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Title:  Indonesia Human Rights Practices, 1995  
Author:  U.S. Department of State   
Date:  March 1996   
 
 
 
 
                             INDONESIA 
 
 
The Indonesian political system, despite a surface adherence to 
democratic forms, remains strongly authoritarian.  President Soeharto 
(now in his sixth 5-year term), a small group of advisers, and the 
military dominate the political life of this heavily populated 
developing country, whose people come from hundreds of different 
cultural, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds.  The Government requires 
allegiance to a state ideology known as "Pancasila," which includes 
belief in a Supreme God, a just and civilized humanity, national unity, 
democracy, and social justice.  It has used Pancasila as a justification 
for restricting the development of opposition elements. 
 
Under a doctrine of "dual function," the military is given special civic 
rights and responsibilities, including unelected military seats in 
Parliament (DPR) and local legislatures, in addition to its defense and 
security roles.  The 450,000-member armed forces, including 175,000 
police, consider the maintenance of internal security as their primary 
mission.  They have traditionally acted swiftly to suppress perceived 
threats to security, with a vigor that has often led to human rights 
abuses.  Some military leaders have raised questions about the validity 
of this "security approach."  There continued to be numerous, credible 
reports of human rights abuses by the military and police, although they 
exhibited some restraint in controlling crowds and demonstrations. 
 
In contrast to its restrictive political system, Indonesia has an 
increasingly open and deregulated economy.  Although still a poor 
country, the economy continued to expand, especially in manufacturing, 
with gross domestic product expected to increase by 7.2 percent in 1995.  
The continued economic growth has produced steady gains in living 
standards for much of Indonesian society.  The number of people living 
below the poverty line has fallen from over 60 percent of the population 
to under 15 percent.  Widespread underemployment persists, however, as 
do corruption and influence peddling. 
 
The Government continued to commit serious human rights abuses.  The 
most serious abuses included harsh repression of dissidents in East 
Timor, Aceh, and Irian Jaya.  Reports of extrajudicial killings, 
disappearances, and torture of those in custody by security forces 
increased.  Reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions and the use of 
excessive violence (including deadly force) in dealing with suspected 
criminals or perceived troublemakers continued.  Prison conditions 
remained harsh, and security forces regularly violated citizens' right 
to privacy. 
 
The Indonesian people continue to lack the ability to change their 
government.  The Government continued to impose severe limitations on 
freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association.  It suppressed 
efforts to develop a truly free trade union movement, but encouraged 
some developments that appear to open the door to greater flexibility 
within the registered trade union federation.  Labor organizations 
trying to compete with the official trade union federation were subject 
to continuing harassment and intimidation.  Elements of the armed forces 
continued to be responsible for the most serious human rights abuses.  
Military leaders in some cases showed willingness to admit publicly 
abuses by military personnel and take action against them, including in 
a brutal incident in East Timor.  Punishment, however, rarely matched 
the severity of the abuse.  The judiciary, while still largely 
subservient to the executive branch and subject to widespread 
corruption, made several significant decisions against government 
interests that suggested somewhat greater judicial independence.   
 
The Government continued to exert strong pressure against antigovernment 
critics, independent journalists, and labor activists.  These 
constraints, however, did not completely dampen dissenting voices in the 
public and the media.  Many human rights nongovernmental organizations 
(NGO's) remained active, and the Government tolerated wide press 
coverage of some sensitive issues.  The Government announced a phasing-
out of a discriminatory symbol on the identification cards of ex-
political prisoners and their families, and some easing of restrictions 
on the right of free assembly both beginning in early 1996.  The 
government-appointed National Human Rights Commission displayed 
increasing independence, spotlighting abuses and occasionally taking 
positions at variance with government policies and actions. 
 
On East Timor, no progress was made in accounting for the missing 
persons following the 1991 Dili incident or the 10 other Timorese that 
disappeared in 1995.  Troop levels remained unjustifiably high.  The 
armed forces used excessive force in making arrests following anti-
integration rioting in Dili in October.  The Government reimposed 
restricted access to the province by foreign journalists.   
 
In Irian Jaya, tensions with indigenous inhabitants seeking greater 
autonomy or independence led to violent repressive measures by military 
units, resulting in deaths and other human rights abuses documented by 
several sources, including the National Human Rights Commission, the 
Catholic Church, and NGO's.  Security forces reportedly killed 16 or 
more civilians throughout Irian Jaya between mid-1994 and mid-1995. 
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1   Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
   a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killings 
 
Historically, politically motivated extrajudicial killings generally 
have occurred most frequently in areas where separatist movements were 
active, such as East Timor, Aceh, and Irian Jaya.  Security forces 
continue to employ harsh measures against separatist movements in these 
three areas.  Security forces in East Timor killed six unarmed civilians 
in Liquisa province in January.  The military court-martialed two 
soldiers for this killing (see below).  There were also several other 
mysterious killings in East Timor; the limited evidence available 
suggests some of these too could also be cases of summary execution by 
security forces, though at least seven are attributed to East Timorese 
insurgents.  There were credible, detailed reports from church and NGO 
sources that security forces killed 16 or more civilians in Irian Jaya 
between mid-1994 and mid-1995.  Knowledgeable sources report at least 
two unconfirmed instances of security forces in Aceh province killing 
civilians without justification. 
 
There were reports that security forces killed members of insurgent 
groups in armed clashes, including five Aceh Merdeka supporters in Aceh 
as well as a number of alleged armed opposition members in East Timor.  
Insurgent groups also attacked and killed security forces. 
 
The Government withdrew two army battalions from East Timor in 
September, but there has been no noticeable decrease in military 
activity in the territory.  After October riots in Dili, some antiriot 
units were reinforced.  The Government offered a general amnesty to 
members of the Timorese resistance who surrender their arms, and it was 
reported to have released some who were apprehended rather than put them 
on trial.  A similar policy was applied to several leaders of the 
Timorese Clandestine Political Movement. 
 
The police often employ excessive and sometimes deadly force in 
apprehending suspects or coping with alleged criminals.  In response to 
protests that the methods used are unjustifiably harsh and amount to 
execution without trial, police generally claim that the suspects were 
fleeing, resisting arrest, or threatening the police.  In North Sumatra, 
for example, 45 shootings by police, including 3 deaths, were reported 
by mid-August.  Accurate statistics were unavailable, however. 
 
In the past the authorities almost never took action against police for 
using excessive force.  However, there is some indication that this 
situation is improving, although action taken by the authorities is 
still not commensurate with the gravity of police abuses.  Among a 
number of disciplinary actions taken by authorities, three policemen 
were reported to be facing court-martial in Padang, West Sumatra, on 
charges of deliberately striking a motorcyclist with their car during a 
chase in April, although the trial had not begun as of late August.  In 
June a military court-martial sentenced an army second lieutenant to 4 
and 1/2 years in prison and a private to 4 years for killing six 
unarmed, bound civilians in Liquisa Regency, East Timor in January.  In 
October military authorities arrested a second lieutenant and three 
privates suspected of killing civilians in Irian Jaya (see above), and 
planned to court-martial them beginning in January 1996.  Seven 
policemen were detained in Aceh Province on suspicion of torturing a 
suspected rapist and causing his death in late July.  In Northern 
Sumatra, at least two civil cases of alleged excessive force on the part 
of police officials, in one of which the victim died, were settled out 
of court through monetary compensation. 
 
   b.   Disappearance 
 
There were credible reports that security forces abducted five civilians 
in Dili, East Timor, in January.  The Government did not respond to 
repeated requests from the National Human Rights Commission and from 
foreign governments to clarify the fate of these persons.  At least five 
other persons disappeared in East Timor under circumstances suggesting 
possible involvement by the security forces, and some credible sources 
believe they have been executed.  Indonesian NGO's documented reports of 
at least four civilians who disappeared after being detained by military 
forces in Irian Jaya at the end of 1994.  The whereabouts of those 
abducted are not known, and credible sources believe they are dead.  
Security forces did not acknowledge the abductions, but announced that 
they were investigating the Irian Jaya reports and related charges of 
military killings and torture in that province.  Since their 
investigation of the Liquisa incident in East Timor in January, security 
forces have become less willing to provide information or to undertake 
investigations about new cases of concern.  Security forces in areas of 
conflict sometimes hold suspects incommunicado for periods of time 
before acknowledging their detention.  This appears to have become more 
frequent in East Timor during the latter part of 1994 and early 1995, 
before easing somewhat later in the year.  Suspects are also frequently 
held for substantial periods of time without formal charges being 
brought. 
 
