Tag Archives: Indonesia

Indonesia: Stop reprisals against woman human rights defender – UN expert


Veronica Koman

Indonesia must immediately stop threats, intimidation and reprisals against human rights defender Veronica Koman and her family, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, said today.

Koman, a human and minority rights lawyer, is in self-imposed exile in Australia. However, she still faces several charges in Indonesia for alleged incitement, spreading fake news, displaying race-based hatred and disseminating information aimed at inflicting ethnic hatred. The charges were believed to have been brought against her in retaliation to her work advocating for human rights in West Papua.

Koman was among five other human rights defenders mentioned in the UN Secretary-General’s 2021 annual report on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights. She has faced threats, harassment and intimidation for her reporting on West Papua and Papua provinces, for providing reports to UN human rights mechanisms, and for attending UN meetings, for which she was questioned by security forces. 

“This case highlights how human rights defenders are often targeted for their cooperation with the United Nations, which is fundamental to their peaceful and legitimate work in the protection and promotion of human rights,” Lawlor said.

Acts of intimidation and threats against Koman’s family have also been reported this year, most recently on 7 November, when unidentified individuals threw two small explosive boxes inside the garage of her parents’ home in West Jakarta.

The boxes reportedly contained threatening messages, including one stating “we will scorch the earth of wherever you hide and of your protectors.” Another box addressed to Koman, delivered to the home of a family member, contained a dead chicken and a message saying that anyone hiding her “will end up like this.”







https://megapolitan.kompas.com/read/2021/12/13/14440981/amnesty-sebut-pembela-ham-dalam-bahaya-ledakan-di-rumah-orangtua-veronica (INDONESIAN)



Indonesia/West Papua/Australia: Indonesian activists condemn threats against rights lawyer’s family


Indonesian Cops Investigate Explosion Outside Papuan Activist’s Family Home

Activists in Indonesia on Monday condemned a series of threats against the family of a prominent human rights lawyer and urged a thorough police investigation after an explosive package was sent to her parents’ home.

Veronica Koman has been living in exile in Australia since 2019. In Indonesia she faces charges of incitement and spreading disinformation related to protests in the West Papua region in 2019 that sparked some calls for independence.

Police were called after a package that contained a threatening note exploded outside the West Jakarta home of her parents on Sunday. There were no injuries.

Local police chief Ady Wibowo told Reuters an investigation was underway and he suspected the package contained a firework. He said two suspects were seen riding on a motorcycle.

Human Rights Watch said the incident was a serious escalation in the threats and intimidation the Koman family had suffered for years.

“Indonesian human rights defenders should be able to express themselves even on sensitive subjects without having a target painted on their backs,” it said in a statement.

Koman declined to comment on Monday when contacted by Reuters.

The incident came two weeks after a flaming package was left on the fence of her parents’ home.









https://www.liputan6.com/news/read/4705417/bunyi-ledakan-dari-kediaman-orangtua-veronika-koman-diduga-dari-petasan (INDONESIAN)


Indonesia Arrests Firebrand Cleric’s Lawyer Over Attacks


Police arrested Islam Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab’s lawyer, Munarman, in a raid this week.

Police arrested Islam Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab’s lawyer, Munarman, in a raid on his house in Jakarta’s satellite city of Tangerang after interrogating scores of suspected militants detained after an attack outside a Roman Catholic cathedral during Palm Sunday Mass last month.

Munarman, who goes by one name, was the general secretary of the now-defunct Islam Defenders Front, widely known by the Indonesian acronym FPI, which was once on the political fringes and has a long record of vandalizing nightspots, hurling stones at Western embassies and attacking rival religious groups. It wants Islamic Shariah law to apply to Indonesia’s 230 million Muslims.

“He is accused of an evil conspiracy to carry out acts of terror,” National Police spokesperson Argo Yuwono said in a statement. He said Munarman incited people to commit radical acts and hid information about terrorism from authorities.

