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Bali Goes to Court to Challenge Anti-Porn Law

Constitutional Challenge to Unpopular Anti-Porn Law to Be Launched by Bali on January 9, 2009.

(1/10/2009) A group of Bali legal experts calling themselves the Bali's People's Component (KRB) has now finalized the draft a judicial review against the new anti-pornography laws recently signed into law by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The 50-page judicial review is scheduled to be presented to the Constitutional Court on January 9, 2009, and argues that the new anti-pornography laws robs large segments of the Indonesian population of cultural rights of self-expression guaranteed under the national constitution. The review also identifies 21 separate professions that will suffer a curtailment of creativity under the new law. Among the "threatened" professions cited by the KRB as being "at risk" due to the new law are dancers, choreographers, poets, short story writers, novelists, actors, playwrights, directors, gymnastic instructors, tourism workers, photographers, painters, art gallery owners, sculptors, art shop owners, singers, composers, recording studio owners, models, designers, broadcasters and reporters.

The Bali legal challenge argues that at least 5 separate constitutional rights are trampled upon by the new anti-pornography legislation:

● The guarantee of a certainty under the law.

● The guarantee of equal treatment before the law.

● The right to live free of fear and intimidation.

● The right to derive benefit from art and culture.

● The right to employment and to earn a living from such employment.

A member of the KRB and the former Rector of the Bali Institute of Indonesian Arts (ISI), Professor Dr. I Made Bandem, is urging all Balinese artists to take an active role in proposing and supporting the judicial review. Explained Badem: "This is a historical moment with 'history in the making' as we prove that artists and those working in culture are courageous enough to oppose those trying to trample upon the national motto of 'United in Diversity.'"

One member of the KRB has estimated that the Constitutional Court will need 4 months to render a decision on the Bali appeal.

Because of the long journey ahead, Nusa Bali has published an appeal for people to donate funds to the KRB via I Wayan Juniartha at telephone ++62-(0)81236131311 or via email jiwabening@yahoo.com.

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[Bali Rejects New Anti-Pornography Law]

[5 Thousand in Bali Protest Pornography Law]

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