Dani Prabowo, Jakarta – Presidential and vice president candidate ticket number 2, Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka, have not responded at all to questionnaire on human rights by the international organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW).
HRW, which has networks in more than 70 countries around the world, submitted questions in English to the three respective presidential election tickets on December 1, 2023, and gave them until late January to respond.
However, only candidate pairs number 1 and 3 – former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and running mate former security chief Mahfud MD and former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo and running mate National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar – provided a positive response to the questionnaire containing 16 questions.
"The ones who answered were Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud MD, and Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar. Incidentally when they sent the first file, I saw a comment by one of the four people. They seemed to answer seriously. But Prabowo and Gibran did not respond", explained Indonesian HRW researcher Andreas Harsono on Friday February 9.
Harsono continued saying they sent the questions by ordinary mail, e-mail and WhatsApp chat to 90 different people from the three candidates' election campaign teams.
HRW said it was disappointed that the Prabowo-Gibran camp ignored the questionnaire on human rights.
"I don't know why they didn't respond. But, what's clear [by not doing so] they did not give an opportunity to voters, particularly young voters, to understand important issues for Indonesian citizens about various kinds of (human rights) problems", explained Harsono.
"(There were issues about) anti-corruption yes, the weakening of the KPK [Corruption Eradication Commission], or the murder of Madurese in Kalimantan in 1999-2001 where there were 6,500 Madurese killed, or communal violence in Ambon, in Halmahera where up to 15,000 people were killed, or of course East Timor where to this day it still has not been unresolved who should be held responsible for the death of so many people in East Timor and the failure to provide proportional accountability", he said.
Aside from the questions above, HRW also asked for the candidates' response to controversial issues in the new Criminal Code (KUHP), the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, state violence in 1965 and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights.
"We deeply respect those who were willing to answer and we have given these answers to voters in Indonesia in the hope that they can see for themselves what the positions of the two candidates are on human rights", said Harsono.
Only the candidate pair of Defense Minister and Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairperson Prabowo Subianto and Solo Mayor and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo son Gibran Rakabuming Raka do not include a program on resolving human rights cases in their vision and mission statement.
In their mission statement on human rights, they only promise to protect the human rights of all citizens and abolish discriminatory practices.
The full answers from the campaigns of two of the three presidential and vice presidential candidates can be accessed from Human Rights Watch at:
- Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud M.D. https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2024/02/Response%20from%20Ganjar%20Pranowo%20and%20Mahfud%20MD%20to%20HRW.pdf.
- Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2024/02/Response%20from%20Anies%20Baswedan%20to%20HRW.pdf.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pemantau HAM Dunia Surati 3 Capres: Direspons Anies dan Ganjar, Diabaikan Prabowo".]