Indonesian government pressured on torture: Canings and beatings still persist, activists say - Elsam.or.id
Indonesian government pressured on torture: Canings and beatings still persist, activists say
The Indonesian government was urged on Monday to reform laws in parts of the country where rights groups say torture is still practised. Rights activists said that the ratification of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1998 had done little to improve conditions.
“Indonesia ratified the Torture Convention almost 16 years ago. Until now, however, its regulations are still pro-torture,” said Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono from the Working Group against Torture. A series of bylaws governing the implementation of sharia law in Aceh province, called qanun, were a case in point. “Qanun Jinayat [behavior-governing bylaw] allows caning as a form of punishment. Caning disgraces human dignity,” he said.
Caning was introduced by Islamic courts as a punishment for offenses including adultery and consumption of alcohol, and for any Muslim found eating, drinking or selling food during sunlight hours in the fasting month of Ramadan. Eddyono added that the 2003 anti-terrorism law and the 2009 narcotics law have also paved the way for holding those in detention incommunicado.
“Prisoners are not allowed to be visited,” he said. “It makes it easy for policemen to torture prisoners during interrogations.” The Legal Aid Institute in Jakarta reported seven cases of torture by policemen during interrogations and investigations in 2010, two cases in 2011, and four cases in 2012. These included kicking detainees and electrocution.
“The 2006 Witness and Victim Protection Law doesn’t comprehensively regulate the rights of victims of torture,” said Wahyu Wagiman from the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy. “The right to recovery like medical treatment and psychological rehabilitation are still limited and only for victims of serious human rights violations.”