Civil Society Organizations Provided Views of Human Rights Situation in Indonesia in Side-Event of 4th Cycle of Universal Periodic Review in Palais Des Nations, Geneve, Switzerland.

On November 8, 2022, precisely at 12.00 Geneva time, several parties from Indonesia, along with Komnas HAM and Komnas Perempuan held a side-event meeting to provide important notes for Indonesia before the UPR session the next day, November 9 at 09.00 Geneva time. The parties and panelists in this session were KontraS, Papuan Council of Churches, Amnesty International Indonesia, Komnas HAM, and Komnas Perempuan, as well as representatives from FORUM-ASIA as moderators.

The live session started with representatives conveying key messages from the recommendations received by Indonesia and important evaluations of implementing these recommendations. Starting from Amnesty International Indonesia, this organization presented its key messages around the issue of Papua and the issue of violence against civil society, specifically on journalists, environmental activists, and human rights defenders who were criminalized by the alleged perpetrators, namely the POLRI. Specifically, this organization also provides direct recommendations to the Indonesian government attending the meeting to stop acts of violence against Papuans and excessive discrimination by the security forces.

The next session was continued with representatives from the Papua Council Of Churches who gave some views and reports on what the Indonesian government should pay attention to. Of them, namely since the collapse of the Suharto government, the human rights condition in Papua has not been considered and has worsened from time to time. This can be seen from the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and torture that continue to occur in some specific areas of Papua and the continued impunity by the security forces. One example of a concrete case from this statement is the case of the mutilation of 4 Papuans. The representative also mentioned that Komnas HAM is trying to encourage the Indonesian government to stop acts of violence against Papuans. Still, this initiative is not enough to eliminate these acts. In this session, Law No. 2 of 2021 concerning the Special Autonomous Region of Papua was also mentioned as a law that plays a central role in the ‘development of Papua’ and its implications for people’s lives in the area. It is noted that this needs to be criticized because this law should involve the Papuan people. After all, it will play a significant role in the lives of the surrounding community.

Furthermore, KontraS also conveyed key messages from 9 issues (torture, right to dissent, press freedom, death penalty, impunity, human rights violations in Papua, human rights defenders, business and human rights, and development justice) which were wrapped in a shadow report based on recommendations. The previous UPR cycle (3rd cycle in 2017) collaborated with other human rights-based CSOs in Indonesia. KontraS noted and reminded that the Indonesian government barely made any progress in the implementation process. In fact, in most of these nine issues, the Indonesian government provides a ‘supporting’ position, which means there is more intention to implement the recommendations. Some of them relate to the ratification of the OP-CAT for the implementation of an independent investigation mechanism for cases of violence, considering the moratorium on the death penalty, the enforcement of human rights in mining business activities, and ensuring freedom of opinion and association, including the Papuan people. However, for the past 4.5 years, no record has been showing this progress.

Then not much different from what has been conveyed by the previous panelists, Komnas HAM also noted that there were many acts of violence against human rights defenders and journalists through acts pretexting defamation and a rubbery article, namely the ITE Law and laws that hinder freedom of expression, namely RKUHP No. 106 and 110. Not only that, Komnas HAM also noted that the Indonesian government needs to pay attention to the protection and enforcement of human rights in Papua. Because, it was also noted that acts of violence continued until the emergence of a shocking case this year, namely the mutilation of 4 Papuans.

Finally, panelists from Komnas Perempuan presented their views on UPR’s reporting records from the last 4.5 years. Specifically, on violence against women, it is considered that the number of these acts has decreased from 4.5 years ago. However, it is necessary to establish a more concrete mechanism so that the number will decrease drastically. This will happen if there are efforts and initiatives from the Indonesian government to brainstorm together. This collaboration for a strategy to reduce acts of violence is also one of the recommendations of international entities to Indonesia to uphold justice for victims of violence and the responsibility of the state to uphold human rights, including women, to avoid all forms of violence for them.

The session was then continued with the opening of a question and answer session and responses from the participants who attended the side event. On this occasion, representatives of the Indonesian government, through Indonesian diplomats, gave their responses to several things that the panelists presented. First, he appreciated what the panelists had presented as a form of reflection and input for the Indonesian government for the next few years. However, some notes must be considered and further considered by the panelists. Regarding the New Autonomous Region (DOB) in Papua, he said that this was one of the Indonesian government’s efforts to improve the economic conditions and situation in Papua. In addition, he also gave his statement regarding the OP-CAT, which is still ratified and will be the main concern of the Indonesian government to accelerate the disappearance of acts of torture and violence in Indonesia.