Press Release
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Projection on Upholding Human Rights in 2008: The unwillingness continues

The Coallition of Human Rights and Victims of Human Rights Violation NGOs, which are Arus Pelangi, Demos, FSPI, HRWG, Imparsial, Kalyanamitra, LBH-APIK, Praxis, Jaringan Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran HAM/Solidarity Network for Human Rights Violations (JSKK), INFID, Jaringan Relawan Kemanusiaan/Humanity Volunteer Network (JRK), KontraS, Setara Institute, PBHI, Prakarsa, SHMI, Wahid Institute, YLBHI, are having intention to present joint note on evaluation and projection of human rights in 2007 and 2008. We will divide the note into three parts: 2007 review, projection on human rights in 2008 and recommendation.

1. Review

The commitment of the Republic of Indonesia to implement human rights was getting weaker in 2007. This is because there are inconsistencies between the images to be displayed and the works in reality. What really happens with regard to human rights, civilian rights as political rights, including economic, social and culture rights, has deteriorated government’s efforts to present positive and transparent image before the international community. In addition, this positive image has failed to respond human rights violations cases in international level, such as in Myanmar, Malaysia, Pakistan, migrant workers and carbon trading (climate change) as well in national level. In practice, there is no significant change, in the level of action and policy (violation by commission) and disregarding (violation by omission). Political image in international level for human rights issues, with various cooperations in international human rights mechanism, is not in line with government position to reality in national level since there are numerous human rights violations including limitation and curtailing freedom as well murdering political opposition.

Moreover, diplomatic image of human rights is not reflecting the reality in Indonesia as many human rights violations happen across the country. The transparency of the government by granting access to two special rapporteur and high commissioner of the human rights of the UN, is not supported by a number of government officers during the UN officers mission to Indonesia in solving human rights cases. The law officers are still taking part in torture and inhumanity, cruel as well as human degradation practices as they often use firearms to arrest someone. The obligation of the National Police to protect rights of everyone against threats and challenges from the third party as well to combat crimes should worry each one of us. This is because a number of cases of closing worship places or attacking minority religious groups often happen. The government itself is still keeping its discriminative and repressive framework for religious freedom brought by minorities. The government did nothing as violence and intolerance of the third party take place. Discrimination based on religion or based on state framework also still happen. The victims of the 1965-1966 tragedy also still experienced intolerance and discrimination.

In many cases, law officers as well as legal mechanisms have failed to punish the perpetrators, including the mastermind behind Munir’s case. There is impression then that organized crime with impunity lies behind this process. The list continues since many criminal activities in conflict area as in Poso, even the worst criminal activities, are not punished. In addition, a number of corruption cases are unsuccessfully brought before the court in fair and non-discrimination way. This also raises the issue of impunity. The organized impunity is reducing the hope of the victims of human rights violations to get justice.

In natural resources ownership and management issues, whether in cities or villages, in particular for cases such as land dispute, displacing urban poverty community, limitation for labor rights, the involvement of military officers, police and para-military is very clear. Violence is a serious threat for those who fight for their rights. For example, two gross violation human rights occurred. First, extrajudicial killing as well as cruel and inhumanity practice that leads to death to farmers in Alas Tlogo, East Java. Second, the death of someone who allegedly stabbed a police officer. In another case, the state is using para-military forces to displace people from their land. One example is opening oil field in Lapindo. The oil field is close to people residences and as a result eight villages were drowned. Lapindo is an example how a company, supported by the state, rejects to fulfill the rights of the victims.

Liberal economic policy of the government, although it is increasing statistically, has jeopardized economic, social and cultural rights of the people. Many audit reports shows corruption and malpractices in the budget. As a result, the government has lost its capacity to fulfill the rights of the people in economy, social and culture such as getting jobs, health facilities and education. Furthermore, the policy has also deteriorated woman’s rights as exploitation of woman migrant workers has increased, education level for woma is very low, high mortality rate of mother and children, and also increasing cases of violence in the household.

Although regional autonomy has opened and spread political participation, effect of this regional autonomy management is also a threat on the implementation of other rights, that is to say woman rights. As also happens in national level, political participation for woman in the region is also low. Regional autonomy has not touched improvement for street children, child labour as well as those who experienced violence and bad treatment to children in jail.

