US Govt releases new report on human rights situation in Indonesia in 2022

Executive Summary

Indonesia is a multiparty democracy. In 2019 Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) won a second five-year term as president. Voters also elected new members of the House of Representatives and the Regional Representative Council, as well as provincial and local legislatures. Domestic and international observers deemed the elections to be free and fair.

The Indonesian National Police is responsible for internal security and reports directly to the president. The Indonesian National Armed Forces, which also report directly to the president, are responsible for external defence and combatting separatism, and in certain conditions may provide operational support to police, such as for counterterrorism operations, maintaining public order, and addressing communal conflicts. Civilian authorities maintained control over security forces. There were reports that members of the security forces committed abuses.

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Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings by government security forces; torture by police; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detention; political prisoners; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious abuses in the conflict in Papua, Central Papua, Highland Papua, South Papua, and West Papua Provinces (the Papua region), including unlawful civilian deaths or harm, torture, and physical abuses; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists, censorship, and the use of criminal libel laws; serious restrictions on internet freedom; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; serious government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups; crimes involving violence or threats of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex persons; and laws in Aceh Province criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults.

While the government took steps to investigate and prosecute some officials who committed human rights abuses and engaged in corruption, impunity for historic and recent serious human rights abuses and corruption remained a significant concern.

Armed conflict between government forces and separatist groups continued in the Papua region. Numerous reports of abuses against civilians included unlawful or arbitrary killings, physical abuse, and destruction of property. The government investigated and persecuted some of these, but civil society reported impunity. The conflict caused the displacement of thousands of residents. Outside the Papua region, there were numerous reports of unknown actors using digital harassment and intimidation against human rights activists and academics who criticised government officials, discussed government corruption, or covered issues related to the conflict in the Papua region.

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