Posts Tagged ‘Jakarta Post’

NGOs urge Sri Lanka to stop intimidating human rights defenders

August 27, 2014

Sri Lankan flag

(Sri Lankan flag)

A joint letter by 6 international NGOs (International committee of Jurists, Amnesty International, Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development, CIVICUS, the International Movement Against Discrimination and All Forms of Racism, and the International Service for Human Rights) to the UN Human Rights Council and the Sri Lankan government cites a number of recent incidents in which human rights defenders in the country were intimidated. Sri Lanka has vowed not to cooperate with the UN probe saying it infringed on the country’s sovereignty. Sri Lanka has rejected a UNHRC resolution in March that called for an international investigation into allegations that 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of the civil war that ended in 2009.

The government spokesman and media minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, has reportedly threatened all those who intend to provide information to the UN investigation and promised to “take appropriate action based on the evidence the detractors give“. “We stress that threats, harassment, intimidation and reprisals against persons who engage with the UN are prohibited by international human rights law,” the letter said. “While we affirm the importance of exercising the right to free expression by journalists and others, we stress that the exercise of speech that serves to significantly risk inciting violence, hostility or discrimination against persons is unacceptable“.

via Rights groups ask Sri Lanka to stop intimidating them.

see my earlier: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/sri-lanka-champion-retaliator-against-human-rights-defenders/

New Indonesian President Jokowi urged to have human rights agenda

August 21, 2014

The same day as the Indonesian Supreme Court rejects the challenge against president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the Jakarta Post  reports that human rights defenders urge him stand firm in advancing human rights in Indonesia immediately after the People’s Consultative Assembly MPR inaugurates him and his vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla on 20 October.  International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development [INFID] program officer Hilman Handoni hoped that Jokowi would increase the number of ‘human rights-friendly’ cities in the country (i.e. a city based on the concept of protecting a plural society and facilities friendly to the disabled, women, children and the elderly]. Human rights watchdog Imparsial researcher Swandaru added that he hoped Jokowi would give stronger protection to human rights defenders because many of them were still facing serious threats for advancing human rights in the country. Chrisbiantoro of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence [Kontras] said he hoped Jokowi would strengthen the National Commission on Human Rights’ Komnas HAM capacities, which have been widely criticized for having weakened due to previous government, leaving many rights abuse cases unresolved: “Let’s see unresolved cases such as the murder cases of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib and journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin or Udin. Their killers are still free. That’s Jokowi’s homework ”

via Jokowi urged to enforce human rights | The Jakarta Post.

Indonesian NGOs doubt Government’s sincerity in creation of human rights tribunal

February 27, 2013

The Jakarta Post of February 26 2013, reports that Human Rights Defenders suspect the government’s recent initiative to hold discussions on the possibility to open human rights tribunals relating to the 1997/98 abuses were politically motivated. They argued that the discussion, which was raised in the run up to the 2014 General Elections, could implicate some of the strong presidential candidates. “We are actually surprised to learn that the Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister, Djoko Suyanto, had just begun talks with the House of Representatives leadership on the plan to establish an ad hoc human rights tribunal on the 1997-1998 forced disappearance case” the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Families of Missing Persons Association (IKOHI) said in a joint statement issued on Tuesday. “On the one hand, it is good that the tribunal might be finally established. On the other hand, however, we are concerned that the tribunal is merely [a] political tool to crush political opponents,” they added. The activists were referring to two former military leaders who are active in politics:  General Wiranto and Lt. General Prabowo Subianto, who were both implicated in the violations during the 1998 riots. Kontras and Ikohi are among the organizations who have repeatedly accused the government of ignoring the victims of past human rights abuses because it failed to establish an ad hoc human rights tribunal even though a mandate had been given by the House already in 2009.

via NGOs accuse Govt of delaying human rights tribunal | The Jakarta Post.

Tenure of Head of Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission reduced to one year

February 5, 2013

Rights defenders:  National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) chief Otto Nur Abdullah (second right) talks with former Komnas HAM executive director Miriam Nainggolan (right), Setara Institute chief executive Hendardi (second left) and former Komnas HAM commissioner MM Billah (left) at Komnas HAM headquarters on Monday. A group of scholars and rights activists have raised concerns about the radical change of the Komnas HAM chief’s tenure from the previous 2.5 years to only a year.(JP/Jerry Adiguna)The Jakarta Post of 4 February reports that a group of scholars and rights activists have raised concerns about the radical and worrying change of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) head’s tenure from the previous 2.5 years to only a year. In the picture on the right you see the Head of Komnas HAM Otto Nur Abdullah (second right) in talks with former Komnas HAM executive director Miriam Nainggolan (right), Setara Institute chief executive Hendardi (second left) and former Komnas HAM commissioner MM Billah (left) at Komnas HAM headquarters on Monday .(JP/Jerry Adiguna)