Police are still investigating his house in Tangerang and the disbanded FPI’s headquarters in central Jakarta, where they seized chemicals for use in explosives, Ahmad Ramadhan, another police spokesman, said in a news conference late Tuesday.

The government banned FPI in December, saying it had no legal grounds to operate as a civil organization and that its activities often violated the law and caused public disorder. Police arrested Shihab, the group’s founder and chairman, on charges of inciting people to breach pandemic restrictions by holding events with large crowds.

Munarman, a former human rights lawyer before joining FPI, has been one of Shihab’s lawyers since the firebrand cleric’s trial in East Jakarta District Court began last month.





https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2021/04/27/201500865/profil-munarman-mantan-sekum-fpi-yang-ditangkap-densus-88-terkait-kasus?page=all (INDONESIAN)

https://voi.id/fr/bernas/31632/qui-est-munarman-ancien-secretaire-en-chef-du-fpi-qui-etait-un-defenseur-des-droits-de-lhomme-et-inspire-par-abu-bakar-baasyir (FRANCAIS)

Indonesia/Burma: Two rights lawyers arrested at ASEAN protests


https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20210424185059-20-634295/lbh-jakarta-sebut-peserta-demo-myanmar-diangkut-polisi (INDONESIAN)


Indonesia/West Papua/Australia: Democratic struggle won’t end with ITE law revision, says Koman


Veronica Koman

It was September 2019, and exiled Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman was enjoying her final days in Australia. Her studies at the Australian National University in Canberra were almost over and all that was left was to wait for graduation day.

One afternoon, Koman’s mobile phone rang. There was an SMS message from a friend in Indonesia.

Her colleague informed her that the police had declared Koman a suspect.

Since August 17, 2019, the Papua issue had been heating up. Racist actions by rogue security personnel against Papuan students in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya had triggered a wave of public anger.

Protest actions were held in several parts of the country, including in Papua. The government even cut internet access in Papua after several of the demonstrations ended in chaos.

In the mist of this critical situation, Koman was actively posting on Twitter, sharing information about the mass movement in Papua.

On September 4, Koman was officially declared a suspect. Police charged her under multiple articles, including the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law.

ITE law ‘is so rubbery’
Aside from the ITE Law, Koman was also indicted under Law Number 1/1946 on Criminal Regulations, Article 160 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) and Law Number 40/2008 on the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination.

“I had thought about what articles would perhaps be used to criminalise me. I strongly suspected it would be the ITE. It turned out to be true, because the ITE is so rubbery,” explained Koman when contacted by CNN Indonesia.

Koman said that it was easy to use the ITE Law to criminalise people. Aside from the “rubber” (catchall) articles, the law does not require much evidence. A screen capture from the internet is enough, and the case can go ahead.

She believes there has been a tendency to use the ITE Law to silence activists over the last few years and she gave several examples of cases in Papua.







https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/profile/veronica-koman (FRANCAIS)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200812084518-20-534733/veronica-koman-pembela-papua-yang-diminta-kembalikan-beasiwa (INDONESIAN)



Indonesia: Death of lawyer fighting Chinese-funded Indonesian dam casts shadow over project


Mengenang Setahun Kepergian Golfrid Siregar, Hanya Diwarnai Kejanggalan

In Indonesia, environmental activism can be a risky business. Golfrid Siregar knew that. His wife, Resmi Barimbing, knew it, too. Last year, Siregar would tell Barimbing it was no longer safe in the port city of Medan, where since 2016 he had worked as a lawyer for the largest environmental organisation in the Southeast Asian archipelago.

“Don’t go too far from home,” she recalls him warning her one day last autumn, not long before Siregar was found lying unconscious, gravely injured beside his motorcycle on the side of the road. Three strangers loaded him into a pedicab and took him to the Mitra Sejati Hospital, but Siregar never woke up, and three days later, on October 6, he died.

