Category: Human Rights

What prompted President Joko Widodo to declare a drug emergency in Indonesia? Have his hard-line policies achieved their intended results? And what is the future for drug policy in the country? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues with Ricky Gunawan, director of LBH Masyarakat, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Former State Secretary and Islamic scholar Djohan Effendi died in Geelong, Victoria, on 17 November after a long illness. His former student Ihsan Ali-Fauzi remembers a quietly principled man who was committed to challenging religious exclusivism.

West Papuan independence activists surprised many in September when they delivered a petition to the UN signed by 1.8 million Papuans and Indonesian settlers. Dr Richard Chauvel writes that while this petition may not get far, so long as Indonesia fails to address rights abuses by the security forces, the issue will continue to be raised at the international level.

Is Indonesia seeing the emergence of a ‘Neo-New Order’? Is democracy really in peril? Following his interview on Talking Indonesia last week, Professor Todung Mulya Lubis writes that although many aspects of Indonesian democracy are functioning well, there is serious cause for concern.

What does the recent attack on the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) mean for human rights and civil society in Indonesia? What are the challenges facing the government as it heads toward the 2019 election? Is Indonesia’s democracy in peril? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with pre-eminent human rights lawyer Professor Todung Mulya Lubis.

On 17 October, dozens of declassified files confirmed that the United States had detailed knowledge of and actively supported Indonesian military efforts to destroy the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its alleged sympathisers. Dr Jess Melvin, who was involved in the declassification project, looks at the most significant revelations.

“Istirahatlah Kata-Kata” has won praise for its depiction of the life of poet and activist Widji Thukul in exile. In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey chats to the film’s director, Yosep Angi Noen, about how film can provide new opportunities for dealing with histories that remain obscured.

Hopes are high for Indonesia to play a greater role in responding to the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. But Diah Tricesaria and Randy Nandyatama write that if Indonesia is to be seen as a legitimate actor in brokering peace in Myanmar, it must show leadership in the management of refugees at the domestic and regional levels.

President Joko Widodo has offered little support to the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) since the shocking attack on its offices two weeks ago. Professor Tim Lindsey writes that civil society should not expect much from Jokowi, who is in the unenviable position of having to keep the oligarchs happy and Islamist agitators at bay.

The past two days have seen unprecedented attacks on one of Indonesia’s oldest civil society organisations, the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH). Former LBH Jakarta director Nurkholis Hidayat says the weekend’s events represent a deeply troubling new low for freedom of expression.

One person was killed and 16 others injured when police opened fire on a group of Papuan protesters last month. Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge writes that the shooting highlights the Joko Widodo government’s misguided and poorly coordinated approach to issues in Papua.

President Joko Widodo stunned many observers recently when he appeared to give the go-ahead for police to shoot drug dealers who resist arrest. Dr Dave McRae has examined media reports of police shootings and has found that the government’s tough on drugs rhetoric may be affecting how police deal with these cases.