Indonesian Government Slow to Implement UPR Recommendations
During the Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia in 2008, the Government accepted to fulfil recommendations made by the Human Rights Council to improve its human rights situation. Four years later however, few recommendations have been implemented consistently and there are still huge human rights concerns affecting people in Papua and West Papua.
Franciscans International co-hosted a side event during the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the implementation of the UPR recommendations by the Government of Indonesia so far.
Torture, freedom of expression, human rights defenders, extrajudicial, summary, or arbitary executions, Indigenous Peoples and women are all issues of concern that need to be addressed during the country's second cycle UPR in May/June 2012.
“The implementation of the UPR recommendations that were accepted by the Indonesian Government in 2008 is very disappointing,” said Mr. Norman Voss, Asian Legal Resource Center. “There has been some progress but not on key initiatives. There was some initial exchange at the beginning but things have lost momentum. Any improvements are inconsistent; the human rights situation in Indonesia is relatively good but it is poor in West Papua.”
Mr. Voss claims that accountability is lacking; therefore there is no remedy and consequently there is no reform, no justice and no compensation for the victims of injustice. Judicial corruption is high but an independent justice system is slow to be implemented. In 2008 the Government accepted the recommendation to introduce a Special Autonomy Law for Papua but this also has not been fulfilled.
In 2008, the Government accepted the recommendation to criminalise torture but it remains legal. Military corruption continues with the practice of torture and extra-judicial executions and displacement, particularly of human rights defenders in Papua. The Government denies the existence of political prisoners but there is contrary evidence.
The three other panellists also spoke about how the central governance from Jakarta oppresses the Papuans, particularly Indigenous Peoples. Rev. Matheus Adadikam, Secretary General of the Evangelical Christian Church in Papua, reported how Indigenous Peoples are losing their land as the Government makes deals with international companies interested in the natural resources. Forest processing and mining activities are negatively effectively Papuans’ lives.
If the Papuans do not cooperate with these plans then they are caught, tortured and put in jail, reported Rev. Novel Matindas, West Papua Desk, the Communion of Churches in Indonesia. There are 45 reported cases of human rights violations against human rights defenders; 10 by international companies and 35 by the Government.
Mr. Ferry Marisan, Director of Institute of Human Rights Studies and Advocacy Papua, reported that freedom of expression is treated with violence. International journalists and severely restricted in their access and civilian internet cafes are harshly monitored. He recommends for the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to visit and access the situation in Papua. He wants a guarantee for that journalists, human rights organisations and parliamentarians are able to carry out their job without restriction and harassment.
The side event was attended by many NGOs who are working together in Europe and Asia to ensure these issues are addressed by the Government of Indonesia during its forthcoming review.
Read the co-written report submitted by FI for the UPR of the Republic of Indonesia by the Human Rights Council in May/June 2012.