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Press Release
   
 
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HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS’ PLEDGE

 

We, victims of the human rights abuses who become defenders of human rights from 24 provinces in Indonesia and who are also victims of violations of both our civil-political rights as well as our economic, social, and cultural rights, declare:

1.
We are concerned that the state has no political will to resolve cases of gross human rights violations or to fulfill people’s basic rights.
2.
We are concerned that the state has made no effort to protect people’s basic rights from >economic crisis and environmental destruction, or to protect people’s safety. 
3.
We are concerned that the general elections have been robbed of their meaning and have become nothing more than a routine once every five years. We are further concerned that elections are used as a tool, inherited from the New Order regime, by the political elite and pro-status quo groups to perpetuate their power.
4.
We are concerned with legislative, presidential, and vice presidential candidates running in the 2009 general elections who, in general, have a background as perpetrators of human rights violations, as those who protect perpetrators of human rights violations, or who do not have a human rights agenda.

Based on the above concerns, we Indonesian defenders of human rights, convening a Human Rights Defenders’ Congress at Wisma MAKARA, University of Indonesia (UI), Depok, West Jawa from 17-20 March 2009, declare:

1.
We agree that consolidation of the people’s/victims’ movement is the way to strengthen our ability to be genuinely critical, control abuse, and gain influence in legitimate political processes.
2.
We call on the people, particularly voters, not to vote for legislative candidates, political parties, presidential and vice presidential candidates who are perpetrators of human rights violations, who grant protection to perpetrators of human rights violations, or who do not have a human rights agenda.
3.
We call on the people, particularly voters, to vote for legislative candidates, political parties, presidential and vice presidential candidates who are pro-human rights and pro-people, and not to be easily swayed by the promises of those who do not have a track record of siding with victims/the people.
4.
We invite those who choose golput (to boycott elections) to become a golput that is critical and active by organizing yourselves and conducting political education.
5.
We urge the state to fulfill its obligation to bring closure to various cases of gross human rights violations and, in the time remaining to the current government administration, to fulfill basic rights.

In the name of truth and justice, we Human Rights Defenders pledge ourselves to struggle for an Indonesia that is more civilized, humane, and socially just.

Depok, 20 March 2009