Indonesia's Human Rights Issues Highlighted in HRW Annual Report
12 January 2023 21:49 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is deemed to have acted little to stand up for rights in 2022, as stated in the annual world report 2023 of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) launched on Thursday, January 12.
The 712-page report says that Indonesia was one of the world’s countries with a report from the organization headquartered in New York, which mentioned; “President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, whose term runs until 2024, did little to stand up for rights during the year. His government was distracted as it struggles to finance a US$30-billion mega project to move the flood-ridden and congested national capital from Jakarta to a remote area in Kalimantan.”
In March last year, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) officially noted the potential human rights violation due to the relocation of the capital city from Jakarta to Kalimantan. Among the myriad of aspects that could be impacted were participation rights, the lack of access to information, a healthy environment, and a lost sense of security.
However, the President defended that the relocation was based on the principle of economic equity and the intention to break the Java-centric economy.
“If we don’t dare make the transformation today, we will always have difficulties to become a developed country,” said Jokowi at an event in Jakarta that introduces the New Capital City of Nusantara as a new history for a new civilization in October 2022.
In the Human Rights Watch report, Indonesia’s handling of issues arising in Papua was also mentioned.
“Military and police abused rights across the country with impunity, especially in Papua and West Papua provinces where diplomats, foreign rights monitors, and international media are largely excluded,” the report wrote.
HRW specifically highlighted the new Criminal Code that was issued last month, which, according to the report, was rejected by Indonesian civil society groups and communities. It is feared that the "living law" article could be interpreted as including customary criminal law and Sharia (Islamic law) regulations at the local level, which include hundreds of rules and regulations that discriminate against women, religious minorities, and LGBT groups.
DANIEL A. FAJRI
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