Category: Human Rights

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.

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.