The Aceh office of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission has proposed a draft of the province's broadcasting qanun , or bylaw, that will be used as a standard to censor films, TV and programs to ensure they adhere to Islamic law.
The draft, however, received strong opposition from the local branch of the Independent Journalists Association (AJI), which objected on the grounds that the proposed measure violated press freedom laws.
Mukhtaruddin Yakob, head of the local branch of the AJI, said the draft had been submitted at the end of January to the governor's office for preliminary review: The proposed qanun is inconsistent with the [national] Press Law and the Broadcasting
Law, he told the Jakarta Globe.
Mukhtaruddin said the qanun would require inappropriate censorship of the program content of broadcasters operating in the staunchly Islamic province.
The proposed bylaw would require radio and television stations to broadcast live the obligatory weekly prayer on Fridays and prohibit them from airing crime reconstructions, obscene material and sexual harassment cases.
It also bans broadcasters from airing fund-raising efforts that are not in the Muslims' interests, Mukhtaruddin said.
Under the qanun, movies, television shows (including soap operas and documentaries) and commercials would be subject to censorship by the Aceh Film Censorship Board and Aceh Film Advisory Board (Bapfida).