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Imparsial: Statement towards the visit of The United States of America's President Barack Obama

The visit of The United States of America's President Barack Obama to Indonesia has received extensive attention from the public and the Government of Indonesia. His visit is not only important in re-constructing cooperative relations between the Government of Indonesia and the US Government, but also important in order to discuss the currently running process of democratization and human rights enforcement. In that point, addressing a message, criticisms and suggestions to the Government of Indonesia and the US, especially in the implementation of the enforcement agenda of Human Rights is a very necessary thing.

Imparsial assessed that the government of Indonesia has been neglecting the fulfillment of Human Rights compliance and enforcement, as seen from the unresolved cases of past Human Rights violations including cases of forced disappearances and cases of gross Human Rights violations in Aceh and Papua, which results in the preservation of impunity practice until now. Democratization process itself requires termination of impunity, which has been built from the past, by promoting justice, truth, and reconciliation in Indonesia.

Efforts in preserving impunity are also conducted by the state by not continuing the discussion of the draft amendment to Law no. 31 year 1997 on Military Justice. In some cases of Human Rights violations, the Military Court gave major contributions to the practices of impunity in Indonesia. For instance, as we all know the current practices of the military court shows actions such as unfair, dependent, and partial trials in prosecuting the members of the military who commit crimes, particularly in Human Rights Crimes, for example the case of Enforce Disappearance of Indonesian Activists in 1997-1998 in which involving members of Special Forces (KOPASSUS).

Another thing that should be a matter of concern is the rampant cases of violence against Human Rights defenders. Even the Munir murder case until now has not yet completed its disclosure. This condition is contrary to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's statement when he was inaugurated as President in 2004, where he stated that the disclosure of Munir's case is a test of history which must be completed.

Another issue that is no less important is the lack of respect for the human rights situation in Papua, which is increasingly worrying. Effort to reduce conflict, such as by dialogue, was not put as a major choice by the Government. The Government's favors, however, more to the option on security approach. Issues such as the right to life and freedom of expression, violations of economic, social and culture rights, which emerges since the new order period, did not taught the government to improve the conditions in Papua.

In addition, the practice of human rights abuses in other areas still continues. Military violence occurred in Pasuruan, and excessive police violence also happens in South Sumatera and South Sulawesi, also in several other areas. This act of violence which was committed by State officials, especially security forces, is not separate from the unfinished process of security sector reform in Indonesia.

Another issue regarding the incoherent reform of the security sector causes the emergence of instability between security assurance and freedom. This can be seen from the government's policy in the response to criminal acts of terrorism in Indonesia. Although due to this policy the government received positive acknowledgements from the international world, which was then accompanied by the provision of a large sum of financial aid, but this counter-terrorism policy contains a broad impact in regard to its respect towards Human Rights in Indonesia. By prioritizing a counter-terror policy which emphasizes excessive abilities recurrently ignores the respect towards the values of law and human rights, hence resulted violations of the presumption of innocence, which led to cases of arbitrary arrest, torture, wrongfully accused arrests, stigmatization, criminalization, and so on and so forth.

The guarantee to the freedom of religion and freedom of thought and expression is not enough to gain a strong assurance from the government, although it was already recognized by the constitution. An example of this weak assurance is seen through cases of violence against the Ahmadiyya group and also the banning of books regarding Ahmadiyya.

Based on the previously mentioned cases, Imparsial stated that it is wise if President Barack Obama, as a support of efforts to democratization and respect towards Human Rights in Indonesia, can express as well as discuss the issues mentioned above to the Government of Indonesia. The problematic cases which has not received its acknowledgement and disclosure from the Indonesian Government are for instance the impunity towards the perpetrators of heavy Human Rights violations, is expected to be a point of consideration for President Obama's visit to Indonesia.

In regard to Indonesia's support in the effort to strengthen democratization and Human Rights in the United States of America, we also urged the acceleration act to close down Guantanamo Prison, and a fair trial and justice for terrorism suspects whom are currently detained at Guantanamo.

We also urge the Government of Indonesia as well as the United States to immediately ratify the Rome Statute, because neither of the two state governments had done so.

Thus, the visit of President Obama to Indonesia will not only able to receive numerous greetings from the people of Indonesia, but also provides a positive record in the promotion and enforcement of Human Rights in Indonesia and the United States.

Jakarta, March 11, 2010

Poengky Indarti
Managing Director
Ph: +6281315696308

12 March 2010

Sumber Pers_Release : Imparsial's Press Release
No. 005/Press Release/IMP/III/2010

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