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Thursday, 15 June 2017 - Strasbourg Final edition
Human rights situation in Indonesia

European Parliament resolution of 15 June 2017 on the human rights situation in Indonesia (2017/2724(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Indonesia, in particular that of 19 January 2017(1),

–  having regard to the EU-Indonesia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which entered into force on 1 May 2014, and to the joint press release of 29 November 2016 following the first EU-Indonesia Joint Committee meeting under the PCA,

–  having regard to the EU local statement of 9 May 2017 on freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression,

–  having regard to the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – Compilation on Indonesia, of 17 February 2017, and to the Universal Periodic Review (Third Cycle) and the Summary of stakeholders’ submissions on Indonesia, of 20 February 2017,

–  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 (ICCPR), 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, and a diverse society comprising 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 2016 saw an unprecedented number of violent, discriminatory, harassing verbal attacks and vitriolic statements against LGBTI people in Indonesia; whereas such attacks have reportedly been stoked, directly or indirectly by government officials, state institutions and extremists; whereas furthermore the nature of such attacks has worsened in 2017;

D.  whereas in the special autonomous province of Aceh, governed by Sharia law, consensual same-sex sexual acts and sexual relations outside of marriage are criminalised and carry a penalty of up to 100 lashes and 100 months in prison; whereas, in May 2017, two young men convicted of same-sex sexual relations were sentenced to 85 lashes with a cane; whereas the right not to be tortured is a fundamental and inalienable right;

E.  whereas in the rest of Indonesia homosexuality is not illegal; whereas the LGBTI community has, nonetheless, been under siege in recent years;

F.  whereas 141 men were arrested for ‘violating pornography laws’ in a police raid on a gay club in Jakarta on 21 May 2017;

G.  whereas, since January 2016, the Constitutional Court in Indonesia has been reviewing a petition aimed at criminalising gay and non-marital sex;

H.  whereas there is a growing intolerance towards religious minorities in Indonesia, made possible by discriminatory laws and regulations, including a blasphemy law that officially recognises only six religions; whereas, as of June 2017, several people have been convicted and imprisoned under the blasphemy laws;

I.  whereas in January 2017 the National Commission on Human Rights (Komisi Nasional Hak Asaki Manusia) found that some provinces, such as West Java, experience far more religious intolerance than others, and that regional government officials are often responsible for either tolerating or directly perpetrating abuses;

J.  whereas there are serious concerns about intimidation and violence against journalists; whereas journalists should have access to the entire country;

K.  whereas, according to Human Rights Watch, between 2010 and 2015, 49 % of girls aged 14 years or below were victims of female genital mutilation;

L.  whereas the authorities executed four convicted drug traffickers in July 2016 and indicated that 10 other death row prisoners will be executed in 2017;

1.  Appreciates the strong relationship between the EU and Indonesia, and reiterates the importance of the strong and long-standing political, economic and cultural ties between the two parties; stresses the importance of the EU-Indonesia Human Rights Dialogue, allowing for an open exchange on human rights and democracy, which are also the basis of the PCA;

2.  Calls for stronger EU-Indonesia parliamentary contacts through which different issues of mutual interest, including human rights, can be constructively discussed; invites the Indonesian parliament to strengthen such inter-parliamentary relations;

3.  Welcomes Indonesia’s active engagement at regional and multilateral levels; stresses that Indonesia was recently examined in the context of a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) during the UN Human Rights Council meeting in May 2017; underlines that, as in previous cycles, Indonesia submitted to this review on a voluntary basis;

4.  Calls on the authorities of the special autonomous province of Aceh to prevent further persecution of homosexuals and to decriminalise homosexuality by amending its Islamic Criminal Code; strongly condemns the caning of two homosexual men of 20 and 23 years of age in Aceh on 22 May 2017, it being the first time authorities in Aceh caned people for homosexual practices; strongly condemns the fact that homosexuality is illegal under Aceh’s Islamic Criminal Code, which is based on Sharia law; stresses that the punishment of the two men is cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment which may amount to torture under international law; calls, furthermore, on the authorities to immediately terminate publicly flogging;

5.  Is also concerned about the growing intolerance towards the Indonesian LGBTI community outside the special autonomous province of Aceh; strongly condemns the fact that, despite homosexuality not being a crime under Indonesia’s Criminal Code, 141 men were arrested in a police raid on a gay club in Jakarta on 21 May 2017; urges the authorities and government officials to refrain from making public statements that are discriminatory towards LGBTI persons or other minorities in the country; stresses that the police have a duty to enforce the law and to protect vulnerable minorities and not to persecute them;

6.  Rejects the assertion of the Indonesian Psychiatric Association that homosexuality and ‘transgenderism’ are mental health conditions; calls on the authorities to end the forcible detention of LGBTI individuals and also to put an end to all forms of ‘treatment’ purporting to ‘cure’ them of homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender identity, and to rigorously enforce the prohibition;

7.  Welcomes the statement by President Widodo of 19 October 2016 condemning LGBTI discrimination; calls on President Widodo to use his key position to publicly condemn intolerance and crimes against LGBTI persons, minorities, women and organisations or gatherings in the country;

8.  Calls for the revision of the blasphemy law as it puts religious minorities at risk; supports the UN recommendations to repeal Articles 156 and 156(a) of the Criminal Code, the Prevention of Abuse and Defamation of Religion Act, the Electronic Transactions and Data Act and to abandon charges against and the prosecution of those accused of blasphemy;

9.  Is concerned about the growing intolerance towards ethnic, religious and sexual minorities in Indonesia; urges the authorities of Indonesia to continue as well to strengthen their efforts to enhance religious tolerance and social diversity; strongly condemns all acts of violence, harassment and intimidation against minorities; calls for all those committing such violations to be held accountable;

10.  Expresses its concern about serious violations of freedom of the media; urges the Indonesian Government to insist that state agencies adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward physical abuse of journalists and give foreign media open access to the country;

11.  Calls on Indonesia’s authorities to repeal all legal provisions unduly restricting fundamental freedoms and human rights; calls on Indonesia’s authorities to review all its laws and to ensure their conformity with the country’s international obligations, specifically those on freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, equality before the law, freedom from discrimination, and the right to expression and public assembly;

12.  Is concerned about reports of persisting violence against women and practices harmful to women, such as female genital mutilation; calls on Indonesia’s authorities to enforce its legislation on violence against women, to penalise all forms of sexual violence, to legislate towards eliminating gender inequality and empowering women;

13.  Welcomes the suspension of executions of people on death row convicted of drug trafficking pending a review of their case; urges the Government of Indonesia to continue to halt all such executions and to retry them in accordance with international standards; calls for an immediate reinstatement of the moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to abolishing the death penalty;

14.  Calls on the Indonesian Government to fulfil all its obligations and to respect, protect and uphold the rights and freedoms enshrined in the ICCPR;

15.  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 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0002.

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