Designing a Counter-Terrorism Legal Policy Complying with Human Rights and Democracy in Indonesia

By Mardenis; Tegnan, Hilaire | Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, January 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

Designing a Counter-Terrorism Legal Policy Complying with Human Rights and Democracy in Indonesia


Mardenis, Tegnan, Hilaire, Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues


INTRODUCTION

Terrorism is defined by the United Nations as criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes (Laws and Regulations, 1994). These criminal acts, are committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act (Laws and Regulations, 2004). Terrorist attacks in Indonesia date as far back as on March 28, 1981 when flight 206 of the national airlines Garuda Indonesia, leaving at 8 AM from Jakarta to Medan, was hijacked by five terrorists armed with machine guns and grenades. They claimed to be members of Komando Jihad. One cabin crew, one soldier and 3 terrorists were killed during the attack. It was not until 2002 that another act of terror occurred in Indonesia with the explosion of a nightclub at Kuta, Bali on October 12, 2002, which took the lives of 300 people, mostly foreign nationals and injured 180 others. As argued at the outset of this paper, after the attack, the UN Security Council adopted the resolution No. 1438, which condemned the act of terror and requested all UN member states to help Indonesia bring anyone involved in the attack to court (Tunggal, 2003). The enactment of the government regulation No. 1 and 2/2002 on Combating Terrorism backed by the passing of Law No. 15 and 16/2003 on the Eradication of Terrorism and Law No. 9/2013 on the Prevention and Eradication of terrorism financing, proves that terrorism is real in Indonesia. However, the enforcement of these laws has raised human rights and the rule of law concerns. In the quest to distance herself from other war-torn muslem countries, Indonesia must ensure its citizens as well as the international community that its terrorism eradication policies and laws comply with these principles. The first part of this paper discusses terrorism eradication legal politics in Indonesia while part two presents the difficulties in terrorism eradication legislations. Part three focuses on how to design a proper terrorism eradication legal politics in Indonesia.

The Existence of Counter-Terrorism Legal Policy in Indonesia

The achievement of security, justice, prosperity and social welfare, etc., depends very much on the legal policies of the government. In most Civil Law countries law is the product of politics. The balance of power or the political configuration affects legislation (Abdussalam, 2011). The fight against terrorism in Indonesia intensified after the Bali bombing in 2002, as argued earlier. The debate surrounding this tragedy is similar with that of 9/11 in the United States of America as many Indonesians believed that actual terrorists were behind the attack while a great number thinks it was an "inside job planned by the then Indonesian government to hand over Abubakar Ba'asyir, an alleged Al-Qaeda militant in Indonesia, to the American government". Whether or not these allegations hold true remains hard to prove. The confusion surrounding this tragedy, to this day, is due to the lack of transparency in handling terrorism cases. As a result, the war on terrorism, so far, has only been able to apprehend and prosecute a handful of low-level suspects while actual terror masterminds remain on the loose. This further strengthens the hypothesis that the legal policy lying behind the fight against terrorism is influenced by short-term political interests. Besides the influence of domestic politics, the Indonesian counter-terrorism legal policy is also influenced by the development of international affairs, as shall be dissuced later on. Althgough the fights against terrorism really began to intensify after the Bali booming, it is important to note that this attack was preceded by several others namely: 1) The jihad-motivated terrorist attack on January 21, 1985 at Brobudur Temple, a World Wonder in Yogyakarta; 2) The bombing of the embassy of the Philippines in Jakarta on August 1, 2000 that killed two persons and injured 21 including the Ambassador Leonides T. …

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