North Sumatra Police filed the incident as a traffic accident, citing the Batam City native for driving under the influence, having found traces of alcohol in his stomach. For Siregar’s wife and fellow activists, shock gave way to incredulity. Seeing his wounds in the intensive care unit and the state of his clothes, things did not add up. They knew he was not a heavy drinker, and would never have driven drunk. Why was his head so battered, one of his eyes bruised, but the rest of his body untouched? Why was he not, as he always would have been, wearing his helmet? Why did he have mud on his trousers if he crashed on a paved road? Why did his motorcycle show so little damage, and the asphalt no signs of skidding?

Four days after Siregar’s death, a coalition of human-rights NGOs issued a statement calling for an independent investigation, on suspicions Siregar had been murdered. Later that month, coalition member Amnesty International wrote an open letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, saying they “presumed [Siregar] was killed, it wasn’t an accident”, pointing to the “incongruous details” in the case.

“As his wife, I suspect he was murdered,” wrote Barimbing in a statement to Post Magazine. “I suspect that his death had something to do with his work as a human-rights and environmental activist.” Aside from her now being a widow, Siregar, not yet 40 years old, also “left behind a young child”.






https://www.suara.com/news/2020/10/05/230000/mengenang-setahun-kepergian-golfrid-siregar-hanya-diwarnai-kejanggalan (INDONESIAN)


Indonesia/Australia: Indonesian human rights lawyer Koman refuses to be cowed on Papua

October 22, 2019

Veronica Koman meets with Australian MPs about Papua

Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer sought by Indonesian police over Twitter posts authorities blame for fanning unrest in the Papua region, has a tattoo on each wrist.

The first, inked when she was in her late teens and a fervent nationalist, reads simply “Indonesia” and, she says, meant that “Indonesia is running through my veins”.

The second, which she got a few years later after becoming “exposed to social justice”, has become a defiant riposte to the vitriol she has received for defending activists and advocating self-determination for Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

The tattoo reads “DILLIGAF”, an abbreviation for a crude saying which roughly stands for “Do I look like I give a damn?”

“I’ve actually been experiencing this weird systematic attack, if you like, online since I think it was almost two years ago,” Koman said in an interview in Australia, where she is now living.

The threats can come in slickly produced video posted on YouTube or comments from anonymous social media accounts.

The abuse includes death threats, incitements to sexual assault and racist slurs, online material reviewed by Reuters showed. It also includes the publication of personal information about her and her family.








Indonesian human rights defender Veronica Koman receives Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award


https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20191017072645-113-440201/veronica-koman-temui-parlemen-australia-bahas-persoalan-papua (INDONESIAN)

https://kastara.id/18/10/2019/soal-veronica-koman-dilema-australia-antara-kedaulatan-indonesia-dan-ham-papua/ (INDONESIAN)

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Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people on stage and text

(Veronica Koman Facebook, 23/10/19)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 23/10/19)

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Indonesia/Australia: Papua unrest: Social media bots ‘skewing the narrative’

October 11, 2019

Illustration of a robot holding up several masks

Indonesia’s Papua province has become the focus of a well-funded social media campaign using bots to promote a pro-government agenda, the BBC has found.

A long-running Papuan separatist movement has flared in recent months, sparking fresh calls for self-rule.

But with access to the region heavily restricted, social media has become a key source for the foreign press.

One expert told the BBC the apparently co-ordinated campaigns were seeking to skew international views of Papua.

Targeted abuse from bots

The Twitter bot networks revealed by the BBC investigation have actively targeted Indonesia human rights lawyer Veronica Koman.

She told the BBC: “Rape and death threats are now part of my daily life.”

Now based in Australia, she has been a major source on social media of photos and footage of protests and unrest, sharing information passed to her by contacts in Papua.

Ms Koman now stands accused by the government of spreading “false news” and “provoking unrest” by publishing reports about the racist attacks on Papua students in Java.

