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Indonesian Party Vows Annulment of Controversial Anti-Porn Law

Indonesian Party Vows Annulment of Controversial Anti-Porn Law
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Feb 16, 2009 2:00 PM PST    Text size: 
JAKARTA — Opposing parties of Indonesia's controversial anti-pornography law vowed to annul the law at a public debate against the ruling party on Friday.

The law, ratified last October by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was met with fierce opposition by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the Prosperous Peace Party and a number of civil rights groups on the grounds that "it is a betrayal to the Balinese," said Nyoman Dhamantra of the Party of Struggle at the debate. "With or without a majority, we will overturn the law."

Violators of the law include producers, distributors and online viewers of pornography, which the law vaguely defines as any work with the potential to arouse sexual desire. Producers and distributors of such content face heavy fines and up to 12 years imprisonment, and Internet users who download such material face up to four years imprisonment.

The law's critics claim it "has trampled upon at least five constitutional rights granted to all Indonesian citizens," according to I Dewa Gde Palguna, chief legal advisor of the Bali People's Component.

Enforcement of the law is expected to be a key factor in the upcoming legislative elections in Bali.

In addition to Friday's debate at Udayana University, the Bali People's Component has submitted a judicial review criticizing the law, and Indonesian protestors have held a number of rallies and street demonstrations.

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