Skip to content
on our interactive map

ECPM Partners Fatia and Haris acquitted: the battle goes on after the Prosecutor’s appeal

ECPM welcomes the acquittal of our colleagues Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar on the case filed against them in 2021 on defamation charges for comments made during an online discussion, deleted since then, on the conclusions of a report they co-wrote with other CSOs, on mining activities in Papua and the alleged involvement of Indonesian officials.
Fatia Maulidiyanti, Haris Azhar and their legal team

For two years, Fatia and Haris have been subjected to judicial harassment, putting at risk freedom of expression in Indonesia, installing the fear that Human Rights Defenders could not properly carry out their work and that the civil society in general could not express their opinion, hence, endangering democracy as a whole. Today, on 8 January 2024, justice has prevailed as judges dismissed all the accusations and acquitted Fatia and Haris on all accounts defending that any of the information shared during the online presentation was not deemed to constitute defamation.

“This decision sends a message that we must continue to criticize, speak out, and express opinions. What the judge said was the truth, because it mentioned democracy and freedom of expression. This verdict sends the message that we should not be afraid and [should] not stop” said Muhammad Isnur from Advocacy Team for Democracy (defense team).

On the eve of the general elections on 14 February 2024, this decision sends a message of hope to Indonesian civil society and democracy in the country. It shall serve as an example. 

However, on the same day, Public prosecutor has filed an appeal on the same charges. As Arif Maulana, from the Advocacy Team for Democracy, had foreseen earlier today, “there is hope for democracy. We hope that the Supreme Court can be consistent [with this verdict] if there is a legal action submitted by the Public Prosecutor”.

Therefore, ECPM calls on the Supreme Court to follow the decision rendered today by the East Jakarta Court.