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Widodo criticized for rights violations in Indonesia

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Indonesian students and human rights groups criticized President Joko Widodo and Vice President Maruf Amin for brutal police violence against students and human rights defenders, especially in Papua, and for ignoring violations human rights past.

The state of democracy in Indonesia declined sharply in two years when Joko Widodo and Maruf Amin ruled the country, Rivanlee Anandar, deputy coordinator of the Commission for the Missing and Victims of Violence, said in an October 20 statement. .

Widodo and Amin took office on October 20, 2019. They are accused of allowing human rights violations to occur with the involvement of the police. In 2019, 744 such cases were recorded while in 2020 they rose to 758 cases, according to the National Human Rights Commission.

Anandar cited the repressive approach in Papua, the lack of commitment to international human rights instruments and the lack of participation in the development of regulations, highlighting in particular the police crackdown on students staging a peaceful protest in Tengerang, near Jakarta. Violence in Papua continues and escalates, he added.

The National Human Rights Commission also criticized Widodo and Amin for failing to keep their promises to resolve past human rights abuses. There is not a single case that has been settled, said Choirul Anam, human rights commissioner.

Cases include the anti-communist massacres of 1965-66 killing thousands, the 1998-99 violence at Trisaksi and Semanggi University in Jakarta that killed dozens of students, the May 1998 riot targeting Chinese and the enforced disappearance of activists. in 1997-98.

We hope that democracy will be well implemented in the future instead of just being talked about

The students organized a rally in Jakarta and other cities to protest the government’s failures.

Vincentius Hargo Mandirahardjo, president of the Jakarta-based Indonesian Catholic Intellectuals Association, said he appreciated the president and vice president for their commitment to democracy, but that not everything was perfect during their two years in power.

We hope democracy is well implemented in the future instead of just being talked about, he told UCA News.

The general human rights situation in Indonesia, the largest country in Southeast Asia, is of international concern. Authorities continue to prosecute those engaged in peaceful political activities, particularly in Papua.

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Human rights defenders continue to face threats, attacks, intimidation and arbitrary prosecution for their legitimate activities. Authorities frequently shut down criticism as a tactic to silence them, according to Amnesty International.

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