Indonesia revokes book-ban law
"It symbolises the end of a period of darkness for all of us. It will allow future generations to learn the truth about everything, from science to history,"
- Historian Hilmar Fari
The Indonesian Constitutional Court has struck down a law on book-banning that has been used to stifle dissent, in a landmark ruling welcomed by historians, authors and rights activists.
For more than four decades since the days of former President Suharto, the Attorney-General's office could unilaterally prohibit publication or distribution of books deemed "offensive" or a "threat to public order".
But the court ruled on Wednesday such power should rest with a judicial court.
"The sole authority of the Attorney-General to ban the distribution of printed materials without due process of law is a characteristic of an authoritarian state and not a law-based state like Indonesia," Constitutional Justice Muhammad Alim said, the Jakarta Post reported.