July 10, 2013






GENEVA, 10 JULY 2013


Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Committee,

Members of the Indonesian Delegation,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I begin by extending my delegation’s highest appreciation to you, Mr. Chairperson, and all esteemed Members of the Human Rights Committee for the opportunity presented on the occasion of the consideration of the initial and first periodic report of the Republic of Indonesia in pursuance of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Government of Indonesia has high regard for the work of the Committee and my delegation is looking forward to a productive exchange of views in the course of two days.

As you can see, a large number of officials representing various government ministries and institutions in Indonesia have joined and are ready to engage with the Committee in our deliberations. Indeed it demonstrates the Government of Indonesia’s strong commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, in particular civil and political rights in Indonesia.

My name is Harkristuti Harkrisnowo. I am Deputy-Minister for Human Rights, Ministry of Law and Human Rights and I am heading the Indonesian Delegation in this meeting. Joining me at the podium are Mr. Muhammad Anshor – Director for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affaris, Lieut. Gen (Retd) Bambang Darmono – Head of the Presidential Unit for the Acceleration of Development of Papua and West Papua Provinces, and Dr. Albert Hasibuan – Member of Presidential Advisory Board.

Before you, as part of our delegation, are the distinguished representatives of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, including its representative of the provincial office in Papua; Foreign Affairs; Religious Affairs; Communication and Informatics; National Police; Armed Forces; Attorney General Office, National Development Planning Agency; Presidential Advisory Council; Presidential Unit for the Acceleration of the Development of Papua and West Papua Provinces; as well as officials from Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the UN in Geneve.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In fulfilling our reporting obligation as a State Party to the Covenant, Indonesia has expended much effort in preparing our reports as well as providing answers to questions presented in the Committee’s List of Issues.

Series of in-depth discussions and consultations with a wide array of stakeholders, including our vibrant civil society organizations and regional governments, have been conducted in Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara and West Kalimantan.

Moreover, the formulation of the reports as well as preparation of Indonesia’s participation in today and tomorrow’s meetings is conducted within the framework of the implementation of National Human Rights Action Plan. Together with the implementing committees at sub-national level, disseminations of information as well as preparation of these pertinent documents have become part of our integrated approach in mainstreaming human rights issues in our national policies.

After the period of time covered in our Initial and First Periodic Reports which we submitted to this Committee in the beginning of 2012, some important developments in the field of civil and political rights have taken place in Indonesia.

Before sharing these developments to the Committee, I wish to highlight some backgrounds in relation to the implementation of the Covenant in Indonesia.

Being the largest archipelagic state and one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world living across thousands of islands, Indonesia has continuously aspired to be a strong nation based on democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law. These core principles, enshrined in our Constitution and State Ideology, Pancasila, have faithfully guided us in advancing the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.

As we started our democratic transition 15 years ago, Indonesia has undergone dramatic changes in almost all aspects of our nation’s lives. Amidst constant challenges and tremendous predicaments, our nation survived and prevailed as a stronger and more democratic country where human rights principles are increasingly observed.

We have developed legislative and institutional frameworks to promote culture of respect for human rights in the country.

Changes of mind sets and new paradigms on human rights issues have been rigorously introduced and implemented. Our civil societies have flourished and continued to serve as a powerful check-and-balance mechanism within our democratic life. Sufficient public spaces for channeling peoples’ aspirations are abundantly available. The same goes to our press which enjoys greater freedom.

Nevertheless, it did not come easy. Determination, courage and shared commitment of all national stakeholders are the prerequisites for achieving desired results.

Even until today, challenges in the promotion and protection of human rights remain.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The measure taken by the Government of Indonesia in ratifying International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2005 through Law No. 12/2005 has provided an important framework to further the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.

The Covenant complemented the existing laws and regulations, and served as an important foundation for laws which were subsequently formulated and enacted for better respect and protection of civil and political rights. Laws on general election; political parties; regional and special autonomy; citizenship; population administration; and transparency of public information; are some of the examples.

Guarantee of respect for freedom of expression as well as freedom of association and of peaceful assembly have been provided in our national legal system, and have become part and parcel of our socio-political culture.

We created independent mechanisms to ensure that freedom of expressions through media is exercised in a responsible manner. In this regard, an independent commission on broadcasting and commission on information were established by laws.

