Caveat - VOLUME 14/II, JULY 2010 - LBH Masyarakat

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The attacks against the offices of Tempo magazine and anti-corruption activist Tama Satrya Langkun early this month dominates the coverage in this month’s CAVEAT.

The Main Report investigates the incidents and explores need for the Indonesian National Police Force to conduct institutional reform.

This month our Additional Feature examines the urgency to develop and pass specific laws for protection of human rights activists. The safety of human rights activists is not a problem faced only in Indonesia. In this edition’s Rights in Asia, our partner the Asian Human Rights Commission has brought to light the plight of human rights activists in the Philippines, Nepal and Pakistan.

In the Opinion column, Maeve Showell highlights the urgency for Indonesia to ratify the UN Refugee Convention as regional debate heats up in the lead up to the Australian election. As always, CAVEAT also updates you on the latest activities of LBH Masyarakat.

This month LBH Masyarakat participated in the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna where Ricky Gunawan delivered his presentation titled “Legal Literacy in Indonesia: A Tool for Empowering Drug Users, Fishermen, and People Living with HIV to facilitate self-representation.” In other news comes from one of our employees, Ajeng Larasati, has just been named as a 2010 JusticeMakers Fellow which brought three volunteers of International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) came to LBH Masyarakat to assist LBH Masyarakat in running its program.

In addition to our regular columns, LBH Masyarakat had also interviewed Taufik Basari, one of the youngest and most promising human rights lawyers in Indonesia. In the middle of his busy schedule, he shared with us his views on youth and human rights for our Interview.

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Caveat - VOLUME 14/II, JULY 2010 - LBH Masyarakat

  1. 1. CAVEAT INDONESIA’S MONTHLY HUMAN RIGHTS ANALYSIS VOLUME 14/II, JULY 2010 MAIN REPORT | Questioning Culture of Corruption in the National Police CAVEAT reported in March this year on the deep-rooted culture of corruption in the police force in relation to case-brokering, money laundering and tax evasion. This report focused on the accusations made by (now) former detective Susno Duaji against fellow officers, who in turn has charged with a breach of discipline and charged with graft. This attitude of the police – ostracizing those who dare to dissent and refusing to look internally at those who engage in criminality – does not fit the image of an institution looking to reform itself. ADDITIONAL FEATURE | Defending Rights of the Human Rights Defenders This month Indonesia was rocked by two attacks against well known human rights defenders. The Molotov cocktail bombing of Tempo Magazine office and the subsequent attack against anti-corruption activist Tama Satrya Langkun from the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), has once again sparked discussion on the urgency to enact a law on the protection of human rights activists. OPINION | A Brief Note on the Refugee Situation in Indonesia Last month the world observed International Refugee Day on June 20, unfortunately for the hundreds of ‘illegal immigrants’ incarcerated in Indonesia this was not a cause for celebration. As Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol the country does not legally recognise ‘refugee’ statuses of immigrants entering Indonesia illegally. www.lbhmasyarakat.org CAVEAT: Let her or him be aware
  2. 2. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 1 CONTENT THE EDITOR’S CUT | 2 MAIN REPORT | 3 Questioning Culture of Corruption in the National Police ADDITIONAL FEATURE | 7 Defending Rights of the Human Rights Defenders OPINION | 10 A Brief Note on Refugee Situation in Indonesia INTERVIEW | 11 RIGHTS IN ASIA | 12 REPORTAGE | 13 CAVEAT is published by the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH Masyarakat), Jakarta, Indonesia. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced without prior permission of the LBH Masyarakat. CAVEAT invites feedback and contributions. If you are interested in contributing a guest editorial piece or article, please contact us: contact@lbhmasyarakat.org Editorial Board: Ricky Gunawan, Dhoho Ali Sastro, Andri G. Wibisana, Ajeng Larasati, Alex Argo Hernowo, Answer C. Styannes, Pebri Rosmalina, Antonius Badar, Feri Sahputra, Grandy Nadeak, Vina Fardhofa Special Adviser: Maeve Showell, Zack Wundke, Samuel Natale and Michael Kurban Finance and Circulation: Zaki Wildan and Rizky Halida Address: Tebet Timur Dalam III B, No. 10, Jakarta 12820, INDONESIA Phone: +62 21 830 54 50 Fax: +62 21 829 80 67 E-mail: contact@lbhmasyarakat.org Website: www.lbhmasyarakat.org LBH Masyarakat welcomes any financial contribution for the development of CAVEAT Name : Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat Bank : Bank Mandiri Branch : Tebet Timur, Jakarta, Indonesia No. Acc. :124–000–503–6620 Swift Code :BEIIIDJA L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  3. 3. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 2 THE EDITOR’S CUT Dear readers, we are pleased to bring you the July 2010 edition of CAVEAT. schedule, he shared with us his views on youth and human rights for our Interview. The attacks against the offices of Tempo magazine and anti-corruption activist Tama Satrya Langkun early this month dominates the coverage in this month’s CAVEAT. The Main Report investigates the incidents and explores need for the Indonesian National Police Force to conduct institutional reform. Thank you for your ongoing support! The Editor This month our Additional Feature examines the urgency to develop and pass specific laws for protection of human rights activists. The safety of human rights activists is not a problem faced only in Indonesia. In this edition’s Rights in Asia, our partner the Asian Human Rights Commission has brought to light the plight of human rights