Thursday, October 14, 2010

No more Book Ban

Yesterday, the Constitutional Court passed a historical verdict which canceled a law that provides authority to the Attorney General to ban books and other printed materials.

According to the said Court, the Law No 4/PNPS/1963 regarding "Securing Printed Materials whose content might Disrupt Public Order" is contradictory to the Constitution of 1945.

It also ruled that the banning of printed materials should only be done through a Court's verdict.

Please find below a news article that I quoted from The Jakarta Globe.

This is really a Great News that provide great opportunity for Indonesian writers to make great writings.

Indonesian Attorney General Loses Power to Ban Books
Camelia Pasandaran, Heru Andriyanto & Ismira Lutfia | October 14, 2010

Jakarta. In a landmark verdict, the Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck out a law that gave the Attorney General’s Office the power to ban books, saying such power should rest with a judicial court. 

“The 1963 Law on Securing Printed Materials whose content could disrupt public order is against the Constitution,” court chief Mahfud MD said. “The law is no longer legally binding.” 

Justice Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi gave a dissenting opinion but his argument was not immediately clear. 

Muhammad Alim, another justice, said that in a state governed by law, confiscating or banning publications and books should be done through the process of law.   
Read more .....................


colson said...

Great. A decision the Constitutional Court should be congratulated with. Each time censorship is diminished or abolished we should hail the moment.

The era of free thought and free press got within reach now. It will be completed if no controversial publications at all will be banned. Which is not yet the case. I'm afraid Theodora Erlijna is right: the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law and the 1965 Blasphemy Law still seriously limit that freedom.

boyin said...

the possibility for Indonesia that the banned won't have a big impact as reading awareness is generally low.

H. Nizam said...

Although there are still other laws that limit freedom, revoking of authority to ban books we are moving one step ahead.

For the present condition you may have been right. But in the long run reading awareness would surely grow, then it would be different.

The Scribe said...

This sure is a great development for this will not only suppress the oppression for the right of freedom of expression but this means a more free access to information for all. More power.

H. Nizam said...

The Scribe,
Yes this is a great development for democracy.

Yari NK said...

This is a piece of great news. But I hope that freedom of press is coupled with responsibility from the writers. One should not write if he or she is about to stir up violence amongst people or to spread hatred as his or her main intention.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Yari,
I fully agree that freedom of press should be implemented with responsibility of the writers/ reporters so as to maintain social political condition in society.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Pleased for your country, Harry. Another step forward for your society.


H. Nizam said...

Yes this is a big leap for democracy in Indonesia.