On the other side, primordialism in political autonomy is increasing. It goes hand in hand with fundamentalism and the two are srious threats to diversities in terms of ethnic, politic and religion. For instance, threats and challenges to religious freedom and faith are very clear, as shown by the implementation of discriminative regional regulation including the implementation of inhuman and cruel punishment in Aceh. Effect of the autonomy management has posed a threat to groups with different sexual orientation. They are facing difficulties to obtain their identity and citizenship status, get acces to health facilities, practicing religious activities, freedom to gather as well as right for jobs since they always rejected or fired. Some of them are being criminalized due to their sexual orientation and due to their position as victim and reporter. For example, one of them was killed during law and order operation made by the government of DKI Jakarta.

We have seen the law is not able to guarantee respect and protection to human rights. The government has failed to synchronize international standards and norms of human rights, in particular the ones already ratified, with national law. For instance, the Constitutional Court is still legalizing death penalty, revision on the Penal Code is still keeping article on insulting to the public officers, the existence of Pakem (an institution to monitor people’s faith and believing) as a tool to repress religious freedom and faith as well another rules and regulation against the human rights.

2.  Projection on human rights in 2008

In the future, in 2008 especially, prospect on protection, fulfillment and development of human rights will not be different to 2007. Still, the government will be inconsistent in human rights policy, in international or national level. Factors that would negatively affect the process of upholding human rights are liberal economic policies of the government will continue, pro security policies that will be athreat to civil freedom such as draft on the Law of National Secret and lastly political competition in international and national level. The competition will be stronger as general election for the House of Representatives and the President in 2009 is getting closer since the number of seats in the parliament, regional parliament as well as the candidates for president is increasing. Political resources are predicted to have massive mobilization process as part of public competition involving as many citizens as it could. On the other side, substance of the political law, especially law on political party, which have just been passed, will give opportunity to unholy alliance between capital holder and politicians.

This year is also part of the history of ten years reform process and sixty years DUHAM. Therefore, demand for reform will increase, especially in fulfilling the rights of human rights violations victims in the past. The Human Rights Councilof the United Nations will also ask the commitment of the government on human rights issue under mechanism of Universal and Regular Review Process (UPR) and the Anti-torture Committee. In 2008, the Special Rapporteur of the UN on the torture and human rights defender will also report its findings on the protection to human rights defender as well implementation of the Anti-torture Convention.

Based on these developments and political projection, implementation and realization of human rights are inseparated from the obligation of the state including participation of stakeholders who are concern with human rights issues. This political projection is also a test for state’s commitment in developing human rights. It is appropriate to ask the commitment of political party and figure as well as the government on the development and protection of human rights.

3. Recommendations


Requesting President SBY and Vice President JK, to be consistent in human rights policy in international level. Consistency in diplomacy is needed for Indonesia to respond critics on human rights issues in international level, in line with the 1945 Constitution and universal human rights standards (Burma, Darfur and Pakistan) .


Requesting the Government, the House of Representatives, and Judicative side to change paradigm in developing human rights. As a result, the works will be consistent when performing law products in line with human rights. Furtehrmore, the three institutions are also able to harmonize law products, which are not yet in line with human rights (draft of the Penal Code and Civil Code). Without changes in framework, current situation will not provide solution to impunity problem in Munir’s case and in other gross human rights violations cases in the past. In addition, current situation will also not solve discrimination, human rights criminalization, fundamentalism and poverty problems.


Demanding state institutions to solve quickly land dispute which suffer poor people and benefit investors. Unnecessary use of the army and the police in land dispute, displacement of poor people cases, should also be stopped.


Demanding the government to change liberal economic policies to social economic policies with strong orientation in improving people rights on jobs, health and education including improvement of woman rights due to migrant workers exploitation, lack of access to education, high mortality rate for mother and children as well as high cases of violence in the household.


Demanding state institution to stop their involvement in dealing with faith differences as part of religious activities. Coordination Body of PAKEM should also be eliminated since PAKEM has been used as a tool for political control. The process should be in the court. In addition, the state should be neutral and should intervene more in dealing with violence activities practiced by some peole in the name of religion.


Jakarta, 3 January 2008


Democracy Network
(Arus Pelangi, Demos, FSPI, HRWG, Imparsial, Kalyanamitra, LBH-APIK, Praxis, Jaringan Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran HAM/ Solidarity Network for Human Rights Violations (JSKK), INFID, Jaringan Relawan Kemanusiaan/ Humanity Volunteer Network (JRK), KontraS, Setara Institute, PBHI, Prakarsa, SHMI, Wahid Institute, YLBHI)