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Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006

ICC Note: Here is a brief snipped from the US State Dept report of the human rights practices in Indonesia . It is a very difficult situation over there and we must continue to fight for the rights of Christians.

Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

3/19/07 Indonesia (Ambon Berdarah) Indonesia is a multiparty republic with a population of approximately 245 million. In 2004 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono became the country’s first directly elected president in elections that international observers judged to be free and fair. Voters also chose two national legislative bodies in 2004: the House of Representatives (DPR) and the newly created House of Regional Representatives (DPD). While civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces, in some instances elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian authority.

The government generally has been unable to adequately address serious human rights abuses committed in the past. Inadequate resources, weak leadership, and limited accountability contributed to continued abuses by security force personnel, although with sharply reduced frequency and gravity than under past governments. The following human rights problems occurred during the year: unlawful killings by security force personnel, terrorists, vigilante groups, and mobs; torture; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary detentions; a corrupt judicial system; warrantless searches; infringements on free speech; restrictions on peaceful assembly; interference with freedom of religion by private parties, sometimes with complicity of local officials; intercommunal religious violence; violence and sexual abuse against women and children; trafficking in persons; failure to enforce labor standards and violations of worker rights, including forced child labor.

During the year the implementation of the Aceh peace accord, signed in 2005, continued to yield substantial legal and judicial improvements. No unlawful disappearances occurred; human rights observers were given open access to the province; and the year marked the election of a former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leader as governor. Domestic and international observers judged the elections to be free and fair. In the legal area the government added Confucianism to the list of officially recognized faiths; a new law gave important citizenship rights to foreign spouses of citizens and the children of such marriages; court decisions applied the more expansive press law rather than the more punitive criminal law in press freedom cases; and the Constitutional Court declared articles of the penal code criminalizing defamation of the president and vice president unconstitutional.