INDONESIA: Shrinking of public space on expression, association and peaceful assembly 


  1. Discussion at Yogyakarta State University Critics against the Regime Forcibly Dispersed by the Rector

         Discussion and gathering that was planned by the students of Yogyakarta State University (UNY) and other academics, such as lecturers and professors, were forcibly dispersed by the Rector due to the committee of the discussion did not have permission from the rectorPreviously, on social media a poster circulated “Call for Consolidation: Inviting Lecturers, Students and the entire UNY Academic Community. Make the People Aware of the Democratic Party which is Blatantly Tainted”. The event was scheduled to be held on the Terrace of the UNY Rectorate, at 13.00 WIB, Tuesday (6/2).

However, he explained that the rectorate did not allow for this activity. Activities are permitted but must be outside the UNY campus area. We received pressure not to hold this activity, there were even lecturers who stated that they would impose sanctions on students who took part,” said Farras while showing a screenshot in the chat group regarding the threat.

  1. Papuan Student Demonstration in Kupang is Chaotic, Beaten by Mass Organizations – Arrested by Police

A demonstration by Papuan students in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), ended in chaos. Dozens of students were beaten by a mob from one of the mass organizations, then they were arrested by the police. The Papuan student demonstration took place on Jalan Piet A Tallo, Friday (1/12/2023). They demonstrated there to commemorate the day of the declaration of independence for West Papua. While demonstrating, the students were approached by a group of mass organizations, Garda Flobamora and Garuda. They were told to stop giving speeches. Chaos ensued until they were taken to the police station.

At 09.15 WITA, around 50 people from the Garuda mass organization approached the protesters while getting angry, arguing and ending up with indiscriminate beatings that resulted in the clothes of a number of the protesters being forcibly torn. Apart from that, a protester named Ririn was beaten until he fainted. Another protester, Jek, also received a blow to his lip until it broke. They were then transported to the Kupang City Police Headquarters.

  1. National Commission on Human Rights Urges the National Police to Completely Investigate Intimidation Cases at Trilogy University

National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) asked the police to thoroughly investigate this case. “This is to ensure that anyone who violates civil liberties rights must be prosecuted according to applicable law,” said Pramono, Commissioner Komnas HAM,  when contacted, Monday, February 5 2024.

The intimidation incident began with a consolidation activity entitled the Reject Fraudulent Election movement which was held by Trilogy University students on Saturday, February 3 2024. This activity was suddenly attended by a group of unknown people.

Without explaining the purpose and purpose of their visit, they forced the students out of the room. Not only were discussions intimidated, Trilogi students’ planned demonstrations were threatened with being disbanded. In fact, there was one student who experienced violence due to being headbutted.

Lokataru Reports the Perpetrators of Intimidation at Trilogi Aziz Fadirubun University to the Police Lokataru Foundation Executive Director, Delpedro Marhaen officially reported Aziz Fadirubun, who was suspected of carrying out intimidation at Trilogy University, to the South Jakarta Metro Police. Intimidation of students participating in the consolidation meeting occurred at the Trilogy University Community Hall on Jalan TMP Kalibata, Duren Tiga, South Jakarta, on Saturday evening, February 3.

  1. The National Commission on Human Rights : human rights situation in Papua has not improved

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said the human rights situation in Papua has not improved so far. This assessment is based on the number of cases of human rights violations in Papua during 2023 reaching 113 cases. It is still found that excessive use of force is used in handling demonstrations or demonstrations, and also the application of treason to criminalize the expressions of citizens in Papua.

  1. Police arrest 43 local residents of Rempang Island after riot over Rempang industrial park

The Riau Island Police have arrested 43 people accused of causing a riot and attacking police during a protest over a plan to relocate communities for a multi-billion dollar industrial park, police said on Tuesday.  Violent scenes erupted on Monday on Rempang island, located about 44 km (27 miles) from Singapore, where about 1,000 demonstrators had gathered in front of the office of BP Batam, one of the developers of the planned Rempang Eco City.  Video footage on local media showed demonstrators hurling bottles and rocks at police and breaking down a fence, with officers responding with water canon and tear gas.  Rempang Eco City will be home to a factory operated by Chinese glass producer, Xinyi Glass Holdings Ltd, which has committed to build an $11.5 billion quartz sand processing plant at the park.  “We arrested them because of vandalism and opposing police,” said Sr. Comr. Pandra Arsyad, spokesperson of Riau Island police, adding the protesters were dispersed by late afternoon.

