European Parliament adopts Resolution on Indonesia, noticing arrest of peaceful protesters in West Papua

On the 19th January 2017, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Indonesia  as a response to the blasphemy case against Jakarta governor Ahok and a current case against two Papuan political activists, who are facing treason charges for having participated a peaceful demonstration. According to the Indonesian penal code (KUHP) treason charges can result in maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The pro-indepence organisation West Papua National Committee (KNPB) called for peaceful Indonesian-wide demonstrations in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) on the 19th  December 2016. That day, peaceful demonstrations took place in Jayapura, Merauke, Wamena, Nabire in Papua Province, Manado in  North Sulawesi Province, Gorontalo and Yogyakarta. The police arrested at least 528 peaceful protesters, including minors. Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua were arrested in Jayapura and charged under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP). Both activists were released on bail on 11th  January 2017 while legal proceedings of the case continue.

The full resolution available at the website of the European Parliament  

Link to 'International Debate on West Papua' Article with further statements on West Papua


European Parliament, 19.1.2017


European Parliament resolution of 19 January 2017 on Indonesia, notably the case of Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua and the Governor of Jakarta (2017/2506(RSP))

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on Indonesia, in particular that of 26 February 2014 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Indonesia, of the other part, with the exception of matters related to readmission(1) ,

– having regard to the EU-Indonesia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which entered into force on 1 May 2014,

– having regard to the statement of 23 May 2015 by Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) Federica Mogherini on the prospect of further executions in Indonesia,

– having regard to the statement of 27 July 2016 by the European External Action Service
(EEAS) spokesperson on the planned executions in Indonesia,

– having regard to the 6th European Union-Indonesia Human Rights Dialogue of 28 June 2016,

– having regard to the Bangkok Declaration on Promoting an ASEAN-EU Global Partnership for Shared Strategic Goals of 14 October 2016,

– having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Indonesia ratified in 2006,

– having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1987,

– having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, the third largest democracy, the largest Muslim majority country, with millions of followers of other beliefs, and a diverse society comprising of 255 million citizens of various ethnicities, languages and cultures;

B. whereas Indonesia is an important partner of the EU; whereas relations between the EU and Indonesia, a G20 member, are strong; whereas the EU and Indonesia share the same values as regards human rights, governance and democracy;

C. whereas, in the first Ministerial Strategic Dialogue (8 April 2016), the Foreign Minister of Indonesia and the VP/HR jointly declared their decision to ‘move the relationship to a new level of partnership’ between the EU and Indonesia;

D. whereas on 19 December 2016 Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua, two Papuan political activists, were detained and charged with ‘rebellion’ under the Indonesian Criminal Code, following peaceful political activities; whereas Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua were released on bail on 11 January 2017; whereas legal proceedings of the case continue; whereas, if convicted, they can face up to life imprisonment;

E. whereas President Joko Widodo has promised Papuans a change, beginning with ‘an open dialogue for a better Papua’, and has undertaken to stop disproportionate use of force and human rights abuses; whereas the President has visited Papua four times since his election in 2014; whereas he recently ordered the release of a large number of Papuan detainees as a gesture of appeasement;

F. whereas the Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, is standing trial, accused by some religious groups of insulting Islam; whereas three rallies calling for Ahok to be jailed, organised by a coalition of Islamist groups called the National Movement to Guard the MUI Fatwa (GNPF-MUI), including Front Pembala Islam (FPI) members, have been staged since October 2016;

G. whereas freedom of thought, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of religion, the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained, and the right not to be tortured are fundamental and inalienable freedoms and rights;

H. whereas Indonesia resumed capital punishment in 2013 and has executed a number of convicts;

1. Appreciates the strong relationship between the EU and Indonesia, and repeats the importance of the strong and long-standing political, economic and cultural ties between the two parties;

2. Is concerned about the growing intolerance in Indonesia towards ethnic, religious and sexual minorities; strongly condemns all acts of violence, harassment and intimidation against minorities, as well as impunity for such acts, and condemns the increased abuse of existing regulations in order to discriminate, prosecute and imprison members of religious minorities, traditional religions, and ethnic and sexual minorities;

3. Welcomes Indonesia’s insights on countering violent extremism and its experience in this regard, based on the promotion of a tolerant society and interfaith dialogues; notes the efforts of Indonesia to sustain its democracy, respect human rights and recall its ‘unity in diversity’; stresses the need to ensure the protection of all human rights, particularly those of minority and vulnerable groups, ensuring non-discrimination in their exercise of the freedoms of religion or belief, opinion, expression, association and peaceful assembly;

4. Welcomes the continued European Union – Indonesia Human Rights Dialogue, established in 2010; welcomes the close cooperation between the EU and Indonesia on a wide range of issues; stresses that the EU and Indonesia have agreed to pursue concrete cooperation projects in a wide range of areas, including access to justice and penal policy, the countering of violent extremism, the rights of migrants, business and human rights, and the rights of persons with disabilities and of persons belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups;

5. Recalls that improving the human rights situation in Indonesia is a priority of the EU-Indonesia PCA;

6. Welcomes the good state of relations between Indonesia and its neighbours and its active engagement in favour of the UN;

7. Encourages the Government of Indonesia to take all necessary measures to ensure that the rights of peaceful activists are protected, and to ensure that an enabling environment is created for the realisation of freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful demonstration;

8. Welcomes the release on bail of Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua on 11 January 2017; notes that the legal proceedings of the case will continue; calls on the Delegation of the EU to Indonesia to follow these legal proceedings;

9. Asks the Indonesian authorities to consider dropping the charges against Hosea Yeimo, Ismael Alua and other prisoners of conscience against whom charges have been brought for peacefully exercising their right of freedom of expression;

10. Urges the Indonesian and local authorities in Papua to implement immediate and effective measures to ensure the safety and security of peaceful political activists exercising their rights; calls on the authorities to ensure that people in Papua are able freely to express their ideas and opinions without fear of punishment, reprisal or intimidation;

11. Strongly condemns any act of violence or terror, and conveys its condolences to the families of the victims;

12. Notes with concern the blasphemy case against Ahok; stresses that freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion are protected under international human rights law;

13. Calls on the authorities of Indonesia to repeal Articles 156 and 156(a) of the country’s Criminal Code, to remove the blasphemy provisions in the current draft Bill of Revision of the Criminal Code (RUU Revisi KUHP), the Electronic Information and Transactions Law and the rebellion laws (in particular Articles 106 and 110 of the Code), and to bring all laws into conformity with Indonesia’s obligations under international human rights law, specifically on freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, equality before the law, freedom from discrimination, and the right to expression and public assembly; notes that people may be imprisoned for ‘defamation’ for as long as five years;

14. Stresses the need for the Indonesian Government to protect Indonesia’s tradition of religious tolerance and pluralism by investigating, arresting and prosecuting individuals or groups who discriminate or commit acts of violence against religious communities;

15. Is concerned about the intensification of anti-LGBTI rhetoric, which has resulted in numerous threats against, and violent attacks on, LGBTI NGOs, activists and individuals; calls on the government and lawmakers to refrain from further restricting the rights of LGBTI people, and to ensure that their right to freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed;

16. Regrets the resumption of the death penalty; calls on the authorities to establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty; expresses its concerns about the case of EU citizen Serge Atlaoui;

17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Indonesia, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0141.

The full resolution available at the website of the European Parliament 

Link to 'International Debate on West Papua' Article with further statements on West Papua