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Activists question Jokowi's handling of human rights issues

Tempo - July 16, 2019

Fikri Arigi, Egi Adyatama and Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The recent speech delivered by president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo entitled "Visi Indonesia" garnered a number of criticism from human rights activists after the speech that was broadcasted nationwide did not mention human rights enforcement and the solving of past human rights violations.

"Jokowi was not focused on law enforcement and the condition of human rights issues," said Lokataru legal office founder Haris Azhar on Monday, July 15.

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) also mentioned human rights violations early in 2019 handed to the attorney general's office but was eventually returned due to lack of evidentiary items.

Tempo compiled three cases of human rights violations during President Jokowi's first term in the past five-years.

Human rights violations continue to happen

The things that violate a person's human rights such as barring certain groups from holding rallies, practicing death sentences in the country's legal system, up to cases of violence by state authorities.

The conflict between security personnel and local residents of Paniai, Papua, happened just months after Jokowi took office. This incident saw five people shot to death. The recent case of human rights violation is now known as the May 22 riots in front of the Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) headquarters.

Religious freedom remains a challenge

Inter-religious conflicts, intolerance practices, and issues regarding religious freedom happened in the past five years in numerous occasions. According to KontraS, there were at least 488 incidents of religious freedom violations from 2014-2019.

Several known cases include the attack on St. Lidwina Church in 2018, the disbandment of Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) in 2015 as its teaching was deemed blasphemy, and the attacks on Ahmadiyah folowers in East Lombok in 2018.

Government failed to solve severe past human rights violations

Early in 2019, the Attorney General's Office decided to return the case files of past human rights violations sent by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) due to lack of evidentiary items.

The cases that were reported caused numerous casualties such as the mass-riots and slaughter of 1965-1985, the shootings of civilians in what is now known as Trisakti and Semanggi tragedies, and the May 1998 mass-riots.

Another example of unsolved past human rights violations include the mass-disappearance of people in 1997-1998.

Responding to criticisms from activists, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko denies that President Jokowi had deliberately ignored mentioning human rights issues and said that limited duration was the main issue why they were not mentioned in the speech.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1225084/activists-question-jokowis-handling-of-human-rights-issues