Jakarta, Indonesia – 9 February 2024 The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), a Jakarta-based human rights organization, is closely monitoring the escalating situation leading up to the general election in Indonesia on February 14, 2024. The organization is deeply concerned about various violations, including violence, restrictions on freedom of speech, and the excessive deployment of state apparatus.
With 204.8 million eligible voters, Indonesia is gearing up for a crucial election, with presidential candidates including Anies Baswedan – Muhaimin Iskandar (01), Prabowo Subianto – Muhaimin Iskandar (02), and Ganjar Pranowo – Mahfud MD (03). President Joko Widodo’s declared support for Prabowo Subianto, particularly running with Joko Widodo’s son, Gibran Rakabumi, has raised significant concerns.
Neutrality of President Joko Widodo and State Apparatus:
KontraS has observed a concerning trend of President Joko Widodo’s indirect political communication and potential abuse of power in openly endorsing and campaigning for Prabowo Subianto. This raises worries about the impact on public official support and the President’s control over defense and security instruments.
President Joko Widodo’s multiple statements and actions supporting Prabowo Subianto, despite legal regulations prohibiting officials from using their positions for electoral political interests, reflect low moral standards and a lack of understanding of democratic ethics.
Patterns of Intimidation and Repression:
The campaign period has witnessed clear indications of direct human rights violations, including physical threats, violence, suppression of freedom of speech, surveillance, and espionage. The use of legal instruments to criminalize civilians, such as the case of the “Koran Achtung,” and the intimidation of a campaign volunteer through firearms, raises concerns about the vulnerability to violence during the election.
Human Rights Violators Behind Presidential Candidates:
The involvement of individuals associated with past human rights violations supporting various presidential and vice-presidential candidates is deeply troubling. This includes figures like Sutiyoso, Prabowo Subianto, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Wiranto, Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, Kiki Syahnakri, Sintong Panjaitan, and Andika Prakasa.
Indonesian Democracy Forecast:
The upcoming election poses a threat to Indonesia’s democracy, with freedom of expression being stifled, the normalization of political dynasties, and the manipulation of judicial bodies for political gain. Concerns from universities and civil society have been ignored, indicating a potential deviation from democratic principles.
The international community should express deep concern about potential threats to democracy and human rights in Indonesia. Upholding democratic principles, maintaining the neutrality of state institutions, and ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process are crucial. International support and vigilance are essential to safeguard the democratic values that Indonesia aspires to uphold.
Jakarta, 09 February 2024
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