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February election is existential moment for human rights: Amnesty

Jakarta Post - February 2, 2024

Jakarta – With human rights campaigners and their protection having suffered setbacks in the past decade, rights group Amnesty International Indonesia (AII) said the Feb. 14 presidential and legislative elections should be a defining moment for the country to get back on solid footing.

In a press conference earlier this week, the human rights group said that throughout the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Indonesia had not only failed to deal with past atrocities, but also promoted impunity.

The country is on its way to further cementing this impunity now that the frontrunner in the presidential election was an individual alleged to have committed past human rights abuses, they said.

"We're dealing with the possibility of the country's next president being implicated in major human rights violations," AII executive director Usman Hamid said.

Usman also highlighted that on the international stage, Indonesia had only minorly contributed to dealing with the ongoing human rights violations in the Ukraine war, the Gaza conflict and the crackdown on opposition in Myanmar.

Domestically, the human rights situation has continued to deteriorate, with rights activists campaigning on the protection of indigenous rights, women's rights and the environment facing abuse and intimidation.

"In the lead-up to the election, Amnesty calls on the authorities not to shrink the civic space where [the public] can criticize, oppose and protest," Amnesty said.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/02/02/february-election-is-existential-moment-for-human-rights-amnesty.htm