Annual Report: Indonesia 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Indonesia 2011

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  • In July, Tama Satrya Langkun, a Jakarta-based anti-corruption activist, was severely beaten by unknown persons in an apparent move to silence him. That same month, Ardiansyah Matra, a journalist covering corruption and illegal logging in Papua, was found dead in the province.
  • At least 100 political activists were in prison for peacefully expressing their views in areas seeking independence such as Maluku and Papua.
  • Prisoner of conscience Yusak Pakage, sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, was released in July following a Presidential Decree. However, Filep Karma who was arrested at the same time and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment, remained in prison. The two men were convicted in 2005 for raising the "Morning Star" flag.
  • In August, 23 men were arrested in Maluku province for their peaceful political activities. At the end of the year, 21 remained detained. They were facing trial on charges of rebellion which carries the threat of life imprisonment.


Religious minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups faced violent attacks and discrimination. The police failed to take adequate measures to guarantee their security. An LGBT regional conference due to be held in Surabaya in March was cancelled after threats of violent reprisals by radical Islamist groups. The Ahmadiyya community were targeted for abuse and discrimination. In August, the Minister of Religion called for the community to be disbanded. An estimated 90 Ahmadis displaced in 2006 after arson attacks on their homes, continued living in temporary housing in Mataram, Lombok. At least 30 churches were attacked or forced to close down during the year. In April, the Constitutional Court upheld legal provisions criminalizing blasphemy. At least 14 people were in prison on blasphemy charges by the end of the year.

Sexual and reproductive rights

Laws restricting sexual and reproductive rights hampered the government's efforts to tackle maternal mortality. These included laws that support gender stereotyped roles, particularly regarding marriage and childbearing, and laws that criminalize certain types of consensual sex and the provision of information on sexuality and reproduction. Some laws and policies denied unmarried women and girls full access to reproductive health services. It was illegal for married women and girls to access certain reproductive health services without their husband's consent. Abortion was criminalized in all cases except when the health of the mother or foetus is endangered, or in the case of rape victims.

Many women and girls were at risk of unwanted pregnancies, which left them vulnerable to a range of health problems and human rights abuses, including being forced to marry young or drop out of school. Some sought an abortion, often in unsafe conditions.

According to official government figures, unsafe abortions accounted for between five and 11 per cent of maternal deaths in Indonesia. The maternal mortality ratio remained among the highest in the East Asia and Pacific region, with an estimated 228 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

Domestic workers

Domestic workers - an estimated 2.6 million people - the vast majority of whom were women and girls, were denied the full range of legal protection available to other workers under the Manpower Act. A bill on domestic workers was discussed within the Parliamentary Commission on Manpower, Transmigration, Population Affairs and Health. However, the law had yet to be passed by the end of the year.