Indonesia: 104 organisations express their solidarity with Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar

L’oeil du Plafond, Dominique Faliez

The undersigned organisations, human rights groups, and defenders are calling for the Indonesian Government to end its judicial harassment against prominent human rights defenders, Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar as well as to further protect all human rights defenders in the country.

Fatia and Haris’ Indictment

Fatia Maulidiyanti is the former coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) from 2020 to 2023; meanwhile, Haris Azhar is the co-founder of Lokataru Foundation. They are both facing a defamation charge under Article 27 paragraph (3) in conjunction with Article 45 paragraph (3) of the Electronic and Information Transaction (EIT) Law.

Fatia and Haris have experienced 28 hearings since 3 April 2023. During the indictment reading on the 28th hearing on 12 November, the lead prosecutor advised the Court to sentence Fatia to three years and six months in prison alongside a fine of 500,000 rupiah (USD32), and Haris to four years in prison alongside a fine of one million rupiah (USD65). The latter is the maximum punishment set under the (EIT) law.

The case was brought by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, after the duo appeared on Haris’ YouTube channel to discuss a report alleging the involvement of several national and multinational companies in mining operations in Intan Jaya, Papua. The allegations included those affiliated with political figures such as Panjaitan.

‘We are extremely concerned about the indictment of Fatia and Haris as this reveals just how dangerous it is to be a human rights defender in Indonesia. For merely speaking truth to power, seeking justice and accountability, and expressing evidence-based criticisms against the government, the likes of Fatia and Harris are being silenced. Such judicial harassment would have never happened in a healthy democratic context. Fatia and Harris’ ordeal reveals the deterioration of Indonesia’s civic and democratic space,’ the groups said collectively.

Breaching international obligation

The ongoing criminalisation of Fatia and Haris is in contravention with several of Indonesia’s international commitments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Instead of upholding people’s right to freedom of expression, the government chose to deploy defamation charges against Fatia and Harris. Indonesia has also breached its pledge–made upon its reelection as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council from 2024 to 2026–to preserve the fundamental civil and political rights of all persons.

Call for Action

The criminalisation of Fatia and Haris for simply criticising a government official is a breach of Indonesia’s obligation to uphold people’s fundamental freedoms–especially free expression– under the ICCPR. Such criminalisation not only undermines the work of human rights defenders, but also creates a chilling effect on free speech and dissenting voices. Therefore, leading to the verdict, scheduled to be given on the 18th December, it is imperative for all stakeholders–including the international community and general public–to urge the Court to acquit Fatia and Haris of all charges and for the government to immediately end judicial harassment against the defenders.

‘We are in solidarity with Fatia and Haris. We cannot remain silent. The work of human rights defenders is and will always be essential to upholding democracy and human rights for all. We call on the Indonesian Government to stop its criminalisation of defenders and to refrain from enacting further harm against them,’ the groups voiced together.

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  • Co-signatories

    Advocacy Forum
    Agora International Human Rights Group
    Ain o Slaish Kendra (ASK)
    Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI)
    Amnesty International Indonesia
    Anti Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN)
    ASEAN Regional Coalition to #StopDigitalDictatorship
    ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
    ASEAN Youth Forum
    Asia Alliance Against Torture (A3T)
    Asia Democracy Network
    Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
    Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
    Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
    Asosiasaun HAK (Timor-Leste)
    AWAM Pakistan
    Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) India
    Bir Duino
    Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A)
    Canadian Civil Liberties Association
    Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP)
    Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD)
    Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)
    CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
    Civil Society and Human Rights network (CSHRN)
    Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
    Community Resource Centre (CRC)
    Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCf) Thailand
    Defence of Human Rights Pakistan
    DeJusticia Colombia
    Dignity-Kadyr-kassiyet (KK)
    Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
    Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM)
    FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
    Franscisans International
    Frontline Defenders
    Harm Reduction International
    Human Rights and Development Foudation (HRDF) Thailand
    Human Rights Defenders’ Alert – India (HRDA)
    Human Rights Hub (HRH)
    Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) Australia
    Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) India
    Human Rights Lawyers Association Thailand
    Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)
    Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
    INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre
    Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
    International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO)
    Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP)
    Karapatan Alliance Philippines (KARAPATAN)
    La’o Hamutuk
    Law and Society Trust (LST)
    League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)
    Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI)
    Legal Resource Centre (LRC)
    Liberty — United Kingdom
    Madaripur Legal Aid Association (MLAA)
    Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN)
    Manushya Foundation
    Medical Action Group (MAG) Philippines
    Milk Tea Alliance Indonesia (ID Milk Tea)
    Milktea Alliance – Friends of Myanmar
    MUSAWI Pakistan
    National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP)
    New Naratif
    Odhikar Bangladesh
    People’s Watch – India
    People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy(PSPD)
    Philippine Alliance for Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
    Programme Against Custodial Torture and Impunity (PACTI)
    Progressive Voice
    PurpleCode Collective
    Pusat KOMAS
    Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan (PSHK)
    Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU)
    RRR Collective
    Safety and Risk Mitigation Organization (SRMO)
    South Asia Youth Network (SAYN)
    Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SafeNet)
    Sri Lanka Democracy Network (SLDN)
    Stiftung Asienhaus, Germany
    Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
    Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
    The Asia Alliance Against Torture (A3T)
    The Awakening – A Society for Social & Cultural Development
    The Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI)
    The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
    The Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI)
    The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)
    Think Centre
    Westpapua-Netzwerk, Germany
    World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

  • Member organisations - Indonesia

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