activists in the Philippines, Nepal and Pakistan. In the Opinion column, Maeve Showell highlights the urgency for Indonesia to ratify the UN Refugee Convention as regional debate heats up in the lead up to the Australian election. As always, CAVEAT also updates you on the latest activities of LBH Masyarakat. This month LBH Masyarakat participated in the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna where Ricky Gunawan delivered his presentation titled “Legal Literacy in Indonesia: A Tool for Empowering Drug users, Fishermen, and People Living with HIV to facilitate self-representation.” In other news comes from one of our employees, Ajeng Larasati, has just been named as a 2010 JusticeMakers Fellow which brought three volunteers of International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) came to LBH Masyarakat to assist LBH Masyarakat in running its program. In addition to our regular columns, LBH Masyarakat had also interviewed Taufik Basari, one of the youngest and most promising human rights lawyers in Indonesia. In the middle of his busy L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  4. 4. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 3 MAIN REPORT Questioning Culture of Corruption in the National Police BACKGROUND On Thursday the 8th of July Tama Satrya Langkun, a corruption investigator from Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) was brutally attacked in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta by a group of four men. Tama has since told investigators that he was aware he was under surveillance from suspicious individuals since he uncovered the data which was published in an article in Tempo magazine on the 28th of June detailing abnormally large transactions being made in personal bank accounts belonging to six senior police officers. Three days earlier, Tama had received calls from a phone number – each time the caller used a different voice - asking him to meet under the pretence of collaborating on an investigative report. When Tama finally did attempt to meet the man who identified himself as ‘Roni’ he left the scene in fear after noticing the vehicle he was supposed to meet had an unusually high number of occupants in it. Later that evening he was followed by the same vehicle as he tried to return home and was forced to spend the night at his office out of fear for his personal safety. His assault in the following days when returning home from watching a late night football match appears to have been carefully premeditated. Despite providing physical descriptions, phone numbers and vehicle licence plates to the police, his attackers still remain at large. Also still at large are the two men who threw Molotov cocktails at the office of Tempo in the early morning of Tuesday 6th of July. Minor property damage occurred but there were no reports of injuries. L E M B A G A B A N T U A N The offending article, which detailed large financial transactions made by senior ranking police officers was first distributed on the 28th of June but was sold out before dawn the same day by mystery buyers who allegedly purchased 30,000 copies from magazine retailers in what now appears to be a clumsy effort to prevent its distribution. The report centered on information from documents first made available by Tama through his activism work at ICW. The edition of the magazine was not available to the general public until a few days later when Tempo was able to distribute a re-printed copy run, and the attack on the Tempo office occurred about a week later. Six police officers are mentioned in the report; East Kalimantan Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mathius Salempang, Insp. Gen. Sylvanus Yulian Wenas, head of National Police’s elite Mobile Brigade, Insp. Gen. Budi Gunawan, the head of Internal Affairs at the National Police, Insp. Gen. Badrodin Haiti, the head of the National Police's Legal Division, Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji, former National Police chief of detectives and Insp. Gen. Bambang Suparno, a tutor at the National Police’s School of Senior Officers. Tempo reported that up to 50 billion rupiah was transferred in one instance, which does not fit with the economic profile of a police officer. The National Police Chief, the institution's top official, only receives a salary of about Rp23 million a month, plus benefits. The amounts mentioned in some cases also far exceeded those officers individual wealth declarations. While there is no direct evidence linking the attacks on Tama and Tempo to the police force, the timing of the attacks is uncanny. Many believe that sections of the police force are behind the attacks. Constitutional H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  5. 5. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 4 Court Chairman, Mahfud MD said those who oppose the anti-corruption agenda of ICW are behind the violence, in his opinion ‘it is because of the allegations, therefore the police must be able to stop it and be impartial if later it was found that police officers had asked some persons to do it,”. HOLLOW WORDS The President has reacted strongly, in particular to the attack on Tama. He visited Tama in hospital and demanded the police track down and charge the culprits as soon as possible, “I want to make sure that whoever carried out this [attack] for whatever motive is punished,” he told reporters after visiting Tama’s hospital bed the day after the attack. It has come as no surprise then that the results of the probe, headed by Comr. Gen. Ito Sumardi, which were announced to the press on the 16th of July, have cleared the majority of officers involved. All 23 police officers’ accounts were investigated based on data provided by the Financial Transactions Reporting & Analysis Centre (PPATK). Of the 23 accounts, 17 have been exonerated by the task force, with two accounts still being But the Presidents strong words investigated. Additionally, have not been mirrored by equally one account cannot be strong action. Many groups have investigated as