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Indonesia: Anti Communist mob forcibly dispersed access to rights workshop

Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Action - November 10, 2017

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-193-2017

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about the forced dissolution of a national workshop on access to economic, social and cultural rights for victims and family members of past human rights abuses in Indonesia. The workshop was part of an advocacy effort by victims and human rights groups to seek justice; since former dictator Suharto stepped down in 1998 until now, the government of Indonesia has done little to acknowledge or redress past abuses and provide adequate remedy for victims. On the other hand, allegations of establishing a new Communist party have become a convenient excuse for restricting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and forcibly dispersing various gatherings throughout the country. The police compound the problem by taking no action against these mobs.

Case Narrative:

The Coalition for Justice and Revelation of Truth (KKPK) organized a workshop on enhancement of access to economic, social and cultural rights for victims of past human rights abuses. The workshop was on 7-9 November 2017 in Harris Hotel, Tebet sub-district, South Jakarta, Indonesia. The workshop was attended by participants from various victims and family of victims' organizations from different Indonesian provinces.

On the afternoon of November 7 however, a mob of some 20 persons from the Anti-Communist Youth Movement (Gerakan Pemuda Anti Communist/GEPAK), along with police officers of Tebet Police Office (Polsek Tebet) and South Jakarta Police Sector (Polres Jakarta Selatan) came to the hotel and demanded that the organizers stop the workshop. Representatives of the Anti Communist Youth Movement also entered the workshop room to search for evidence of Communist symbols and ideology, which they thought the workshop was discussing. They found no such evidence, and the committee organizers explained that the workshop merely discussed about economic, social and cultural rights access for victims of past human rights abuses. The mob continued to insist that the workshop must be stopped however, and some members of the Anti Communist Youth Movement stayed at the hotel to ensure the workshop does not continue.

Finally, to avoid any clash and further intimidation of participants, the committee organizers discontinued the workshop and on November 9, all participants were evacuated to the office of the National Commission against Women Violence, to continue the workshop.

Additional information:

In the last two months the Asian Human Rights Commission has noted that anti Communist mobs and forced dissolution of peaceful gatherings is becoming a trend in Indonesia. The government's inaction in taking steps to address this is a challenge to Indonesia's democracy and human rights. The government has failed to protect the rights to peaceful assembly and association, as well as the right to freedom of expression, which are recognized by the Indonesian Constitution, as well as by international human rights instruments that Indonesia is party to. The government and the police are also failing to uphold the law and prevent anti Communist groups from attacking and dispersing public gatherings as they see fit.

Suggested action:

Please write to the authorities listed below, asking them to ensure that law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute all efforts that intentionally restrict, attack and intimidate people's rights to exercise the right to freedom of assembly and association. Further, the government should guarantee that the right to freedom of assembly and association is protected without any exception.

The AHRC will write a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association calling for his intervention into this matter.

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-193-2017


Sample letter:

Dear....................,

Indonesia: Anti Communist mob forcibly dispersed access to rights workshop

I am writing to voice my deep concern about the forced dissolution of a national workshop on access to economic, social and cultural rights for victims and family members of past human rights abuses in Indonesia. The workshop was part of an advocacy effort by victims and human rights groups to seek justice; since former dictator Suharto stepped down in 1998 until now, the government of Indonesia has done little to acknowledge or redress past abuses and provide adequate remedy for victims. On the other hand, allegations of establishing a new Communist party have become a convenient excuse for restricting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and forcibly dispersing various gatherings throughout the country. The police compound the problem by taking no action against these mobs.

The Coalition for Justice and Revelation of Truth (KKPK) organized a workshop on enhancement of access to economic, social and cultural rights for victims of past human rights abuses. The workshop was on 7-9 November 2017 in Harris Hotel, Tebet sub-district, South Jakarta, Indonesia. The workshop was attended by participants from various victims and family of victims' organizations from different Indonesian provinces.

On the afternoon of November 7 however, a mob of some 20 persons from the Anti-Communist Youth Movement (Gerakan Pemuda Anti Communist/GEPAK), along with police officers of Tebet Police Office (Polsek Tebet) and South Jakarta Police Sector (Polres Jakarta Selatan) came to the hotel and demanded that the organizers stop the workshop. Representatives of the Anti Communist Youth Movement also entered the workshop room to search for evidence of Communist symbols and ideology, which they thought the workshop was discussing. They found no such evidence, and the committee organizers explained that the workshop merely discussed about economic, social and cultural rights access for victims of past human rights abuses. The mob continued to insist that the workshop must be stopped however, and some members of the Anti Communist Youth Movement stayed at the hotel to ensure the workshop does not continue.

Finally, to avoid any clash and further intimidation of participants, the committee organizers discontinued the workshop and on November 9, all participants were evacuated to the office of the National Commission against Women Violence, to continue the workshop.

In the last two months the Asian Human Rights Commission has noted that anti Communist mobs and forced dissolution of peaceful gatherings is becoming a trend in Indonesia. The government's inaction in taking steps to address this is a challenge to Indonesia's democracy and human rights. The government has failed to protect the rights to peaceful assembly and association, as well as the right to freedom of expression, which are recognized by the Indonesian Constitution, as well as by international human rights instruments that Indonesia is party to. The government and the police are also failing to uphold the law and prevent anti Communist groups from attacking and dispersing public gatherings as they see fit.

Therefore, I respectfully request you to ensure that law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute all efforts that intentionally restrict, attack and intimidate people's rights to exercise the right to freedom of assembly and association. Further, the government should guarantee that the right to freedom of assembly and association is protected without any exception.

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

...................

Please send your letters to:

1. Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3458 595
Fax: +62 21 3484 4759
E-mail: webmaster@setneg.go.id

2. Mr. Yasonna Laoly
Minister of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Dr. Mualimin Abdi SH., MH
Director General of Human Rights
Office of the Director General of Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 5253006
Fax: +62 21 5253095

4. General Pol. Drs. H.M. Tito Karnavian, M.A., Ph.D
Chief of National Police (KAPOLRI)
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

5. Police Inspector General Idham Azis
The chief of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police Command
Kapolda Metro Jaya
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 55, Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12190,
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 5234000
Fax: +62 21 5709250
Email: bidhumas@metro.polri.go.id, humas.pmj@gmail.com

6. Ms. Poengky Indarti
Commissioner of the National Police Commission
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 739 2315
Fax: +62 21 739 2352
E-mail: secretariat@kompolnas.go.id, skm@kompolnas.go.id8. H. Bambang Soesatyo, S.E., M.B.A

7. Chairperson of the Commission III of The House of Representative
KetuaKomisi III DPR RI
Gedung Nusantara II DPR RI, Lt I
JalanJenderalGatotSubroto, Jakarta,
INDONESIA
Telp: +62 21 -5715566, +62 21-5715569, +62 21-5715864
Fax: +62 21 5715566

8. Mr. Abdul Haris Semendawai
Chairperson of the Agency for Victims and Witness Protection
Lembaga Perlindungan Saksi dan Korban (LPSK)
Jalan Raya Bogor KM. 24 No. 47-49, Susukan, Ciracas, RT.6/RW.1, Susukan, Ciracas, Kota Jakarta Timur, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 13750
Tel: +62 21 29681560
Fax: +62 21 29681551/+62 21 29681557

9. Mr. Nur Kholis
Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnas.go.id

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Source: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-193-2017.

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