Indonesia elections: Watershed for human rights

Media Advisory

Spokespeople available in London / Kuala Lumpur

On Wednesday 9 July, Indonesians are heading to the polls to elect a new president, with the two leading candidates – Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto – facing off in a deciding vote.                      

“This election is a historic opportunity for Indonesia to put human rights front and centre. The past 10 years under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have been marked by patchy progress on human rights at best,” said Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Indonesia Campaigner.

“The country’s next leader must address a range of issues – from a growing crackdown on freedom of expression, discrimination and attacks against religious minorities, to the rights of women and girls.”

“It is also time for a new Indonesian leader who has the courage to deal with past human rights violations including unlawful killings, torture and enforced disappearances committed during the Suharto era and the reform period. Victims and their families who have suffered such heinous crimes must get the justice and reparations they deserve.”

Josef Benedict is available for interviews from Kuala Lumpur (English and Bahasa), and Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director, is available from London (English).

Possible talking points:

Human rights agenda for the candidatesClampdown on freedom of expression, including in Papua and Maluku provincesBlasphemy laws and attacks on religious minoritiesImpunity for past human rights violations

Background:

“Indonesia: No longer a haven of religious tolerance”, blog post, 17 June 2014

“Setting the agenda: Human rights priorities for the new government”, briefing, 29 April 2014

To arrange an interview, please contact:

In Kuala Lumpur – Josef Benedict, Indonesia Campaigner, +60 104 376 376

In London – Amnesty International Press Office, +44 (0) 20 7413 5566, [email protected]

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