She faces charges under the controversial Electronic Information and Transactions law (ITE) that makes it illegal to spread “fake news”. If found guilty she could be jailed for six years.

Press and rights groups say this law suppresses free speech and is open to misuse.





The West Papua Uprising: A Call to Stand Up and Fight!

Indonesia: Investigate Environmental Lawyer’s Death

October 10, 2019

Golfrid Siregar Helped to Protect Sumatra’s Rainforests, Villagers

Golfrid Siregar (left),  an environmental lawyer, died on October 6, 2019 three days after his unconscious body was found in Medan, North Sumatra.

Indonesian authorities should immediately and impartially investigate the death of an environmental lawyer, Golfrid Siregar, in Medan, North Sumatra, Human Rights Watch said today.

After midnight on October 3, 2019, a pedicab driver found Siregar unconscious and seriously injured on a street in Medan, the provincial capital, and took him to a local hospital. He never regained consciousness and died on October 6. He had suffered multiple injuries and his wallet and other personal effects were missing.

“Golfrid Siregar was an environmental lawyer and grassroots activist who had dedicated his life to protecting Sumatra’s rainforests and helping villagers protect their land,” said Andreas Harsono, senior Indonesia researcher. “His death under suspicious circumstances demands a prompt, thorough investigation of all those implicated.”

Siregar, 34, represented the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia, or Walhi), Indonesia’s largest environmental group, in a lawsuit against North Sumatra’s governor over his 2017 approval for the construction of the US$1.5 billion Batang Toru hydroelectric dam. Walhi had argued that the permit issuance process was problematic and was appealing two earlier court verdicts they had lost. He had also sought legal action against the police in a related matter for their alleged failure to adequately respond to a complaint.


Suspicions of murder in death of Indonesian environmental activist




The death of a fiercely contested Indonesian lawyer asks colleagues questions

https://www.tribunnews.com/regional/2019/10/11/kasus-kematian-golfrid-siregar-tukang-becak-yang-bawa-pengacara-walhi-itu-ke-rs-jadi-tersangka (INDONESIAN)

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/10/10/indonesie-enqueter-sur-la-mort-dun-avocat-defenseur-des-droits-environnementaux (FRANCAIS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/une/climat-en-indonesie-soupcons-dassassinat-apres-la-mort-dun-activiste-environnemental (FRANCAIS)

Indonesia/Australia: Police Issue Red Notice to Interpol to Track and Capture Veronica Koman

September 20, 2019

East Java Police have officially put Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer and outspoken supporter of Papua independence, in its wanted persons list and submitted a red notice to Interpol to help capture her overseas, a police official said on Friday.

Police have declared Veronica a suspect, accusing her of spreading false information and provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua by publishing reports on the protests and attacks against Papuan students in East Java.

Investigators have summoned Veronica three times to be interrogated but she has yet to make an appearance. She is charged with violating the Electronic Information and Transactions Law and the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Law.

East Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan said according to police investigators Veronica has gone into hiding in Australia.

“According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian Embassy [in Canberra], Veronica has made contact with the embassy. We’ve put her name in our wanted persons list,” Luki said in Surabaya on Friday.



At Least 20 Killed, Dozens Injured in Papua Unrest: Indonesian Military


https://www.nusabali.com/berita/59956/polisi-temukan-barang-bukti-di-rumah-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

https://www.tribunnews.com/nasional/2019/09/21/tindakan-terukur-polisi-untuk-bekuk-veronica-koman-di-australia (INDONESIAN)

https://hot.liputan6.com/read/4068146/video-pengertian-red-notice-interpol-status-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1245590/aktivis-ham-veronica-koman-jalankan-tugas-bukan-sebar-hoaks (INDONESIAN)

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4718774/veronica-koman-berkicau-soal-rusuh-di-papua-polri-angkat-bicara (INDONESIAN)