Indonesia: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review. First session of UPR Working Group 7-18 April 2008

November 1, 2007

Indonesia: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review. First session of UPR Working Group 7-18 April 2008

    • Under B, Amnesty International raises concern over shortcomings of the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code, and on death penalty and counter-terrorism legislation.
    • In section C, we describe concerns related to abuse and harassment of human rights defenders, prisoners of conscience, restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, impunity for human rights violations, and exploitation and abuse of women domestic workers.
    • In section D, Amnesty International makes a number of recommendations in the areas of concerns listed.

B. Normative and Institutional Framework

Indonesia's Code of Criminal Procedure
Amnesty International has a number of concerns in relation to the ongoing review of Indonesia's Code of Criminal Procedure (Kitab Udang-Udang Hukum Acara Pidana, KUHAP) which determines the procedures and rights of individuals at the different stages of investigation and trial. While the existing KUHAP provides many safeguards for the protection of the rights of suspects and defendants, there are a number of areas where it does not meet international standards for fair trials such as the right to legal counsel and the right to challenge one's detention.

Amnesty International welcomes the government's initiative to review and reform the Code with a view to strengthening human rights protection and the rule of law. However, on the basis of a draft of the revised KUHAP obtained on 15 September 2005, the organization is concerned that in certain respects the draft revised KUHAP remains inconsistent with international fair trial standards and leaves suspects and defendants, particularly those in detention, vulnerable to human rights violations. The draft revised KUHAP lacks several fundamental safeguards to ensure that an individual is not unjustly punished, arbitrarily detained or subject to torture or ill-treatment. For example, the draft revised KUHAP must be amended to require that any person who is arrested or detained must be promptly brought before a judge or other officer authorised to determine the legality of the arrest or detention.

The draft revised KUHAP also lacks provisions which require the authorities to inform suspects and defendants of their rights, in a timely way, and in language they can understand. These include the right to legal counsel and access to lawyer who may be present at all stages of the investigation; the right to an interpreter; the right to visits by family members; the right to medical care; and the right to remain silent. In order to exercise these rights a suspect or defendant must know that such rights exist. The draft revised KUHAP also lacks sufficient provisions to ensure that everyone detained or accused of a criminal offence has the right to legal counsel during detention, at trial and on appeal. Furthermore, the draft revised KUHAP fails to explicitly acknowledge and safeguard the right of every person suspected of, or charged with, a criminal offence to be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty according to law and after a fair trial. Finally, the draft revised KUHAP does not contain sufficient provisions to deter the use of torture and other ill-treatment in all circumstances.

Serious concerns also relate to the implementation of the KUHAP. From Amnesty International's experience the old version of the Criminal Procedure Code has often not been fully implemented and enforced by the police and judicial authorities;(1) the draft revised code could face the same shortcomings in this respect unless appropriate measures are included to ensure that the new code is implemented fully.

Death Penalty and Counter-Terrorism legislation
To Amnesty International's knowledge, at least 99 people are believed to be under sentence of death in Indonesia. Thirteen of these were convicted and sentenced to death in 2006. At least one person was executed in 2007: Ayub Bulubili. His was the first execution recorded by Amnesty International in Indonesia since September 2006.