Komnas HAM says RI might fall short of UN rights review
Indonesia’s human rights role at the global level is at risk as the government has repeatedly failed to protect its own citizens, according to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) might be critical of what Komnas HAM called the nation’s failure to protect human rights domestically, the commission said.
The UNHRC will begin its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in two weeks to evaluate the human rights records of the UN’s 192 member nations, and is slated to review the situation in Indonesia from May 21 to June 4.
The quadrennial review was introduced by the UN General Assembly in 2006 to assure that member countries had respected and implemented human rights and fundamental freedoms.
According to Komnas HAM, Indonesia’s poor human rights record, particularly its failure to enforce the law, has tainted the nation’s image.
Ifdhal Kasim, the chairman of Komnas HAM, used the recent attacks on Canadian liberal author Irshad Manji’s book discussions in Jakarta and Yogyakarta as an example.
“I believe the UNHRC will take the matter into consideration. For this reason, we suggest the government seriously take into account the increasing number of human rights violations because we are bound by the UN’s regulations as one of its members,” Ifdhal said on Friday.
The discussions were discontinued due to pressure from radical organizations that accused Manji of promoting homosexuality and atheism.
Members of the Indonesia Mujahidin Council (MMI) ransacked the office of the Institute for Islamic and Social Studies (LKiS) during a discussion and injured one person.
“What happened to Manji is only one of the many cases reflecting the state’s negligence in promoting freedom in the country. A similar situation also occurred during mass organizations’ attacks against Ahmadiyah, as well as other minority groups nationwide,” Komnas HAM deputy speaker Yosep Adi Prasetyo said.
“The government must seriously prove its commitment to uphold human rights in the country, otherwise the global community will withdraw its support for us due to the increasing number of violations against freedom in this country. The government has obviously failed to guarantee basic freedom for the people, which is the freedom from fear. All of the recent violations, as well as other violations in the past, the 1998 Trisakti shootings and Semanggi riots or the 1965 abortive purge for example, will undoubtedly discredit us as a so-called democratic country because the government is not only unable but also unwilling to promote human rights,”