Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the Republic of Indonesia, which reflects recommendations to protect the rights of religious minorities, women and girls and urges the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE). The outcome also addresses government-promoted discrimination against people with disabilities, impunity for security forces’ abuses in Papua, the need for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty and accountability for past human rights abuses.
We note that the Indonesian government accepted 150 such recommendations and urge it to fully implement them.
However, we are concerned that the Indonesian government chose to “note” rather than accept an additional 58 recommendations for reasons including that they “are not a priority in the national human rights agenda.” They include recommendations urging Indonesia to “put an end in law and in practice to violence and discrimination against women, violence and discrimination against homosexuals and female genital mutilation,” to “Repeal or revise legislation, notably the relevant provisions of the Aceh Islamic Criminal Code, which criminalizes sexual relations among consenting adults of the same sex, as well as legislation that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” as well as a recommendation to “Guarantee the rights of minority groups, particularly those of religious minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, through effective legal action against incitement to hatred and violent acts, as well as by revising legislation that can have discriminatory effects.” The government also rejected the recommendation that it “establish a moratorium on executions and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.” We also note with concern that although the Indonesian government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has publicly committed to accountability for past human rights abuses, including the mass killings of 1965-66, Indonesia rejected the recommendation that it “Thoroughly and transparently investigate past human rights abuses.”
The Indonesian government should accept and implement the recommendations of member states raised through its UPR process, rather than reject or ignore them. The ultimate test of Indonesia's commitment to the UPR process is its demonstration of the necessary political will to address these and other longstanding human rights issues. The UN is watching.