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

Amnesty International is opposed to the imposition of the death penalty in all circumstances. The organization is concerned that the death penalty is provided for in Indonesian law for a very large number of criminal offences.(2) In this respect the organization is deeply concerned that two recently adopted laws, the Law on Human Rights Courts (Law 26/2000) and the Law on Combating Criminal Acts of Terrorism (Law 15/2003) both contain provisions for the death penalty and fall short of international standards for fair trials. Amnesty International has previously expressed concerns that Indonesia's "anti-terrorism" legislation risks undermining human rights. In particular, the legislation includes an offence of "terror" or "acts of terrorism" which are identified as a criminal act, but not defined. .A related law, the Law on Combating Criminal Acts of Terrorism related to the Explosion of Bombs in Bali (Law 16/2003) applies to those involved in the bombings in Bali retroactively with the possibility of being sentenced to death contrary to international human rights law, which prohibits retroactive application of criminal law. This worrying trend to greater use of the death penalty has also been confirmed by a recent ruling by the Indonesian Constitutional Court to uphold the death penalty for drug offences.(3)

C. Protection and promotion of human rights in Indonesia

The human rights situation in Papua
There is an active independence movement in the Papua province, towards which the Indonesian security forces have at times responded with unnecessary or excessive force, including extrajudicial executions, as well as using torture and arbitrary detentions. Access to Papua for journalists and human rights organizations is tightly controlled thus restricting dissemination of information on the human rights situation, especially outside main cities. Members of local human rights organisations have been harassed and intimidated because of their work, and in recent years some have been forced to leave the province. Church leaders are among those who have voiced the concerns of the local population about human rights violations, and as a result some of them have been publicly accused of being linked to the independence movement.

Amnesty International has campaigned for the release of individuals who have been imprisoned solely for raising peacefully the independence flag. In 2005 Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were arrested during a peaceful flag-raising ceremony in Abepura, Papua. The two men were sentenced to 15 and 10 years of imprisonment and remain in prison at the moment.(4)

Freedom of expression and assembly
At least eight prisoners of conscience were sentenced to prison terms during 2006 and eight others sentenced in previous years remain in jail. They include peaceful political activists, union leaders, religious practitioners and students. In 2007, the situation seems to have worsened with the arrest of over 40 people in June in Ambon, Maluku province following the visit by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. According to reports, the incident occurred when dancers performing a traditional dance in front of the President, unexpectedly started to raise the independence flag. They were subsequently arrested by the Anti Terror Brigade 88 and brought to the police station. During the interrogations they were allegedly beaten and threatened. Most of them were charged with subversions under articles 110,104, 164 and 165 of the Criminal Code. If they are charged and if it is confirmed they that have not committed any violence, Amnesty International will consider them as prisoners of conscience who should be immediately released.

Impunity for human rights violations