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Indonesian court abolishes defamatory articles for government
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14:40, July 17, 2007

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The Indonesian Constitutional Court pronounced Tuesday the abolishment of two Criminal Code articles that carry imprisonment for defamation against the government, saying they were against the 1945 Constitution.

"The articles impede the freedom to express opinions and is therefore against the 1945 Constitution," the court's head Jimly Asshidiqie said when reading the verdict.

The defamatory articles were a product of the Dutch colonial ruler in the past and "had been used by the foreign aggressors against the struggle for independence of our nation," he said.

The verdict was based on a lawsuit filed by Panji Utomo, an activist from Aceh province who has served three months in jail for defamation charges.

The 154 and 155 articles in the Criminal Code carry jail sentence of up to seven years for the acts of inciting hatred against the government or distributing leaflets, posters and other materials to express opposition to the government.

Source: Xinhua

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