- For defenders
- How can I help?
Human rights defenders in Indonesia continue to face threats, intimidation, restrictions on their freedom of expression and assembly, judicial harassment including criminal defamation suits, stigmatisation, arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment, torture, forced disappearances and killings. Many of these crimes against defenders are perpetrated by members of the security forces and criminal factions allegedly employed by the authorities.
According to the UN SRSG, “Indonesia’s civil society plays a critical role in enhancing the awareness of human rights throughout the country as well as in developing national legislation relating to human rights. Civil society organizations actively monitor and disclose human rights violations and have successfully mobilized public opinion to prompt and demand Government accountability”. Human rights defenders in Indonesia may include students, journalists, lawyers, workers and intellectuals as well as humanitarian aid workers however this list is not exhaustive.
Defenders have encountered many difficulties and continue to work in a climate of impunity and corruption. This corruption is evident in the legal system and in the area of law enforcement as bribery is apparently commonplace. Those purported to have carried out grave human rights violations under the previous régime, have not been brought to justice and instead those who have critised past or present abuses have been targeted and persecuted. Anti-terrorist legislation has also been used to target human rights defenders as some have been labeled as insurgents in an attempt to undermine their legitimate work.
In various provinces of Indonesia, political movements exist which call for independence and/or self-determination. It is in these areas that individuals carrying out peaceful activities in defense of human rights, are particularly at risk as they are targeted by both the authorities and insurgent groups. In a joint report by Front Line and Imparsial – The Indonesian Human Rights Watch, entitled “Front Line Indonesia: Murders, Death Threats and Other Forms of Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders, 1998 – 2002”, special consideration is given to the situation of human rights defenders in Jakarta, Aceh and West Papua as crimes against defenders in these regions escalated in those years. The tsunami also affected human rights defenders as the UN SRSG received information that, “…more that 40 NGO activists, including leading human rights defenders were missing or dead after the tsunami. Journalists, teachers, religious leaders and other community leaders were also among the victims. Several prominent human rights organizations reportedly lost their offices and their records”. The UN SRSG carried out an official mission to Indonesia during which she met many human rights defenders. Following the visit human rights defenders who had met with the SRSG reported increased levels of arrest, harassment and intimidation.
06 July 2007
11 October 2006
15 May 2005
17 June 2004
Indonesia: Killing by police of human rights defenders, Petrus W. Ajamiseba and Leo Wandegau, members of All Indonesia Labour Federation
Indonesia: Human rights defenders Ms Illian Deta Arta Sari and Mr Emerson Yuntho named as suspects in criminal defamation case
- 1 of 2