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Indonesia

    July 22, 2014

    Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said.

    Widodo, who today was confirmed as winner of the 9 July presidential elections, has pledged to champion human rights during his time in the office – including addressing serious past human rights abuses, protecting freedom of religion, reforming the police and opening up access to Papua for international observers.

    “It’s encouraging that President Widodo has talked about his commitment to human rights during his election campaign - now he must deliver,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.

    “The new government has the opportunity to turn a page to an era when human rights are genuinely respected in Indonesia. Widodo’s victory will have raised the hopes of many brave human rights activists and victims who have struggled against impunity for years – those hopes must not be dashed.”

    April 29, 2014

    President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s decade in office has been marked by only patchy progress on human rights and Indonesia’s next leader must urgently tackle ongoing violations and repeal repressive and discriminatory laws, Amnesty International said today in a human rights agenda for Indonesia’s presidential candidates.

    With campaigning under way for Indonesia’s presidential election on 9 July 2014, the agenda covers eight key human rights issues that the new administration should tackle.

    “It is disappointing that during the campaigning period the candidates have so far mostly ignored human rights. Indonesia has come a long way over the past decade, but there are still serious challenges remaining that the candidates should address,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.

    There have been some human rights improvements during President Yudhoyono’s administration (2004-2014), including the introduction of new human rights regulations for policing as well as legal reforms strengthening witness protection.

    November 18, 2013

    The execution of a Pakistani man in Indonesia on Sunday, carried out in secret, is a shocking and regressive step, said Amnesty International.

    According to media reports, Muhammad Abdul Hafeez, 44, was executed by firing squad in the early hours of Sunday morning. Hafeez is the fifth person to be put to death this year since Indonesia resumed executions in March after a four year hiatus.  A further five individuals are believed to be at imminent risk of execution.

    Papang Hidayat, Amnesty International’s Indonesia Researcher, commented:

    “This latest death by firing squad highlights the deplorable and retrograde trend in Indonesia to shroud executions in secrecy. The complete lack of transparency is not only devastating for the individuals and their families; it can also prevent last minute appeals for a stay of execution.

    September 05, 2013

    Indonesia: Kopassus conviction small step towards ending impunity

    The conviction of eight Kopassus (Special Forces Command) soldiers today is a step towards ending impunity In Indonesia, but also highlights how military courts are not fit to try its own soldiers for human rights violations, Amnesty International said.

    Three Kopassus soldiers were convicted of the premeditated murder of four unarmed detainees at Cebongan prison outside Yogyakarta on 23 March this year and sentenced to between six and 11 years’ in prison. The men will be appealing their sentences.

    Another five soldiers were given shorter sentences for assisting the main perpetrators, with sentences against four more soldiers expected tomorrow.

    “While today’s verdict provides some justice for the families of the victims, much more needs to be done to address ongoing impunity and reform the military,” said Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.

    August 15, 2013

    Calls for truth, justice and reparation by victims of the devastating Aceh conflict are gathering momentum despite serious remaining challenges, Amnesty International said as it published a briefing to mark the eighth anniversary of the conflict’s end.

    The briefing, No Peace without Justice, examines how countless victims and family members in Aceh are still left without knowing the truth about the conflict, and highlights a number of cases of human rights violations by the security forces.

    At the same time there have been some positive developments in addressing the conflict’s legacy, such as a new, potentially key investigation by the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) into human rights violations by security forces in Aceh.

    June 19, 2013

    The trial of 12 Kopassus (Special Forces Command) soldiers accused of the extrajudicial execution of four detainees is likely to be little more than a sham warned Amnesty International as the military hearing opens on Thursday.

    “These courts should never be used to try those accused of human rights violations. They are biased, and they create an intimidating environment for witnesses to testify,” said Isabelle Arradon, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Programme.

    Kopassus forces have been accused of a range of serious human rights violations in the past but the vast majority have never been tried in an independent court for these crimes.

