Category: Human Rights

What makes West Java so prone to religious intolerance and violence? And which regulations, if any, need to be reformed to reduce conflict? Indonesia at Melbourne explored these issues with Dr Melissa Crouch, whose book examines religious conflict and the use of the courts by intolerant groups in West Java.

Papuan independence leader Filep Karma was released from prison last Thursday, after serving more than 10 years behind bars for treason. Does his release indicate a commitment by the government to resolve the conflict in the province, and how will it affect efforts to promote dialogue? Dr Richard Chauvel reports.

Indonesian authorities have silenced discussion of the 1965 massacre at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Coordinators of the cancelled programs, Associate Professor Kate McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey, question why discussion of 1965 is now considered a threat to security. Image by Andrew Dyson.

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) was forced on Friday to cancel planned sessions on the 1965 massacre following pressure from local authorities. Dr Ken Setiawan, whose father was imprisoned on Buru Island by the Soeharto regime, reflects on this extraordinary crackdown on freedom of expression.

President Joko Widodo came to power one year ago with promises to combat impunity for past human rights violations, safeguard freedom of religion and improve welfare in Papua. Has the president met any of these pledges? Former LBH Jakarta director Nurkholis Hidayat takes a look at Jokowi’s human rights record.

Fifty years after the beginning of the 1965 violence, many children and grandchildren of those targeted also continue to feel its impact. Dr Kate McGregor examines two cultural memory projects that involve collaboration across generations and aim to crack the resilience of anti-communist versions of history.

Wednesday will mark 50 years since the events that triggered the brutal repression of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its alleged sympathisers. Ken Setiawan writes that while political elites appear to be able to stomach the idea of reconciliation, an apology is far more contested.

A gay web series last week provoked the ire of at least one lawmaker, who called for it to be blocked and its makers dealt with in the courts. As Hendri Yulius writes, the episode was just another example of the government’s double standard in its approach to issues of sexuality.

The Jakarta government last week forcibly removed residents from Kampung Pulo, on the banks of the Ciliwung River, after they rejected offers of replacement housing. As Dr Ken Setiawan writes, despite having the support of the middle class, the evictions demonstrated a blatant disregard for the rights of the residents.

In town for the Melbourne International Film Festival, director Joshua Oppenheimer spoke to Indonesia at Melbourne about The Look of Silence, his remarkable follow-up to The Act of Killing.

Joshua Oppenheimer’s breathtaking 2012 documentary, The Act of Killing, focused the world’s attention on the 1965 Indonesian genocide. As Dr Jess Melvin writes, his equally stunning 2014 companion piece, The Look of Silence, demands we do not look away.

Pregnancy and childbirth are the number one cause of death and illness for women during humanitarian crises. Kate Walton explains what needs to be done to improve healthcare for asylum seekers in Aceh.