We also continue to improve and expand democratic means to channel popular participation in the governance, providing people with equal opportunity and access to political system as well as in the conduct of public affairs.

Freedom of religion and belief as guaranteed in our Constitution as well as relevant laws has been continuously promoted while challenges in this regard are constantly addressed.

Protection towards the rights of the families, children, as well as enhancement of equality between women and men constitute significant elements in the Government’s national priorities.

On the same vein, efforts continued to be made to ensure that rule of law is upheld, including by strengthening capacities of our law enforcement officers in order to support these efforts.

The important role played by civil society, including media, in promoting respect for human rights is also fully recognized. The Government of Indonesia continues to create conditions conducive for free and independent media.

In a broader sense, active engagement and partnership between the Government and civil societies continues to be reinforced. Wider opportunities for greater interaction and productive engagement with civil societies on various issues have resulted in strong partnership among various stakeholders in human rights promotion and protection, including the implementation of the Covenant.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

We continue to make efforts to translate our commitment to human rights into action. In this regard, we integrate the implementation of the provisions in the Covenant in our National Human Rights Action Plan.

We are now implementing the third Human Rights Action Plan, covering the period of 2011 – 2014, which incorporated all international human rights instruments that Indonesia has ratified, including the Civil and Political Rights Covenant. The current action plan introduced an additional mechanism of public complaints, providing more rooms for public to channel their grievances on issues concerning human rights.

In 2012 and the beginning of 2013, Directorate of Public Communication Service in the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has received 889 communications. Various issues, including those related to civil and political rights such as access to justice, misconducts and discriminatory treatments by public officers have been communicated. Approximately 116 communications have been processed and resolved, while the rest is being reviewed and referred to other relevant ministries and institutions for further recommendations and necessary follow-up.

Furthermore, until recently, 432 sub-national implementing Committees of the National Action Plan have been established all over Indonesia. Regular capacity building programs and various trainings have been extended to members of these implementing Committees at provincial as well as district levels, in order to ensure constant progress in the implementation of the National Action Plan.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

Since the submission of our Initial and First Periodic Report to the Committee, Indonesia has ratified another 3 international human rights instruments, namely Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; as well as Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. These measures have impacts on strengthening our national implementation of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in many aspects.

The ratification of the Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families through Law No. 6 of 2012 has certainly bolstered our national efforts in developing a stronger the protection framework of the rights of migrant workers and their families.

Likewise, the ratification of the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2012 is a significant step that has reinforced national efforts in the promotion and protection the rights of the child, including on aspects provided for in Article 24 of the Covenant.

Hence, Indonesia now has become State Parties to 8 out of 9 international human rights instruments.

We have also made progress in the preparation for the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disapperance. The Bill on the ratification of this Convention has been submitted to the Parliament through the Letter of the President dated June 20th 2013. It is hoped that the deliberation and adoption by the Parliament will take place soon.

In line with our obligation to ensure that societal conflicts are properly addressed, Law on societal conflict management has been enacted in 2012. It aims at providing comprehensive framework of coordination involving government institutions at all levels and of engagement with civil societies in addressing tensions and social unrests arisen within and among communities. Preventive measures such as the strengthening of institutional capacities in addressing such issues and the implementation of early warning system have been introduced, along with steps to be taken during and in the aftermath of conflicts.

On matters concerning freedom of movement as stipulated in Article 12 of the Covenant, the Government of Indonesia had issued the Government Regulation No. 31/2013 on the Implementation of Law No. 6/2011 on Immigration.

This Regulation serves as a guideline providing, among others, requirements and procedures for people to enter and exit the territory of Indonesia; requirements and procedure on granting, suspension and withdrawal of traveling documents; requirement and procedure on application and visa usage period; monitoring of immigration as well as treatment to victims of people trafficking and smuggling; and requirements and procedure to appoint civil servant investigator on immigration and administrative arrangement on immigration investigation.

In reinforcing our efforts to ensure the guarantee of the right to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly and that it is exercised in credible and responsible manners, Law on Mass Organization has been passed by the Parliament recently. Amidst various dissenting opinions towards the adoption of this new Law, the Government views that this newly adopted Law is necessary to replace the old law, namely Law No. 8/1985, which is inadequate and no longer in coherence with the new legal framework in accordance with principles of democracy and human rights.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

We are also progressing in the process of modernizing our Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedures. The draft Laws on the revised Penal Code and the revised Code of Criminal Procedures have been submitted to Parliament in 2012.

