Human rights totally eroded during Jokowi's second term in office: Kontras

CNN Indonesia – December 10, 2021
Kontras activists hold rally alongside State Palace in Central Jakarta – December 5, 2020 (CNN)

Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that efforts to fight for human rights have been increasingly eroded during President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's second term in office.

Kontras Coordinator Fatiya Maulidiyanti believes that the situation over the last year in fact shows that the human rights in Indonesia have worsening and are not in accordance with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's promises about upholding human rights.

"Human rights have been totally eroded, when we look at the situation over the last year, the forms of human rights violations are in fact increasingly repeated and there are widespread acts of repression against citizens", said Maulidiyanti during a virtual discussion titled "Human Rights Day 2021" on Friday December 10.

Kontras has recorded continued and repeated acts of repression and pressure on freedom of expression between December 2020 and November 2021. The patterns which continue to occur in the civil and political sphere include doxing, hacking, arbitrary arrests and torture.

Based on the same records, there were 150 incidents of restrictions on civil freedoms where the principle actors were the police, which resulted in as many as 500 people being arrested.

The most prominent issues in the context of freedom of expression were related to Papua, the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM), the environment and climate as well as the behaviour of public officials.

Meanwhile in relation to cyber attacks against civil society, Kontras found 24 incidents, the majority of which were related to corruption. These attacks included doxing, hacking and criminalisation using the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law.

"This situation has made the public reluctant to convey criticism because in the real world they face threats from the authorities, but on social media a variety of threats have also emerged", said Kontras Coordinator Rivanlee Anandar.

In addition to this, Kontras also believes that human rights violations in the environmental sector during President Widodo's second term in office have yet to show any improvements. According to Anandar, human rights violations in the environmental sector have in fact become more widespread.

This is because Indonesia continues to pursue development in various parts of the country but this is not accompanied by efforts to conserve the environment. The impact being that development is accompanied by environmental damage.

This environmental damage will impact badly on humanity, particularly local communities.

"Over the last year there were 228 incidents of violence in the environmental sector. We concluded that the practice of violence in this sector over the last year shows the real character of a state which is ambivalent, on the one hand [expressing] a desire to safeguard the environment and on the other hand appearing in fact to exploit it", said Anandar.

"The essence of this economic and social culture is, we want to convey that the state always pushes through development projects without heeding human rights, which is shown by the repeated incidents of arbitrary arrest and exploitation of nature", he continued.

In addition to this, the resolution of past gross human rights violations have also yet to show any improvement, and have in fact gone backwards and yet to find a point of clarity.

Yet, according to Kontras, at every single state of the nation address President Widodo says that the government will endeavour to investigate cases of past gross human rights violations.

"We don't see any clear evaluation or correction or concrete desire from President Jokowi to follow up on the speeches which he made during the 2014 and 2019 presidential elections. So we see that this is a form of lip service on Jokowi's part", said Kontras Impunity Monitoring Division Head Ahmad Sajali.

CNN Indonesia has tried to contact Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko and Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Jaleswari Pramodawardhani for a response to the Kontras' report but as of posting this article neither have responded.

During the commemoration of International Human Rights Day this year President Widodo said that the government is committed to upholding human rights and resolving cases of gross human rights violations. Widodo said he wants to prioritise justice for the victims as well as the alleged perpetrators.

"The government is committed to upholding and resolving gross human rights violations and prioritising the principles of justice for victims and for those who are alleged to be the perpetrators of gross human rights violations", he said on December 10. (mln/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kontras: HAM Dikikis Habis di Periode Kedua Jokowi".]