Intervention by Indonesian Delegation at Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Torture and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

March 4, 2013 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Mr. President,

My delegation would like to thank the Special Rapporteurs of their reports.

With regard to issue of torture, I would like to reiterate my Government’s commitment in combating the torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In the current setting of democratic Indonesia, I wish to underline the fact that no single cases of torture will be passed unnoticed in Indonesia.

As the revision of Indonesian Penal Code is currently underway, the definition and criminalization of torture has been included in the revision Bill, in line with the definition of torture in accordance with the Convention against Torture (CAT), to which Indonesia is a party. In the draft Bill, penalties for act of torture are stipulated in the Article 404 which stipulates the imprisonment of 5 – 20 years for public officials or other person acting in an official capacity proven to be guilty in conducting the act of torture.

The active engagement and contribution of various stakeholders namely Parliament, national human rights institutions with various mandates including Komnas HAM, Police National Commission, media and civil societies are instrumental in ensuring check and balances mechanism in Indonesia, including in addressing torture cases.

Turning into the report at hand, my delegation notes of the thought of the Special Rapporteur in focusing on forms of abuses in health-care setting that may amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. With regard to what he calls ‘compulsory detention for medical conditions’, my delegation would like to ask the following question: What role of traditional, community or religious values can play to prevent torture of other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in the context of treatment rehabilitation programs?

Mr. President,

Now let me turn to the issue of human rights defender.

While noting the absence of specific definition of human rights defender, there has been a well-respected space for ‘individuals, groups, and association contributing to the effective elimination of all violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples and individuals’ to play a meaningful role in Indonesia.

There is a vibrant civil society.

A strong parliament.

Unhindered freedom of the press, offline and online.

As well as strong national monitoring mechanisms, including by independent national human rights institutions (NHRIs).

We have several of them, namely National Human Rights Commission, which obtains A status, National Commission for the Protection of Children, National Commission on the Elimination of Violence against Women, as well as the Ombudsman of Indonesia.

For the part of government, we have a specific ministries designated to further efforts to promote and protect human rights, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Our third generation of National Plan of Action of Human Rights of 2011-2014 provides a new pillar which is the public complaint service. Served as a useful mechanism to communicate any grievances and allegations of human rights violations, this service has been utilized in facilitating relevant ministries/institutions to take required actions in addressing human rights predicaments.  Issues such as domestic violence, religious freedom, employment, and discrimination at work have been communicated through and dealt with this mechanism.

We continue to make progress in this field.

To conclude, non-governmental activists, members of academic circles, members of parliament, members and staff of NHRIs, or even government officials have taken significant roles in human rights’ promotion and protection in Indonesia. They are human rights defenders who are equally protected under Indonesian Law.

I thank you.

Geneva, 4 March 2013