The Government made no new efforts to account for the missing and dead 
from the November 12, 1991 military shooting of civilians in Dili, East 
Timor.  Of those still listed as missing in a report the military gave 
to Human Rights Watch/Asia, no additional cases were resolved during the 
year.   
 
Government spokesmen implied that their failure to locate those missing 
was primarily due to those persons wishing to evade detection.  Many 
knowledgeable observers, however, continued to believe that most of the 
missing are dead and that some members of the armed forces know where 
their bodies are located. 
 
   c.   Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
The Criminal Code makes it a crime punishable by up to 4 years in prison 
for any official to use violence or force to elicit a confession, and it 
establishes pretrial procedures to give suspects or their families the 
right to challenge the legality of an arrest or detention.  In practice, 
legal protections are both inadequate and widely ignored, and security 
forces continued to employ torture and other forms of mistreatment, 
particularly in regions of security concerns such as Aceh, Irian Jaya, 
and East Timor. 
 
In August NGO and church sources provided eyewitness accounts to the 
National Human Rights Commission of over 40 victims of alleged torture 
by military personnel in Irian Jaya in late 1994 and early 1995.  
According to these sources, methods of torture employed included kicking 
with heavy boots; beating with fists, sticks, stones, and rifle butts; 
starvation; shackling thumbs, arms and legs; taping eyes shut; stamping 
on hands; and forcing victims to stand for prolonged periods while 
bearing heavy weights or to kneel with an iron bar in the knee hollow.  
In East Timor, torture increased in frequency beginning in November 
1994, and included electric shocks, mock execution, severe beatings, and 
burning with cigarettes.  Following complaints, this problem appears to 
have eased in the case of the provincial police, but continued or 
worsened in detention facilities run by military intelligence. 
 
Police often resort to physical abuse, even in minor incidents.  Prison 
conditions are harsh, with violence among prisoners and mistreatment and 
extortion of inmates by guards reportedly common.  The incidence of 
mistreatment by prison officials drops sharply once a prisoner has been 
transferred from police or military custody into the civilian prison 
system, and prison conditions generally have improved in recent years.  
Sporadic cases of ill-treatment have been reported in East Timorese 
prisons.  Officials have publicly condemned police brutality and harsh 
prison conditions and occasionally instigate disciplinary action, 
including transfer, dismissal, and trials leading to prison.  Such 
actions, however, are an exception to the rule of general impunity.  
Political prisoners are usually mixed with the general prison 
population, although in the Cipinang Prison in Jakarta high-profile 
political prisoners are segregated.  In 1995 the Government allowed the 
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit prisoners in 
Cipinang in Jakarta and also granted access to prisons elsewhere in 
Java, Sumatra, Aceh, and other provinces as well as East Timor.  The 
Government also has allowed the ICRC to organize family visits to 
political prisoners.  Authorities allowed visiting diplomatic officials 
or NGO representatives to visit East Timor prisoners of their choosing 
on at least two occasions. 
 
   d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
The Criminal Procedures Code contains provisions against arbitrary 
arrest and detention which are routinely violated.  The Code specifies 
the right of prisoners to notify their families, and that warrants must 
be produced during an arrest except under specified conditions, such as 
when a suspect is caught in the act of committing a crime.  It also 
authorizes investigators to issue warrants to assist in their 
investigations or if sufficient evidence exists that a crime has been 
committed.  Despite these requirements, authorities sometimes make 
arrests without warrants.  Security forces reportedly arrested members 
of the Alliance of Independent Journalists in March before formal 
warrants were issued (see Section 2.a.).  The number of persons detained 
at least temporarily without warrant by security forces in East Timor 
increased during late 1994 and 1995. 
 
The law presumes defendants innocent and permits bail.  They or their 
families may also challenge the legality of their arrest and detention 
in a pretrial hearing and may sue for compensation if wrongfully 
detained.  However, it is virtually impossible for detainees to invoke 
this procedure, let alone receive compensation, after being released 
without charge.  In both military and civilian courts, appeals based on 
legality of arrest and detention are rarely, if ever, accepted.  The 
Code also contains specific limits on periods of pretrial detention and 
specifies when the courts must get involved to approve extensions, 
usually after 60 days.  In areas where active guerrilla movements exist 
such as East Timor, Irian Jaya, and Aceh, people are routinely detained 
without warrants, charges, or court proceedings.  Bail is rarely 
granted, especially in political cases.  The authorities frequently 
prevent access to defense counsel and make it difficult or impossible 
for detainees to get legal assistance from voluntary legal defense 
organizations.  The authorities routinely approve extensions of periods 
of detention.  In addition, suspects charged under the 1963 
Antisubversion Law are subject to special procedures outside the 
Criminal Procedures Code which allow, for example, the Attorney General 
the authority to hold a suspect up to 1 year before trial.  He may renew 
this 1-year period without limit.  Special laws on corruption, economic 
crimes, and narcotics are similarly exempt from the Code's protections. 
 
The Agency for Coordination of Assistance for the Consolidation of 
National Security (BAKORSTANAS) operates outside the Code and has wide 
discretion to detain and interrogate persons thought to threaten 
national security.  It is impossible to state the exact number of 
arbitrary arrests or detentions without trial, particularly in Aceh and 
Irian Jaya.  In 1995 authorities released at least 64 supposed Aceh 
Merdeka supporters who were being held without trial, bringing the total 
number of accused Aceh Merdeka supporters released since 1990 to around 
1,000 persons.  Many had been held incommunicado without knowing the 
charges against them; some had been held for over 2 years.  The 
authorities often require those released to report back at regular 
intervals, but in May 916 former detainees were relieved of this 
obligation.  In East Timor, military authorities continued the practice 
of detaining people without charges for short periods and then requiring 
them to report daily or weekly to police after their release.  About 100 
people were detained without charge during demonstrations and outbreaks 
of violence in Dili around the time of the November 1994 Asian Pacific 
Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.  Detentions continued during 
further disturbances in December 1994 and January 1995.  The authorities 
eventually charged and sentenced some of these detainees for involvement 
in civil disturbances or antigovernment protests, including at least 
eight East Timorese who received prison sentences of 12 to 30 months.  
Five other East Timorese, widely considered wrongly accused, were 
sentenced to 5 months' imprisonment for involvement in mysterious 
nighttime incidents of harassment, beating, and fearmongering by persons 
termed "ninjas."  More than 200 persons were arrested in additional 
disturbances in September and October 1995.  Authorities have announced 
that several dozen will be put on trial. 
 
The Government does not use forced exile. 
 
   e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
The Constitution stipulates the independence of the judiciary, but in 
practice the judiciary is subordinated to the executive and the 
military, and in many cases procedural protections, including those 
against coerced confessions, are inadequate to ensure a fair trial.   
 
