Category: Human Rights

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.

Many were shocked on 6 February when Unicef reported that an estimated 60 million Indonesian women and girls have undergone genital cutting. Dr Dina Afrianty writes that although some Indonesians believe female circumcision is an important expression of religious identity, theological justification for the practice is weak.

On Indonesia at Melbourne last week, Bhatara Ibnu Reza warned against revising anti-terror legislation to provide police or intelligence officials with greater powers. Christian Donny Putranto writes that the proposal to strip the citizenship of individuals suspected of fighting with terrorist groups is just as dangerous.

In January, President Joko Widodo twice instructed senior officials to resolve past violations of human rights by the end of the year. Yati Andriyani and Nurkholis Hidayat write that unless major changes are made to the reconciliation process, prospects for meaningful resolution do not look good.

Al Makin writes that as long as Indonesians remain a pious people oriented toward religion, new religious movements like Gafatar will continue to emerge. Both the government and Indonesian citizens need to accept this fact. Photo by Jessica Helena Wuysang for Antara.

Last weekend, the minister of higher education, research and technology stated that he would ban LGBT Indonesians from all universities in the country. Although he has attempted to qualify this statement, Hendri Yulius describes how the incident is part of a trend of increasing restrictions on the discussion of LGBT issues in Indonesian universities.

Last month, the International People’s Tribunal on 1965 crimes against humanity provoked a predictably strong response in Indonesia. Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey reflect on the tribunal and its consequences for the activists who participated.

What accounts for the sympathetic and supportive Indonesian response Rohingya asylum seekers received on their arrival in Aceh in May, and how have they fared since? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues and more with Dr Antje Missbach in the final Talking Indonesia podcast for 2015.