HTI’s Lawsuit Will Be Defeated
The government has disbanded Muslim hard-line group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) for conducting activities that contradict state ideology Pancasila and the principle of a unitary state of the republic of Indonesia.
The Law and Human Rights Ministry officially revoked HTI’s status as a legal entity on Wednesday. The move was taken following the issuance of a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) on mass organizations.
The Perppu has sparked concerns over potential violations of the right to assemble as it grants the government the power to disband mass groups without due process. The HTI is disbanded, in accordance with Article 80A of the Perppu. Although the HTI mentioned Pancasila as its ideology in its statute (AD/ART), facts show that its activities are not in line with Pancasila. The ministry issued the HTI a permit in July 2014. Since then, the group has reportedly promoted the establishment of a caliphate, which contradicts Pancasila. HTI could take legal measures against the move if it so wished.
Meanwhile, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) has condemned the government’s decision to revoke the Muslim organization’s legal status, calling it an arbitrary act. HTI spokesman Ismail Yusanto said the group had never received a warning letter.
According to Article 62 of the 2017 Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) on Mass Organizations, the government should issue a warning letter and terminate activities of an organization before revoking its status as a legal entity.
“The government has violated its own regulation. According to the Perppu, we should be subject to administrative sanctions first, not immediate disbandment,” Ismail said. “We won’t remain silent. We’ll fight back through a legal process,” Ismail said, adding that the group had not yet decided what kind of legal process it would take, as it would first examine the government’s decision.
Responding to the government’s decision to ban HTI, muslim group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) is set to file a lawsuit with the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) to challenge the revocation of its legal entity status and instruction to disband by the government.
According to HTI’s lawyer Yusril Ihza Mahendra, referring to the Regulation in a Lieu of Law (Perppu) No.2/2017 on Mass Organizations, in a written statement on Wednesday, a couple hours after the government announced the official banning of the HTI. The HTI filed a judicial review with the Constitutional Court to challenge the Perppu on Tuesday. However, Yusril said the group should take other legal steps because with the disbandment, it no longer had legal standing to file a judicial review.
Will be defeated
The HTI is the first organization to be affected by the Perppu. If the HTI is eventually dissolved, it would be the first Islamic organization to be banned in the period following the downfall of the New Order authoritarian regime in 1998. During the three decades of the regime, President Soeharto banned numerous Islamic organizations whose activities and ideas deemed to be threats to the country’s founding ideology Pancasila.
Even though HTI had stated in its statutes and rules of association that it adopted Pancasila values, the group had advocated the establishment of a caliphate, reflecting an ideology that was not in line with Pancasila.
The government believes HTI contravenes the Pancasila state ideology as it promotes the Islamic caliphate (Islamic state). By issuing Perppu No.2 on July 10, the government gave the authority to the Law and Human Rights Ministry to disband all mass organizations regarded as contravening Pancasila without due process of law.
The decision to ban HTI came amidst worsening sectarianism in the country during the course of the Jakarta gubernatorial election which saw Christian of Chinese descent Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok’ Purnama facing off against former culture and education minister Anies Baswedan.
The Law and Human Rights Ministry announced earlier that it had revoked HTI’s legal entity status because the group had conducted activities opposed to Pancasila, the state ideology.
Politically, HTI’s ban decision has been shown that the government will take any efforts to remain and to cover state ideology, Pancasila from whatever, whenever and whoever will be tried to change or to oppose it. However, those decision has been proving that state and government including a nationalist stakeholders have been presenced to tackle and to handle “clear and present danger” HTI with its belief such as the caliphate system, political doctrine and an ideology which will be tried to retake Pancasila as a nation ideology.
Having contrary opinion, political analyst Sidney Jones deemed Wiranto’s announcement to ban HTI as politically inept and “left Indonesia more religiously polarized than ever. She warned that the decision could come back and haunt the Jokowi government. I think Jones’s opinion does not happen becaute the government regulation in lieu of law didn’t only for HTI itself, but it will be implemented to whatever mass organization which is spreading, campaigning and sharing propaganda or other promosing about an ideology or political movement which bring a separatism, radicalism and communism spirit. All of those the type of mass organization will be vanished from Indonesia through the implementation of Perppu Number 2/2017.
Other an argument have said that the government’s move to issue the Perppu has been criticized, because it allows the ministry to disband any mass organization deemed to oppose Pancasila without court approval, which some have called a setback for democracy, since the government could curtail the freedom of association and expression. I think those an argument have basically wrong think and a political stance because court stakeholders in Indonesia have been believed that any mass organization deemed to oppose Pancasila will take law punishmen t such as baning or whatever sanction has been regulated at Perppu No 2/2017, because of that HTI’ lawsuit will be defeated finally.
Indonesian people should have supported to the government decision to ban HTI, and believe in the Perppu has not become a controversial issue and it does not trigger condemnation from the public and rights groups because all of Indonesian people believe in that those policy or decision does not threaten the freedom of association and expression, because those decision has just only shown that the seriously of Indonesian government always presence and tackle whatever a problem which can hurdle us to reach prosperity, healthy democracy and conditioning security situation. Finally, i hope PTUN and the Constitution Judiciary (MK) have decide that HTI’s lawsuit doesn’t fullfit to support. Hopefully.
*) Agung Wahyudin, a political observer. Lives in Depok, West Java.