A quadripartite judiciary of general, religious, military, and 
administrative courts exists below the Supreme Court.  The right of 
appeal from district court to high court to Supreme Court exists in all 
four systems of justice.  The Supreme Court does not consider factual 
aspects of a case, only the lower courts' application of law.  A panel 
of judges conducts trials at the district court level, poses questions, 
hears evidence, decides guilt or innocence, and assesses punishment.  
While there were some significant exceptions in 1995, initial judgments 
are rarely reversed in the appeals process, although sentences are 
sometimes increased or reduced (both the defense and the prosecution may 
appeal).   
 
In January the 3-year sentence of independent Labor leader Muchtar 
Pakpahan was increased by the high court to 4 years, but the Supreme 
Court later overturned his conviction (see below).  The sentence of 
Amosi Telaumbanua, another union leader, was raised from 15 months to 3 
years (later reversed by the Supreme Court, see below.)  Defendants have 
the right to confront witnesses and to produce witnesses in their 
defense.  An exception is allowed in cases in which distance or expense 
is deemed excessive for transporting witnesses to court.  In such cases, 
sworn affidavits may be introduced.  However, the Criminal Procedures 
Code does not provide for witnesses' immunity or for compulsory process 
of defense witnesses.  As a result, witnesses are sometimes too afraid 
of retribution to testify against the authorities. 
 
In cases tried under the 1963 Antisubversion Law, trials in absentia are 
permitted and public access generally requires advance approval by the 
military.  The courts commonly allow forced confessions and limit the 
presentation of defense evidence.  Defendants do not have the right to 
remain silent and can be compelled to testify in their own trials.  The 
Criminal Procedures Code gives defendants the right to an attorney from 
the moment of their arrest through the investigation and trial.  The law 
requires that a lawyer be appointed in capital cases and those involving 
a prison sentence of 15 years or more.  In cases involving potential 
sentences of 5 years or more, a lawyer must be appointed if the 
defendant desires an attorney and is indigent.  In theory, destitute 
defendants may obtain private legal help, such as that provided by the 
Legal Aid Institute.  In practice, however, defendants are often 
persuaded not to hire an attorney, or access to an attorney of their 
choice is impeded.  The military held five alleged Aceh Merdeka members, 
who were sentenced in early 1995 (see below), for up to a year without 
access to attorneys; the authorities did not allow them to chose their 
attorneys, and those appointed by the court could not see the defendants 
until just before the trial. 
 
The Supreme Court theoretically stands coequal with the executive and 
legislative branches, but it does not have the right of judicial review 
over laws passed by Parliament.  The Supreme Court has not yet exercised 
its power (held since 1985) to review ministerial decrees and 
regulations.  In 1993 Chief Justice Purwoto Gandasubrata laid out 
procedures for limited judicial review.  Judges are civil servants 
employed by the executive branch, which controls their assignments, pay, 
and promotion.  They are subject to considerable pressure from military 
and other governmental authorities.  Such pressure often determines the 
outcome of a case, and was widely suspected of being behind an attempt 
by the Chief Justice to thwart the implementation of a Supreme Court 
ruling against the government of Irian Jaya in a land compensation 
dispute.  Corruption permeates the legal system.  In civil and criminal 
cases, the payment of bribes can influence prosecution, conviction, and 
sentencing.  To address judicial corruption, the Government doubled 
judges' salaries in 1995. 
 
Several important court decisions against the Government in 1995 may be 
a sign of nascent judicial independence.  In February the Supreme Court 
commuted the 1993 sentence of an Acehnese serving 5 years for subversion 
and ordered his release.  It also upheld the appeals court's quashing of 
the conviction of the alleged mastermind in the 1993 murder of labor 
activist Marsinah and overturned his conviction.  It also reversed the 
remaining eight civilians' convictions as well for insufficient 
evidence, indirectly vindicating charges by the National Human Rights 
Commission and some NGO's that their confessions had been coerced.  In 
May the Supreme Court provisionally released convicted labor leader 
Muchtar Pakpahan pending a decision on his appeal under a seldom honored 
provision of the Penal Code, and later overturned his conviction.  It 
also reversed the high court decision that increased Amosi Telaumbanua's 
sentence from 15 to 36 months (see above).  An administrative court in 
Jakarta found in favor of the plaintiffs, employees of the banned 
periodical Tempo, in their civil suit against the Minister of Justice 
for revoking Tempo's publication license in 1993.  The High Court 
unanimously upheld this decision in November, stating that the 
ministerial regulations permitting publications to be banned were in 
conflict with press freedoms contained in the Constitution.  The 
Government has appealed the High Court ruling to the Supreme Court.   
 
The Antisubversion Law, which carries a maximum penalty of death, makes 
it a crime to engage in acts that could distort, undermine, or deviate 
from the state ideology or broad outlines of state policy, or which 
could disseminate feelings of hostility or arouse hostility, 
disturbances, or anxiety among the population.  The excessively vague 
language of this law makes it possible to prosecute people merely for 
peaceful expression of views contrary to those of the Government.  In 
Aceh province, authorities sentenced at least five accused Aceh Merdeka 
supporters under the Antisubversion Law to 6 to 20 years in prison (see 
Section 1.e.). 
 
The Government does not make available statistics on the number of 
people currently serving subversion sentences or sentences classified as 
felonies under the so-called Hate-Sowing or Sedition laws.  President 
Soeharto granted clemency in August to three former high officials, 
Subandrio, Omar Dhani, and Sugeng Sutarto, who were serving life 
sentences in connection with the abortive Communist coup in 1965.  Six 
prisoners convicted of subversion in past years remained under death 
sentence.  In August the authorities announced that two of them, whose 
appeals for clemency were denied by the President, were soon to be 
executed, but the executions had not been carried out as of year's end.  
 
Different sources estimate the number of people serving sentences for 
subversion in 1995, including members of the banned Communist Party of 
Indonesia (PKI), Muslim militants, and those convicted of subversion in 
Irian Jaya, Aceh, and East Timor, at between 250 and 350.  Scores, and 
possibly hundreds, more were believed to be serving sentences under the 
Hate-Sowing or Sedition laws.  Some of these persons advocated or 
employed violence, but many are political prisoners who were convicted 
for attempting to exercise such universally recognized human rights as 
freedom of speech or association or who were convicted in manifestly 
unfair trials.  The courts sentenced three members of the Alliance of 
Independent Journalists (AJI) and a fourth underground journalist to 
prison terms of 20 to 36 months under the Hate-Sowing articles (see 
Section 2.a).  In September a court sentenced a well-known psychic to 7 
months in jail under the articles for blasphemy against Islam in a 
closed academic seminar in April (see Section 2.A.).  In February a 
district court in Malang, East Java sentenced Jose Antonio Neves to 4 
years in prison on charges of sedition for advocating East Timorese 
independence and accusing the army of human rights violations in letters 
to international organizations. 
 
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
Judicial warrants for searches are required except for cases involving 
suspected subversion, economic crimes, and corruption.  However, 
security agencies regularly make forced or surreptitious entries.  They 
also intimidate by surveillance of persons and residences and selective 
monitoring of local and international telephone calls without legal 
restraint.  Government security officials monitor the movements and 
activities of former members of the PKI and its front organizations, 
especially persons the Government believes were involved in the abortive 
1965 Communist-backed coup.  These persons and their relatives sometimes 
are subject to surveillance, required check-ins, periodic 
indoctrination, and restrictions on travel outside their city of 
residence.  Their legally required identification cards carry the 
initials "E.T." which stand for "Ex-Tapol," or former political 
prisoner.  This readily identifies them to prospective employers or 
government officials and subjects them to various forms of official and 
unofficial discrimination.  The number of persons bearing E.T. on their 
identification cards totaled 1,352,896 in 1992, according to the 
Government.  The Government announced that it would phase out the use of 
E.T. in the process of introducing a new type of identification card 
beginning in early 1996, while leaving other forms of monitoring and 
control in place.   
 