The Bill of our Penal Code has included the definition of torture or other acts of cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment in accordance with the Convention against Torture, to which Indonesia is a Party.

The Bill covers issues which have not been regulated in the current Penal Code, such as integration of provisions in international human rights instruments ratified by Indonesia; integration of provisions which are currently regulated in separate laws and regulations; and concepts of restorative justice system, alternative disputes resolutions, mediation, reconciliation, and diversion. The Bill which contains more than 700 articles continues to undergo further enhancement with active participation and substantive contribution from relevant government ministries/institution as well as civil societies.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

Ensuring access to justice for all, which enables the full implementation of Articles 14 and 26 of the Covenant, is also part of the Government’s agenda. One concrete measure to this end is providing free legal aid services to those who need them. The issuance of Government Regulation No. 42/2013 on the Requirements and Procedures on Providing Legal Aid Services and Distribution of Legal Aid Fund will help ensure effective implementation of this service. It stipulates that free legal aid services shall be given to those needed until its legal issues had been resolved through court’s decision that is legally binding.

Law No 16/2011 on Legal Aid serves as a new legal basis to provide legal assistances for the less fortunate people who are in conflict with the law, and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights acts as the focal point. The implementation of free legal aid services is expected to be effective in 2013 after the Ministry of Law and Human Rights completed the verification and accreditation process of about 500 accredited Legal Aid Organizations through out Indonesia. Around 310 of these organizations had been selected as the providers of legal aid services for the less fortunate people in Indonesia.

Furthermore, in ensuring the fulfillment of the right to fair trials, further steps have been taken, among others, in the area of protection for witnesses and victims. The signing of a Joint Regulation between the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Attorney General, Chief of National Police, Corruption Eradication Commission and Head of Witnesses and Victims Protection Agency on the Protection for Informants, Justice Collaborators, and Whistle Blowers in 2012  reinforce our efforts in this matter.

The revision of Law No. 13/2006 on Witnesses and Victims Protection had been added to the 2013 National Legislation Program. The Bill shall provide additional and specific provisions on justice collaborators and whistle blowers, restitution arrangements, and organizational matters such as human resources recruitment.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee

In line with our obligation to protect children’s rights as stipulated in Article 24 of the Covenant, a new Law on Juvenile Criminal Justice System was enacted in 2012. The Law introduced the implementation of restorative justice approach towards children in conflict with the law.

Efforts are being taken to prepare the full implementation of this Law which will be effectively in force in 2014. The formulation of various Government Regulation and Guidelines concerning the implementation procedures of this new approach, including the preparation of juvenile case registration; implementation of diversion procedures; as well as educational and training program for child in conflict with the law, are underway.

At this juncture, Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child’s Protection established last year a working group to supervise and evaluate measures taken so far in relations to the issue of child in conflict with the law. This working group complements other steps taken to ensure the full observance of Law on Juvenile Criminal Justice System of 2012.

Further to the protection of the right of the child as provided for in the Covenant, Coordinating Forum on Acceleration of the Issuance of Birth Certificate has been established in the end of 2011, in order to support the implementation of National Program for Indonesian Children for 2006 – 2015. It is hoped that all children aged 0 – 18 years old will be duly registered and will have birth certificate by 2015. According to National Economic and Social Survey conducted by Central Statistics Bureau, it was recorded that in 2009, 42% of Indonesian children have acquired birth certificate, while in 2011 the percentage increased to 64%. Nevertheless, the gap remains wide and the Government of Indonesia continues its effort to improve the situation.

Moreover, Indonesia’s engagement with international human rights mechanism is also exhibited during the review process under the mechanism of UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of second cycle in May 2012. Indonesia reiterated its commitments in various areas of human rights and has implemented some of the recommendations which enjoyed the support of Indonesia. Indonesia has also undergone dialogues with CEDAW Committee in July 2012 concerning the promotion and protection of women’s rights in the country.

In addition, Indonesia has welcomed the visit of Special Rapporteur on the issues of adequate housing last month.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me now to summarize some of our replies to the List of Issues provided by this Committee.

Constitutional and legal framework within which the Covenant is implemented, right to an effective remedy (art. 2)

With regard to Article 2 of the Covenant, provisions of the Covenant are directly applicable in domestic courts particularly regarding the rights of every individual facing criminal proceeding.

