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From our Member KontraS, Indonesia – KontraS Response on the 3rd Cycle UPR for Indonesia – Human Rights Facts that Many Covered by the Government of Indonesia in Geneva

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Jakarta, 3 May 2017: The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) has been monitoring the third round of the Universal Periodic Review for Indonesia on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The process that we follow from Jakarta, Indonesia does not seem to indicate the spirit of human rights diplomacy. The UPR led by three troika members namely Bangladesh, Belgium, and Ecuador gave the right to answer to Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, who was accompanied by Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yasona Laoly and dozens of delegations from the Government of Indonesia seemed to have a high bargaining position. Nearly most of the 109 countries’ delegates support the protection agenda for children’s and women’s rights. These two human rights agendas are explicitly guaranteed in RANHAM (national human rights plans) 2015-2019.

Other emerging and rising issues which follow are the execution of the death penalty, Indonesia’s position on the practice of torture, the quality assurance of the elimination of discrimination against minorities (religions, believes, LGBTI), followed by the question of Indonesia’s steps on Papua’s situation, fundamental freedoms (expression, opinion, and assembly), human rights and humanitarian law training to the security forces (military and police), followed by calls to ratify international human rights legal instruments, such as the 2nd Protocol of ICCPR, OPCAT, Rome Statute, and ICPED.

Nevertheless, it appears that the nuances of selective logging and heralding international public opinion have been “successfully” guarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Why? The human rights which emerge and strongly discussed are rights which are “safe and harmless” and “non-risk” to evaluate the quality of law enforcement. KontraS deeply regretted the human rights and anti-terrorism agenda did not get the space for questions. Also, the quality of fundamental freedoms is not seen as a trend of a declining democratic quality in Indonesia (this is important considering that Retno Marsudi is constantly “selling” the issue of democracy at this UPR) – except for a partial issue.

The issue of freedom of religion, tolerance, pluralism that diminished by Minister Marsudi through the sample case of the governor election in Jakarta is a non-consideration answer of the falling quality of tolerance in Indonesia. The issue of child and women protection also does not touch the issue of women in the development sector (women and children who are victims of evictions, in mining areas, in land grabbing areas, including mothers of the victims of gross human rights violations – one of which is enforced disappearances). The business and human rights agenda, including infrastructure, was only asked by Kenya. But interestingly, countries in the African region many questioned the practice of death penalty to the Indonesian government. Considering many citizens of the African region were executed during the period 2015-2016 in Joko Widodo administration.

For the human rights situation in Papua, the problem is not only to open access to international media, but to a continuously deteriorating human rights condition. The case of Paniai, Tolikara, Wasior, Wamena is a reflection that the Government’s human rights commitment to Papua is still just rhetoric, or sweet promise in front of the Papuan mothers. KontraS was quite surprised when Foreign Affairs Minister Marsudi stated that the government was taking care of Wasior and Wamena through the Human Rights Court in Makassar. This information is not even heard by victims. How is this important information being exclusive and submitted in Geneva, away from the problem source in Papua?

Only France and Japan raised the importance of missing people’s search issues. The United States, even under Donald Trump’s regime, even inquires about the future of past human rights abuses, and its relation to actors who have not yet been taken to the accountability room. Mexico even encouraged the Government of Indonesia to invite the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, although the issue of truth-telling for the 1965 tragedy was not strong enough appearing in this session. The resolvement of gross human rights violations in the past can not be solved if the government only uses and believes one way of reconciliation to solve all cases of gross human rights violations that have different characteristics. KontraS and the victims still desperately need the support of international public to win this struggle against impunity.

KontraS hopes, with this “safe position”, the Government of Indonesia does not cover the facts of human rights violations that arise and occur in Indonesia. The Indonesian government must still actualize the content of the RPJMN (mid-term development plan) then manifest Indonesia’s confidence in international forums, as demonstrated this morning at the UN Human Rights Council.

The voice of Southeast Asian region which are inclined to support the Indonesian Government by not providing concrete recommendations is the face that the facts of these human rights violations are covered and covered by each other is a form of “solidarity” of the current anti-human rights regime in the region. As a civil society, KontraS will continue to invite the public to pay attention to the content of recommendations, including collective efforts that we can take to fight for our rights and freedoms.