Government slammed for claims in UN report
Human rights groups have criticized what they call the Indonesian government’s complacency in dealing with rampant rights abuses.
Activists from several human rights groups, including the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Setara Institute, Asian Human Rights Centre (AHRC), Communion of Indonesian Churches (PGI), International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and International Protection (IP), came down hard on the government’s statement delivered at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), which they said overstated claims on human rights protection in the country.
“The government lied to the international world. Government officials know all too well about human rights violations occurring in this country, but they keep making excuses to cover them up,” Jeirry Sumampow of the PGI said.
Last week, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa delivered a report to the UNHRC summit in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of the council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), in which he claimed that the government spoke the truth about the nation’s human rights record.
Marty also said that, despite some problems, the UNHRC’s member countries still considered Indonesia an open, tolerant and democratic society.
Setara deputy chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos said the government appeared to downplay human rights issues in the country by pointing out that Indonesia was not the only country that had human rights problems.
“But it’s like condoning the problems because they also happen in other countries. This is wrong. It’s purely politics of denial,” Bonar said.
Delegations from 74 countries, 24 members of the UN’s human rights body and 47 monitoring parties attended Indonesia’s session at the summit. The review session issued a number of recommendations, including on the persecution of religious minorities.
Jeirry said that religious minorities still lived in a state of constant uncertainty and worry in Indonesia. He pointed out the recent closure of a number of churches in Aceh and the persecution of Shiite community members in Sampang, Madura, as examples.
“These minority groups face uncertainty while the majority of people consider it normal. And when these minority groups are attacked, they have to live under a more severe threat,” Jeirry said. (tas)