Oral Statement on the Final UPR Indonesia Outcomes 2017

36th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 6: Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia

 Oral Statement Delivered by Yuyun Wahyuningrum on behalf of

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

 Thursday, 21 September 2017


Mr President,

Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), on behalf of the Indonesia Civil Society Organisations Coalition for the UPR, and FORUM-ASIA, notes Indonesia’s UPR adoption.

We express our appreciation to the Indonesian government for engaging civil society in the process and reiterate our call to accept all recommendations in order to guarantee the protection of universal freedoms as reflected in President Joko Widodo’s Nawacita.

In line with Indonesia’s position on the UN GA Resolution on the moratorium of the death penalty in 2016, we call on Indonesia to immediately stop executions and respect the right to life.

We urge the Indonesian Government to extend an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples to clarify the definition and concept of indigenous peoples and Masyarakat Adat, which have hindered the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in Indonesia.

We demand that the Indonesian Government address impunity in Papua by activating the Permanent Human Rights Court related to crimes against humanity cases in Wasior-Wamena in 2002.

We urge the Indonesian Government to uphold freedoms of expression, assembly, and religion or belief, and to prevent discrimination based on all grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity as mandated by the 1945 Constitution. We call on Indonesia to introduce a non-criminal approach to blasphemy cases in the current drafting process of the Protection of Religious Community Bill.

Last Sunday, hundreds of people and police officers besieged the Foundation of Legal Aid Institute in Jakarta demanding it to end a gathering in the office by physically attacking the symbol of the democracy and human rights movement in Indonesia. The Government must investigate the perpetrators behind the riots and immediately put an end to hate speech.

FORUM-ASIA calls upon the Indonesian Government to publicly set out a comprehensive, measurable and time-bound action plan for the implementation of UPR recommendations, in cooperation and consultation with civil society.

I thank you, Mr. President.


UN support sought to end death penalty in Indonesia

Indonesia’s human rights groups are bringing the country’s controversial capital punishment into the global spotlight after demands to abolish it back home had fallen on deaf ears.

Several civil society organisations are set to present the problems revolving around the practice of the death penalty in the country when Indonesia’s human rights records are reviewed during the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva in May.

UPR is the UN’s quadrennial assembly, which aims to examine the performance of all members in protecting and upholding human rights in their respective countries. The UNHRC will gather governments and rights groups of all member countries in order to collect comprehensive information for review. The upcoming meeting is the third cycle of meetings, which will result in recommendations to each country.

Civil society groups, such as the Institute for Criminal Justice (ICJR), the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH Masyarakat), Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Imparsial, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), the Association for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST) and the IndonesianLegalResourcesCenter (ILRC) have prepared a joint report that was submitted recently to the UNHRC.

The report by the rights groups lambasted the government, as well as the House of Representatives for maintaining the death penalty in the Criminal Code (KUHP) that is currently under ongoing processes of amendments at the House.

The revision bill actually softens the government’s stance on the death penalty, stipulating that it serves as a special and alternative punishment. Articles 89 through 91 of the draft regulate the conditions and procedures for death row convicts to have punishments reduced to life imprisonment. Article 89, for example, states that the “death penalty should be the last option taken to protect the public.” Article 91 further elaborates that convicts may have their sentence reduced if they behave well during their imprisonment. The bill however has yet to define the guidelines of assessment and the determining authority.

The joint report highlights one core problem: on government’s persistence in implementing capital punishment when the country’s judicial system is still marred with rampant corruption.

The groups also cite lack of access to legal aid, interpreters and consular representatives on top of unfair and improper legal procedures faced by inmates. One of the groups, the legal think tank ICJR mentioned that it found at least 11 out of 47 death row convicts who were not accompanied during preliminary examinations. This includes, among oth- ers, Indonesian Merri Utami and Pakistani Zulfikar Ali, who are on death row for drug trafficking allegations.

Ricky Gunawan, the director of LBH Masyarakat, said the aforementioned concerns included foreign nationals Zulfikar and the Philippine’s Mary Jane Veloso.

Veloso was sentenced to death in 2010 for smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin in a suitcase to Indonesia. She was spared from execution in 2015 in the 11th hour after a woman came forward in her home country to admit that she had duped Veloso into smuggling drugs into Indonesia. Meanwhile, Zulfikar escaped last year’s execution. He was sentenced to death in 2005 for possessing 350 grams of heroin.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration had so far executed 18 death row drug convicts.

The inclusion of the death penalty in the KUHP is not yet final as lawmakers and the government are still discussing the matter. The deliberation has taken place for 572 days.

So far, the majority of political factions at the House have agreed to maintain capital punishment, excluding the Democratic Party.

“Making it an alternative punishment is a compromise to accommodate different opinions and values regarding the death penalty,” lawmaker Arsul Sani, a member of a working committee assigned to deliberate the bill, said.

The Human Rights and Humanity director at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Dicky Komar. said the government had engaged all relevant parties including civil society in preparing the report set to be presented in the UPR’s session.


Read the original article here.

Local and International groups express solidarity for the families of executed prisoners in Singapore

We, the undersigned organisations, condemn the shameful execution of a Nigerian national, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, and a Malaysian national, Devendran a/l Supramaniam in Singapore on 18 November 2016, which runs counter to global trends towards abolition of capital punishment. Around the same time, at the 50th and 51st meeting of the UN General Assembly's Third Committee’s 71 st session proceedings, the Singapore representative introduced amendments, undermining the spirit of the draft resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, supported by states such as Syria, Egypt and Bangladesh.

We remain appalled that Singapore continues to execute people in contravention of international law and standards. The two men were sentenced to mandatory death penalty, after being convicted of drug trafficking, which does not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes”.

In July 2011, during its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Singapore accepted a recommendation that called on the government to make available statistics and other factual information on the use of the death penalty (A/HRC/18/11, para. 95.15). The lack of transparency in relation to the scheduled executions, therefore, remains deeply concerning and prevents informed and meaningful debates in the country on the retention of this punishment.

We would like to express our regret and share in the disappointment of the families of the executed men. We oppose the use of capital punishment in all circumstances, as a violation of human rights which can never be justified under the flawed assumption that it has a unique deterrent effect.




Function 8

Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME)

Project X

Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC)

Think Centre

We Believe in Second Chances



Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Malaysians Against Death Penalty & Torture (MADPET)



Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)


International Groups and Networks

Amnesty International (AI)

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN)

Coalition for the Abolition of the Death Penalty in ASEAN (CADPA)

Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM)

Franciscans International (FI)

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP)

For further information please contact Think Centre.

Email: thinkcentre@hotmail.com Tel: +65 94791906