campur di situ… Kesucian-kesucian seorang kiai NU dilecehkan rezim ini.”

Ini tuduhan ruwet. Bagaimana membuktikan ada orang Partai Komunis Indonesia, organisasi yang dilarang sejak 1966, berada dalam Nahdlatul Ulama? Beberapa orang Ansor melaporkan Suri Nur kepada polisi. Dia ditangkap di rumahnya di Malang pada 24 Oktober.

Anda perhatikan juga kasus wartawan Toroziduhu Laia versus Bupati Bengkalis Amril Mukminin soal berita berjudul, “Terkait Dugaan Korupsi Bansos Bengkalis Rp272 M, Bupati Amril Mukminin tak Kebal Hukum.”

Bupati Mukminin gugat Laia secara pidana. Pada Januari 2019, pengadilan Bengkalis vonis Laia lakukan “pencemaran nama baik” Bupati Mukminin dan dihukum setahun penjara dan denda Rp 100 juta. Belakangan Bupati Mukminin ditangkap dan diadili dengan tuduhan korupsi di pengadilan Pekanbaru, Riau.

When it comes to suing the media for defamation, the responsibility rests with you to prove that: A journalist or media outlet published something false about you. That person acted deliberately and negligently. The false statement caused you harm.

Persoalannya, bagaimana kalau materi yang digugat tersebut tak jelas benar atau tak jelas salah?

Dalam kasus Diananta versus Sukirman, nara sumber wartawan Diananta, Sukirman, seorang tetua  Dayak, membantah dia memberikan pernyataan ketegangan antara etnik Dayak dan Bugis, seperti dalam berita Diananta.

Bagaimana kalau polisi atau jaksa membuat hakim yang memutuskan. Apakah materi benar atau salah? Artinya, orang yang dituduh lakukan penghinaan bisa ditahan lebih dulu, sampai ada persidangan.

Sekali lagi, benar menurut siapa?

Seharusnya, ia benar atau salah berdasar ilmu pengetahuan. Ia adalah kebenaran fungsional. Bukan kebenaran filosofi atau kebenaran agama.

Kedua, pelaku wartawan atau non-wartawan. Khusus wartawan, ia lebih sulit dipidanakan karena pekerjaan ini –sebagai gate keeper tentang informasi—secara umum dilindungi hukum, terutama bila si wartawan dianggap salah.

Pada 2012, Dewan Pers dan Kepala Kepolisian Indonesia bikin perjanjian delik pers dimana bila ada laporan pada polisi soal wartawan, dituduh lakukan penghinaan, ia harus diselesaikan lewat Dewan Pers lebih dulu. Polisi takkan proses laporan.

Dewan Pers biasa lakukan mediasi, biasanya diselesaikan dengan hak jawab dan pernyataan Dewan Pers soal materi yang dilaporkan: benar atau salah. Laporan dengan mudah bisa di-upload lewat website Dewan Pers termasuk barang bukti (kliping, video, audio).

Dewan Pers menilai kinerja si wartawan dengan Kode Etik Wartawan Indonesia. Sudah puluhan ribu  kasus selesai memuaskan. Media memuat hak jawab dan penggugat puas karena kehormatannya dikembalikan. Bila si pelapor tak puas dengan hasil kerja Dewan Pers, si pelapor bisa lanjut ke polisi dan si wartawan bisa diproses pidana. Ini terjadi pada kasus wartawan Diananta versus Sukirman dimana keputusan Dewan Pers tak membuat Sukirman memutus kasus.

Perjanjian tersebut tak meliputi media sosial, blog, email, komunikasi pribadi, maupun pers mahasiswa. Singkat kata, ia tak berlaku untuk non-wartawan walau khusus wartawan mahasiswa, saya kira, ia perlu dipertimbangkan masuk kategori wartawan.

Salah satu “ganjalan” wartawan mahasiswa tak masuk dalam perjanjian tersebut adalah ketidakadaan badan hukum. Lembaga pers mahasiswa, kebanyakan bernaung di bawah badan hukum perguruan tinggi masing-masing. Orang yang dianggap bertanggungjawab adalah rektor –bukan editor media tersebut.

Dalam kasus Diananta di Banjarmasin, blog miliknya Banjarhits, tak punya badan hukum. Ia bernaung di bawah badan hukum media Kumparan sebagai “collaborative partner.” Kumparan tak menerima keputusan Dewan Pers bahwa Kumparan harus tanggungjawab, bukan Diananta. Kumparan mencabut berita serta minta maaf lantas memberhentikan Diananta.

Dalam bahasa Inggris, semua yang diatur dalam dua hukum Indonesia tersebut, disebut criminal defamation. Artinya, semua perbuatan tersebut masuk ranah pidana.

Bedakan dengan istilah defamation tok! Tanpa kata “criminal.”

Di Amerika Serikat, negara tersebut tak ikutan criminal defamation. Di Amerika Serikat, defamation diproses secara perdata, gugatan antar dua individu atau badan hukum. Ini menghemat anggaran negara agar tak mengurus perkara rumit dan mahal.

Anggaran untuk polisi kan mahal? Anggaran buat jaksa, hakim, penjara, semua mahal. Mereka tak mau negara ikut-ikutan mengurus perkara pencemaran kehormatan.

Ini berbeda dengan Jerman dimana ada criminal defamation, lumayan panjang pasal-pasalnya, tapi juga ada seruan agar semua pasal dicabut dan negara tak urus. Ini agak repot karena Jerman punya sejarah Holocaust zaman Perang Dunia II. Kebencian ada sejarah yang gelap sekali.