Based on Article 7 of Law No. 39/1999 on Human Rights, “all international human rights law instrument which have been ratified by Indonesia will become part of the national law.” In this regard, provisions contained within the Covenant, in principle, can be directly invoked or referred to by judges. However, the direct use of the provisions from the Covenant is not yet a common practice. In most cases, provisions in the Covenant on criminalizing certain acts need to be elaborated in domestic law. It is mainly to do with the principle of legality applied in the country’s criminal law.

The Constitutional Court, in some cases, made direct references to provisions in the Covenant in its decisions.

On the question of remedy, there are three types of remedies in our legal system, namely restitution, compensation and rehabilitation, which are recognized in private law, criminal law and administrative law. Availability of remedies for individuals claiming violations of the rights contained in the Covenant are guaranteed in the Constitution and regulated in various national legislations.

Referring to question on the measures taken to implement the National Strategy on Access to Justice, the Government of Indonesia has taken a number of legislative and administrative measures, with the purpose of ensuring wider access to free legal aids, particularly for disadvantaged people. In relation to that the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has allocated specific annual budget for free legal aids, amounting to USD 5.1 million which will be distributed through 310 accredited legal aid organizations.

Another implementation of the National Strategy on Access to Justice was the introduction of the Standard Operating Procedures on treatment for children conflicted with the law based on restorative justice approach which has led to the enactment of Law on Juvenile Criminal Justice System of 2012

On measures taken to address bylaws which are contradictory to human rights principles and norms, the Government of Indonesia has put some safeguarding measures in place. As part of corrective measures, methods of reviewing contradictive bylaws can be conducted at judicial, legislative, and executive levels.

Meanwhile, preventive measures are also taken, including through the issuance of practical guidebook of “Understanding the Making of Local Regulations” in order to formulate bylaws in accordance with Law No. 12/2011. Moreover, human rights as well as gender equality parameters for law making at sub-national levels have been issued. Capacity building programs in the form of trainings for legal drafters have also been carried out.

In relation to that, the Ministry of Home Affairs had conducted reviews of approximately 15,000 bylaws in the course of 2010 – 2012, which are regarded as contradictory to national laws but only a few are relevant to human rights principles.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On the question of the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to strengthen cooperation between the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) and governmental institution, signing of MoUs and cooperation in capacity building programs as well as training has been carried out.

Komnas HAM contributed to the development of National Human Rights Action Plan and has always been part of the national implementing Committee together with government ministries and institutions.

In the case of the establishment of an ad hoc Human Rights Court to investigate cases of enforced disappearances in 1998, the dissenting point of views between Komnas HAM and Attorney General office is yet to be resolved.

On the issue of countering terrorism, the Government of Indonesia attaches great importance to the implementation of Law on Combating Criminal Acts of Terrorism as well as the Chief of National Police Regulation No. 23/2011. They have set relevant provisions to ensure that procedures followed in addressing this extraordinary crime adhere to human rights principles. The Law on combating terrorism serves as the legal basis for the arrest and/or detention so it will not be claimed as arbitrary.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee

Non Discrimination, equality between men and women (art. 2 (1),3 and 26)

On Article 2 (1), 3 and 26, as regards to non-discrimination as well as equality between men and women, the Government of Indonesia attaches great importance to the equality between women and men. In this regard, anti-discrimination provisions contained in international human rights instruments have been extensively elaborated in various legislative frameworks as well as policies, covering areas such as education, employment, housing and health.

On Article 3, regarding equal rights of men and woman, in Indonesia, equal opportunities have been widely enjoyed by all workers, regardless of their sex.  In the area of education, it has been recorded that in 2010, Net Enrollment Ratio for women to men at primary education and junior secondary education level was 99.73 and 101.99 respectively, while literacy among females aged 15 – 24 year-old reached 99.85%.

The same principle is also reflected in the area of politics. Positive development has been recorded that female members of parliament as the result of 2009 General Election increased to 17.86% compared to 11.09% in 2004.

