Thu, 22 Sep 1994

Freedom of speech

As freedom of speech is guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution, I was very sad to read about the ban imposed on lawyer and human rights activist Adnan Buyung Nasution from speaking at the University of Kristen Petra in East Java capital of Surabaya, as reported by Kompas on Aug. 31.

In my opinion, he is seen by the government as a member of the opposition so the ban did not come as a surprise.

Indonesia is a state based on law (rechstaat) not on power (machtsstaat) so the ban is a contradiction of the state law.

Article 1365 of the Civil Code calls it an unlawful act made by the authority (onrechtmatige overheidsdaad). Thus, in line with the law, anyone can sue the government at the district court.