May 8, 2017
The Aceh-Sumatra National Liberation Front (ASNLF), a UNPO Member, has successfully attended Indonesia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on 3 May 2017. The session was headed by the delegations of Belgium, Ecuador and Bangladesh, the so-called “troika” of this session. Members of the Indonesian delegation such as the Foreign Minister Mr Retno Marsudi and Minister of Justice and Human Rights Mr Yasona Laoly also attended the review.
The ASNLF, which represents the interests of the people of Aceh in Indonesia, as well as UNPO were supported by the participation of other civil society organizations such as the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), the Commission for Disappeared and Victims of violence (KONTRAS) who contributed to the discussion of the outcome of the UPR review at their side-event. [TN1]
Urgent issues discussed during the session included the moratorium of the death penalty, Indonesia’s stance on the practice of torture, on the elimination of discrimination against minorities and on the respect of fundamental freedoms. However, UNPO regrets the absence of strong recommendations to Indonesia on minority rights, deplores that Aceh’s issues were once again largely overlooked and that not enough pressure was put on Indonesia. During the UPR session no mention was made of the past violations of human rights, the military’s role in society and of law enforcement and anti-terrorism agenda. France and Japan were the only delegations that sought clarification from Indonesia on victims of enforced disappearances and missing people while ASEAN countries did not give any concrete recommendations.
The human rights situation in Indonesia has not improved since 2012. ASNLF and UNPO highlight that Indonesia has not complied with most of the recommendations provided in the second review cycle. Recently UNPO published a UPR alternative report on Indonesia addressing a series of firm recommendations focusing in particular on the situation of its members.