The Government has in recent years significantly reduced its 
transmigration program, which moves large numbers of people from 
overpopulated islands to more isolated and backward ones.  The program 
is criticized by human rights monitors who say that it not only 
sometimes violates the rights of indigenous people but also those of 
some of the transmigrants who claim that they are duped into leaving 
their home villages without any means of return. 
 
Section 2   Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
Government restrictions on press freedom continued, following the 
revocation of the publishing licenses of three well-known newsmagazines 
the previous year.  In May former employees of Tempo, one of the banned 
periodicals, won a lawsuit against the Minister of Information in 
administrative court contesting the revocation; the Government lost its 
appeal of the decision to a higher court, but has appealed to the 
Supreme Court. 
 
Although the Constitution and the 1982 Press Law provide for freedom of 
the press, the issuance of publishing licenses under a 1984 ministerial 
decree is one method the Government uses to control the press.  Other 
means of control include regulation of the amount of advertising 
permitted and of the number of pages allowed in newspapers.  Authorities 
continued in some cases to issue instructions, more or less subtle, to 
local journalists on what they could print.  The practice of telephoning 
editors to caution against publishing certain stories--the so-called 
telephone culture--continued.  In August the Attorney General warned in 
a press conference that newspapers carrying speculative stories about 
the rumored existence of a Soekarno-era Revolution Fund risked criminal 
charges.  Authorities also warned editors to end coverage of the 
Minister of Information's alleged public misreading of Koranic verses, 
which had caused a public outcry, and temporarily banned the Sunday 
edition of a Jakarta daily newspaper for carrying stories on sensitive 
subjects.  Self-censorship continued to be another publicly acknowledged 
brake on free expression.  In Medan, coverage of sensitive issues such 
as work stoppages and peasant protests against land clearance operations 
has remained at a low level since the press bannings of June 1994. 
 
In March the Government struck against two of the unlicensed underground 
publications which had appeared in defiance of government attempts to 
limit free and open news reporting.  Police arrested the editor of 
"Kabar Dari Pijar" and three persons associated with the Alliance of 
Independent Journalists (AJI), which publishes the underground bulletin 
"Independen."  They were tried and sentenced for sowing hatred against 
the Government (see Section 1.e.).  AJI was formed to work for press 
freedom in 1994 by journalists outraged by the Government's revocation 
that year of the publication licenses of three periodicals. 
 
The government-controlled Association of Indonesian Journalists (PWI) 
expelled 13 AJI members, and the Government threatened licensed 
periodicals with sanctions if they employed journalists not affiliated 
with the PWI.  Active opposition to the new government press measures 
still continued, however.  Independen and a number of other unsanctioned 
journals continued to publish, providing critical coverage of 
controversial issues to a limited audience mainly in major cities.  
Vigorous debate on a number of sensitive topics such as corruption, 
collusion, the role of the first family in business, and lack of 
government accountability for funds expended rebounded during 1995, 
particularly in the English language press.  However, major Indonesian 
language newspapers remain cautious in covering controversial subjects 
and the statements of prominent critics of the Government. 
 
While public dialog is more free than it was a number of years ago, the 
Government continues to impose restrictions on free speech.  Bandung 
authorities prohibited noted poet W. S. Rendra from reading some of his 
poems at a fund-raising event, although he had been allowed to read them 
earlier in Surabaya.  In March the authorities withdrew permission for 
"recalled" Unity Development Party (PPP) legislator Sri Bintang 
Pamungkas to address a seminar on economics at Garut, East Java.  
Pamungkas was one of two legislators withdrawn or recalled from 
Parliament by their parties (the other was from the government-
controlled GOLKAR organization--see Section 3) for their outspoken 
criticisms of the Government.  The police also investigated Pamungkas on 
various charges related to his alleged involvement in protests against 
President Soeharto during the President's April visit to Germany and at 
year's end were trying him on charges of insulting the President during 
a speech he made in Germany.  In April Medan police briefly detained and 
questioned but did not charge eight student protestors for allegedly 
slandering President Soeharto.  In May the Jakarta office of the 
Directorate of Social and Political Affairs, which together with several 
other government entities must give approval for theatrical 
performances, blocked a permit for a workers' theater group to perform a 
play in the capital about exploitation of factory workers.  In September 
Jakarta police prevented a different group from staging another play on 
a labor theme for which authorities had already granted permission.   
 
The electronic media remained more cautious in their coverage of the 
Government than the print media.  The Government operates the nationwide 
television network, which has 12 regional stations.  Private commercial 
television companies, many with ownership or management ties to the 
President's family, continued to expand.  All are required to broadcast 
government-produced news, but many also produce public affairs style 
programming that borders on news. 
 
Over 600 private radio broadcasting companies exist in addition to the 
Government's national radio network.  They are all required to belong to 
the government-sponsored Association of Private Radio Stations (PRSSNI) 
to receive a broadcasting license.  The government radio station 
produces "National News," which is by law the only radio news broadcast 
in Indonesia, and it is relayed throughout the country by the private 
stations and 49 regional affiliates of the Government station.  By law, 
the private radio stations may produce only "light" news, such as human 
interest stories, and may not discuss politics.  In practice, however, 
many broadcast interviews and foreign news as well.  However, government 
pressure resulted in one talk show on the private station SCTV being 
taken off the air for covering sensitive subjects. 
 
Foreign television and radio broadcasts are readily accessible to those 
who can afford the expensive technology, and satellite dishes have 
proliferated throughout the country.  The Government makes no efforts to 
restrict access to this programming, and has proclaimed an "open skies" 
policy, although more and more signals are being scrambled by 
broadcasters for commercial reasons. 
 
The Government closely regulates access to Indonesia, particularly to 
certain areas of the country, by visiting and resident foreign 
correspondents and occasionally reminds the latter of its prerogative to 
deny requests for visa extensions.  The Government requires a permit for 
the importation of foreign publications and video tapes, which must be 
reviewed by government censors.  Importers sometimes avoid foreign 
materials critical of the Government or dealing with topics considered 
sensitive, such as human rights.  Foreign publications are widely 
available. 
 
Special permission is necessary for foreign journalists to travel to 
East Timor, Aceh, and Irian Jaya.  The Government organized at least one 
group journalist trip to East Timor.  Approval for individual trips by 
journalists to the province, and for travel outside Dili (the capital), 
became more restrictive, with a number of journalists repeatedly 
requesting permission, without success, to visit the province.  
 
While the law provides for academic freedom, constraints exist on the 
activities of scholars.  Political activity and discussions at 
universities, while no longer formally banned, remained constrained.  In 
September a court sentenced a psychic to 7 months in prison for remarks 
he made about the prophet Mohammed in an academic seminar, but it 
provisionally released him from custody the next day. 
 
Scholars sometimes refrain from producing or including in lectures and 
class discussions materials that they believe might provoke government 
displeasure.  Publishers sometimes refuse to accept manuscripts dealing 
with controversial issues.  On occasion the Government bans publications 
and books outright.  In February the Central Java government ordered a 
new edition of the book "Cerita Dari Blora," by the prominent Indonesian 
novelist and former political prisoner Pramoedya Anata Toer, which had 
been banned in 1976, withdrawn from bookstores, and in April the 
Attorney General ordered the withdrawal of his book "Nyani Sunyi Seorang 
Bisu" from sale.  Most of Pramoedya's works are banned in Indonesia. 
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly and association.  The 
Government places significant controls on the exercise of this right, 
but announced an easing of the restrictions which are still not 
promulgated.  Until 1995 public meetings of five or more persons, as 
well as academic or other seminars and marches and demonstrations, 
required permits from the police and several government agencies.  While 
obtaining such approval was usually routine, the authorities 
occasionally arbitrarily and inconsistently withheld permission or broke 
up peaceful gatherings for which no permit had been obtained.  The press 
reported 5 instances of authorities denying permits and 26 cases of 
dispersing unauthorized meetings in the first 8 months of 1995.  In 
January a 1-day seminar on the Antisubversion Law at the Jakarta office 
of the Legal Aid Foundation, in which members of the National Human 
Rights Commission participated, narrowly averted being closed by the 
police, who remained on the premises in force during the session.  
Authorities in Jakarta and Semarang broke up May 1 International Labor 
Day demonstrations by students protesting government labor policies, and 
arrested 13 demonstrators in Medan who were protesting government 
investigation of prominent dissidents accused of taking part in 
demonstrations against President Soeharto in Dresden.  The East Java 
government repeatedly denied permission to the head of the PDI party to 
meet with party chapters and hold public rallies in that province.  In 
June Jakarta authorities forcibly dispersed an unauthorized seminar on 
Islam and charged its organizer with holding a public gathering without 
a permit.  If convicted, he faces a maximum 4-year sentence. 
 
