Über 100 internationale Organisationen haben die indonesische Regierung dazu aufgerufen, die Kriminalisierung der beiden Menschenrechtsverteidiger*innen Fatia Maulidiyanti und Haris Azhar zu beenden. Das Westpapua-Netzwerk unterstützt diesen Aufruf und setzt sich für das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung und den Schutz von Menschenrechtsverteidiger*innen ein. Diejenigen, die friedlich ihre Stimme erheben, um besonders auf die Situation in Westpapua aufmerksam zu machen, dürfen kein Klima der Angst spüren.
Das Joint Statement wurde in englischer Sprache auf der Homepage von Forum-Asia veröffentlicht:
„The undersigned organisations, human rights groups, and defenders are calling for the Indonesian Government to end its judicial harassment against prominent human rights defenders, Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar as well as to further protect all human rights defenders in the country.
Fatia and Haris’ Indictment
Fatia is the former coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) from 2020 to 2023; meanwhile, Haris is the co-founder of Lokataru Foundation. They are both facing a defamation charge under Article 27 paragraph (3) in conjunction with Article 45 paragraph (3) of the Electronic and Information Transaction (EIT) Law.
Fatia and Haris have experienced 28 hearings since 3 April 2023. During the indictment reading on the 28th hearing on 12 November, the lead prosecutor advised the Court to sentence Fatia to three years and six months in prison alongside a fine of 500,000 rupiah (USD32), and Haris to four years in prison alongside a fine of one million rupiah (USD65). The latter is the maximum punishment set under the (EIT) law.
The case was brought by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, after the duo appeared on Haris’ YouTube channel to discuss a report alleging the involvement of several national and multinational companies in mining operations in Intan Jaya, Papua. The allegations included those affiliated with political figures such as Panjaitan.
‘We are extremely concerned about the indictment of Fatia and Haris as this reveals just how dangerous it is to be a human rights defender in Indonesia. For merely speaking truth to power, seeking justice and accountability, and expressing evidence-based criticisms against the government, the likes of Fatia and Harris are being silenced. Such judicial harassment would have never happened in a healthy democratic context. Fatia and Harris’ ordeal reveals the deterioration of Indonesia’s civic and democratic space,’ the groups said collectively.
Breaching international obligation
The ongoing criminalisation of Fatia and Haris is in contravention with several of Indonesia’s international commitments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Instead of upholding people’s right to freedom of expression, the government chose to deploy defamation charges against Fatia and Harris. Indonesia has also breached its pledge–made upon its reelection as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council from 2024 to 2026–to preserve the fundamental civil and political rights of all persons.
Call for Action
The criminalisation of Fatia and Haris for simply criticising a government official is a breach of Indonesia’s obligation to uphold people’s fundamental freedoms–especially free expression– under the ICCPR. Such criminalisation not only undermines the work of human rights defenders, but also creates a chilling effect on free speech and dissenting voices. Therefore, leading to the verdict, scheduled to be given on the 18th December, it is imperative for all stakeholders–including the international community and general public–to urge the Court to acquit Fatia and Haris of all charges and for the government to immediately end judicial harassment against the defenders.
‘We are in solidarity with Fatia and Haris. We cannot remain silent. The work of human rights defenders is and will always be essential to upholding democracy and human rights for all. We call on the Indonesian Government to stop its criminalisation of defenders and to refrain from enacting further harm against them,’ the groups voiced together.“