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[HRC52 Oral Statement] Item 6: Adoption of Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Indonesia

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52nd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 6: Adoption of Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Indonesia


Oral statement delivered by Afif Abdul Qoyim

On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

27 March 2023

Mr. President,

We note that Indonesia has accepted 205 of the 269 recommendations it received during this cycle of its UPR.

These include recommendations to create safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders, freedom of expression and media, and civil society organisations, including by aligning national legislation with international standards. However, several provisions of the new Criminal Code adopted few days after the UPR working group meeting contradict the accepted recommendations. We are particularly concerned about provisions that restrict forms of speech and expression and prohibits peaceful protests without prior permission with criminal penalties in contravention of international human rights standards. We urge Indonesia to review the Criminal Code in line with international standards.

We also deeply concerned that Indonesia failed to support recommendations to decriminalise libel, blasphemy and defamation and repeal restrictive provisions of Electronic Information and Transaction Law (EIT Law). These provisions have been used to target human rights defenders and stifle freedom of expression. The ongoing judicial harassment of human rights defenders Fatia Maulidiyanti and Hariz Azhar with criminal defamation and other charges under EIT Law for a public discussion of a multistakeholder report that alleges involvement of active and retired army officials in mining operations in highly militarised Papua region illustrate dangers of these laws.

Against the backdrop of serious human rights violations and forced displacement linked to increasing militarisation of the Papua region, we welcome Indonesia’s support for the important recommendations to enhance protection of fundamental freedoms and investigate allegations of violations and hold perpetrators to account. However, given the lack of public confidence in state authorities as a result of their long track record of failure to credibly address serious concerns in Papua including impunity, we urge Indonesia to ensure independent oversight of these processes especially with participation of the OHCHR.

Finally, we call on Indonesia to immediately establish a formal moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and commute the sentences of current death row prisoners as a first step towards its complete abolition.

We urge the Indonesia to develop a time-bound action plan with genuine participation of civil society for the implementation and follow up of the UPR recommendations.

Thank you.