Following a series of attempts by the Indonesian Parliament to weaken the country’s anti-corruption agency, known as the KPK, Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement and Transparency International Indonesia are for the second time in two years calling on President Joko Widodo to publicly commit to protecting the organisation’s independence so it can carry out its work free from intimidation.
Over the years politicians have systematically tried to introduce legislation to weaken its powers, including taking away the authority to conduct wiretappings, which is crucial to the agency’s success in prosecuting graft cases.
Transparency International is also calling on the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) to stop the attacks by its chair, Dr. Fadli Zon, on the KPK. This behaviour contradicts the mission of the organisation.
Earlier this year the KPK investigated the corrupt procurement of an electronic ID system that implicated a number of lawmakers, prompting new attacks on the agency. Lawmakers then opened an inquiry into the KPK accusing it of overstepping its mandate.
“The KPK is determined to fight corruption, no matter who is involved. There must be no impunity for the powerful. President Widodo must speak out and take actions to ensure that the KPK is safe from intimidation. Lawmakers must not be allowed to weaken its powers or dodge its investigations,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.
“The KPK has a solid reputation for doing a good job in the fight against corruption. It is respected by ordinary Indonesians who are fed up with the corrupt acting with impunity. It should be allowed to work, free from intimidation,” said Felia Salim, Chair of Transparency International Indonesia.
On Friday 14 July, members of Transparency International Indonesia will show their support for the KPK along with civil society organisations and ordinary Indonesian citizens in demonstrations outside its headquarters.
Indonesia is also a signatory of the United Nations Convention against Corruption which states in Article 6.2 that “Each State Party shall grant the body or bodies referred to in paragraph 1 of this article the necessary independence, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its legal system, to enable the body or bodies to carry out its or their functions effectively and free from any undue influence.”
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