Recent signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection and General Election Commission in 2012, as well as with General Election Monitoring Agency in 2013, were set to ensure that 30% quota of female candidates of each political party as provided for in the Laws on General Election and on Political Parties. The General Election Commission has recently disqualified eight parties in several electoral districts for their failure to comply with the law which require the parties to meet a minimum of 30 percent quota for female candidates

As gender mainstreaming continues to be the Government’s priority, Bill on Gender Equality has been initiated by the Parliament in cooperation with Government and civil societies. It is hoped that this legislative measure promotes further the integration of respect for gender equality principles in the policies and practices by government institutions and agencies at all levels in all areas.

The Bill on Gender Equality has been included in the 2013 National Legislative Program. However, further broad consultations are needed to build national consensus on all of its aspects and ensure ownership of all national stakeholders in the process as well as in the outcome.

On the same vein, efforts to infuse gender equality and eliminate stereotyping continue to be promoted through awareness raising programs in schools as well as to public in general, in the form of, among others, gender-sensitive school curriculum, textbooks and other teaching and learning materials.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee

Right to life (art. 6)

In connection with the right to life as stipulated on Article 6 of the Covenant, in particular related to the issue of the apprehension of terrorist in 2011, the Government is of the view that terrorism is an extraordinary crime which requires specific strategies and measures in addressing it. The Chief of National Police had issued Regulation No. 23/2011 on the procedure to apprehend terrorists’ suspects and the officers have been equipped with rigorous trainings and necessary expertise to carry out their duty accordingly. It is also important to inform the Committee that the main duty of these officers is to apprehend suspects alive.

Furthermore, on the alleged use of excessive force by the police during protests in Jayapura and Bima in 2011, the Government of Indonesia wishes to inform that these incidents have undergone thorough investigations and due process in accordance with prevailing laws. Sanctions have been imposed to officers who have been proven guilty of misconducts during these incidents.

On the issue of death penalty, it continues to be part of Indonesia’s positive law. It had undergone judicial review where the practice of death penalties is judged in compliance with the Constitution. It is only applied to the most serious crimes and the execution can only be carried out after the verdict of the cases has permanent legal force and all other measures have been exhausted. Deferral of execution and commutation of the sentence into life imprisonment remain open.

The application of death penalty in our criminal justice system, including the possibility of its abolition, continues to be debated at various national fora.

Prohibition of torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; liberty and security of persons, treatment of persons, deprived of their liberty, independence of the judiciary, and fair trial (art. 7, 9, 10 and 14)

On the issue of the torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments, the Government of Indonesia remains committed to doubling its efforts in addressing the act of torture, particularly in correctional facilities and detention centers.

Besides ensuring that cases involving torture acts are thoroughly investigated and duly processed in accordance with the prevailing laws, monitoring mechanisms, both internal and independent, as part of preventive measures, are also in place.

Within the Correctional Facilities, Standard Operating Procedures on handling inmates complaints was issued in 2012. Furthermore, Ombudsman for Correctional Facilities Indonesia has also been established, managed by the Directorate General of Corrections of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in collaboration with the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia. This mechanism is set to improve the quality of public services to inmates in correctional facilities and to complement the monitoring function of the relevant bodies especially the National Commission for Human Rights.

In addition, the Decree of the Minister for Law and Human Rights of 2011 has been issued in order to enhance correctional facilities management and minimizing all forms of abuse of power as well as violations of relevant laws and regulations. It will also empower the available human resources effectively and efficiently in fulfilling their tasks and duties.

A specific ethical code council was established in 2011, which is mandated, inter alia, to verify and make decision regarding alleged violation of ethics conducted by the correctional officers, after carefully considering relevant witness, evidence, and testimonies. The decision of the Council will then be communicated to the relevant human resources department as recommendations for further follow-up.

With all these mechanisms put in place, a total of 176 correctional officers have been penalized with minor to severe disciplinary punishments.

On the question of preventing practices of torture and ill treatment of detainees, specifically at the moment of apprehension and during pre-trial detention to extract confessions, the Government of Indonesia has taken steps, among others, as follows:

(a)  During the interrogation, the suspect has every right to be accompanied by a lawyer.  In the case the suspect is charged with crimes with possible imprisonment term exceeding 5 years, the presence of lawyer during interrogation is mandatory. The National Police has the obligation to ensure the availability of legal aid to the suspect if she/he could not hire one.

(b)  In every investigation carried out by the Police, there is always an investigation monitoring system.

(c)  Most investigations/interrogations in detention facilities are taped and recorded through CCTV, providing proof as well as transparency required in order to ensure that human rights principles are upheld during the process.

