IMPARIAL PRESS RELEASE
Responding to President Joko Widodo's Speech Commemorating International Human Rights Day and General Notes on the Condition of Human Rights in Indonesia
In a speech commemorating international Human Rights Day (HAM) 10 December 2021 at the State Palace, which was attended by Komnas HAM and line ministries, President Joko Widodo said that human rights enforcement is not only about respecting civil and political rights, but also fulfilling economic rights. , social, and cultural. The President also emphasized that the right to a sense of security from the Covid-19 pandemic and a sense of security from the threat of unemployment must also be seen as part of fulfilling the human rights of the Indonesian people. The President also promised to resolve cases of gross human rights violations through a human rights court mechanism as regulated in Law no. 26 of 2000, where the case that has entered the investigation stage is the Paniai case which occurred in 2014.
IMPARSIAL views that the President's speech on the commemoration of Human Rights Day does not reflect real problems and does not offer a prospect for a fundamental and comprehensive improvement in the enforcement of human rights in the future. In fact, the president's speech seemed to affirm his political policies that had been "selective" towards the agenda for the promotion and enforcement of human rights.
It is true that human rights have a very broad dimension, which is not only limited to civil and political rights, but also includes economic, social and cultural rights. However, it is important to note that human rights are indivisibility, interrelated and interdependent. The protection and fulfillment of one right depends on the fulfillment of other rights. On that basis, the state's obligation to protect, fulfill and promote human rights cannot choose one dimension of rights, for example only economic, social and cultural rights and not for civil and political rights, or vice versa. The government has an obligation to guarantee, protect and fulfill all these rights.
It is undeniable that there have been a number of positive achievements, especially related to the protection of vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, children, women and indigenous peoples. The government is also recognized for its efforts to overcome the impact of the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the neglect of other dimensions of rights, especially civil and political rights, such as the resolution of cases of gross human rights violations, the shrinking of space for civil liberties, freedom of religion/belief, and so on, is an undeniable reality. The president's statement in addressing these issues is both normative and rhetorical. The government also turns a blind eye to the impact of infrastructure development and investment, which in practice marginalizes people's rights.
IMPARSIAL considers that the implementation of "selective" policies on human rights is a factor that hinders efforts to fundamentally and comprehensively improve the condition of human rights in Indonesia. This policy policy is reflected in the steps taken by the Jokowi-Makruf government which seem to prioritize one dimension of human rights and at the same time ignore other dimensions of human rights. Of course, this policy policy cannot be separated from the government's steps so far, which from the beginning considered more development, economic investment and also pragmatic political interests, so that human rights issues were then placed in the framework of a selective agenda.
During the two years of the Jokowi-Makrum government, no fundamental and comprehensive progress has been seen, especially a number of crucial issues that have often invited bad records from the public. In the context of resolving cases of gross human rights violations, although this is a political promise from the President, until now there has been no concrete step from the government to resolve these cases. There are 12 cases that have been investigated by Komnas HAM and their files have also been submitted to the Attorney General's Office, including the Talangsari case in 1989, the enforced disappearances from 1997 to 1997, Trisaksi, Semanggi I and II in 1998 and 1999, Paniai 2004, and so on. In reality, the president's commitment to resolving these various cases, which is oriented towards fulfilling justice for the victims and their families, is still only normative rhetoric. The 2004 Paniai case which was mentioned in the president's speech, although it is recognized that progress has been made with the formation of an investigative team by the attorney general, is still far from being an achievement. This is only the first step that must be controlled to ensure that the work is transparent, accountable, and fulfills the justice of the victims.
The president's statement in his speech to commemorate international human rights day, which stated that "the government is committed to upholding, resolving and resolving gross human rights violations by prioritizing the principles of justice for victims and justice for those suspected of being perpetrators of gross human rights" hurt the feelings of the victims' families and violated the principles of justice. alone. This statement contrasts with the president's move to demonstrate the practice of impunity to alleged perpetrators of gross human rights violations. This can be seen from the existence of a number of former military officials, who should have been held accountable for the cases that occurred, but were instead appointed by the president to be one of the ministers in his cabinet or appointed to strategic positions in the government. The president seems to be more concerned with the political aspect than carrying out his obligations to uphold human rights.
Regarding the issue of human rights defenders, who are important actors and inseparable from efforts to promote, protect and enforce human rights, there has been no real commitment and steps to strengthen the guarantee and protection of the work of human rights defenders. Human rights defenders are still seen as a “threat”, thus making them vulnerable to various forms of attack. In fact, in recent years there has been an increase in attacks against human rights defenders. Based on Imparsial's records, since 2014-2021, there have been at least 193 cases of attacks against human rights defenders. The forms of attacks also vary, ranging from arbitrary arrests, restrictions, repressive disbandment of activities, criminalization, violence, looting, and intimidation, to attacks through digital media such as hacking and account hijacking.
