Rahel Narda Chaterine, Jakarta – Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti says that democracy in Indonesia has slowly died over the last two years of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin's administration.
This was revealed in a report on the performance of the Widodo-Amin leadership put together by Kontras. "Over the two years of [Widodo's] second term in office, democracy has slowly died", said Maulidiyanti during a virtual press conference on Tuesday October 19.
According to Maulidiyanti, this deterioration of democracy can be seen from the state of civil freedoms which have progressively worsened, the massive attacks on human rights defenders and a state which has increasingly ignored past cases of gross human rights violations.
It can also be seen from the repressive approach in Papua which has still seen little correction, the government's commitment to international human rights instruments and the lack of public participation in formulating legislation.
"This is enough to show that the democratic situation in Indonesia has deteriorated sharply over the two years of the Jokowi Ma'ruf Amin leadership", she said.
Furthermore, Maulidiyanti also highlighted the poor state of civil freedoms which are reflected in continuing repression and brutality by the authorities.
Kontras has compiled a number of incidents related to violence committed by the authorities between September 2019 and September 2021.
There were at least 360 incidents of violations against freedom of expression where the majority of cases were committed by the police. Over the same period, there have been no collective efforts or an evaluation by the government of the police as an institution.
"So more and more people have become victims of the brutality of the authorities without there being a deterrent effect to prevent the police as an institution committing acts of violence", she said.
She also highlighted the issue of the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law and the formation of the virtual or cyber police. Maulidiyanti is of the view that the ITE Law and the cyber police tend to regulate and oppress citizen's freedom of expression.
"In case of the ITE Law being used, prosecutions mostly occur over issues which criticise an institution with most victims being ordinary people", she said.
Then, she highlighted the dismissal of scores of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees who failed to pass the civics knowledge or nationalism test (TWK) as a requirement for them to be transformed into state civil servants.
In addition to this, Maulidiyanti said that the government is giving the impression that it is taking advantage of the restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic to minimise public participation in policy making such as the Omnibus Law, the Mineral and Coal Mining Law and the Constitutional Court Law.
She also noted that that there are still a number of important laws which have still not been completed by the House of Representatives (DPR) including the Draft Law on the Protection of Domestic Workers, the Draft Law on the Eradication of Sexual Violence, the Draft Law on Traditional Communities, the Draft Law on the Protection of Private Data and revisions to the Human Rights Law.
"And one of these which has been our main focuses of attention is the Draft Criminal Code which still does not feel transparent and the involvement of civil society has also only been a formality", she said.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kontras Nilai Demokrasi Perlahan Mati di Tahun Ke-2 Kepemimpinan Jokowi-Ma'ruf".]