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Indonesia: Human Rights Issues in Upcoming Election

Questionnaire Provides Candidates, Political Parties Space to Address Key Concerns

Political campaign posters dot the urban landscape in Jakarta, Indonesia in the lead up to the February 2024 election. © Andreas Harsono/Human Rights Watch

(Jakarta) – Candidates for Indonesia’s February 2024 elections should make clear where they stand on human rights issues, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a questionnaire for candidates for top positions and political parties. The 16 questions were sent to the 3 presidential and 3 vice presidential candidates, and to the leaders of 18 national political parties and 6 political parties in Aceh.

The questionnaire seeks written responses from the candidates and parties as to how they will address various human rights issues. These include problematic provisions in the new criminal code, accountability for current and past human rights abuses, the situation in West Papua, the increase in discriminatory regulations, freedom of religion and belief, land grabbing and environmental issues, and other important rights topics facing people in Indonesia.

“It is critically important for national candidates for president and political parties seeking votes to be straight with Indonesians about how they will address the many pressing human rights concerns in the country,” said Elaine Pearson, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Our questionnaire provides an ideal opportunity for candidates to detail their human rights positions, which we will make publicly available.”

Other questions include policies on LGBT rights, disability rights, protection of overseas Indonesian migrant workers, and Indonesia’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Several questions address accountability for the mass killings in 1965 as well as past atrocities against ethnic Madurese on Kalimantan Island, sectarian violence in the Malukus Islands, the conflict in Aceh, the Lake Poso violence, the crackdown against student activists in 1998, and killings in East Timor.

The questionnaire to the six local parties in Aceh on Sumatra Island includes questions about religious freedom and belief, and Shariah (Islamic law), and human rights.

About 205 million registered voters will be eligible to cast their ballots on February 14, 2024, choosing their presidential and vice presidential candidates; and members of the House of Representatives, the Regional Representative Council, and provincial and local parliaments.

Human Rights Watch asked the candidates and parties to respond to the questionnaire by January 25.

Human Rights Watch is an international nongovernmental organization that monitors and advocates for human rights. It is non-partisan and does not support any politician or political party in any of the about 100 countries where it works around the world. Human Rights Watch has been reporting on Indonesia since the 1980s.The organization accepts no government funding.

The compilation of responses to the questionnaire will be uploaded on the Human Rights Watch website at

“Indonesia’s aspiring political leaders and political parties have an opportunity to provide the Indonesian people with clear answers to direct questions about human rights,” Pearson said. “It is hugely important for them to address these serious rights concerns in Indonesia.”

Letters for the 18 national political parties and three presidential candidates:

HRW Letter to Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar
HRW Letter to Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud MD
HRW Letter to Prabowo S. Djojohadikusumo and Gibran Raka

HRW Letter to Amanat Nasional
HRW Letter to Partai Bulan Bintang
HRW Letter to Partai Buruh
HRW Letter to Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP)
HRW Letter to Partai Demokrat
HRW Letter to Partai Garda Perubahan Indonesia
HRW Letter to Partai Gelombang Rakyat Indonesia
HRW Letter to Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Gerindra)
HRW Letter to Partai Golkar
HRW Letter to Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat (Hanura)
HRW Letter to Partai Keadilan Sejahtera
HRW Letter to Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa
HRW Letter to Partai Kebangkitan Nusantara
HRW Letter to Partai Nasdem
HRW Letter to Partai Persatuan Indonesia (Perindo)
HRW Letter to Partai Persatuan Pembangunan
HRW Letter to Partai Solidaritas Indonesia
HRW Letter to Partai Ummat

Letters to the six political parties in Aceh province:

HRW Letter to Partai Aceh
HRW Letter to Partai Adil Sejahtera Aceh
HRW Letter to Partai Darul Aceh
HRW Letter to Partai Generasi Atjeh Beusaboh Tha'at dan Taqwa
HRW Letter to Partai Nangroe Aceh
HRW Letter to Partai Soliditas Independen Rakyat Aceh

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