the owner is been critical of the president for deceased, and another allowing the police to conduct their belongs to someone initial investigation into the bank currently running for regent. accounts internally without Two accounts are the subject independent observation. In fact it seems that government is reluctant of ongoing criminal cases. to become overly involved in the case, the President has since stated via a spokesperson that he would not personally intervene in the case as it will remain a police matter and additionally that the President felt it was unnecessary to form an independent investigation panel. SBY’s visit immediately after the attack was viewed by many as a positive show of support for corruption investigators and activists. He issued stern instructions to Chief of National Police Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri to investigate the large ‘piggy-bank’ accounts belonging to senior officers, “Please respond to this issue, resolve it and manage it well… if there are legal violations, impose sanctions. If you don’t, explain why.” But the Presidents strong words have not been mirrored by equally strong action. Many groups have been critical of the president for allowing the police to conduct their initial investigation into the bank accounts internally without independent observation. In fact it seems that government is reluctant to become overly involved in the case, the President has since stated via a spokesperson that he would not personally intervene in the case as it will remain a police matter and additionally that the President felt it was unnecessary to form an independent investigation panel. L E M B A G A B A N T U A N According to a Tempo report on the 21st of July, the two criminal cases are believed to relate to Comr. Martin Reno, former head of the Specific Crime Unit of the Papua Police who was convicted of being involved in illegal logging in 2005. The other is believed to relate to Comr. Gen. Susno Duadji, who was named as one of the six officers in the original Tempo report, and is currently being held at arm’s length by the police after he attempted expose corrupt members of the force while he himself is currently being held on suspicion of graft. In announcing the results of the probe, Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang said of the remaining 17 accounts that “the accounts can be proven normal.” Yet this has not been elaborated any further, and fails to answer the question of what constitutes a ‘normal’ account, nor does it address the means by which such enormous sums of money were accumulated and came to be in the possession of police officers. Also to be elaborated on is the methodology used to evaluate the legitimacy of the accounts, and investigators have not detailed how, if at all, a proper forensic investigation was carried out. The report also fails to explicitly address those specific cases at the centre of the furore which was first exposed in H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  6. 6. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 5 Tempo’s report from the 28h of June and is a long way from ‘responding to, resolving, and managing’ the issue as initially directed by the President. It remains to be seen if, or how the government will respond to this report given its flimsy credibility and lack of independent investigation. So far, the House Law Commission has announced it will set up a hearing over suspicious cases of wealth in the police force, its ability to get the National Police to cooperate remains sketchy at best, with the National Police still openly opposing such an independent investigation. While so far the anticorruption rhetoric has been strong, comprehensive and meaningful, action will be needed if the government wants to demonstrate a commitment to cleaning up the force beyond well meaning speeches and pathos driven photo opportunities with the victims of the current drama. NEW DRIVER, SAME DIRECTION Perhaps the government’s reluctance to become involved in the case stems from a fear of stirring a potential hornets nest of controversy ahead of the impending appointment of a new chief of National Police to succeed Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri who will depart the post on October 10 this year. In his place the government is desperate to install someone who has maintained a record of high integrity to raise the public image of such a highly tainted institution. The police are refusing to confirm the names of potential candidates, but it is widely speculated that the list contains 8 candidates which includes; deputy chief Comr. Gen. Yusuf Manggabarani, Internal Affairs chief Comr. Gen. Nanan Soekarna, chief of detectives Comr. Gen. Ito Sumardi, South Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Oegroseno, Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Timur Pradopo, East Java Police chief Insp. Gen Pratiknyo, and Insp. Gen. Imam Sudjarwo and School for Leadership lecturer Insp. Gen. Bambang Suparno. L E M B A G A B A N T U A N The scandal which was unearthed by Tama and published by Tempo may have a significant impact upon who will ascend to the post. According to Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) president Neta Pane, the exposing of Bambang Suparno’s finances, as one of the six officers mentioned in Tempo’s report makes it difficult for him to be promoted as, “based on our observation he [Suparno] was the candidate preferred by National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri,” she said. IPW now believe that Nanan Soekarna is the new front runner for the position. The National Police Commission’s (Kompolnas) Adnan Pandupraja said on the 20th of July all candidates should be cleared for the job by PPATK, the National Commission on Human Right (Komnas HAM), the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the tax office. “They must not have a poor record or a bad image with the public,” he said. Under the 2002 Police Law, Kompolnas is required to provide background information to the