Efforts for a transparent, accountable and fair resolution in cases of attacks on human rights defenders also pose many problems. One of them is related to the settlement of the case of Munir Said bin Thalib, who was killed by poisoning in 2001. This murder case is one of the cases of attacks on human rights defenders that President Joko Widodo must immediately resolve. The report on the results of the TPF investigation has stated that Munir's murder was the result of a malicious conspiracy involving four levels of perpetrators: field actors, assistants, access providers, and the mastermind behind the scenes. There must be concrete steps from the President by summoning the Attorney General and the National Police Chief and ordering legal remedies that can be taken to resolve the case.
The guarantee and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief has not shown any significant improvement, although every year the issue of this freedom always gets a negative note. This condition can be seen from the repetition of various forms of intolerance and violations in society, especially towards minority groups. Based on Imparsial's records, in the 2014-2021 period, there were at least 194 cases of violations of freedom of religion and belief. The types of cases vary, ranging from rejection of the establishment or renovation of places of worship and houses of religious leaders, closing of houses of worship, disbandment of worship activities or religious rituals, misdirection to spreading hatred, regulations requiring the use of certain religious attire in public schools, destruction and sealing of religious places, to the rejection / expulsion of those who have different religions / beliefs.
To improve the guarantee and protection of freedom of religion or belief, real steps are needed by the government, namely evaluating, correcting and/or all policies at the national level that are discriminatory and threaten these fundamental freedoms. For example, Law no. 1 PNPS 1965 concerning Prevention of Religious Abuse/Defamation, 3 Ministerial Decree 2008 concerning Ahmadiyah, 2 Ministerial PBM 2006 concerning Houses of Worship. These regulations threaten religious freedom, including being used by intolerant groups to discriminate against and persecute minority groups. Moreover, it is also important to take firm action against intolerant perpetrators, there should no longer be any omission under any pretext.
The issue of guarantees and protection of the right to life is still a problem along with the implementation of the death penalty. The right to life is one of the fundamental human rights and cannot be revoked under any circumstances. However, the guarantee and protection of these rights are still weak, and even the offense of the death penalty that threatens these rights is actually growing in various provisions of national legislation. In addition, the rate of death sentences against perpetrators of crimes in various courts also shows a higher number. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increasingly opened up space for unfair trial practices, has not hindered efforts to impose the death penalty.
Based on the results of Imparsial's monitoring, in the second period of President Jokowi's administration from April 2019-October 2021, 177 death row inmates were sentenced at various levels of court. The death sentence was imposed in narcotics cases (133), murder cases (37), and terrorism cases (7). The majority of the death row inmates are Indonesian citizens with 166 people, 6 Malaysian citizens, 2 Pakistani and Thai citizens each and 1 Yemeni citizen. Based on gender, the death sentences were handed down for 6 women and 171 men.
The conflict and humanitarian crisis in Papua must be a serious concern for the government. The Papuan conflict and the protracted violence are increasingly complex issues in Papua, where the impact is not only violence and human rights violations, but also other human rights issues such as welfare, education, marginalization, and so on. So far, the economic and military-security approach that is still being used by the government has not proven effective in efforts to resolve the Papuan conflict. This approach creates new problems that complicate efforts to resolve Papua itself. As is well known, economic injustice is only one factor that causes conflict in Papua. There are other factors that are equally important, namely historical problems, politics, marginalization, and the resolution of cases of human rights violations.
The settlement of Papua through the peaceful route (dialogue) and promoting a humanist approach in resolving various issues is urgently needed to be done. The government must start by listening to the voices of the Papuan people as an important subject that must be heard and accommodated in the process of resolving the Papuan problem. Furthermore, it is also important for the government to evaluate and correct the military-security approach and the disproportionate and accountable deployment of military personnel in Papua. without any evaluation and correction, the discourse of a humanist and dialogical approach is just a gibberish of the government and deepens the distrust of the Papuan people towards the government.
There are still many cases of violence and human rights violations involving security forces, it is important to push back the security sector reform agenda in Indonesia. The security sector reform process, which was initiated in 1998, which had produced some positive achievements, is currently experiencing stagnation, even setbacks. This can be seen in a number of aspects, such as the enforcement of human rights and democratic governance which are no longer a paradigm, accountability and transparency are still difficult to do, the involvement of active security actors in civilian positions, omission and acknowledgment of violence by security forces that is still happening. -where. Furthermore, the problem of security sector reform is not only caused by internal factors within the security institutions, but also comes from the civilian politicians themselves. In the last few years, in the context of power politics, there has also been a strong tendency to politicize security institutions by the political elite.
IMPARSIAL urges the Jokowi-Makruf government to fundamentally and comprehensively improve the condition of human rights, both at the legislative level and its implementation in the field. In this context, the political model of “selective” policy in the promotion and enforcement of human rights, which is based on pragmatic considerations of political interests, should be avoided and no longer implemented.
Jakarta, December 12th, 2021
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