In response to growing public criticism of the permit process, including 
from the National Human Rights Commission, the Government in June 
dropped the permit requirement for university approved on-campus 
scientific seminars.  On August 30, the Government announced that 
regulations requiring permits for other types of meetings would be 
liberalized by the end of the year, to take effect in early 1996.  In 
December the Government promulgated regulations governing public 
gatherings which stipulate that gatherings which are social, cultural, 
religious, or scientific in character--as well as activities held in 
private premises--do not require a permit from or advance notification 
to the police.  Seven days prior notice must be given to the police 
before sociopolitical organizations hold political meetings, and for any 
meetings which will discuss political issues or which aspire to 
influence public policy.  Such meetings will not, however, require 
permits.  Permits are still required for public festivities, fairs, 
carnivals, parades, and rallies.  Such events are assumed to have been 
authorized at least 3 days prior to the scheduled date for the event.  
The new regulations do not govern activities considered to be 
demonstrations. 
 
The 1985 Social Organizations Law (ORMAS) requires the adherence of all 
organizations, including recognized religions and associations, to the 
official ideology of Pancasila.  This provision, which limits political 
activity, is widely understood as designed to inhibit activities of 
groups seeking to make Indonesia an Islamic state, revive communism, or 
return the country to a situation of partisan ideological division.  
This law empowers the Government to disband any organization it believes 
to be acting against Pancasila and requires prior government approval 
for any organization's acceptance of funds from foreign donors, thereby 
hindering the work of many local humanitarian organizations.  
Nevertheless, a significant number of organizations, including the 
independent labor organization Serikat Buruh Sejahtera Indonesia (SBSI), 
continue to be active without official recognition under this law (see 
Section 6). 
 
In the past few years, NGO's have proliferated in such fields as human 
rights, the environment, development, and consumer protection.  In 
general, the Government has given them rather wide latitude to pursue 
their aims, including public criticism of government policies and in 
some cases lawsuits against the Government.  The Government seems to 
have quietly shelved a 1994 draft presidential decree similar to the 
ORMAS Law that would have brought the more than 700 NGO's under more 
stringent controls.  However, there remain limits on certain types of 
NGO activities, and authorities reacted forcefully against certain NGO's 
participating in labor demonstrations or publishing unlicensed 
newsletters.  The Government reacts particularly negatively to NGO 
leaders and others who criticize its policies when abroad. 
 
   c.   Freedom of Religion 
 
The Constitution provides for religious freedom and belief in one 
Supreme God.  The Government recognizes Islam, Catholicism, 
Protestantism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, and permits the practice of the 
mystical, traditional beliefs of "Aliran Kepercayaan."  Although the 
population is overwhelmingly Muslim, the practice and teachings of the 
other recognized religions are generally respected, and the Government 
actively promotes mutual tolerance and harmony among them.  However, 
some restrictions on certain types of religious activity exist. 
 
Because the first tenet of Pancasila is belief in one Supreme God, 
atheism is forbidden.  The legal requirement to adhere to Pancasila 
extends to all religious and secular organizations.  The Government 
strongly opposes Muslim groups which advocate establishing an Islamic 
state or acknowledging only Islamic law and in the fall announced large 
scale questioning and several arrests of people in Central Java alleged 
to advocate the establishment of an Islamic state.  There are government 
procedures for banning religious sects in Indonesia.  Among those 
prohibited are Jehovah's Witnesses, Baha'i, and in some provinces the 
Messianic Islamic sect Darul Arqam.  The Government closely monitors 
Islamic sects considered in danger of deviating from orthodox tenets, 
and in the past has on occasion dissolved such groups. 
 
Violence between rival factions in the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan 
(HKBP), Indonesia's largest Protestant church, continued in North 
Sumatra throughout 1995, with at least one fatality.  In early 1993, 
citing a threat to civil order, the northern Sumatra regional military 
commander intervened in an internal leadership dispute which broke out 
within the HKBP the previous year, appointing a new bishop and helping 
the new bishop's supporters take over church property.  Civilian and 
military authorities have called the dispute an internal church matter 
that should be resolved by the HKBP members themselves.  For the most 
part, only supporters of the former bishop have been prosecuted for acts 
of violence despite evidence that members of the opposing faction 
engaged in violent acts as well.  In late 1995, however, authorities for 
the first time took action against some partisans of the new bishop as 
well. 
 
High level officials continued to make public statements emphasizing the 
importance of respect for religious diversity in the country, 
particularly following incidents of religious tension in areas such as 
Flores, East and West Timor, and parts of Java.  Lower level officials, 
however, are frequently alleged to be reluctant to facilitate and 
protect the rights of religious minorities.  There was an outbreak of 
religion-based violence in East Timor in September and October.  In 
early September, Timorese burned markets and damaged several mosques 
following reports that an Indonesian official made derogatory comments 
about Catholicism.  The official in question has been sentenced to 4 
years, 10 months in prison.  Several Protestant churches were also 
burned in September, sparked by the celebration of a religiously mixed 
marriage.  Clashes in mid-October between security forces and groups of 
youths led to extensive damage, at least 2 deaths, and 151 arrests.  
There has been an Islamic backlash on Java calling for the defense of 
Muslims in East Timor.  Property was destroyed and members of the 
Chinese community harassed in separate incidents in Pekalongan and 
Purworkerto, Central Java, following incidents in which Chinese 
individuals were believed to have insulted Islamic traditions. 
 
The law allows conversion between faiths, and such conversions occur.  
Marriages between persons of different religions are allowed.  The 
Government views proselytizing by the recognized religions in areas 
heavily dominated by one recognized religion or another as potentially 
disruptive and discourages it.  Foreign missionary activities are 
relatively unimpeded, although in East Timor and occasionally elsewhere 
missionaries have experienced difficulties and delays in renewing 
residence permits, and visas allowing the entrance of new foreign clergy 
are difficult to obtain.  Laws and decrees from the 1970's limit the 
number of years foreign missionaries can spend in Indonesia, with some 
extensions granted in remote areas like Irian Jaya.  Foreign missionary 
work is subject to the funding stipulations of the ORMAS Law (see 
Section 2.b.).  Indonesians practicing the recognized religions maintain 
active links with coreligionists inside and outside the country and 
travel abroad for religious gatherings. 
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
Although in 1993 the Government drastically reduced the number of people 
barred either from entering or departing Indonesia from a publicly 
announced figure of 8,897 "blacklisted" people to a few hundred, such 
restrictions still exist.  The Government banned ousted Parliament 
member Sri Bintang Pamunkas from traveling abroad while investigating 
his earlier activities in Germany (see Section 2.a.).  The Government 
has appealed a State Administrative Court decision in December that the 
ban is illegal.  Novelist Pramoedya Anata Toer was unable to travel to 
the Philippines to accept a literary award from the Magsaysay 
Foundation.  The Government also restricts movement by Indonesian and 
foreign citizens to and within parts of Indonesia.  In addition, it 
requires permits to seek work in a new location in certain areas, 
primarily to control further population movement to crowded cities.  
Special permits are required to visit certain parts of Irian Jaya.  The 
military carried out security checks affecting transportation and travel 
to and within East Timor sporadically in 1995, and it occasionally 
imposed curfews in connection with military operations.  The authorities 
require former political detainees, including those associated with the 
abortive 1965 coup, to give notice of their movements and to have 
official permission (see Section 1.f.) to change their place of 
residence.   
 