President during the process of appointing or dismissing a police chief. Therefore the hasty exoneration of suspect accounts of officers which were flagged as suspicious by the PPATK gives little weight to the credibility of the background checks and will only degrade the credibility of Kompolnas unless further steps are taken to comprehensively examine the officers’ backgrounds. In a surprisingly frank statement Kompolas believes that they may be unable to find an officer suitable for the job, “I don’t know if there will be a candidate who meets our criteria. Whatever the result, we will give the names to the President and let him decide,” Adnan said. This lack of self-belief delivers scant hope for those hoping that the National Police wants to make serious inroads into stamping out corrupt practice within its ranks. FOOTING THE BILL Regardless of specific individuals involved, what the Tama beating and Tempo article H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  7. 7. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 6 have brought once again into the spotlight is that some members of the police force are continuing to make themselves wealthy via their positions of public privilege and there are those who will go to extraordinary lengths, including violence, to silence those working to expose corruption. But who ultimately pays for these crimes? The Bahasa Indonesia cover is a caricatured police officer leading three ‘piggy-banks’ on leashes, while the English cover depicts an unidentified police officer in uniform with his face obscured by a flying piggy bank. In Islam pork is haram, or unclean, and the term ‘pig’ is a common insult in Indonesia. Tempo has defended the artwork on both covers, saying that the pigs on the cover were in reference to the large ‘piggy-bank’ accounts of the officers. Although the police later dropped the charges, the quirkiness of their claim garnered a lot of media coverage and helped to deflect criticism from the real issue at hand. As the gatekeepers of the justice system in Indonesia the National Police are charged with responsibly of admitting, or choosing not to admit, persons into the court system for judgment on alleged crimes. To perform this task with public confidence and support, police officers must maintain the highest level of personal integrity to be seen EMBEDDED CULTURE as credible role models in upholding the rule of law in Indonesia. But, if officers are CAVEAT reported in March this year on the able to use their ability to selectively apply deep-rooted culture of corruption in the the law it is ultimately police force in relation to caseAs the gatekeepers of the justice the community that system in Indonesia the National brokering, money laundering loses out through Police are charged with responsibly and tax evasion. This report damaged livelihoods and of admitting, or choosing not to focused on the accusations a lack of confidence in admit, persons into the court system made by (now) former justice being applied for judgment on alleged crimes. To detective Susno Duaji against perform this task with public fairly to all citizens. fellow officers, who in turn has confidence and support, police charged with a breach of Remaining to be officers must maintain the highest discipline and charged with answered is where the level of personal integrity to be seen graft. This attitude of the as credible role models in upholding funds in the oversized police – ostracizing those who the rule of law in Indonesia. police officers’ bank dare to dissent and refusing to accounts came from. If look internally at those who engage in indeed it is proven that these funds came criminality – does not fit the image of an from revenues outside the rule of law, it is institution looking to reform itself. then Indonesians themselves who are the biggest losers in this high powered saga. In these two very public furores this year (the Susno and Tama/Tempo cases) police The violent attacks on Tama and the Tempo have shown little or no initiative to make office are loaded with the age old rhetoric of credible investigations into corruption. Nor, self denial. Similarly the response by the has the President, who campaigned heavily police to the June 28 article was also that of during the election last year on a platform of an organization in denial. Instead of police reform, made a serious attempt to get transparently investigating the articles’ his hands dirty by getting involved himself claims, and then taking appropriate action in matters pertaining to the police. Both against either the officers, or, if it is able to cases have demonstrated that leaving police be categorically denied – in which case the matters to police without independent Tempo report would possibly be viewed as investigation is simply not enough, and defamatory – take action against the issues cases like these will continue to publishers of Tempo, the police threatened perpetuate without a regulating system of pursue legal action of the cover images used checks and balances. on both the Bahasa Indonesia and English language editions of Tempo. -- L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  8. 8. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 7 ADDITIONAL FEATURE Defending the Rights of Human Rights Defenders INTRODUCTION This month Indonesia was rocked by two attacks against well known human rights defenders. The Molotov cocktail bombing of Tempo Magazine office and the subsequent attack against anti-corruption activist Tama Satrya Langkun from the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), has once again sparked discussion on the urgency to enact a law on the protection of human rights activists. Some experts, including the Deputy Chairman of People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, agree that a human rights defenders protection law is needed in order to guarantee the safety of human rights and anti-corruption activists who are vulnerable to intimidation and terror while others see the current legal system as fit to deal with these crimes. which is followed by arbitrary arrest (29%) and intimidation, threats, or terror (25%). However it is impossible to gauge accurately exactly how many incidents occurred given the intimidation aspect of the attacks, some victims may not want to come forward. Former UN Special Representative –now Special Rapporteur- on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Hina Jilani, also expressed her concern on the poor protection for human rights defenders in Indonesia following her 2007 visit to the region. In her situation report, Jilani mentioned that the progress towards democracy in Indonesia since 1998, “… has been marred by the absence of concrete measures dealing directly with the protection of human rights defenders as well as flaws in the existing legislation.3” INTERNATIONAL STANDARD Enacting a law on human rights defenders protection is not a new idea. In fact, the Human Rights Protection Bill At the international level, was on the list of 2005-2009 It is an undeniable fact that human special attention has been National Legislation Program rights defenders in Indonesia often awarded to the protection (Prolegnas). However the law become the subjects of attack and of human rights defenders. was not successfully enacted intimidation. The murder of In 1998 the UN General and has now been pushed prominent human rights defender Assembly adopted the Munir Said Thalib in 2004 is just back to the 2010-2014 Declaration on the Right one, well known example. Prolegnas. and Responsibility of According to a research conducted Individuals, Groups and by Imparsial, during the period It is an undeniable fact that 2005 - 2009 there were at least Organs of Society to human rights defenders in 100 cases of violations against Promote and Protect Indonesia often become the human rights defenders. Universally Recognized subjects of attack and Human Rights and intimidation. The murder of prominent Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter called human rights defender Munir Said Thalib in as Declaration on Human Rights Defenders). 2004 is just one, well known example. Two years later the UN appointed Special According to a research conducted by Representatives on the Situation on Human Imparsial, during the period 2005 - 2009 Right Defenders which proposed to give there were at least 100 cases of violations support regarding the implementation of against human rights defenders. Imparsial the Declaration and to gather information recorded that torture and assault were the on the current situation of human rights most common forms of intimidation (46%), defenders around the world. L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  9. 9. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 8 The declaration states that everyone has the right to conduct any activities related to human rights - such as the right to seek information about human rights and the right to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights. These rights are essentially derived from other rights guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The UN itself admits that the declaration “does not create new rights” yet it “articulates existing rights in a way that makes it easier to apply them to the practical role and situation of human rights defenders.” It is important to note the terminology used by the UN. The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders uses the word ‘everyone’ when it describes those that the rights are designed to protect. It has to be understood, therefore, that the goal of creating special regulation on human rights defenders is not to provide privileges for those who do human rights work as professional activists but to everyone who peacefully defends human rights either in professional or nonprofessional context. The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders also imposes a responsibility for the State to promote an understanding of human rights within its populace by means such as providing access to all regulations and documents related to human rights. The Declaration also states that the State has a responsibility to facilitate the teaching of human rights and fundamental freedoms at each level of education as well as to conduct training for lawyers, law enforcement officers, and other public officials. BUT DO WE NEED A SEPARATE LAW? Before answering the question as to whether we need a special law focusing solely on the protection of human rights defenders, it is necessary to identify what the challenges and problems are faced by those who are involved in human rights activities in Indonesia are. We will attempt to classify them into three categories. Firstly the threat of real attack and intimidation – L E M B A G A B A N T U A N killing, abduction, torture and threats are included in this category- as faced by Tama from ICW this July. The second problem is the ‘legalized threat’ where the threat is conducted in ways which are lawful, such as charging human rights activists for criminal defamation. For example the activistits Emerson Yuntho and Illian Deta Sari from the ICW who were reported to police by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) after criticizing the finance management within AGO in a newspaper article. The third problem is stigmatization, whereby incorrect or even defamatory labels are given to those who are involved in human rights activities. It is common for non-governmental organizations in Indonesia to be labeled as ‘foreign stooges’ as activists in Papua are dubbed ‘separatists’. While in Aceh and other regions which implement religious-based regional regulations, those who fight against such regulations –due to some provisions that are discriminative and incompatible with human rights- are often labeled as nonbelievers or against religion. In writing the existing criminal code is sufficient to punish the perpetrators of attacks and intimidation against human rights defenders. All of the assaults faced by human rights defenders –except torture- are named as crimes already under Indonesian Penal Code. The core problem is more to do with poor law enforcement. One may argue that due to poor law enforcement, it is necessary to establish special mechanism, desk, or task force on human rights defenders protection. In regards to ‘legalized threat’ problem, the main issue is the fact that there is several problematic law provisions which facilitate and enable one to criminalize any activities related to human rights. For example in Article 310 paragraph (1) Indonesian Penal Code (KUHP), several articles on subversive acts under KUHP, and Article 27 paragraph (3) Law No. 11/2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction Law (ITE Law). As long as these problematic laws H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  10. 10. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 9 exist, then there is no point in enacting a law which guarantees the right of those involved in human rights activities. Clearly, what urgently needs to be done is to ensure that such provisions are no longer valid. It is necessary to file a constitutional review or to conduct advocacy urging the revision of such laws instead of enacting a new law which is likely to be ineffective. The third problem faced by human rights activists – that being stigmatization through language and other means is not so clearly solvable. There is not much that the law can do to solve this problem as it’s not really a legal issue but more a problem with society’s lack of understanding about human rights. What the law can do is to impose obligations for the State to provide human rights education to everyone within its territory. The idea to enact a special law on the protection of human rights defenders is a step in the right direction. The question, however, is not solely whether it’s good or bad idea but also whether it is necessary or not. It is also a matter of effective strategy. Enacting laws on human rights defenders protection when we know that the core problem is not in the absence of such law but the way in which it is carried out will only formalize the rights but won’t help much in protecting the rights itself. This is a common predicament in this country– we have a number of regulations on human rights but zero in practice. Will we fall into the same trap this time? -- L E M B A G A B A N T U A N It is important to note the terminology used by the UN. The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders uses the word ‘everyone’ when it describes those that the rights are designed to protect. It has to be understood, therefore, that the goal of creating special regulation on human rights defenders is not to provide privileges for those who do human rights work as professional activists but to everyone who peacefully defends human rights either in professional or non-professional context. H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  11. 11. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 10 OPINION A Brief Note on Refugee Situation in Indonesia By: Maeve Showell Last month the world observed International Refugee Day on June 20, unfortunately for the hundreds of ‘illegal immigrants’ incarcerated in Indonesia this was not a cause for celebration. As Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol the country does not legally recognise ‘refugee’ statuses of immigrants entering Indonesia illegally. The protocol expects countries to cooperate with the UNCHR so as that the body can exercise its functions and carry out its job in regards to monitoring, processing and protecting the rights of asylum seekers. It is important to note that while Indonesia is not a signatory to the convention the UNHCR still has a presence in Indonesia; however this presence is simply not strong enough. Regional debate concerning asylum seekers has increased following the announcement of an Australian Federal Election to be held August 21st. The issue of asylum seekers or ‘boat people’ as they are often called in the Australian media has long been a political hot potato as neither party wants to appear lax on immigration, a topic that is front and centre of the election race. UNHCR processing in Indonesia, which is not a signatory to the refugee convention, is simply not working.” Confusion over who has been given refugee status and why is a big part of this. Typically refugees are only supposed to stay in Indonesia while the UNCHR is processing their claim of refugee status. However as mentioned above this process can be long, complex and confusing for the parties involved, forced to spend an unknown amount of time in limbo in a foreign country. It is clear that Indonesia needs to develop a working mechanism for granting asylum, and the UNCHR needs to work further with Indonesia and its regional partners to bring Indonesia to a standard whereby it can effectively process and humanely house those that end up on her shores seeking asylum. Maeve Showell is an Australian researcher based in Jakarta. While it is clear that Australia needs to re evaluate its current policy – one which has seen a number of Oz-bound refugees wind up languishing in Indonesian detention centres, it is also up to Indonesia to streamline its refugee determination system as experts report of some refugees spending up to five years waiting to be processed. A number of Australian politicians have urged Indonesia to sign the convention. Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young spoke to the media stating that "What it does indicate is that the L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  12. 12. