Annual Report: Indonesia 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Indonesia 2013

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  • In March, five Papuan political activists charged with “rebellion” under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code were imprisoned for three years for their involvement in the Third Papuan Peoples' Congress, a peaceful gathering in Abepura in October 2011.
  • In July, Malukan prisoner of conscience Johan Teterissa, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence, was kicked and beaten with electric cables following his transfer from Madiun prison to Batu prison on Nusakambangan island, Central Java. He did not receive medical attention following the beating.

Human rights defenders and journalists repeatedly faced intimidation and attacks because of their work. International observers, including NGOs and journalists, continued to be denied free and unimpeded access to the Papua region.

  • In May, Tantowi Anwari, an activist from the Association of Journalists for Diversity, was beaten and kicked by members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front in Bekasi, West Java. Tantowi filed a police report, but there was no progress on his case by the end of the year.
  • In September, Papuan human rights lawyer Olga Hamadi was threatened after investigating allegations of police torture and other ill-treatment in a murder case in Wamena, Papua province. There was no investigation into the threats, and fears for her safety remained.

Freedom of religion and belief

The authorities used incitement and blasphemy provisions to criminalize freedom of religion, as well as freedoms of expression, thought and conscience. At least six prisoners of conscience remained behind bars on incitement and blasphemy charges.

  • In June, Alexander Aan, an atheist, was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment and fined 100 million rupiah (US$10,600) for incitement after he posted statements and pictures which some people construed as insulting to Islam and the Prophet Mohamed.
  • In July, Tajul Muluk, a Shi'a Muslim religious leader from East Java, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for blasphemy under Article 156(a) of the Indonesian Criminal Code by the Sampang District Court. Local human rights groups and legal experts raised fair trial concerns. In September, his sentence was increased to four years on appeal.

Religious minorities – including Ahmadis, Shi'as and Christians – faced ongoing discrimination, intimidation and attacks. In many cases the authorities failed to adequately protect them or bring the perpetrators to justice.

  • In August, one person was killed and dozens were injured when a mob attacked a Shi'a community in Sampang, East Java. According to the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) the police did not take adequate steps to prevent the attack or protect the community.
  • At least 34 families from an Ahmadiyya community in West Nusa Tenggara province, who were attacked by a mob and displaced in 2006 because of their beliefs, continued to live in temporary shelter in Mataram, Lombok city. No one had been prosecuted for the attack.
  • The authorities refused to enforce decisions by the Indonesian Supreme Court in 2010 and 2011 to reopen the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church in Bogor and the Filadelfia Batak Christian Protestant Church in Bekasi city. The churches had been sealed off by local authorities in 2010. Both congregations remained at risk of harassment and intimidation by hardline groups for continuing to worship just outside their buildings.

Women's rights

Women and girls faced ongoing barriers to exercising their sexual and reproductive rights. In July, the CEDAW Committee recommended that the government promote understanding of sexual and reproductive health and rights, including among unmarried women and women domestic workers. The Committee also recommended that women be given access to contraception without having to obtain their husband's consent.

A 2010 government regulation permitting “female circumcision” remained in effect, in violation of Indonesia's obligations under international human rights law. The CEDAW Committee called on the government to withdraw the regulation and adopt legislation to criminalize the practice.