The Indonesian Legal and Human Rights Ministry has forbid Greenpeace Indonesia to hold rallies to criticize Indonesian policies and public companies.
“The reason is that Greenpeace Indonesia only holds an association legal permit in Indonesia,” said an official from the ministry’s Abriana Kusuma Dewi in a discussion with the Anti-Foreign NGOs Student Alliance coordinator, Rudi Gani, here Wednesday.
“As an association, Greenpeace Indonesia is not allowed to hold any demonstration or rallies, and as an association, Greenpeace Indonesia can only express ideas, social and cultural,” said Abriana.
Earlier, the student alliance had consulted with the ministry’s high official in determining the status of Greenpeace’s SEA Indonesia Chapter.
Greenpeace has often criticised Indonesia’s governments and companies through rallies protesting coal-fired power plants, Indonesian palm oil plantations, and protests against US fast-food franchise restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in various regions in Indonesia.
In line with Abriana’s statement, former Directorate General for General Legal Administration of the Department of Justice and Human Rights Romli Atmasasmita said that Greenpeace Indonesia rallies in public spaces had violated Law Number 9 of 1998 on freedom of expression in public spaces.
“The only parties that can hold rallies are public organizations. Everybody in Indonesia has the right to express their thoughts in public spaces but must report to the police before the event takes place. As for associations, there are several requirements that need to be met- such as whether the associations are registered or not,” he said.
Romli also said that Greenpeace Indonesia had also violated a regulation against receiving foreign funds without the government’s permission.
“These incoming foreign funds must also be approved by the Central Bank, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Interior Ministry,” Romli added.
As an association, Greenpeace Indonesia also is not allowed to collect public funds: Because the nature of association is social causes, they must be the one who contributes to the public. It is no longer an association if they are still collecting public funds, Romli said.
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