UN Body Urges Indonesia to Address "Climate of Impunity"

31/07/2013
Press release

The Indonesian Government should urgently heed the calls by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee to improve its human rights record, said KontraS and FIDH today. Indonesia should give full and serious consideration to the Committee’s observations and set about implementing its recommendations as a matter of priority.

"The UN review leaves no doubt about the urgent need to fight impunity in Indonesia," said Haris Azhar, Coordinator of KontraS. "Meaningful investigation into the chain of command for the murder, nine years ago, of prominent human rights defender and KontraS founder Munir Said Thalib should become a priority for the Government. It could then be an emblematic example of the Government’s commitment to address impunity, rather than an example of its prevalence."

Earlier this month, the Human Rights Committee, a UN monitoring body consisting of 18 independent experts, scrutinized Indonesia’s human rights record within the framework of Indonesia’s report on its implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). On that occasion, FIDH and KontraS submitted a Parallel Report.

Echoing FIDH’s and KontraS’s concerns, among its concluding observations from that dialogue, adopted on 23-24 July 2013, the Human Rights Committee recommended Indonesia to take quick and decisive actions to halt the repression of civil society and human rights defenders, stop practices of torture and arbitrary and ill-treatment, and put an end to impunity, highlighting Munir’s case.

On Indonesia’s repression of freedoms of religion and of minorities, other core concerns, the Committee requested the Government to repeal the Law on Defamation of Religion and review the compatibility of the Law on Mass Organizations with citizens’ rights as guaranteed by international standards and the Constitution.

"The Defamation Law has been used by the Government and local authorities to unduly restrict the freedoms of religion and expression of religious minorities," said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President. "This law, which severely curtails the rights of the most vulnerable members of its society, should be abolished without further delay, as requested by the UN."

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