The dispute over the evictions has been heating up for months, after the government announced that Rempang’s 7,500 residents would have to move inland, some 60km (37 miles) away from their coastal homes. Many make a living from the sea, selling locally caught fish, crabs, shrimp and other seafood.

  1. Case of the spokperson of Presidential Candidate Ganjar Pranowo

The case of the spokesperson for the National Winning Team (TPN) Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud Md, Aiman ​​Witjaksono, who was reported to be accused of ‘not being neutral police’ and supporting Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka, has moved to the investigation stage. The police will question Aiman ​​on Friday, January 26, this week.

“Examined or questioned on Friday, January 26 2024 at 09.00 WIB in the examination room of the Cyber ​​Sub-Directorate, Ditreskrimsus Polda Metro Jaya,” said Dirkrimsus Polda Metro Jaya Kombes Ade Safri Simanjuntak to journalists, Wednesday (24/1/2024). Read the detiknews article, “Aiman ​​is again being questioned regarding accusations of ‘unneutral police’ on January 26” in full

nvironmental activist Daniel Frits Maurits Tangkilisan was again detained by the Jepara District Prosecutor’s Office, Central Java, Thursday (25/1). Daniel was named a suspect under the Information and Electronic Transactions Law (UU ITE) for allegedly spreading hatred through social media.

In the first trial held at the local District Court (PN) on Thursday (1/2), the peaceful protesters demanded that Daniel be acquitted of all charges related to the violation of the Information and Electronic Transactions Law (UU ITE) that was charged against Daniel.

The demand was voiced during Daniel supporters held a peacefull demonstration in front of  the Jepara District Court. Daniel was arrested and criminally charged, because he wrote on social media about environmental pollution on Karimunjawa beache, allegedly due to the presence of shrimp ponds.

  1. Acquittal verdict of Haris and Fatia is a victory for the freedom of expression

The Panel of Judges at the East Jakarta District Court has issued an acquittal verdict regarding the case of criminalisation against Ms. Fatia Maulidiyanti (the Director of the Commission for the Disappearances and Victims of Violence [KontraS] for the 2020-2023 period) and Mr. Haris Azhar (the Founder of the LOKATARU Foundation) on Monday, January 8, 2024. These organisations work for human rights in the scope of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights.

The judgment is good news amidst the recent phenomenon of the collapse of democracy under the administration of President Joko Widodo which was marked by the weakening of supervisory institutions, the dismantling of the Constitutional Court, the emergence of dynastic politics and various indications and potential political intervention in the General Election (Pemilu) 2024.

Prakash Mohara, the Executive Director of the AHRC, stated: “The judgment proves that there is strong solidarity between the civil society in Indonesia. This decision is clearly a victory for the freedom of expression, where Indonesia, since enacting the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, has criminalised many human rights defenders, including environmental activists. Even though the prosecutor filed a cassation, the Judges at the SC must still adhere to the principle of the freedom of expression so that no more activists are criminalised for voicing critical voices against legal violations committed by the Government.” Additionally, he stated: “The decision can actually be an example to immediately stop cases of criminalisation that are also experienced by other activists in Indonesia.”

Furthermore, responding to this decisionhe said: “It should be used as a momentum for all law enforcement officials to immediately evaluate their performance. Considering the many incidents of the criminalisation of environmental activists, in the end, they were acquitted by the Panel of Judges, as was the case experienced by Mr. Jumhur Hidayat, an Indonesian activist.”

  1. Mass Demonstrations in Front of KontraS Office, Regretting Jokowi’s Impeachment Issue

Hundreds of people who joined the East Indonesian Student Youth Community Forum on Love the Republic of Indonesia held a protest against the Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) and the Commission for the Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KontraS). The protest took place in front of the YLBHI’s office and KontraS’ office, the protesters called the Police and the Military to arrest provocateurs who are disturbing the public and want to bring down President Joko Widodo.

The protesters returned to the KontraS’ office  in Jakarta, Wednesday afternoon on 7 February 2024 . KontraS Research and Documentation Division Rozy Brilian said this was the second time a mass demonstration had taken place in front of their office. Rozy said the protesters was the same as the demonstrators on Monday, February 5. “We received information that the protesters were the same people, they called themselves the East Indonesian Student Youth Community Forum for Love of the Republic of Indonesia,” said Rozy when contacted by Tempo on Wednesday, February 7 2024.