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Indonesia passes controversial media bill JAKARTA - Only one tiny faction in parliament said it wanted the draft to be debated again but outside the assembly hundreds of protesters including broadcasters, television personalities and media representatives staged a rowdy rally against the bill. Most complaints were directed at the bill's creation of government-nominated commissions to decide standards to be followed by stations and to punish violators of the rules.
Media groups say the bodies will revive the gagging of the press that became the trademark of the authoritarian regime of former President Suharto, who left power in 1998. Since Suharto's downfall amid social chaos, Indonesia's media has become one of the freest in Asia, with numerous broadcast and print organizations springing up.
"With this legislation, the government is putting in place a cumbersome and undemocratic bureaucracy designed to control the media rather than encourage free expression," executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ann Copper, said in a letter to President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
But members of parliament and the government argued that the commissions were needed to control wayward shows incompatible with society's values. The bill only needs to be signed by Megawati to become law.



Posted in Media @ 29 November 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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