Indonesia constitutional court rejects challenge to broad anti-pornography law

Indonesia constitutional court rejects challenge to broad anti-pornography law

[JURIST] The Indonesian Constitutional Court [official website, in Bahasa] on Thursday rejected [press release, in Bahasa] a challenge to a controversial anti-pornography law. The law [text, in Bahasa] was purportedly designed to protect younger generations from pornographic and lewd materials. Critics challenged the bill for being too broad, discriminating against women, and targeting aspects of Indonesian tradition and culture, but the court rejected those arguments. Some areas of Indonesia, such as Bali, have refused to enforce the law [AP report]. While Indonesia is officially secular, it is the world's largest Muslim country by population, and some areas are ruled by Sharia law [JURIST news archive].

The Indonesian Parliament [official website] passed the law [JURIST report] in 2008, criminalizing all "obscene" works and "bodily movements" that could violate public morality. Proponents of the law included President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [official website; BBC profile] and his administration, who claimed that the law would protect Islam and cultural art while eradicating pornography.