President does not come close to honoring his election promise to address abuses, they say
Activists and victims of human rights abuses hold a silent protest every Thursday afternoon across from the presidential palace to urge president to address human rights cases. (ucanews.com photo)
Rights groups have accused Indonesian President Joko Widodo of reneging on an election promise to improve the country’s human rights record, saying after three years in power the situation remains dismal, if not worse.
Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia’s 7th president on Oct 20, 2014 — replacing Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — and immediately launched nine key programs, known as Nawacita, which included addressing human rights issues.
Three years into his term hardly anything has been done to address human rights abuses, activists said.
"Widodo’s human rights record is very bad, because during his time in office there has been a spike in the numbers being sentenced to death, which goes against his Nawacita promises," Azas Tigor Nainggolan, coordinator of the Indonesian bishops' Advocacy and Human Rights Forum, told ucanews.com on Oct. 25.
He described rights protection as very weak with abuses continuing to occur across many parts of the archipelago, especially in Papua.
Mass arrests of political activists in Papua have continued to occur during Widodo’s presidency, albeit less frequently, Nainggolan said.
He called on Widodo to find the courage to settle past human rights abuse cases by cracking down on violations allegedly being committed by the military and police.
Muhammad Nurkhoiron, a commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission, accused Widodo of not taking his commitment to improving human rights conditions seriously.
"His government focuses [too much] on economic and infrastructure issues," Nurkhoiron told ucanews.com.
Bedjo Untung, chairman of the 1965 Murder Victims Research Foundation, said he and other victims of the anti-communist purge that killed hundreds of thousands of people in the 1960’s are disappointed.
"There has been no improvement in the past three years. In fact, human rights violations have increased," he alleged.
Recent allegations of a resurgence in communist activity in Indonesia are not only a threat to victims of the purge but also to activists who have been accused of pro-communist leanings just for advocating people’s human rights, he said.
Usman Hamid, director of Amnesty International in Indonesia, also accused Widodo of failing to keep his election promise.
The Indonesian government still upholds the blasphemy law, which has been used recently to victimize at least 16 people, including former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, he said.
Prosecution of minority groups still continues unabated, he said, pointing to attacks on the Muslim Ahmadiyya sect in Lombok and the refusal by local authorities to allow members of the Indonesia Christian Church Taman Yasmin in Bogor, West Java, and the Batak Society Christian Church Philadelphia in Bekasi from worshipping in their churches.
Unequal Christians of Asian Churches is a new series of features aimed to help us see prejudice and bias that are at work in our Church. They also help us see the struggles of Catholics to live out their faith.
Such features come to you for FREE, but it cost us to produce them.
Share your comments
In a land area of 7,469 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the Civil Provinces of South Cotabato and
With a land area of 5,565 square kilometers, the Suwon diocesan territory includes cities such as Ansan (part),
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the financial capital of Pakistan. Locally known as"the city of lights",
St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is a French colonial-era landmark and one of...
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption at the heart of Bruneian capital Bendar Seir Begawan,...
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and...