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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
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Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
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
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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…
billboard indonesia
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Last September, I drove for four hours from Jakarta to a small town in western Java, staying one night in a Javanese-styled hotel at the foot of Mt. Ciremai, a 3,000-meter volcano on Java. When I got to Cisantana, I journeyed down a…
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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

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.
News

Politicians Persist Despite Violence, Persecution Against Muslim Minority

The Myanmar government is again blocking Rohingya Muslims from running for political office. On Monday, election officials barred Kyaw Min, head of the Rohingya-led Democracy and Human Rights Party (DHRP), from running in the national parliamentary…
Kyaw Min, head of the Democracy and Human Rights Party, speaks during a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar, January 10, 2014.
News

Japan Beverage Giant Pledges to Address Human Rights Concerns

(Tokyo) – Japan-based Kirin Holdings Company, Ltd. should end its partnership with Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. (MEHL) because of its connections to Myanmar’s abusive armed forces, Human Rights Now, Human Rights Watch, Japan Volunteer International…
Plastic crates containing Kirin brand beer at the Kirin Brewery Co. factory in Yokohama, Japan, June 2019. 
News

‘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.    
News

Crackdown on Free Expression Tightens

  (Bangkok) – The Myanmar government faced increasing pressure during 2019 for international justice for its human rights violations against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.…
Rohingya refugees watch ICJ proceedings at a restaurant in a refugee camp on December 12, 2019 in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
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

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.
News

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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Last month, I visited Meliana, an Indonesian woman jailed for blasphemy, in a prison in Medan, North Sumatra. The security was tight. No mobile phones. No pens. No money. We could only bring some cakes. I went there with Musdah Mulia, a…
Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama after the sentencing in his blasphemy trial in Jakarta on May 9, 2017.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is visiting Indonesia this week on his first international trip as Australia’s leader. The two governments will announce a new trade deal and Australia is keen to show this as a deepening of ties between the two…
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.
News

Constitutional Court Ruling a Blow Against Religious Freedom

Indonesia’s Constitutional Court dealt a blow to Indonesia’s already fragile religious freedom when it dismissed a petition to revoke the country’s blasphemy law. The petition was filed by nine members of Indonesia’s persecuted Ahmadiyah…
The Ahmadiyah mosque in Depok, West Java ordered sealed by local police to "protect" Ahmadiyah from attacks by militant Islamists, June 2017.