(d)  Interrogations are conducted during working hours.

(e)  Providing exact timeline/period of interrogations with a maximum of 8 hours for each interrogation.

On matter regarding inmates mortality, data shows that 506 inmates passed away in 2012, while in 2011, 558 inmates died in prisons, showing a decrease in number. Tuberculosis, respiratory and heart problems as well as HIV-Aids related diseases are among the main causes of death within the detention facilities. Meanwhile, 13 and 1 detainees passed away in 2013 and 2012 respectively in Immigration Detention Center due to incidents. Moreover, in 2012 and 2013, 30 detainees passed away in police detention centers due to suicide, accident and illness.

Reform within correctional facilities continues, including through capacity building measures for wardens, prison officials and those handling the inmates. Respect for human rights is an integral part of the standard operational procedures within the correctional facilities and frequent trainings, dissemination as well as awareness raising programs are included in regular agenda.

In addition to that, concrete measures have also been taken to improve the standards of prisons and the lives of inmates, including services covering sanitation and health; infrastructure and facilities; as well as mechanism provided for addressing complaints and grievances. Empowerment programs for inmates are also developed, allowing them to learn various skills and income-generating activities in preparation of inmates’ integration back to communities.

The issues concerning ensuring segregation within correctional facilities between detainees and convicts; between adult male and female convicts; and between adult and juvenile detaineed and conflicts; continue to be given extra attention. New infrastructures are being built, including for female dormitories and special detention center for child in conflict with the law.

On the issue of allegation of widespread torture and ill-treatment of detainees, Indonesia would like to reiterate that in the open era of democracy like Indonesia now, alleged misconducts perpetrated by officers will certainly receive ample attention and scrutiny from public, which in the end require swift response from the authorities. In this regard, where evidence warrants, cases are investigated and punishment for misconducts for those proven guilty has been imposed.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On Article 7, pertaining to measures to prevent cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the Government of Indonesia has established internal mechanisms to address this issue. Therefore, the Government of Indonesia continues to empower its police officers in order to fully comply with principles of human rights in carrying out their duties. Regular trainings and educational programs on human rights have been followed by members of National Police.

In addition to that, in order to ensure rigorous supervision mechanisms are properly established within the National Police, Inspectorate of General Supervision and Division of Profession Supervision have been put in place. These two supervision mechanisms received and investigated complaints regarding misconducts perpetrated by police. In relation to that, recent data from the National Police shows that more than 36.000 cases of alleged misconducts involving police offices have been duly processed in accordance with prevailing laws.

On the question of the activities of the National Police Commission, this independent institution has the mandates to receive and analyze public complaints and make recommendation for consideration of the President. Issues such as abuse of authority, corruption, poor public services, discriminatory treatments are among the complaints that have been submitted to this institution.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

The Government of Indonesia wishes to inform the Committee regarding the application of Qanun Jinayah (Criminal Law) in Aceh Province. It is the result of the provision contained in Law on Special Authority of Aceh of 2006, under which the Provincial Government is allowed to establish its own regulation.

The application of Qanun Jinayah, including the punishment by canning, is not necessarily focusing on physical punishment, but more on the prevention, namely to create deterrent effect. Its implementation is optional, whereas imprisonment may be chosen as another option for the convict to serve his/her sentence. It is conducted with the supervision of medical personnel, taking into consideration of the convicts’ mental and physical health.

The use of canning as a method of punishment is applied for gambling, alcoholic consumption, adultery, and khalwat. This issue continues to be debated at national level, especially on the aspect of the conformity of this method of punishment with the relevant national laws.

In responding to questions regarding the “medicalization” of FGM, it is important to understand the background of the issuance of regulation of 2010. In 2006, the government had issued a ban for health care professionals to perform female circumcision through Circular Letter referring to the agreement of ICPD and WHO in 1994 forbidding female circumcision, which in most cases, is associated with FGM. However, on the ground, this ban leads to the increase of female circumcision conducted by non-medical practitioners. This puts back women in a more vulnerable situation as it was performed by non-medical personnel in various forms, some of which are very harmful.

Because of this development, the government then issued regulation number 1636 of 2010 with the sole purpose to protect women and girls from unsafe and harmful procedures of female circumcision, with an end goal to eliminate FGM practices throughout the country. The regulation serves as a temporary measure to assure a safe procedure and protection for women and girls, and not by any means, be construed as encouraging or promoting the practice of FGM.

