Indonesia says it will take ‘over-reaching’ approach to police crackdown on online defamation

Indonesia says it will take ‘over-reaching’ approach to police crackdown on online defamation

Indonesia will begin implementing a “broad-based” censorship policy, including banning websites that violate civil liberties and limiting free speech, a police official said on Tuesday, as authorities crack down on online platforms for defaming politicians and the public.

The announcement comes days after authorities in Indonesia’s third-largest island of Bali arrested a woman for insulting the president and calling for his impeachment, in what critics called a crackdown on free speech.

A police official did not elaborate on what kind of restrictions would be implemented.

Lawmakers in the lower house of Parliament are scheduled to discuss the proposed measures during a session on Wednesday.

“We are not going to put up with this kind of speech,” said Riza Sengupta, head of Indonesia’s Association of Journalists and Defenders of Freedom of Expression.

Indonesia has faced criticism from Western countries over the past year for its harsh crackdown on media freedom.

Last year, the government arrested and detained more than 200 journalists, including some for posting information on social media.

Last year, a court sentenced a blogger to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of publishing a satirical newspaper article in which he claimed that Indonesia was not safe from the Islamic State group.

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