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Indonesia

    August 31, 2018

    Meliana in court; photo via Twitter

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 161/18 HERE

    Meliana, an ethnic Chinese Buddhist woman, has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to 18 months in prison for complaining about the loudspeaker volume at a local mosque. Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.

    Meliana was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to 18 months in prison by the Medan District Court in North Sumatra Province on 21 August 2018. She had been arrested and detained on 30 May and later charged with blasphemy under Article 156(a) of Indonesia’s Criminal Code. Meliana and her lawyers filed an appeal to the Medan High Court on 27 August.

    August 17, 2018

    Indonesian police have shot dead more than 70 people in an escalating crackdown on what they have called ‘petty criminals’ in the lead-up to the country’s hosting of the 2018 Asian Games, which open tomorrow in Jakarta, said Amnesty International Indonesia.

    Between January and August this year, at least 77 people have been gunned down across the country, including 31 in the Games host cities of greater Jakarta and South Sumatra. Many of these killings occurred during police operations explicitly devised to prepare the cities for hosting the multi-sport event, which takes place from 18 August to 2 September.

    “In the months leading up to the Asian Games, the authorities promised to improve security for all. Instead, we have seen the police shooting and killing dozens of people across the country with almost zero accountability for the deaths,” said Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director, Usman Hamid.

    August 16, 2018

    Amnesty International Indonesia tomorrow will hand over thousands of pages of its documents to the Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR Aceh), detailing hundreds of human rights violations and abuses involving thousands of victims during the conflict between the Indonesian security forces and the pro-independence Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The documents also include the organization’s persistent calls on the Indonesian and Acehnese authorities to fulfil their international obligations to acknowledge the truth and to ensure accountability for victim of serious human rights violations and their families.

    The move, which marks the 13-year anniversary of the peace agreement signed in Helsinki that ended the conflict, saw a team from Amnesty International Indonesia travel to Aceh to meet with KKR Aceh Commissioners in a show of support for the Commission’s work to ensure truth and reparation for victims of the conflict and their families.

    June 01, 2018

    State officials were complicit in recent mob attacks against the Ahmadiyya religious minority in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, that left six homes destroyed and forced dozens to flee their villages, Amnesty International Indonesia said today.

    The finding comes after the organization interviewed Ahmadis living in the affected neighborhoods of Montongtangi and Gerengeng. They described how state officials including police tried to force them to “return to the true teaching of Islam”, warning they would otherwise be killed. The Ahmadiyya are a religious group who consider themselves Muslims. However, Indonesian law and majority of Muslims in Indonesia do not recognize them as part of Islam.

    “This is a clear example of the state being party to discrimination and violence against a religious minority. For refusing to give up their beliefs, people saw their homes destroyed and their possessions looted,” said Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid.

    May 25, 2018

    Reacting to the decision of the House of Representatives on Friday to pass into law the revision of the anti-terrorism bill, Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said:

    “The newly-passed law contains a number of draconian articles that threaten to undermine human rights in Indonesia. The law erodes safeguards against arbitrary detention and against torture and other ill-treatment, as well as expanding the scope of the application of the death penalty. Plans to deploy the military in counter-terrorism operations are also deeply concerning.

    “The vagueness of some of the law’s wording could be used by authorities to restrict freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly or misused to label peaceful political activities as terrorism. This lack of clarity violates the requirement under international human rights law that  criminal law must be formulated with enough precision for people to understand what conduct is prohibited.

    May 14, 2018

    Responding to suicide bombings in three churches in Indonesia’s second largest city of Surabaya, East Java, that killed at least 13 people and injured around 40 others, Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said:

    "We are all deeply shocked by the bomb attacks in Surabaya this morning. We grieve with those who lost loved ones, and stand united with those opposing terror with freedom, fairness and the respect for human rights. The deliberate targeting and killing of women, men, and children going about their daily lives can never be justified and shows complete contempt for the most fundamental principles of human rights."

    "Those responsible must be brought to justice in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness and without resort to the death penalty."

    Background

    April 20, 2018

    Responding to the caning of several people – including unmarried couples, punished for showing affection in public, and two women sex workers – in Aceh on Friday, Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid said:

    “Caning is an inhuman and degrading form of punishment that may amount to torture which should never be used in any circumstances. The Aceh authorities’ decision to cane unmarried couples, whose only ‘crime’ was showing affection in public, in front of hundreds of spectators, is an act of utmost cruelty.

    “Since January of this year, a total of 47 people have now been caned in public in Aceh, and the list is only getting longer. The provincial administration of Aceh must immediately remove this abhorrent form of punishment from its law books.

    “It is also high time for the international community to press Indonesia to provide a safer environment for everyone in Aceh. The situation risks deteriorating rapidly unless the local administration is pushed to take its obligations to respect human rights seriously.”

    Background

    April 03, 2018

    We all want to be good, responsible people, don't we? But sometimes doing the right thing in our daily lives is made next-to-impossible by forces well beyond us. At these times, we need to work together, creatively, to do what's right. 