In past years the Government admitted large numbers of asylum seekers 
from Indochina.  Only a relatively small number now remain, and the 
Government continues to work with Vietnam under a tripartite Memorandum 
of Understanding signed in 1993 with the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees to repatriate peacefully the remaining asylum 
seekers to Vietnam. 
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
Citizens do not have the ability to change their government through 
democratic means.  The 1,000-member People's Consultative Assembly 
(MPR), which is constitutionally the highest authority of the State and 
meets every 5 years to elect the President and Vice President and set 
the broad outlines of state policy, is controlled by the Government 
through the appointment of half its membership.  The remaining half come 
from the National Parliament (DPR), 80 percent of whose members are 
elected.  In 1993 the MPR elected Soeharto to his sixth uncontested 5-
year term as President.  Legally, the President is constitutionally 
subordinate to the Parliament, but actually he and a small group of 
active duty and retired military officers and civilian officials 
exercise governmental authority. 
 
Under a doctrine known as dual function, the military assumes a 
significant sociopolitical as well as a security role.  Members of the 
military are allotted unelected seats in the DPR.  In 1995 the 
Government legislated a reduction in the number of these seats from 100 
to 75, or 15 percent of a total of 500, effective 1997.  The military 
will continue to hold an unelected 20 percent of the seats in provincial 
and district parliaments, and to occupy numerous key positions in the 
administration.  The other 85 percent of national and 80 percent of 
local parliamentary seats are filled through elections held every 5 
years.  All adult citizens, except active duty members of the armed 
forces, convicted criminals serving prison sentences, and some 36,000 
former members of the Communist Party, are eligible to vote.  Voters 
choose by secret ballot between the three government-approved political 
organizations, which field candidate lists in each electoral district.  
Those lists must be screened by BAKORSTANAS (see Section 1.d.), which 
determines whether candidates were involved in the abortive 1965 
Communist coup or pose other broadly defined security risks.  Critics 
charge these screenings are unconstitutional, since there is no way to 
appeal the results, and note that they can be used to eliminate critics 
of the Government from Parliament. 
 
Strict rules establish the length of political campaigns, access to 
electronic media, schedules for public appearances, and the political 
symbols that can be used.  The Government permits only three political 
organizations to exist and contest elections.  The largest and most 
important of these is GOLKAR, a government-controlled organization of 
diverse functional groups which won 68 percent of the seats in the 1992 
elections.  The President strongly influences the selection of the 
leaders of GOLKAR.  The other two small political organizations, the 
Unity Development Party (PPP) and the Democratic Party of Indonesia 
(PDI), split the remaining vote.  The law requires all three political 
organizations to embrace Pancasila, and none of the organizations is 
considered an opposition party.  Government authorities closely 
scrutinize and often guide their activities.  Members of the DPR and the 
provincial assemblies may be recalled from office by party leaders.  In 
1995 both GOLKAR and PPP recalled legislators who were conwidered too 
outspoken. 
 
GOLKAR maintains close institutional links with the armed forces and 
KORPRI, the association to which all civil servants automatically 
belong.  Civil servants may join any of the political parties with 
official permission, but most are members of GOLKAR.  Former members of 
the PKI and some other banned parties may not run for office or be 
active politically.  The DPR considers bills presented to it by 
government departments and agencies but does not draft laws on its own, 
although it has the constitutional right to do so.  The DPR makes 
technical and occasionally substantive alterations to bills it reviews.  
In practice, it remains clearly subordinate to the executive branch, but 
recently it has become more active in scrutinizing government policy, 
and exercising oversight of government budgetary expenditures and 
program implementation through hearings at which members of the Cabinet, 
military commanders, and other high officials are asked to testify.  The 
DPR has also become increasingly a focal point of appeals and petitions 
from students, workers, displaced farmers, and others protesting alleged 
human rights abuses and airing other grievances.   
 
While there are no de jure restrictions on women in politics, only 55 
out of 500 members of the DPR are women; 2 women are Cabinet members. 
 
Section 4   Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
While various domestic organizations and persons interested in human and 
worker rights operate energetically, some, such as the unrecognized 
trade union SBSI (see Section 6.a.) and the Alliance of Independent 
Journalists, faced government harassment including police raids on their 
offices, surveillance by police or military intelligence, interrogations 
at police stations, or cancellations of private meetings. 
 
The Government considers outside investigations of alleged human rights 
violations to be interference in its internal affairs and emphasizes its 
belief that linking foreign assistance to human rights observance is 
unacceptable. 
 
The ICRC continued to operate in East Timor, Irian Jaya, and Aceh, and 
to visit prisoners convicted of participation in the abortive, 
Communist-backed coup in 1965, convicted Muslim extremists, and East 
Timorese prisoners. 
 
While receiving wide support for its work from the Government in 
Jakarta, the ICRC continually faced difficulty in implementing its 
humanitarian program in East Timor during 1995.  The ICRC no longer 
maintains an office in Irian Jaya but visits that province from Jakarta 
several times a year.  The ICRC also visits Aceh regularly, but the 
Government has not approved the ICRC's request to open an office there.  
The Government facilitated the visit of U.N. Human Rights Commissioner 
Jose Ayala Lasso to Jakarta and East Timor in December.  Travel to East 
Timor by foreign human rights NGO's has not been approved.  Indonesian 
human rights organizations are able to visit East Timor, but have not 
been authorized to open offices there. 
 
The government-appointed National Human Rights Commission, in its second 
year of operation, became increasingly active in examining reported 
human rights violations and continued to show independence and a 
willingness to criticize government actions and policies.  The 
Commission's report of its investigation of the January 12 killing of 
six East Timorese in Liquisa charged that the military forces involved 
tortured and murdered the suspects, calling into question the military's 
original contention that they were killed in a firefight.  The 
Commission also sent investigative teams to Irian Jaya in August and 
September, and found evidence to support NGO and church reports of the 
torture and killing of civilians by security forces in that province, as 
well as security police responsibility for disappearances of civilians.  
Lacking enforcement powers, the Commission attempts to work within the 
system, sending teams where necessary to inquire into possible human 
rights problems and employing persuasion, publicity, and moral authority 
to highlight abuses, make recommendations for legal and regulatory 
changes, and encourage corrective action.  The Commission has yet to 
occupy its own permanent facilities and continues to have very limited 
staff support.  Although the Government appointed the original 
Commission members, the Commission fills vacancies in its ranks 
independently by internal election. 
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution does not explicitly forbid discrimination based on 
gender, race, disability, language, or social status.  However, the 
Constitution stipulates equal rights and obligations for all Indonesian 
citizens, both native and naturalized.  Chapter 4 of the 1993 Guidelines 
of State Policy (legal statutes adopted by the People's Consultative 
Assembly) explicitly states that women have the same rights, 
obligations, and opportunities as men. 
 
Article 29 of the Constitution grants Indonesians the right to practice 
their individual religion and beliefs. 
 
