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Protests & Legal Challenges to Pornography Law

Balinese United to Challenge New Pornography Law Seen to be Undermining National Integration.

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The people of Bali, represented by a local citizen's group drawn from a broad cross-section of Island's community, are moving ahead with a constitutional challenge to the recent passage of new anti-pornography legislation by the national legislature. Bali-based legal experts are said to be putting the finishing touches on a formal judicial review scheduled to be placed before the Constitutional Court by the end of November 2008.

Underlining the seriousness of local opposition to the new laws seen as inimical to local cultural values, are press reports calling for special autonomy status for the province of Bali if the new law is not repealed.

The Coordinator of the Balinese People's Component (KRB), I Ngurah Harta, told the press on Saturday, November 15, 2008: "Next week we will positively present an appeal against the anti-pornography law. At the moment we are finalizing the draft (of that appeal). We are serious in our commitment to do all that we can to preserve national integration."

Ngurah Harta said the judicial review challenge on the new law will proceed on two fronts: a material challenge filed on behalf of parties who feel aggrieved by the new law and a formal challenge that takes issue with the basic constitutionality of the law and the procedures connected with its passage.

Arguing the case before the Courts will be a team of elite Bali lawyers drawn from Bali's Bar Association.

Demonstration against the anti-pornography legislation have continued in Bali, with the latest round drawing more than 1,000 demonstrators on November 15th through the streets of downtown Denpasar. Joining the Bali demonstrations was the sympathetic Chairman of the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD) from West Papua, Jimmy Demianus Ijie, who addressed the crowds saying the new law threatens national unity and the rights guaranteed by the State ideology of Pancasila, The Papua legislator ominously warned that he could no longer guarantee the loyalty of his constituents to the Indonesian State if the new law is promulgated.

Vowing to continue their struggle against the new law, KRB members at the latest rally pledged they would undertake civil disobedience in opposing the law. Demonstrators said the passage of the law reflects a national failure to observe and protect national diversity.

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