ICJR: Personal Conversation Should Not Be Criminalized

A private conversation between two adults is not the domain of criminal law.

Cases of personal conversation, including conversations containing private intimate video between two adults are a recent trend of criminal charges. There are at least 3 cases related to intimacy in private spaces, the case of Nazriel Irham and two other cases namely the case of Wisni Yetti and the case of Firza Husein.

Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) reminds that the criminal law enforcement process on violations of morality and pornography should not target the private spaces of the citizens. The State is only obliged to enforce the law when there are minors engaged in the private conversations.

Looking from these three cases above, the threat to the private spaces of citizens is increasing. In accordance to the ICJR records, Nazriel Irham and Wisni Yetti have been found guilty by the Court. In the latest case of Firza Husein, it is currently under investigation in the Police. Of these three cases, the legal intervention of the citizens’ private spaces is a matter that needs to be critically reviewed. ICJR sees that the legal intervention of some events took place in private spaces is increasingly legitimized by the emergence of various cases using the Law No.44 of 2008 on Pornography and Law No.11 of 2008 jo Law No.19 of 2016 on Electronic Information and Transactions.

In ICJR’s view, conversations made through instant messaging where it is addressed specifically only to one person and not intended to be publicly known can not be criminalized. The application of criminal law for such cases would authorize the State to further intervene the private spaces of citizens.

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