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“Nothing about us without us” – that was the call from the indigenous rights advocate Ghazali Ohorella from the Alifuru people in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia during a panel at the climate summit in Glasgow.  This plea was echoed by many…
Georgina Wabano and her mother cooking traditional food for school children in Peawanuck, ON, December 18, 2019. : © 2019 Daron Donahue
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Agreement Signed to Monitor Social Care and Mental Health Institutions

Authorities in Indonesia have taken an important step to uphold the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) across the country. A number of national agencies, including the National Human Rights…
Members of a family sit on the floor at home watching tv.
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.
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Religious, Gender Minorities Face Persistent Harassment

(Jakarta) – Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration took few steps in 2018 to protect the rights of marginalized groups in Indonesia, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. In August 2018, Jokowi…
People take part in the 2018 Women's March rally in Jakarta on March 3, 2018. The participants were demonstrating for equal rights and an end to violence against women.
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The Indonesian government has taken important steps to end the practice of shackling people with mental health conditions. But many people remain locked up in institutions instead of being able to live in the community. The number of people with…
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Indonesia Helps People With Mental Health Conditions Find New Lives

Sodikin There used to be a hut next to a family’s home in Cianjur, West Java. In it, a man named Sodikin lived locked up and unable to stand. He ate, slept, and went to the bathroom in the hut, which had one window no bigger than the palms of…
Man working in a clothing factory in Indonesia, stitching buttons
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Oversight Crucial to End Abuse of People with Disabilities

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government has taken important steps to end the practice of shackling people with mental health conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. But many people remain locked up in institutions instead of being able to live in…
A woman with a scarf sits on a wooden platform to which she is shackled.
Video
The Indonesian government has taken important steps to end the practice of shackling people with mental health conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. But many people remain locked up in institutions instead of being able to live in the community. …
News

Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
201707Asia_Indonesia_Nigeria
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Shackling Persists Despite Government Eradication Efforts

Childhood should be a time of innocence, play, and learning. But 15-year-old Subekti spent his shackled to the floor of his family’s house in Serang, a city about a three-hour drive from Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. For the past six…
Fifteen-year-old Subekti spent his childhood shackled to the floor of his family’s house in Serang, Indonesia.
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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I met Eka (not her real name) in 2014. After traveling for hours on pothole-filled road, I finally reached her village in Cianjur, in West Java. I went to her home, and her father pointed toward a shabby outhouse with a locked door and boarded windows. As…
This man lived shackled in stocks, a traditional form of pasung, for nine years in a back room in his family’s home in Cianjur in West Java. When he was released, his legs had atrophied from disuse.
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Currently in Indonesia, over 18,000 people with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) are kept in chains – in part because of a dearth of mental health services. But that may begin to change. During a meeting with Human Rights Watch…
A man with psychological disability appears to be chained to a wooden bed.
Video
People with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) in Indonesia are shackled or forced into institutions where they often face physical and sexual violence, involuntary treatment including electroshock therapy, seclusion, restraint and…
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More than 57,000 people in Indonesia with mental health conditions have been chained and locked up in overcrowded rooms or filthy sheds at least once in their lives. About 18,000 are still believed to be shackled, despite a 1977 government ban on pasung, …
A man with a psychosocial disability lies chained at the wrist on a platform bed at the Bina Lestari healing center in Brebes, Central Java. All residents of the healing center are chained. © 2015 Andrea Star Reese for Human Rights Watch
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Summary I used to be tied up at home with a plastic rope. My heart broke when they chained me…. I was chained when I first came [to Galuh]. I get chained often—at least 10 times since I have come because I fought with the others…
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People With Psychosocial Disabilities Face Restraints, Abuse

(Jakarta) - People with psychosocial disabilities in Indonesia are often shackled or forced into institutions where they face abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 74-page report, “Living in Hell:…
2016 Indonesia Cover Photo
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“I used to be tied up at home with a plastic rope,” Rafi, a 29-year-old man with a mental health condition living on the outskirts of Jakarta, told me. “I had to go to the toilet on the spot, in the drain in the room. My heart broke when they chained me…
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“My parents thought I was possessed — they used to put garlic and salt on my body to rid me of evil spirits,” Erifah, 49, who lives in Jakarta, told me. Erifah started having symptoms of schizophrenia affective disorder when she was in the sixth grade,…