As a result of the recommendation given by CEDAW, a national level team is established to develop a common perception on the issue of FGM. This Team also aimed to mitigate the prevalence of the practice of FGM in Indonesia.

The Team has also conducted a review of the Ministry of Health regulation on female circumcision taking into account of relevant international human rights standards. The Team has facilitated a series of national dialogue and consultation on the issue of FGM among related stakeholders, including religious leaders, civil societies and the general public, and facilitated comparative studies to clarify the perceived association of FGM practices with certain religions and traditions.

Freedom of religion and belief, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of assembly and participation in the conduct of public affairs (arts. 18, 19, 20, 21 and 25)

On Article 18 of the Covenant, on freedom of religion and belief, we wish to reiterate that the Law on Defamation of Religion had undergone judicial review by the Constitutional Court. However, it should be noted that the Court did not annul the Law and the Court further suggested that the Law No.1/1965 need to be revised.

As the result of this review, the Court has set fundamental grounds in order to provide guidance to implement the law. Among others, the Court stated in its decision that the State does not have the right nor authority to not recognize the existence of a religion since the State is obliged to protect and guarantee the existence of all religions.

In this connection, the Government is currently in the process of formulating a bill that will provide legal framework to guarantee and enhance religious tolerance. The bill shall serve as guidelines and practical measures to ensure respect of religious freedom.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On the issue of freedom of expression in Papua, the enjoyment of freedom of expression in Papua is clearly reflected by numerous demonstrations, protests and rallies held by Papuans in expressing their concerns and aspiration over their welfare and livelihood. Unlike other provinces in Indonesia, in practice, permit from the Police to hold a demonstrations is not necessary in Papua. Organizers of demonstration are only required to inform  the local police about the time and location of their demonstration.

Local press media in Papua, such as Bintang Papua, Papua Post, Jujur Bicara/JUBI, Radar Timika, Cenderawasih Post and Suara Perempuan Papua enjoy the freedom to publish news freely without any restrictions. Moreover, publications which contain criticisms regarding government policies or even opinions leads to separatism are easily accessed by the public.

On Article 21, regarding the right to peaceful assembly, it is important to note that the duty of the national police in relations to events involving massive gatherings is to ensure public order and security maintained. Issuance of permits for such events is therefore decided on case by case basis.

On the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs as stipulated in Article 25 of the Covenant, it should be noted that special requirements which oblige Acehnese candidates running for political and public offices to be able to recite the Holy Quran in Arabic is applied due to the implementation of Special Autonomy which is based on the deeply rooted Islamic values. It applies only to Muslim candidates and therefore, it should not be construed as discriminatory towards other candidates from different faiths.

Non Discrimination, marriage, family and measures for the protection of minors (arts. 2, 23, 24 and 26)

On the question regarding the age of sexual consent, the Indonesian legal system does not recognize the concept. However, the age for marriage under Indonesia Law is at 19 for men and 16 for women.

Pursuance to the protection of the child as stipulated in Article 24 of the Covenant, issues of inheritance for a child born out of wedlock has been settled through the issuance of the Constitutional Court Decision of 2012, which acknowledged this child as a legitimate child with the right for inheritance from his/her biological father. Dissemination of this decision to all relevant government officials, in particular court magistrates, and public is continously underway in order to ensure the application of this decision.

On issues pertaining to acceleration of birth certificate, national laws have guaranteed the right of every child for idientity and nationality, including those on child protection and on citizenship. National Program for Indonesian Children for 2006 – 2015 has been duly implemented and one of the main objectives is to ensure that all children aged 0 – 18 years old will be registered and will have birth certificate by 2015. In line with this program, circular letter from Supreme Court in 2012 has provided guidelines for collective birth registration to children who have not acquired this document after a 1-year deadline.

Mr. Chairperson,

Distinguished Members of the Committee,

Let me now conclude this introductory remark by reiterating Indonesia’s firm commitment to upholding its obligation under the Covenant.

We trust that our dialogue will contribute meaningfully to our national efforts to achieve further concrete progress on the promotion and protection of civil and political rights in Indonesia.

Together with me, my colleagues from various ministries, institutions and provincial government stand ready to provide more responses on issues put forward by the Committee.

I thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

Useful Links