   Women 
 
Violence against women remains poorly documented.  However, the 
Government has acknowledged the problem of domestic violence in society, 
which some say has been aggravated by recent social changes brought 
about by rapid urbanization.  Longstanding traditional beliefs that the 
husband may "teach" or "control" the wife through several means, 
including violence, also contribute to the problem.  Although women's 
groups are trying to change the law, rape by a husband of a wife is not 
a crime in Indonesia.  While police could bring assault charges against 
a husband for beating his wife, due to social attitudes they are 
unlikely to do so.  The Government provides some counseling, and several 
private organizations exist to assist women.  Many of these 
organizations focus mainly on reuniting the family rather than on 
providing protection to the women involved.  In 1995, the first drop-in 
center for battered women was founded in Jakarta by an NGO.  There are 
no battered women's shelters.  Many women rely on extended family 
systems for assistance in cases of domestic violence. 
 
Rape is a punishable offense in Indonesia.  Men have been arrested and 
sentenced for rape and attempted rape although reliable statistics are 
unavailable.  Women's rights activists believe rape is grossly 
underreported owing to the social stigma attached to the victim.  Some 
legal experts state that if a woman does not go immediately to the 
hospital for a physical examination which produces semen or other 
physical evidence of rape, she will not be able to bring charges.  Some 
women fail to report rape to police out of fear of being molested again 
by the police themselves. 
 
By law, women are equal to and have the same rights, obligations, and 
opportunities as men.  However, in practice women face some legal 
discrimination.  For example, in divorce cases women often bear a 
heavier evidentiary burden than men, especially in the Islamic-based 
family court system.  Although some women enjoy a high degree of 
economic and social freedom and occupy important midlevel positions in 
both the public and private sectors, the majority of women do not 
experience such social and economic freedoms and are often 
disproportionately represented at the lower end of the scale.  Although 
women constitute one-quarter of the civil service, they occupy only a 
small fraction of the service's top posts.  Income disparity between men 
and women diminishes significantly with greater educational attainment. 
 
Women are often not given the extra benefits and salary that men receive 
that is their due when they are the head of household, and in some cases 
do not receive employment benefits for their husband and children, such 
as medical insurance.  Despite laws guaranteeing women a 3-month 
maternity leave, the Government has conceded that pregnant women are 
often dismissed or are replaced while on leave.  Some companies require 
that women sign statements that they will not become pregnant.  Women 
workers also have complained of being sexually victimized by foremen and 
factory owners. 
 
Women workers in manufacturing generally receive lower wages than men 
and also are more likely to be hired only on a daily basis.  As a 
result, they are less likely to receive benefits legally mandated for 
permanent workers.  Unemployment rates for women are approximately 50 
percent higher than for men. 
 
Women disproportionately experience illiteracy, poor health, and 
inadequate nutrition.  However, women's educational indicators have 
improved in the last decade.  For example, the number of girls 
graduating from high school tripled from 1980 to 1990.  Several 
voluntary private groups work actively to advance women's legal, 
economic, social, and political rights and claim some success in gaining 
official cognizance of women's concerns. 
 
   Children 
 
The Government is committed to children's rights and welfare, but is 
hampered by a lack of resources to translate this commitment into 
practice.  A 1979 law on children's welfare defines the responsibility 
of the State and parents to nurture and protect children.  However, 
implementing regulations have never been developed, and the law's 
provisions have yet to go into effect.  The Government has made 
particular efforts to improve primary education, maternity services, and 
family planning.  The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates 
that more than 1 million children drop out of primary school every year 
due mainly to the cost of supplies, uniforms and other expenses, in 
addition to the professed need for the children to supplement family 
income.  Thousands of street children living in Jakarta and other cities 
sell newspapers, shine shoes, help to park or watch cars, and otherwise 
earn money.  Many thousands more work in factories and fields (see also 
Section 6.d.).  NGO's criticize government efforts to help these 
children as inadequate. 
 
Child prostitution and other sexual abuses occur, especially cases of 
incest between stepfathers and stepdaughters, but data on their 
incidence are lacking.  Some child care experts believe it to be low.  
While there are laws designed to protect children from indecent 
activities, prostitution, and incest, the Government has made no special 
enforcement efforts in these areas.  A separate criminal justice system 
for juveniles does not exist; however, the Department of Justice is 
drafting legislation to establish a special court system and criminal 
code for juveniles.  In 1995 media attention focused on the case of a 9-
year old who was arrested for theft and held with adult offenders by 
police.  The child was also allegedly beaten by police during 
interrogation.  Police officials admitted that juveniles are often 
imprisoned with adult offenders. 
 
Female genital mutilation (FGM) occurs in some parts of Indonesia.  
There are no statistics available; the only information available is 
anecdotal.  In Java, it usually takes place within the first year after 
birth and is performed either at a hospital or by a local traditional 
practitioner or "dukun," especially in rural areas.  Usually a small 
section of the tip of the clitoris is cut or a small incision is made in 
the tip of the clitoris with the purpose of drawing a few drops of 
blood.  Total removal of the clitoris is not the objective of the 
practice, although it does occur if ineptly performed.   
 
Parliament members asked Department of Health officials to investigate 
the incidence of FGM after the U.S. human rights report came out 3 years 
ago.  They informally contacted the heads of gynecology and obstetrics 
departments at Jakarta hospitals who reported no evidence of health 
problems due to FGM.  
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
No national law specifically addresses the problems or status of the 
disabled, nor do they receive special programs or attention.  However, 
during 1994 the Ministry of Social Welfare began drafting regulations on 
treatment of the disabled partly based on the Americans with 
Disabilities Act.  In 1994 President Soeharto gave his approval to 
submit these new regulations to the Parliament; however, the draft is in 
the Cabinet Secretariat being readied for submission in early 1996.  
Virtually no public buildings or public means of transport are designed 
specifically for access by the disabled.  They face considerable 
discrimination in employment. 
 
The Constitution includes the right of every citizen to obtain an 
education.  In 1989 the Government issued regulations covering education 
for the mentally and physically disabled.  However, the regulations do 
not grant a right to public education for disabled children.  While 
there are some public schools for the disabled, the Government supports 
the concept that education should be provided by the community in the 
form of NGO-run private schools that may receive some public funds. 
 
   Indigenous People 
 
The Government states publicly that it recognizes the existence of 
several indigenous population groups, and that they have a right to 
participate fully in political and social life.  Critics maintain that 
the Government's approach is basically paternalistic and designed more 
to integrate indigenous people more closely into Indonesian society than 
to protect their traditional way of life.  Human rights monitors 
criticize the Government's transmigration program for violating the 
rights of indigenous people (see Section 1.f.). 
 
Where indigenous people clash with development projects, the developers 
almost always win.  Tensions with indigenous people in Irian Jaya, 
including in the vicinity of the Freeport McMoran mining concession area 
near Timika, led to a crackdown by government security forces, resulting 
in the deaths of civilians and other violent human rights abuses.  These 
abuses (see Section 1.b.) were documented by the National Human Rights 
Commission, the Catholic Church, and NGO's.  In its reports on these 
incidents, the National Human Rights Commission did not indicate that 
the Freeport company, which operates a large copper and gold mine in the 
province, was responsible for the human rights abuses in the area.  
Freeport has denied any involvement in the abuses; some NGO's believe 
further investigation is warranted.  Human rights monitors have 
expressed concern about the practices of some logging companies which 
recruit indigenous people for work.  According to Human Rights 
Watch/Asia, this activity in Irian Jaya has separated these people from 
their traditional economies.  Most civil servants in local governments 
in Irian Jaya and other isolated areas continue to come primarily from 
Java, rather than from the local indigenous population. 
 
