The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) recorded 78 cases of violations of freedom of expression in public between January and October 2019. These 78 cases involved 6,128 victims, 51 of which died. The data was obtained from the outcome of advocacy and complaints received by YLHHI and its 16 branch offices around Indonesia.
“Out of the 78 recorded incidents related to violations of freedom of expression in public which occurred in 2019 in Indonesia, we recorded that there were at least 6,128 people who were victims, 51 of which died, and 324 others were victims categorised as children”, said YLBHI Advocacy Division Head Muhammad Isnur during a press conference at the YLBHI office in Central Jakarta on Sunday October 27.
According to Insur, the victims of the alleged violations of freedom of expression were mostly tertiary education students totaling 43 percent. This was followed by activists at 9 percent, high-school students at 9 percent, journalists 1 percent, Regional House of Representative (DPRD) members at 1 percent, workers at 7 percent and other members of the public accounting for 28 percent.
Meanwhile the types of violations committed included criminalisation which accounted for 95 incidents, violence in 68 incidents and obstruction of legal aid in 6 incidents. Then there were cases of being hunted down and abducted with 17 incidents, illegal closure or disbursement with 57 incidents, violations related to personal equipment or data with 6 incidents and prevention or restrictions on public protest with 32 incidents.
“We noted that there were at least seven general and 12 specific patterns of violations which occurred in 2019. In a single case, more than one pattern of violations was found and one pattern was often interlinked with another pattern of violation”, said Isnur.
Isnur then explained the details of the general and specific pattern of these violations:
- Prevention of or restrictions on protest actions totalling 32 incidents. This general pattern was made of specific patters such as sweeps, illegal seizures, raids and or restrictive policies.
- Actions related to personal equipment or data totalling 6 incidents. This general pattern was made up of several special patterns such as confiscations and seizures, destruction of personal equipment and or revealing personal data (doxing and hacking).
- Illegal disbursement with a total of 57 incidents. This general pattern was made of two specific patterns, namely:
a. Forcibly breaking up an event or gathering with 32 incidents;
b. The excessive use of repressive instruments and or force, including the use of teargas, rubber bullets and live rounds totaling 25 incidents.
- Acts of violence totaling 68 incidents. This general pattern was made up of three specific patterns, namely:
a. Threats and or intimidation, being expelled from school or an educational institution and being unable to obtain a Police Clearance Letter (SKCK) totalling 24 incidents;
b. Incidents accompanied by stigmatisation, discrimination and stereotyping and or racism with 9 incidents;
c. Assault, torture, humiliating physical acts and the use of live rounds with as many as 35 incidents.
- Being hunted and abducted, with 17 incidents. This general pattern was made up of several specific patterns, namely being hunted, pursued and being abducted and or forcibly detained.
- Criminalisation totaling 95 incidents. This general pattern was made up of three specific patterns, namely:
a. Arrests and false arrests totalling 43 incidents;
b. Detention totaling 38 incidents; and
c. Being declared a suspect (to be charged) totalling 14 incidents.
- Obstruction of legal aid totalling 6 incidents.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “YLBHI: Ada 6.128 Korban Pelanggaran Kebebasan Berpendapat, 51 Tewas”.]