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Ensure Counterinsurgency Operations Are Not Abusive

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should drop politically motivated treason charges and unconditionally release an activist detained for peacefully advocating Papuan independence, Human Rights Watch said today. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should…
Supporters of West Papua shout slogans during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 1, 2020. 
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Decree Seeks End to Discriminatory Treatment of Girls, Women in Schools

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government should actively enforce a new decree that bans abusive, discriminatory dress codes for female students and teachers in Indonesia’s state schools, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 3, 2021, Education…
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Prime Minister Suga Should Use Favorable Position to Advocate Reforms

(Tokyo) – Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, should press the governments of Vietnam and Indonesia to improve their deteriorating human rights records during his visit to the two countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Suga will visit…
Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
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As Students Await Their Appeal, One Charged with Treason

(Jakarta) – Indonesia’s public Khairun University on Ternate Island should reinstate four students who were expelled after taking part in a peaceful protest, Human Rights Watch said today. A civil lawsuit brought by the four students, challenging…
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‘Balikpapan 7’ Face 5 to 17 Years in Prison

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should drop all charges and release seven Papuan activists and students on trial for their involvement in antiracism protests in Jayapura, Papua, in August 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. During the week of June…
SevenPapuan activists and students on trial for their involvement in anti-racism protests in Jayapura.    
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Criminal Defamation Has Chilling Effect on Media Freedom

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian police in South Kalimantan province should drop criminal defamation charges against a blogger for articles in which he interviewed indigenous Dayak leaders about a land dispute with an oil palm plantation, Human Rights Watch…
On May 4, 2020, the South Kalimantan police arrested and detained blogger Diananta Putra Sumedi (left) in Banjarmasin, charging him with online defamation, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison. 
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More Than 70 Papuan, Moluccan Activists Jailed for Nonviolent Protests

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government should immediately release at least 70 Papuan and Moluccan activists imprisoned for peacefully voicing their political views, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should adopt measures to ensure that…
Papuan independence activists charged with treason attend their trial at Central Jakarta District Court, December 19, 2019.
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Dubious Treason Charges for 22 Detainees for August Protests

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should drop treason charges and release at least 22 activists detained since August 2019 for peaceful acts of free expression concerning Papua, Human Rights Watch said today. These abusive prosecutions show…
Papuan students shout slogans during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 28, 2019. Students and activists gathered for a protest supporting West Papua, calling for independence from Indonesia, and demanding racial justice in Surabaya, East Java.
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Remove Provisions Harmful to Women, Minorities, Free Speech

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian parliament should substantially revise the proposed new criminal code to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The current bill contains articles that will violate the…
LGBT activists protest the planned revision to Indonesia’s criminal code outside parliament in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 12, 2018.
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Government Repression and Communal Attacks in Post-Suharto Era

(Jakarta) – Political changes in post-Suharto Indonesia have triggered ethnic and religious violence across the country, says a book by Andreas Harsono, a veteran Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, that was published…
Cover of Race, Islam and Power.
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Repeal Criminal Defamation Provisions in Internet Law

(Jakarta) – Indonesia’s Judiciary Commission should review the prosecution of Saidah Saleh Syamlan for criminal defamation in the Surabaya district court, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 26, 2019, the court sentenced Syamlan…
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Arrests for Peaceful Protest Highlights Police Abuse of Treason Laws

Update: On February 6, 2019, Ruben Saija, a Moluccan political prisoner, was released from Ambon prison after President Joko Widodo issued him a pardon. Five political prisoners remain incarcerated in Ambon prison.  (Jakarta…
Yanto Awerkion (far left) detained in the Timika police station in September 2017 for his role in organizing a petition calling on the UN to organize a referendum in Papua.
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Three undocumented Indonesian immigrants have taken sanctuary in a New Jersey church to avoid deportation from the United States. The men say they’re afraid to go back to Indonesia because being members of the country’s Christian…
A police officer stands guard during a protest by supporters of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, outside Cipinang Prison where he was taken following his conviction of blasphemy in Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 May 2017.
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Vulnerable Communities Face Worsening Risk

(Jakarta) – Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s government is failing to confront increasing intolerance that has led to discrimination and violence against the country’s most vulnerable minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in…
201801wr_indonesia_human_rights Two homosexual men were sentenced to 82 whips by the Shariah Court in Banda Aceh, Indonesia on May 23, 2017. They violated Islamic law in Qanun number 6, year 2014 Article 63, paragraph 1 regarding the Law of Liwath. Aceh i
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Capital’s Vulnerable Minorities Need Protection

(Jakarta) – Jakarta’s new governor, Anies Baswedan, should act to protect and promote human rights in the Indonesian capital, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the governor. Governor Baswedan should make a specific commitment to…
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Draft Law Reinforces Discriminatory Blasphemy, House-of-Worship Regulations

(Jakarta) –The Indonesian government should scrap a draft law on the protection of religious rights that reinforces existing regulations that discriminate against religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. The religious…
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Religious Minority on Bangka Island Ordered to ‘Return to Islam’ or Be Expelled

(New York) – The Indonesian government should immediately intervene to protect members of the Ahmadiyah religious community from intimidation and threats of expulsion by local authorities on Bangka Island, Human Rights Watch said today. …
A sign on an Ahmadiyah mosque in South Jakarta, Indonesia reads, "This building is sealed due to inappropriate usage." The mosque was closed by government authorities in July 2015.
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Official Obstacles for Foreign Media and Monitors Defy Presidential Order

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities continue to restrict access by foreign journalists and rights monitors to Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua, raising serious concerns about the government’s commitment to media freedom, Human Rights Watch said…
Cartoonist's depiction of Indonesian government restrictions on media freedom and rights monitoring in Papua.
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Address Virginity Tests, Women’s Rights, and Religious Freedom Rollback

(Washington, DC) – United States President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Joko Widodo should address increasing threats to women’s rights and religious freedom in Indonesia when they meet in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2015, Human Rights Watch…
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Government Capitulation to Militants Sets Dangerous Precedent

(New York) – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia should order local governments not to demolish houses of worship and should revoke discriminatory regulations on religious structures, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 21, 2013, in…