|Pacific Media Watch|
Information bill 'a threat to press freedom'
Title -- 5289 INDONESIA: Information bill 'a threat to press freedom'
Date -- 1 February 2008
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- The Jakarta Post 31/1/08
Copyright - JP
Status -- Unabridged
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INFORMATION BILL A THREAT TO PRESS FREEDOM: COUNCIL
Terjemahan (atas jasa "Kataku"):
JAKARTA (Jakarta Post Online/AAP/Pacific Media Watch): While promoting transparency, the public information bill poses a threat to the nation's hard-won press freedom as it contains articles which may criminalize some journalistic work.
The media council's deputy chairman Sabam Leo Batubara said Thursday, that if enacted, the bill would discourage the media from exercising their freedom to report irregularities in public institutions.
"Some articles in the bill violate freedom of information," Leo said.
Article 49 of the bill says that anyone who misuses public information on purpose will face a maximum sentence of two years in jail or a maximum Rp 30 million (approximately US$3,243) fine.
Article 54 of the bill threatens to jail anyone who accesses or spreads "certain" information classified as being outside of the public domain for a maximum of five years or to fine them a maximum Rp 75 million.
"The bill will keep journalists from disclosing wrongdoings in public institutions. The measurement to determine 'certain' information is misused and remains unclear," Leo said.
"Naturally, nobody wants to risk being sent to jail. The bill will make journalists avoid negative reports."
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