Annual Report: Indonesia 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Indonesia 2013

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Republic of Indonesia

Head of state and government Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Security forces faced persistent allegations of human rights violations, including torture and other ill-treatment and excessive use of force and firearms. At least 76 prisoners of conscience remained behind bars. Intimidation and attacks against religious minorities were rife. Discriminatory laws, policies and practices prevented women and girls from exercising their rights, in particular, sexual and reproductive rights. No progress was made in bringing perpetrators of past human rights violations to justice. No executions were reported.

Background

In May, Indonesia's human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review. The government rejected key recommendations to review specific laws and decrees which restrict the rights to freedom of expression and thought, conscience and religion. In July, Indonesia reported to the CEDAW Committee. In November, Indonesia adopted the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, despite serious concerns that it fell short of international standards.

Indonesia's legislative framework remained inadequate to deal with allegations of torture and other ill-treatment. Caning continued to be used as a form of judicial punishment in Aceh province for Shari'a offences. At least 45 people were caned during the year for gambling, and being alone with someone of the opposite sex who was not a marriage partner or relative (khalwat).

Police and security forces

Police were repeatedly accused of human rights violations, including excessive use of force and firearms, and torture and other ill-treatment. Internal and external police accountability mechanisms failed to adequately deal with cases of abuses committed by police, and investigations into human rights violations were rare.

  • In March, 17 men from East Nusa Tenggara province were arbitrarily arrested for the murder of a policeman. They were allegedly stripped, handcuffed and beaten in detention for 12 days by the West Sabu sub-district police. Some suffered stab wounds and broken bones. Some were reportedly forced by police to drink their own urine. They were released without charge at the end of June due to lack of evidence.

Indonesian security forces, including police and military personnel, were accused of human rights violations in Papua. Torture and other ill-treatment, excessive use of force and firearms and possible unlawful killings were reported. In most cases, the perpetrators were not brought to justice and victims did not receive reparations.

  • In June, Mako Tabuni, a Papuan political activist and deputy chair of the pro-independence National Committee for West Papua, was shot dead by police officers in Waena, near Jayapura, Papua province. Police alleged he was resisting arrest. There was no impartial or independent investigation into the killing.
  • Also in June, soldiers attacked a village in Wamena, Papua province, in retaliation for the death and injury of two of their personnel. They reportedly opened fire arbitrarily, stabbed dozens of people with bayonets – resulting in one death – and burned a number of houses, buildings and vehicles.
  • In August, police and military personnel in Yapen island, Papua province, forcibly dispersed a peaceful demonstration commemorating the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. Security forces fired their guns into the air and arbitrarily arrested at least six protesters. Some were reportedly beaten during their arrest.
  • Also in August, police personnel from the Jayawijaya District in Papua province arbitrarily arrested and allegedly slapped, punched and kicked five men in an attempt to force them to confess to a murder. No investigation into the abuse was carried out.

Freedom of expression

The authorities continued to use repressive legislation to criminalize peaceful political activists. At least 70 people from the regions of Papua and Maluku were in prison for peacefully expressing their views.