    Amnesty International's palm oil campaign gives you a chance to help fix a serious problem hidden in your breakfast cereal and possibly in the toothpaste you used this morning. Palm oil and palm oil ingredients are now in half of all consumer products, yet the harvesting of this product is leading to the exploitation of children, and human rights abuses of women and workers. 

    We have a plan to stop these abuses, and it starts with your signature.

    March 15, 2018

    Reacting to the news that the Aceh provincial administration in Indonesia is considering the introduction of beheading as a punishment for murder, Amnesty International Indonesia executive director, Usman Hamid said:

    “The Aceh local government must immediately drop any plans to introduce the gruesome punishment of beheading as a method of execution and should instead get rid of the death penalty all together. The Aceh administration’s argument that beheading could prevent murder is both baseless and unacceptable. There is no evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect on crime, no matter how shocking the method of execution is.

    “The Aceh administration cannot use its special autonomous status in order to introduce laws and policies that flagrantly violate human rights. The authorities need to focus on the root causes of crime and informed debates on the death penalty as a human rights violation, and swiftly move to abolish this ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    February 21, 2018
    End Homophobia

    Download PDF of UA 36/18 Indonesia

    36 Indonesia.pdf

    Individuals assumed to be transgender women by the North Aceh Police Force were arbitrarily arrested, humiliated and tortured on 27 January. Although released without charge the next day, the individuals remain deeply traumatized, with some having lost their jobs and others being forced to flee due to concerns for their safety.

    North Aceh Police Forces raided five beauty salons, a common workplace for transgender women in Indonesia, in Aceh Province and arrested 12 people on 27 January 2018. The Chief of Police brought the 12 people to his office that night and at 11pm ordered them to squat-walk in a humiliating fashion to a nearby park. When one of the transgender women refused the order, the police chief fired a warning shot to scare her.

    February 14, 2018

    Indonesian authorities are completely failing to protect the transgender women who were appallingly ill-treated and humiliated by police in North Aceh on January 27, some of whom have since had to go into hiding due to fears for their safety, Amnesty International Indonesia said today.

    Amnesty International Indonesia interviewed some of the victims in an undisclosed location near Aceh, to where they had to flee after they lost their jobs while also suffering verbal and physical abuse from family members and the general public.

    They spoke in detail of their harrowing experiences on 27 January when police raided the beauty salons where they work, publicly humiliated, kicked and slapped them and cut their hair in an effort to get "rid of all transgender people from Aceh".

    "Not only have these transgender women been arrested and ill-treated by police for no other reason than who they are, some of them now continue to suffer as they have lost their livelihood and have had to flee their homes. This is a complete failure by the Indonesian authorities to protect their human rights," said Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid.

    January 29, 2018

    Reacting to the Indonesian police’s arrest of 12 transgender people in North Aceh on 27 January, while forcefully cutting their hair to “make them masculine” and shutting down beauty salons where they work, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director Usman Hamid said:

    “The latest raids on beauty salons are just the latest example of the authorities arbitrarily targeting transgender people simply for who they are. Despite them having committed no crime, Aceh has become an increasingly hostile place for LGBTI people.

    “Cutting the hair of those arrested to ‘make them masculine’ and forcing them to dress like men are forms of public shaming and amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in contravention of Indonesia’s international obligations. This is part of a long-standing pattern of harassing and discriminating against LGBTI people in the region that must stop immediately.”

    The police released all the transgender people on 28 January without any charges. The local police chief told media that they detained the transgender people for an “education” program in order to make them “normal” men.

    August 16, 2017
      The number of police killings of suspected drug dealers has skyrocketed in Indonesia this year, an alarming rise which signals that authorities could be looking to emulate the murderous “war on drugs” in neighbouring Philippines, Amnesty International said today.   At least 60 suspected drug dealers have been killed by police – some of whom have been seconded to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) - since 1 January 2017, compared to 18 in all of 2016, according to data gathered by Amnesty International.   “This shocking escalation in unlawful killings by the police sounds serious alarm bells. While Indonesian authorities have a duty to respond to increasing rates of drug use in the country, shooting people on sight is never a solution. Not only is it unlawful, it will also do nothing to address the root causes that lead to drug use in the first place,” said Usman Hamid, Director of Amnesty International Indonesia.   “The authorities must remember that everyone, including people suspected of drug offences, have a right to life that must be respected at all times.”
    August 15, 2017
      In commemorating the 12th anniversary of the end of the conflict in Aceh on 15 August 2017, Amnesty International reiterates its calls to the Indonesian and Acehnese authorities to fulfill their international obligations to acknowledge the truth and to ensure accountability for victim of serious human rights violations and their families. Human rights organizations and survivors of the conflict have persevered and campaigned for truth, justice and full reparation over the last decade.   On 15 August 2005, the 2005 Helsinki Peace Agreement was signed by the Indonesian government and the armed pro-independence movement, the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) to end the 29 year conflict in Indonesia’s most westerly province. Despite the relative stability in Aceh since then, the local and central authorities have failed 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 also still suffering immensely.  

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