    “This horrific case is a stark reminder of how reforms of the military and the justice system have been stalled for years in Indonesia. Perpetrators of past crimes run free and new abuses can be committed with apparent impunity. There has to be immediate changes in law and practice so that human rights violators can be effectively tried before independent, civilian courts, and to send a clear message that no one is above the law,” said Arradon.

    May 16, 2013

    The authorities in Indonesia must immediately halt the execution of three men, expected imminently, Amnesty International said.

    If the men are executed it would be a major setback in the use of the death penalty, in a country that appeared to be moving away from the brutal practice in recent years..
     
    According to the Attorney General’s Office, Suryadi Swabuana, Jurit bin Abdullah and Ibrahim bin Ujang, are set to be executed this month.

    But there are indications they could be carried out as soon as this evening. The three men are now being held in isolation cells in the Nusakambangan island prison in Central Java, where they are due to be executed by firing squad.

    Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception.

    In Indonesia’s case, there is no clear indication why the country has decided to resume executions after a four year gap. That period was broken on 14 March this year when Malawian national Adami Wilson, 48, was put to death for drug-trafficking.

    May 09, 2013

    The death of an activist after she participated in a peaceful protest in Papua, Indonesia, is a tragic reminder of the precarious state of freedom of expression and assembly in the region, Amnesty International said.

    Salomina Kalaibin died in hospital on 6 May due to gunshot wounds she received six days earlier at a peaceful commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the handover of Papua to the Indonesian government by the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority.

    Two other people were killed and at least seven other protesters were wounded during the event. At least 22 individuals are currently detained for having participated in the peaceful activities. Many allege the security forces were responsible for the violence.

    “The death of the three political activists is a stark reminder that in Papua, speaking out comes with a high price,” said Isabelle Arradon, Asia-Pacific Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    April 18, 2013

    Victims and family members are still waiting for the Indonesian authorities to provide them with truth, justice and full reparation almost eight years after the end to the devastating Aceh conflict, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.

    The report, “Time to Face the Past”, documents the failure of local and central authorities to establish the truth of what happened during the years of violence which left between 10,000 and 30,000 people dead, many of them civilians. Many of those who had their lives torn apart by the conflict are still suffering immensely.

    “The Indonesian government’s failure to provide genuine truth, justice and reparation for victims and their families is causing immense suffering for people in Aceh today,” Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director, said.

    “Family members still do not know what has happened to disappeared loved ones and are struggling to get by, while those responsible walk free. The situation is breeding resentment that could sow the seeds of a future return to violence.”

    March 15, 2013

    The first execution in Indonesia in more than four years is a shocking and regressive step, Amnesty International said as it urged the government to not follow through on promises to put a further nine people to death in 2013.

    Last night, Adami Wilson, a 48-year old Malawian national who was convicted for drug trafficking in 2004, was executed by firing squad in Jakarta. It was the first execution in Indonesia since November 2008.

    The Indonesian Attorney General Basrief Arief said that the authorities planned to put at least a further nine death row inmates to death in 2013.

    “This is really outrageous news. We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, but Indonesia’s long period without executions and the pledge to put even more people to death, makes this even more shocking,” said Papang Hidayat, Amnesty International’s Indonesia Researcher.

    Wilson was first convicted for trafficking 1 kg of heroin in 2004 in Tangerang, south-western Banten province.

    January 15, 2013

    The threatened forced relocation of a Shi'a community living in temporary shelter in East Java is yet more evidence of the continuing discrimination against religious minorities in Indonesia, said Amnesty International.

    An estimated 165 Shi'as, including 48 children, have been living in inadequate conditions at a sports complex in Sampang district on Madura Island since August 2012 when they were displaced after their village was attacked by a mob.

    Credible local sources told Amnesty International that the authorities have given the villagers until March to convert to Indonesia’s majority religion Sunni Islam if they wish to return to their homes.

    "The Indonesian authorities must guarantee the safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Shi’a community to their homes, according to their wishes, and help them to rebuild the homes that were damaged or destroyed," said Isabelle Arradon of Amnesty International's Asia Pacific Programme.

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