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Fresh Action Needed Six Years After Gui Minhai’s Kidnapping

This week marks the sixth anniversary since Chinese authorities abducted Gui Minhai, a Swedish book publisher, from his home in Thailand in 2015. After enduring a forced confession on state media and a sham trial, Gui was briefly freed in 2017, before…
Protesters stick photos of Gui Minhai, left, and other missing booksellers outside the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong on January 3, 2016.
News

Muslim and Christian Preachers Face Prison Under Abusive Law

Indonesian National Police have separately arrested and detained two clergymen on blasphemy charges. On August 25 Muhammad Kece, a Christian preacher, was arrested at his friend’s house in Bali for alleged blasphemy against Islam. Among other…
(L-R) Muhammed Kece, Yahya Waoni
News

Female Recruits Subjected to Abusive, Discriminatory Practice for Decades

Indonesian Army Chief Gen. Andika Perkasa told army commanders in July that the required medical check-up in the recruitment process for female officers should be similar to the male medical test, signaling the end of the so-called “virginity test…
Female national army officers and police officers escort hundreds of women who packed the area in front of the State Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 8, 2020, in commemoration of International Women's Day.
News

Government Should Uphold Right of Muslim Girls, Women to Choose

A recent ruling by Indonesia’s Supreme Court canceled a government regulation issued in February that allowed millions of girls and women in thousands of state schools a basic freedom: to choose whether or not to wear a jilbab (Muslim apparel that…
A primary state school in Solok, West Sumatra, where girls and teachers are required to wear the jilbab --Muslim apparel that covers the head, neck, and chest.
News

Amend Discriminatory Regulation That Blocks New Houses of Worship

Hundreds of Muslims in Indonesia this week demanded that the local government in Sraten village, East Java, stop the Muhammadiyah congregation from building a mosque. The protest prompted the village head to order the construction halted until the…
Indonesia's religious minorities, including Christians, Ahmadis, Buddhists and native faith believers, celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day outside the State Palace in Jakarta
News

‘Magnificent 7’ Urge Schools to Follow New Ruling Making Jilbab Voluntary

This week I moderated a discussion with seven courageous Indonesian women – a teacher, a lawyer, an ombudswoman, two psychologists, and two activists. They were holding a news conference to support a new government decree that allows schoolgirls and…
billboard indonesia
News

Follows Netherlands Government’s Decision to Halt Adoptions

A recent inquiry in the Netherlands into intercountry adoptions uncovered such damning abuses that the government froze all overseas adoptions. Following the Dutch investigation, the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority, the agency…
Vy över Sveriges parlament (riksdag) i Stockholm den 9 april 2006.
News

Troubling Trend of Anti-LGBT Actions

Authorities in Indonesia’s Aceh province publicly flogged two gay men 77 times each on Thursday after a vigilante mob raided their apartment in November, allegedly caught them having sex, and handed them over to the police. The whipping—recognized as…
A Shariah law official uses a rattan cane to whip one of two men convicted of gay sex in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia, January 28, 2021. 
News

Arrest Assailants, Protect Religious Minorities

On November 27, Islamist militants attacked the Christian-majority village of Lembantongoa in Sulawesi, Indonesia, killing the village elder and three other Christian farmers. The attackers burned a Salvation Army church and six houses, prompting…
Villagers and police officers clean up debris at the site of suspected militant attack in Lembantongoa village in Sulawesi, Indonesia, November 30, 2020. 
News

Authorities Should Seek Releases, Alternatives for At-Risk Detainees

At least 17 prisons in Indonesia have Covid-19 cases, with 120 inmates and 18 officials infected with the coronavirus, according to a joint report from human rights groups. While testing rates are very low, seven inmates are suspected to have died…
An Indonesian Red Cross worker wearing a protective suit sprays disinfectant at a prison in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, March 23, 2020.
News

Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
News

European governments should do more to stop COVID-19 related racist abuse

Recently when I was heading home from work, a man on the bus pushed me up against the bus window and asked if I was from China. Physically trapped and scared, I told him that I’m Swedish-Korean. Thankfully, that’s when another passenger on the bus…
Sweden COVID-19
News

Indonesian Police Should Invite Independent Investigation

Eight armed men attacked a mining area in Timika, Papua in easternmost Indonesia earlier this week. They shot and killed Graeme Thomas Wall, a New Zealand miner, and wounded four Indonesian workers, two seriously. Jeffrey…
Indonesian soldiers stand guard during a protest in Timika, Papua province, August 21, 2019.
News

Release Wrongfully Detained Prisoners, Seek Alternatives for At-Risk Detainees

As the Indonesian government battles the COVID-19 outbreak – calling on Indonesians to respect physical distancing, closing schools and offices, even emptying the streets – a Jakarta court has continued to hold weekly trial sessions of six West…
An Indonesian Red Cross worker wearing a protective suit sprays disinfectant at a prison in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, March 23, 2020.
News

20 Charged with Treason for Raising Papuan ‘Morning Star’ Flag

The list of political prisoners in Indonesia’s West Papua and Papua provinces is growing higher, as at least 110 people were arrested for raising the Papuan national flag over the weekend. Police charged 20 people with treason (makar),…
Indonesian soldiers stand guard during a protest in Timika, Papua province, August 21, 2019.
News

Revoke New Provisions Violating Basic Rights

Indonesia is set to expand its abusive blasphemy laws as part of an overhaul of the country’s Criminal Code. In September President Joko Widodo ordered parliament to postpone voting on the draft Criminal Code to allow more time for…
Muslim protesters display flags with Arabic writings that read: "There's no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger"
News

Suzethe Margaret Brings Dog and Faces 5 Years in Prison

  An Indonesian woman with a psychosocial disability faces up to five years in prison for an altercation at a mosque, the latest victim of Indonesia’s toxic “blasphemy” law. This week, witnesses testified in…
Thousands people from various Islamic organizations marched to the Jakarta Governor Office in October, 2016.
News

Harmful Provisions in Bill Should Be Rejected Outright

Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Friday he wanted parliament to delay its vote on the country’s proposed new criminal code. The pending bill contains dozens of articles that violate the rights of women, religious minorities,…
LGBT activists protest the planned revision to Indonesia’s criminal code outside parliament in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 12, 2018.
News

President Jokowi Should Condemn Racism, End Internet Shutdown

Indigenous Papuans angered by decades of racism rallied in 30 cities across Indonesia, including Jakarta, this week, after video circulated of Indonesian militias racially abusing Papuan students. Rioting Papuans burned down a local…
Papuan activists shout slogans during a rally near the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia.
News

Revoke Abusive Law, Drop Pending Cases

Indonesian police last week senselessly detained and charged a woman with a mental health condition with blasphemy after she entered a mosque in Bogor, a Jakarta suburb, wearing shoes and accompanied by her dog. A video of…
Screenshot of a viral video showing an incident involving a woman living with paranoid schizophrenia arguing with worshippers at a mosque in Bogor, a Jakarta suburb in Indonesia.