Indonesian Laws

The murder of two American citizens and an Indonesian citizen in Papua were sentenced with “seven years while four others who conspired were sent to serve 18 months in jai. ”  Jemaah Islamiya perpetrators in the Bali bombings faced not less than 15 years in prison despite injuring many tourists and Indonesian citizens. Other terrorist activities that demanded assistance and backing suffered minimal sentencing but the first verdict in Sulawesi in favor of 100 victims perpetrated by police force in 2000 was declared as a “crime against humanity”, however the courts denied requests for rehabilitation and compensation to the victim’s families.

East Timor also saw conviction of “391 individuals but only a few stood trials as 290 individuals remained at large”. Many other incidents in the past faced investigations and were seemingly declared as violent crimes against humanity yet defendants are becoming minimally sentenced despite severity of the crimes. Legislatures of the Musliam Sharia Law cannot impose rules against Muslims particularly in provinces like Aceh because the Sharia courts can “administer only punishments for Muslims guilt of gambling, drinking or being alone with a non-related member of the opposite sex”.

The civil legal system is fraught with corruption as judges are keen to accept bribes for consideration which can greatly influence decisions in a number of cases. While the civil court can be used to seek damages for human rights violations, money and political influence often affects the decisions while victims have limited access to justice. With regards to searches and interference on the personal lives and assets of individuals; “Indonesian law actually requires judicial warrants for searches except for cases involving subversion and sedition.

” Surveillance and monitoring may be allowed and officials are subjected to lifestyle checks and women to strip searches. In between such searches, extortion and bribery abounds in many quarters of the government. Religious recognition as a civil liberty has been brought to the core for “Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism as a matter of choice”. Seemingly this stance has only lately been applied. “Freedom of Speech and the Press are seemingly limited” as the governments strive to restrict these rights in practice and journalists whose article are found offensive face threats or violence.

Many journalists had encountered “physical attacks, verbal threats while others faced lawsuits”  after generously attacking the government through the mass media. Islamic Federations strive to defend and limit freedom of expression. Although Indonesian law “provides for the freedom of peaceful assembly for social, religious, cultural and social gatherings”,  the government restricts this right in conflict area. Demonstrations may see occasional warnings or dispersals in frequent cases.