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 11 INTERVIEW What would you say to someone who is pessimistic to motivate them? Taufik Basari is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for LBH Masyarakat. He is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Indonesia, where he teaches legal philosophy and the philosophy of human rights. Mr. Basari has been active in promoting human rights and legal reform in Indonesia for many years, and is currently working on a legal case to expose and prosecute members of the Judicial Mafia. In between his busy schedule, we spoke with him about his view of human rights and how to promote them among the next generation. Let's talk about the students that you teach. Are they more optimistic or pessimistic about rights and the future of Indonesia? The split is 50-50. Maybe more of them are pessimistic, because they don't see any hope in this condition. In our experience, we always try to inject some positive thinking to the youth, because if they are not optimistic, how can we create hope? That's why we go to the young people and try to have a discussion with them and invite them to join with us. We have to believe that even if we just get something little, we can use this little thing to get something greater. If we only depend on the old generation that is already influenced by the old way of things, it is difficult for us to make progress. We depend on the young people to make further progress. L E M B A G A B A N T U A N I ask them what they've already got. Sometimes, I compare to the old conditions, I always say they are lucky compared to the other generations; they have a right to speech, they have good information compared to before when it was hard to find something other than government information. We need to keep the situation from going down, if you want to live in these conditions now, fight to keep them, and fight again for a better condition. If they don't have optimism, it is not impossible that we could go back to the old conditions. If we are only quiet, and if we do nothing, there is no progress. You've worked in the legal rights community for a while, what advice would you give to someone young who was just beginning to fight for legal rights? We need young people to make this country better. We have to learn from our experience. This young generation can have distance with the influence of militarism and authoritarianism of the past era. We really need them to be a group of people who are involved with the human rights issues. We cannot only wait for our rights to be given to us, we have to fight to get them. Because they are young now, because they have the energy now, why don't they start right now? When they are grown, they will have many needs, and they will not concentrate on these issues because of the needs of their lives. Now is the time for them to fight for themselves and for others. Taufik Basari was talking to Samuel Natale and Michael Kurban. H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  13. 13. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 12 RIGHTS IN ASIA Information contained in this column is provided by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). PHILIPPINES: Two human rights defenders threatened to be killed Two human rights defenders have recently received letters containing messages threatening to kill them. Yolanda Pineda, a day care teacher for Antonio Day Care Center in Barangay San Antonio, Lubao, received a letter on April 9, 2010 exhorting her to stop her activities, or she would be killed. Since 2008, she has been leading a campaign against the establishment of an army detachment adjacent to the day care centre where she works. She filed a petition letter with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Local Government Units (LGUs) which demanded the pull out of the military detachment. It is strongly believed that this was the reason why the army attached to the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) had subjected her to continuing harassment and intimidation. Bernardino Patigas, a former organiser of fishermen and now the secretary general of the Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights (NNAHRA) also received threatening letters and is aware that a hireling has been paid 50,000 pesos to kill him. Both activists refused to give up their fight and Patigas even said that it inspired him to continue. These threats cannot be taken lightly, as extrajudicial killings are very common in the Philippines and in most cases those who have been threatened have been subsequently killed. NEPAL: A teenage boy dies in police custody; foul play is suspected his arrival at the hospital. Hospital records report various injuries on his body and his family fears that he was tortured. An investigation team was formed, but it is comprised exclusively of police officers, rather than members of civil society or representatives of the victim’s family have been included, raising questions about its impartiality. Torture of juveniles remains a serious concern in Nepal and although allegations of torture and other illtreatment are numerous in Nepal, most of them have not lead to an independent and impartial investigation followed by the prosecution of the perpetrators. In addition to torture not being criminalized, there is not any independent mechanism by which to investigate allegations of torture. PAKISTAN: A trade union leader and his brother are murdered during strike negotiations Mr. Mustansar Randhawa (pictured), 35, and his brother Naseer Randhawa, have been gunned down by unidentified gunmen during strike negotiations. The elder brother was leading protests against low wages, poor working conditions and the intimidation of workers in Punjab power loom mills, and had been engaged in stateled mediation with the owners just hours before he and his brother were shot dead outside his office. There are currently concerns that a thorough, immediate and impartial investigation may not be carried out due to the influence wielded by the power loom mill owners in the province. The deaths have added to the environment of intimidation faced by labour activists and human rights defenders in Pakistan. Dharmentra Barai, 16, was arrested at around 12.30pm on 3 July 2010 regarding his alleged involvement in a bicycle collision in which a man had died a day earlier. He was kept in custody in Rupendehi District. It is unclear what happened to him during custody, but shortly after midnight, he complained of dizziness, headache and was afraid he might die. He was already dead at L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  14. 14. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 13 REPORTAGE LBH Masyarakat attended the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, July 2010 Vienna – Ricky Gunawan, Program Director of LBH Masyarakat attended the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, from July 17 – 24. There, he delivered a presentation on Thursday, July 22 entitled “Legal Literacy in Indonesia: A Tool for Empowering Drug users, Fishermen, and People Living with HIV to facilitate selfrepresentation.” Other speakers in this session, entitled “As Crucial as a Condom: Legal Aid for Criminalized Groups” were from Ukraine, Cambodia, Botswana, and United States. Gunawan's presence at the conference was supported by the Open Society Institute and International AIDS Society. In his presentation, Gunawan explained how community legal empowerment works under the self-reliant legal aid framework and presented the conceptual basis for that model. That basis, Gunawan said, is recognizing that community legal aid empowerment is the first step towards achieving social justice. “The objectives of community legal empowerment are to provide what we call 'first-legal aid,' and to create alarm system within the community,” he said, “all of which are carried out through the work of community paralegal.” Gunawan also elaborated the process of creating paralegals which involves placing the community as the primary subject of legal aid, and using appreciative inquiry to involve students in legal aid movements. At the end of his presentation, Ricky outlined lessons learned from LBH Masyarakat’s experiences in undertaking community legal empowerment. Volunteers of International Bridges to Justice assist LBH Masyarakat’s program under 2010 JusticeMakers Fellowship Aid and Human Rights, as a 2010 JusticeMakers Fellow. She has received $5,000 to implement her program, “Access to Justice for Detainees: A community legal empowerment approach”. Under this program, she will both provide legal and human rights education for detainees and also teach assistant detainees (tamping), to provide counseling. As part of the fellowship, IBJ has invited Larasati to take part in a one-week program management training in Singapore next month. Additionally, the fellowship includes assistance from two volunteers from United States and one from Spain to document Larasati’s program and LBH Masyarakat’s activity in general. In their second week, the three volunteers Mar Costa, Sam Natale and Mike Kurban have documented one of the communities that LBH Masyarakat has worked to empower in the last couple of years, Kali Adem. They interviewed fishermen of Kali Adem, understanding their problem which is soon going to be evicted by the government, and explored its unique characteristics. “I think the presence of Mar, Sam and Mike is enormously important in the early stage of our program. They have contributed their brilliant ideas to sharpen our concept. Additionally, they also assist us in many ways they can and I think this is a good opportunity for us to learn from them. Also, it is a great chance for them to understand the nature of our legal aid work and human rights activism,” said Larasati. The volunteers will produce articles and short videos every week. Viewers can find their reportage on IBJ's blog. -- Jakarta – International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) has named Ajeng Larasati, LBH Masyarakat’s Assistant Manager on Legal L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  15. 15. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 14 ABOUT US Born from the idea that all members of society have the potential to actively participate in forging a just and democratic nation, a group of human rights lawyers, scholars and democrats established a nonprofit civil society organization named the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH Masyarakat) By providing a wide range of opportunities, LBH Masyarakat is able to join forces with those concerned about upholding justice and human rights to collectively participate and contribute to the overall improvement of human rights in Indonesia. LBH Masyarakat is an open-membership organisation seeking to recruit those wanting to play a key role in contributing to the empowerment of society. The members of LBH Masyarakat believe in the values of democracy and ethical human rights principals that strive against discrimination, corruption and violence against women, among others. LBH Masyarakat aims for a future where everyone in society has access to legal assistance through participating in and defending probono legal aid, upholding justice and fulfilling human rights. Additionally, LBH Masyarakat strives to empower people to independently run a legal aid movement as well as build social awareness about the rights of an individual within, from and for their society. LBH Masyarakat runs a number of programs, the main three of which are as follows: (1) Community legal empowerment through legal counselling, legal education, legal clinics, human rights education, awareness building in regard to basic rights, and providing legal information and legal aid for social programs; (2) Public case and public policy advocacy; (3) Conducting research concerning public predicaments, international human rights campaigns and advocacy. These programs are conducted entirely in cooperation with society itself. LBH Masyarakat strongly believes that by enhancing legal and human rights awareness among social groups, an independent advocacy approach can be adopted by individuals within their local areas. L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T
  16. 16. C A V E A T | july 2010 | 15 Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat Tebet Timur Dalam III B, No. 10 Jakarta 12820 INDONESIA P. +62 21 830 54 50 F. +62 21 829 80 67 E. contact@lbhmasyarakat.org W. http://www.lbhmasyarakat.org L E M B A G A B A N T U A N H U K U M M A S Y A R A K A T

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