“Civil Society Report for Indonesia's UPR of 2022 on Death Penalty”

HATI Coalition Press Release

On Tuesday, March 29th, 2022, the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (The HATI Coalition) submitted a joint report to Indonesia's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of 2022 on death penalty. In the report, the HATI Coalition reports on the situation of the death penalty in Indonesia since the last report in 2017. In the previous UPR period, Indonesia received 14 recommendations from 27 countries regarding the death penalty. Indonesia received 2 (two) of the 14 UPR recommendations, namely recommendations number 141.52 and 141.60 regarding the moratorium and fair trial monitoring.

At UPR 2022, the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, presented several issues related to the practice of the death penalty in Indonesia, including:

  1. The low transparency and accountability of data and information related to the death penalty. The number of death row inmates continues to rise every year, this figure is collected by civil society groups through media monitoring due to lack of accountability from the government regarding the death penalty so that there isn't any accurate official data that can be accessed by the public so that the fulfillment of the rights of the death row inmates is in doubt.
  2. The “War on Drugs” approach is based on inaccurate data so that only increases the number of death sentences. The majority of those sentenced to death are those with narcotics crimes. Not only in the case of the death penalty, in general, the majority of prison residents are also those who commit narcotics crimes. Therefore, the wrong and wrong “war on drugs” policy will only make the prisons become overcapacitated.
  3. The rights of death-sentenced felons in prisons are not fulfilled. Death convicts in prisons are discriminated against because their status is not as “convicts/ inmates”, so that many of their rights are not fulfilled. Under the Penitentiary law, death row convicts cannot be called convicts. So that they do not get attention from prisons when they are waiting for execution in prisons. Their participation in activities such as coaching programs, sports or various trainings is highly dependent on their own awareness. because they are not obligated, many death row inmates spend their time moping, solitude until they end up in acute depression. They also do not have a program that provides opportunities to change for the better, therefore it is not surprising when death row convicts who are in prison again commit the same crime.
  4. The death penalty sent via virtual trial in a time of pandemic that has many weaknesses for substantial justice. Virtual courts of course provide greater scope for unfair trials, such as the poor quality of legal assistance that can be provided, limited means of conveying information, technical problems with the internet and the tools used in court, sub-optimal defense, and many more. another problem.
  5. The death penalty also targets vulnerable groups: the elderly, the poor, women, migrant workers, and children. The death penalty is forbidden to be given to children. However, in Indonesia there are still prosecutions for the death penalty for children as experienced by Mispo Gwijangge (MG) some time ago. The death penalty is also often discriminatory to those who are vulnerable, such as groups of migrant workers who often become victims of trafficking in persons. Currently there is an old man named Isnardi who is 76 years old who is waiting for execution in Binjai Prison because he is caught in a narcotics case. This is Isnardi's grandfather's first time dealing with the law. Every day he works as a shepherd for other people's cows and goats. Isnardi's grandfather, and probably many other narcotics couriers, were victims of poverty and urgency.
  6. Clemency Policy regulated in Law no. 5 of 2010 concerning Amendments to Law no. 22 of 2002 concerning Clemency does not have clear parameters. The Clemency Law does not provide guidelines or standards to the President and the Supreme Court in deciding applications for clemency. In many cases of appeals for clemency, the recommendation of the Supreme Court appears to only repeat the verdict of the previous legal process. The absence of differences in the consideration of the Supreme Court's recommendation for clemency and previous legal decisions makes the urgency of the recommendation from the Supreme Court in a pardon, especially the death penalty, needs to be questioned.

Departing from the various problems above, our coalition to abolish the death penalty encourages the UN Human Rights Agency to encourage the Indonesian government to:

  1. Signe and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which aims to abolish the death penalty;
  2. Make a formal decision to impose a de jure moratorium on executions by ordering the Attorney General not to demand the death penalty in prosecution for all crimes and not to carry out executions;
  3. Publish data related to death penalty cases by the prosecutors, courts, and the directorate general of corrections on a regular basis, both requested and unsolicited;
  4. Stop the “war on drugs” narrative that contributes to the high death penalty rate in drug cases and promote evidence-based policies and meet human rights standards included in the discussion of the revision of the narcotics law;
  5. Make mass changes to the death-sentenced convicts who are serving a prison sentence of more than 10 (ten) years;
  6. Review the draft revision of the Criminal Code related to changes to the death penalty which is carried out automatically for death convicts who are serving 10 years in prison;
  7. Provide training for judges and public prosecutors on matters relating to human rights to prevent, or at least minimize, the application of the death penalty and avoid the death penalty being imposed more than once;
  8. Re-review the criminal policy in Indonesia so that it does not only focus on imprisonment but also looks for other criminal alternatives that are in accordance with the principles and standards of human rights and restorative justice;
  9. Eliminate the death penalty provision in the revision of the Narcotics Law because it is not in accordance with the ICCPR and international legal instruments related to narcotics.
  10. Stop all the prosecutions and executions during the Covid-19 pandemic because the legal process that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic does not guarantee that the fair trial principle is carried out properly;
  11. Establish system of supervision and guarantee of a fair trial for cases with the potential for death penalty, including by increasing access to legal aid and providing quality legal assistance, especially for defendants who are threatened with the death penalty, providing interpreter and consular assistance;
  12. Push the holding of virtual trials conducted with the consent of the defendant (without coercion) and ensure that the online trial process runs fairly, without any pressure, and guarantees the rights of the suspect/defendant;
  13. Open access to direct and virtual visits for legal advisors, diplomatic representatives, interpreters, spiritual advisors, and families at every level of examination or place of detention of death convicts;
  14. Ensure that the death penalty is not applied to vulnerable groups, especially children, people with mental health disorders, pregnant women, and others prohibited under international law;
  15. Create case-handling by law enforcement officers, especially the National Police and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) which not only pursues the quantity of case handling but also in accordance with the principles of a fair trial and respect for human rights;
  16. Change the punishment for death row convicts through a clemency scheme by opening the clemency considerations proposed by the death row convicts/legal representatives/family/diplomatic representatives;
  17. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and establish a national preventive mechanism against torture.
  18. Revise Law Number 5 of 2010 concerning Amendments to Law Number 22 of 2002 concerning Clemency to provide clear guidelines and measuring tools to the Supreme Court and the President in considering granting clemency, particularly to death row convicts in Indonesia.
  19. Establish an independent and impartial team to evaluate legal decisions on all death penalty cases for the purpose of applying for clemency as a mass reduction program for death penalty cases in Indonesia.

Jakarta, April 7th, 2022

The HATI Coalition

(LBH Masyarakat, IMPARSIAL, HRWG, LBH Jakarta, YLBHI, Migrant Care, ICJR, ELSAM, Yayasan Satu Keadilan, SETARA Institute, LBH Pers, IKOHI, KontraS, PBHI, dan INFID)

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