Indonesia cops human rights criticism
Indonesia’s historical and contemporary human rights abuses have come under fire in the latest Amnesty International global report card.
In the State of the World’s Human Rights annual report, released on Wednesday, the organisation has criticised President Joko Widodo for failing to adequately address past violations and provide justice to victims.
“President Widodo has a long way to go to live up to his election promises on human rights,” Amnesty spokeswoman Claire Mallinson told AAP.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of a 1965 failed coup and slaughtering of between half and one million Indonesian Communist Party members and suspected sympathisers.
There were also incidents of torture, rape, disappearances, sexual slavery, forced displacement and labour documented during that period.
Although Indonesia has set up a “reconciliation committee” to address the human rights violations, victims are concerned the process will actually undermine efforts to find truth and justice.
Ten years after a peace agreement was struck in Helsinki, Indonesia was also not doing enough to examine abuses that occurred during the 29-year conflict in Aceh in which 10,000 to 30,000 people died, Amnesty said.
The execution of 14 drug traffickers, including two Australians, in January and April 2015, was a “dark stain on Mr Widodo’s record”, Ms Mallinson said.
There are more than 130 people still on death row in Indonesia.
Amnesty was also unimpressed that Indonesia initially pushed overcrowded vessels of Rohingya asylum seekers and Bangladeshis back to sea during a stand-off with Thailand and Malaysia.
Eventually Indonesia and Malaysia permitted people to disembark and accommodated them on a temporary basis.
But despite Indonesia housing thousands of boat people, the government had not clarified whether they could stay beyond May 2016, the report says.
HUMAN RIGHTS GAINS
- Indonesia lawmakers to look at legal protection for women working as domestic maids in 2016.
- West Papuan pro-independence activist Filep Karma released after a decade behind bars.
- Restrictions on foreign journalists applying to visit Papua to be lifted but unclear if fully implemented.
108 people were caned for gambling, drinking alcohol in Aceh.
New Acehnese Islamic criminal code approves the use of corporal punishment for same-sex sexual relations and intimacy between unmarried individuals. * Cases of religious minority groups experiencing harassment, violence and forced evictions.
Arbitrary arrest of peaceful protesters, especially in Papua.
Source: Amnesty International