The Human Rights Committee this afternoon concluded its consideration of the initial report of Indonesia on its implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Harkristuti Harkrisnowo, Deputy-Minister for Human Rights at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of Indonesia, introducing the report, said that a National Human Rights Action Plan had been implemented in order to mainstream human rights issues in all national policies. Indonesia had started its democratic transition 15 years ago and had undergone dramatic changes in almost all aspects of the nation’s life. Freedom of religion was guaranteed by the Constitution. The Government attached great importance to gender equality and provisions had been elaborated in various legislative frameworks, covering areas such as education, employment, housing and health. The death penalty continued to be part of Indonesia’s law and a judicial review had found that it complied with the Constitution; however, it was only applied to the most serious crimes. Allegations of acts of torture were thoroughly investigated and duly processed in accordance with the law. Concrete measures had also been taken to improve the conditions of detention in correctional facilities.
Committee Experts requested clarification regarding the declaration made by Indonesia upon its signature of the Convention, concerning limitations to the right of self-determination. The Covenant had to be implemented in all regions, regardless of their autonomy, and the Government was bound to ensure that all provisions of the Covenant were fully implemented, even in regions where by-laws were in contradiction with some provisions of the Covenant. The judiciary had to be trained in order to be made fully aware of the provisions of the Covenant, which had to be interpreted in line with the Committee’s recommendations. Experts noted that serious violations of human rights had to be investigated and that perpetrators had to be duly prosecuted. Improving women’s access to justice was of paramount importance, especially in isolated and rural areas. Concern was also voiced about restrictions on the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Harkrisnowo thanked the Committee Experts for the constructive dialogue, which created a momentum in Indonesia to discuss and enhance the concrete implementation of the provisions of the Covenant.
Nigel Rodley, Chairperson of the Committee, in preliminary concluding remarks, said that the presentation of the initial report of Indonesia was an important moment for the Committee. He noted that Indonesia was undergoing a process of democratic transition. It was troubling that the practice of the death penalty had been resumed for drug-related crimes. Mr. Rodley underlined that the regional autonomy of provinces should not be used to justify practices that did not respect human rights standards.
The delegation of Indonesia included representatives of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, the Coordinating Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Presidential Advisory Board, the Attorney General’s Office, the Indonesia National Police, the Indonesian Armed Forces, the Unit of Acceleration of Development for Provinces of Papua and West Papua, and the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The concluding observations and recommendations of the Committee on the report of Indonesia will be released towards the end of the session, which concludes on Friday, 26 July.
The next public meeting of the Human Rights Committee will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, 12 July when it will consider the sixth periodic report of Finland (CCPR/C/FIN/6).
Report of Indonesia
The second periodic report of Indonesia on its implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights can be read here: (CCPR/C/IDN/1).