Government urged to protect human rights activists

Source – December 10, 2004
Human Rights Day commemoration in Surabaya (Kabar Surabaya)
Human Rights Day commemoration in Surabaya (Kabar Surabaya)

M. Rizal Maslan, Jakarta – The Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) is calling on the government to provide protection and legal certainty against threats which have been received by human rights defenders, and to punish the perpetrators.

This was conveyed by HRWG during a press conference at the Bor Building on Jalan Jl Pegangsaan Timur in East Jakarta on Friday December 10. Present at the press conference was HRWG coordinator Rafendi Djamin, Indonesian Human Rights Association (PBHII) chairperson Hendardi, Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) coordinator Siti Maimunah and Atnike Sigiro from the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam).

HRWG is also demanding that the government provide the broadest possible access to human rights defenders to carry out their activities and that the government immediately sign the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

“Today, on the 10th [of December] which represents International Human Rights Day, the reality is that in Indonesia there still many cases of arrests, detention, torture and the forced disappearances of people which have been experienced by human rights defenders”, said Sigiro.

HRWG is also asked the Indonesian government to amend Law Number 39/1999 on Human Rights. This amendment should provide an explicit and clear legal basis for the protection of human rights defenders. (nal)

[Translated by James Balowski.]