Government told to ratify anti-torture protocol
A human rights advocacy body has called on the government to sign and ratify an anti-torture protocol in a show of its commitment to fighting all human rights violations.
Ratifying the protocol would underline the government’s commitment toward combating torture, the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) said.
Commission member Arimbi Heroepoetri said on Thursday that the government should sign and ratify the 2002 Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (CAT) to attest to the promises it made during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights in Geneva last month.
According to Arimbi, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa renewed the government’s commitment to fighting torture during the UPR in Geneva, saying it was ready to sign and ratify the protocol.
The CAT protocol is an addition to the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture. It was meant to establish an international inspection system for places of detention, modelled on a system, which has existed in Europe since 1987.
The protocol was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Dec. 18, 2002, and entered into force on June 22, 2006. Currently, the protocol has 71 signatories and 63 parties. Indonesia, however, has yet to sign the protocol, let alone ratify it.
Arimbi said the ratification of this protocol would promote an anti-torture culture and, in turn, could empower advocacy for women, especially regarding domestic violence and trafficking which, according to the commission, accounted for the highest number of incidents.
The commission recorded that domestic violence contributed 95.71 percent of incidents during 2011, or 113,878 cases (311 cases per day). The commission also urged the government to thoroughly examine both past and current human right violation cases and imprison the perpetrators.
“The government should make cases of human rights abuse, especially against women, its priority. We don’t see that this issue is a priority for the government at the moment,” Arimbi said.
According to the commission, the government also stated its readiness to amend the country’s criminal codes and procedures in line with international standards as stipulated in the CAT protocol.
In addition, the government has pledged to investigate and take action against state officials allegedly implicated in torture, including security officers. (fzm)