Idealnya, tak ada pidana terhadap pendapat orang, termasuk bila dia melakukan fitnah dan bohong, bahkan menyiarkan kebencian, karena konsekuensi dari keberadaan pasal-pasal ini jauh lebih banyak ruginya terhadap demokrasi dan masyarakat, daripada kebaikannya. Pasal-pasal ini lebih sering dipakai untuk kepentingan orang yang punya kuasa –politik, ekonomi, sosial, agama. Kalau orang biasa dirugikan kehormatannya, dia praktis tak punya akses, waktu maupun dana untuk mengurus pemulihan kehormatannya.

Ideal ini tercantum dalam beberapa konvensi internasional dan regional termasuk International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, European Convention on Human Rights, American Convention on Human Rights, dan African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Di Indonesia, sejak 1960an, debat soal pidana atau perdata belum tuntas. Pasal-pasal ini masih dipakai dan dipertahankan dalam Rancangan Undang-undang Kitab Hukum Pidana.

Pada 2016, hukum internet diamandemen, praktis semua penghinaan dijadikan tindakan pidana termasuk “… mendistribusikan, mentransmisikan dan/atau memungkinkan informasi elektronik dapat diakses“ berisi kebencian. Namun pencemaran nama baik diubah jadi delik aduan, bukan delik umum.

Ini kemajuan kecil walau KUHP tetap berupa delik umum.

Di Amerika Serikat, salah satu infrastruktur yang memungkinkan pencemaran nama baik tak meluas adalah keberadaan jurnalisme yang kuat dan bermutu. Tentu tak semua media di Amerika bermutu tapi pergilah ke kota-kota kecil di sana dimana mereka punya suratkabar atau website berita bermutu. Kepadatan media di Amerika Serikat –termasuk sekolah jurnalisme dan organisasi riset media—membuat demokrasi mereka terjaga lebih baik.

Salah satu pelaku hoax paling terkenal di Amerika Serikat adalah Donald Trump. Setiap menit dia berbohong, media mengutip kebohongan Presiden Trump, tapi ditambah frasa “without providing evidence” (tanpa memberikan bukti). Ini praktik yang sudah berakar. Washington Post misalnya tekun rekam dan hitung kebohongan Trump, setiap hari, mereka beritakan lewat Fact Checker.

Saya bayangkan Menteri Komunikasi dan Informasi Johnny Plate dari Indonesia mengatakan, “Kalau pemerintah bilang itu hoax, ya hoax!” dan Plate jadi sebagai pejabat di Washington DC. Kalimat tersebut pasti akan ditambah “tanpa memberikan bukti” dan dilanjutkan dengan berbagai stastistik tentang pejabat pemerintah yang memberikan kabar tak pasti bahkan kabar bohong.

Jurnalisme yang bermutu adalah musuh utama dari kebohongan.

Di Indonesia, jurnalisme masih harus bekerja keras untuk lawan hoax, termasuk kebohongan orang-orang atas nama jabatan, agama, atau ekonomi. Celah-celah hukum yang mudah dipakai buat kriminalisasi wartawan perlu ditiadakan. Di Indonesia, wartawan maupun non-wartawan masih mudah meneruskan kebohongan, fitnah, bahkan kebencian –rasialisme, homophobia, sektarianisme, misogini. Wartawan perlu belajar delapan peran mereka dalam era internet.

Warga perlu belajar bahwa internet subikin hancur peranan media jurnalistik sebagai penjaga gawang berita. Warga sekarang bisa punya siaran televisi lewat You Tube. Warga bisa menulis “berita” lewat Twitter, Facebook, Instagram atau Whatsapp. Mereka harus belajar jurnalisme. Mereka harus belajar verifikasi. Mereka harus tahu bahwa ada banyak pasal bisa kirim orang ke penjara.

Jangan biasa forward Whatsapp tanpa tahu kebenaran isi pesan. Jangan biasa retweet atau reposting tanpa tahu kebenarannya.

Bill Kovach, guru jurnalisme dan mantan kurator Nieman Foundation on Journalism, mengatakan pada saya bahwa Amerika Serikat belum pernah ada kudeta militer berkat keberadaan jurnalisme yang bermutu. Para jenderal yang geram, selalu punya saluran demokratis buat bongkar ketidakberesan di Amerika Serikat. Kovach kasih contoh Seymour Hersh, wartawan The New Yorker, yang sering dapat informasi dan dokumen dari kalangan militer, termasuk pelanggaran hak asasi manusia yang dilakukan serdadu-serdadu Amerika Serikat di seluruh dunia.

”Jurnalisme dan demokrasi lahir bersama-sama. Tapi jurnalisme dan demokrasi juga akan mati bersama-sama. Jurnalisme gosip, jurnalisme hiburan, jurnalisme propaganda, hanya akan meracuni demokrasi kita,“ kata Kovach. ”Tapi jurnalisme yang dilakukan lewat verifikasi, jurnalisme yang tepat waktu, jurnalisme yang bermutu, akan memperkuat demokrasi.“

Ketika menerangkan delapan peranan wartawan, Kovach mengusulkan warga untuk “diet informasi.” Warga sebaiknya tak membaca informasi busuk. Wartawan harus mengedepankan peran mereka sebagai authenticator (periksa kebenaran informasi) dan sense maker (pakai akal sehat).


Materi diskusi Aksara Institute pada 26 Oktober 2020 tentang berbagai pandangan soal hoax. Bila dalam diskusi ini ada disebut kalimat-kalimat yang secara nyata memang pernah atau sedang dipersoalkan secara hukum di Indonesia, kalimat-kalimat tersebut seharusnya dimengerti sebagai proses belajar dalam membahas perbuatan-perbuatan itu, bukan melakukannya.