Category: Human Rights

Indonesia’s indigenous peoples face serious challenges, including insecure rights to land and lack of recognition of their traditional religions. How are these issues being addressed, and what regional differences have to be taken into account? Dr Ken Setiawan explores these questions and more with Sandra Moniaga, from Komnas HAM, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

President Joko Widodo has already shown signs that human rights will not be a top priority for his government. But as Christian Donny Putranto writes, few of Jokowi’s passionate campaigners would have ever imagined that two years after his election his administration would promote military officials involved in abducting pro-democracy activists to senior positions in security agencies.

Last week, the judges of the International People’s Tribunal 1965 released their final report, finding the Indonesian state responsible for crimes against humanity. But what is the standing of the IPT and what impact might its findings have? Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey examine the fallout from the report’s release.

More than a year after 1,000 Rohingya asylum seekers arrived on the shores of North Aceh, few have been resettled in western countries. The fact that many Rohingya are poor and illiterate means they are not considered a priority. Lies Marcoes found that the global indifference to their plight may be driving them to join the Islamic State.

Although freedom of religion and freedom of expression are guaranteed in the Indonesian Constitution, these guarantees have not been sufficient to protect non-religious expression in the public sphere. Ismail Hasani looks back at the case of Alexander An, jailed for writing “God does not exist” in a Facebook post.

Over the past couple of weeks, security officials have confiscated books on the 1965 violence and leftist ideas to prevent what they describe as a “reawakening of communism”. Hendri Yulius looks at the long history of book banning and book burning in Indonesia and examines what this recent episode means for freedom of expression in the country.

On 18-19 April, Indonesia held an unprecedented national symposium to discuss the violence of 1965, involving victims, activists, and government and military officials. Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey present a detailed analysis of last week’s events.

What are the main forms of violence against women in Indonesia, and the key drivers of this violence? What support is available to women suffering violence? In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Dave McRae explores these questions and more with Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, vice chair of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan).

Indonesia has seen a sustained attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over the past two months, triggered by comments made by the minister of higher education, research and technology, Muhammad Nasir. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the godfather of gay activism in Indonesia, Dede Oetomo, about the moral panic gripping the nation.

In May 2015, Indonesia agreed to provide temporary shelter for up to 3,500 Rohingya boat people, insisting that they be resettled or repatriated within a year. With this deadline fast approaching, Dr Antje Missbach reports that few have been resettled, and public goodwill is beginning to dry up.

Jakarta bid farewell to the Kalijodo red-light district last week. The city administration had announced plans to raze the area and turn it into green space just 20 days before the bulldozers moved in. Freelance photographer Imang Jasmine was there to capture the notorious district’s final moments.

Last week, pressure from mass organisations forced the cancellation and relocation of the Belok Kiri Fest, a cultural event that aimed to challenge dominant discourses of Indonesian history. Dr Ken Setiawan writes that the incident is the latest example of the ongoing repression of alternative discourses on leftism and the events of 1965 in democratic Indonesia.