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Indonesia
10.09.21
Urgent Interventions

Indonesia: Harassment against Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

IDN 001 / 0921 / OBS 093
Harassment
Indonesia
September 10, 2021

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Indonesia.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) about the harassment against Fatia Maulidiyanti, current Coordinator of KontraS[1] and a member of OMCT General Assembly, and Haris Azhar, Executive Director of Lokataru[2].

On August 26, 2021, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs and a retired army general, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, gave a subpoena to Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti’s attorneys in relation to a talk show video[3] posted on Haris Azhar's YouTube channel on August 20, 2021. In the video, Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti discuss the findings of research carried out by several environmental and human rights organisations, including KontraS, about the business activities of Indonesian army officials, both active and retired, in the gold mining sector and their alleged plans to exploit the Blok Wabu area in Sugapa District, Intan Jaya Regency, Papua Province[4]. The video claims Mr. Pandjaitan owns shares of PT Toba Sejahtera Group (TS), a company that controls PT Tobacom Del Mandiri (TDM), one of the mining companies that are involved in the mining operations in the Blok Wabu area.

In the subpoena, Mr. Azhar and Ms. Maulidiyanti were asked to explain the reason for posting the video and to apologise to Mr. Pandjaitan within five days through Mr. Azhar's YouTube channel, mass media, and online media, and to promise not to reoffend. Mr. Azhar and Ms. Maulidiyanti have refused to apologise. Furthermore, in the subpoena, Mr. Pandjaitan threatened to take further legal action against Mr. Azhar and Ms. Maulidiyanti under Article 45(3) of the amended Electronic Information and Transactions Law[5], as well as Articles 310 (“attacking someone's honour or reputation with accusations”) and 311 (“defamation”) of the Criminal Code, if M. Azhar and Ms. Maulidiyanti do not comply with his demands.

In the last three years, the illegal deployment of Indonesian military forces in the central highlands of Papua Province has triggered an escalation of armed conflict between the police-military and the armed opposition group West Papua National Liberation Army as well as violence and attacks against civilians, especially in Intan Jaya Regency. The Economic-Political of Military Placement in Papua: The Case of Intan Jaya report, released by KontraS, YLBHI, WALHI National Executive, Pusaka Bentala Rakyat, WALHI Papua, LBH Papua, JATAM, Greenpeace Indonesia, Trend Asia, and #BersihkanIndonesia in August 2021, revealed how the location of military and police posts around the mining concessions in this region were identified as being connected either directly or indirectly with Indonesian army generals. This study also detailed the relationship between company concessions and the deployment of the military in Papua by illustrating one case in Intan Jaya Regency.

The Observatory condemns the harassment of Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti which seem to be only aimed at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities and for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

The Observatory expresses its concern over an Indonesian authority’s threat to use the country’s criminal defamation laws to target human rights defenders for the legitimate exercise of their right to freedom of opinion and expression.

The Observatory calls on the authorities in Indonesia to put an end to any acts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Haris Azhar, Fatia Maulidiyanti, and all other human rights defenders in the country, to ensure that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisal.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Indonesia asking them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Haris Azhar, Fatia Maulidiyanti, and all other human rights defenders in Indonesia;

ii. Put an immediate end to all acts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Haris Azhar, Fatia Maulidiyanti, and all other human rights defenders in Indonesia; and

iii. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the right to freedom expression in the country, in accordance with relevant international and regional human rights standards, in particular Articles 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Addresses:

  • Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Twitter: @jokowi
  • Mr. Tito Karnavian. Minister of Home Affairs, Email: pusdatin@kemendagri.go.id
  • Mr. Yasonna Laoly, Minister for Justice and Human Rights, Email: rohumas@kemenkumham.go.id
  • Mr. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Email: humas@maritim.go.id

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Indonesia in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, September 10, 2021

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:


[1] KontraS is a human right NGO formed by a number of civil society organisations and community leaders in 1998 to monitor human rights issues in Indonesia and handle cases of enforced disappearances and victims of state violence.

[2] Lokataru Foundation is an organisation working for the realisation of a collaborative and meaningful positive engagement among state, communities and private sectors based on human rights values and the rule of law principles, by fighting abuse of power, corruption, and human rights violations.

[3] The video is entitled "Ada Lord Luhut dibalik Relasi Ekonomi-Ops Militer Intan Jaya!! Jenderal BIN Juga Ada!!” [“There is Lord Luhut behind the Economic Relations-Military Operations Intan Jaya!! The General of the State Intelligence Agency is also there!!].

[4] Mining operations in the Blok Wabu area have been linked to extrajudicial killings, land grabbing, and environmental degradation, which have resulted in the displacement of members of the local communities.

[5] Article 45(3) of Law No. 19 of 2016 Concerning the Amendment to Law No. 11 of 2008 on Electronic Information and Transactions establishes that any person who knowingly and without authority distributes and/or transmits and/or causes to be accessible Electronic Information and/or Electronic Records with contents of affronts and/or defamation could be prosecuted. The punishment for this offence is imprisonment not exceeding four years and/or a fine not exceeding seven 150 million Indonesian rupiah.

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