   National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
Indonesians exhibit considerable racial and ethnic tolerance, with the 
important exception of official and informal discrimination against 
ethnic Chinese, who comprise about 3 percent of the population.  Since 
1959 noncitizen ethnic Chinese have been denied the right to run 
businesses in rural Indonesia.  Regulations prohibit the operation of 
all Chinese schools for ethnic Chinese, formation of exclusively Chinese 
cultural groups or trade associations, and public display of Chinese 
characters.  Since August 1994, firms working in the tourist industry 
are allowed to produce Chinese-language brochures, programs, and similar 
material for Chinese-speaking tourists.  However, Chinese-language 
publications, with the exception of one government-owned daily 
newspaper, may neither be imported nor produced domestically.  Private 
instruction in Chinese is generally prohibited but takes place to a 
limited extent, and since 1994 has been allowed to train employees in 
the tourism industry in functional Mandarin.  State universities have no 
formal quotas that limit the number of ethnic Chinese.  The law forbids 
the celebration of the Chinese New Year in temples or public places, but 
its enforcement was limited in 1995.  Chinese New Year decorations were 
displayed in public shopping areas in major cities. 
 
East Timorese and various human rights groups charge that the East 
Timorese are underrepresented in the civil service in East Timor.  It is 
difficult to confirm or deny the charges as there appears to be no 
registry of the birthplace of civil servants, who can be transferred 
anywhere.  East Timorese have expressed  concerns that the 
transmigration program (see Section 1.f.) could lead to fewer employment 
opportunities and might eventually destroy East Timor's cultural 
identity.  However, these concerns probably were exaggerated.  In the 
last several years, informal migration to the province has sparked 
socioeconomic tension in urban areas, proving an even greater concern 
than the formally sponsored transmigration program.  In mid-1995, East 
Timor's provincial government instructed its officials to limit the stay 
in the province of non-Timorese seeking jobs to a maximum of 3 months.  
It is too early to assess how well these new measures have been 
implemented. 
 
Section 6   Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
Private sector workers, including those in export processing zones, are 
by law free to form worker organizations without prior authorization.  
However, government policies and current numerical requirements for 
union recognition constitute a significant barrier to freedom of 
association and the right to engage in collective bargaining.  The 
Department of Manpower uses a regulation that requires that a union be 
set up "by and for workers" to deny recognition to groups which include 
people it considers nonworkers, such as lawyers or human rights 
activists, who are involved as labor organizers.  Until 1994 only the 
government-sponsored All-Indonesia Workers Union SPSI could bargain on 
behalf of employees or represent workers in the Department of Manpower's 
labor courts.  A 1994 regulation provides that workers in a single 
company with more than 25 employees can join together as a "plant-level 
union" and negotiate a legally binding agreement with their employer 
outside the SPSI framework, although the Government encourages these 
plant-level unions to join the SPSI.  Over 900 plant-level unions 
existed by December. 
 
There is a de facto single union system, the SPSI and its 13 federated 
sectoral unions.  The SPSI maintains international contacts but is not 
affiliated with any international trade union organizations except the 
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Trade Union Council.  The 
SPSI completed in 1995 a transformation from a unitary (centralized) to 
a federative (decentralized) structure.  Its 13 industrial sectors are 
now registered as independent unions and are the only unions recognized 
by the Department of Manpower.  The Minister of Manpower has stated that 
any unions which are formed should affiliate with the SPSI federation, 
and that the Government will not recognize any unions outside the 
federation.  The Government's stated policy is to improve effectiveness 
of the recognized SPSI unions rather than to allow the formation of 
alternative organizations. 
 
Two other labor groups, Setia Kawan (Solidarity), also known as Serikat 
Buruh Merdeka (SBM, Free Trade Union), and Serikat Buruh Sejahtera 
Indonesia (SBSI, Indonesian Workers Welfare Union), have been organized 
but are not registered.  Setia Kawan, founded 4 years ago, is now 
essentially moribund. 
 
The SBSI, created in 1992, claims that it has formed the necessary 
number of factory-level units to meet the legal requirements for 
registration as a labor union, but its most recent request (in November 
1994) for registration as a trade union was denied.  The Department of 
Manpower has also blocked SBSI attempts to register with the Department 
of Home Affairs as a social organization under the ORMAS Law.  The 
Government considers the SBSI to be illegal.  Although the Government 
has not disbanded it, it has continually harassed the SBSI, especially 
after large-scale labor demonstrations, which SBSI helped to organize in 
Medan in April 1994, degenerated into anti-Chinese rioting.  The 
Government arrested a number of the Medan SBSI leadership and its 
National Chairman, Muchtar Pakpahan, and tried and convicted them of 
inciting violence in connection with the riots, charges which the 
International Labor Organization (ILO) and many international observers 
believed were unjustified.  This view appears to be correct.  All the 
others have now served their sentences and have been released.  The 
Supreme Court overturned Pakpahan's sentence (see Section 1.e.).  It is 
widely believed that the Government's actions against the SBSI 
leadership were intended to discredit or destroy the organization.  
Government harassment of SBSI, including disbanding its meetings and 
training seminars, continued throughout 1995. 
 
Because of past Department of Manpower regulations, many SPSI factory 
units are led by persons who have little credibility with their units' 
members because they were selected by employers.  A new regulation 
states that employees must only notify their employer that they wish to 
form a union and that they may proceed if they do not receive a response 
from their employer within 2 weeks.  Despite this new provision, strikes 
continue to occur because employers attempt to prevent the formation of 
union branches.  These strikes are invariably successful, and the 
formation of an SPSI unit follows shortly thereafter.  However, workers 
who are active in the formation of the union are frequently dismissed 
and have no practical protection by either law or government practice. 
 
Civil servants are not permitted to join unions and must belong to 
KORPRI, a nonunion association whose Central Development Council is 
chaired by the Minister of Home Affairs.  State enterprise employees, 
defined to include those working in enterprises in which the state has a 
5-percent holding or greater, usually are required to join KORPRI, but a 
small number of state enterprises have SPSI units.  Teachers must belong 
to the Teachers' Association (PGRI).  While technically classed as a 
union, the PGRI continues to function more as a welfare organization and 
does not appear to have engaged in trade union activities such as 
collective bargaining.   
 
Unions may draw up their own constitutions and rules and elect their 
representatives.  However, the Government has a great deal of influence 
over the SPSI and its federated unions.  The new head of SPSI is a 
member of Parliament for GOLKAR, and many members of the executive 
council are also members of GOLKAR and its constituent functional 
groups.  These persons have been given positions in the new federated 
industrial sector unions.  The Minister of Manpower is a member of the 
SPSI's Consultative Council.  Numerous regional SPSI officials also are 
GOLKAR members, sometimes serving in regional legislatures.  According 
to credible reports, the Government interferes in the selection of SPSI 
officers, especially by placing retired military officers in mid-level 
SPSI positions.  The Government has stated that it will cease the 
practice of placing military officers in union positions and eventually 
will remove officials with significant GOLKAR connections.  The 
Department of Manpower supported the SPSI in its successful resistance 
to an attempt by the regent of Kudus, Central Java, to name a retired 
military officer as SPSI district head. 
 
Under the Criminal Code, police approval is needed for all meetings of 
five or more people of all organizations outside offices or normal work 
sites, though the Government late in 1995 announced its intention to 
relax this regulation (see Section 2.b.).  This provision also applies 
to union meetings.  Permission is routinely given to the SPSI but not to 
rival organizations such as the SBSI which was prevented from holding 
several meetings over the last few years, including its first congress 
in 1993.  In April police curtailed an SPSI third anniversary gathering 
in Jakarta.  The Government may dissolve a union if it believes the 
union is acting against Pancasila, although it has never actually done 
so, and there are no laws or regulations specifying procedures for union 
dissolution. 
 
In 1994 the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions lodged a 
formal complaint against Indonesia with the ILO, accusing the Government 
of denying workers' right to set up unions of their own choosing, 
harassing independent workers' organizations, and of taking other 
actions contrary to ILO standards on freedom of association and the 
right to collective bargaining.  In considering this complaint, the 
ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association declared in April that "legal 
impediments negate the right of workers to establish organizations of 
their own choosing" and deeply deplored "the seriousness of the 
allegations, which led it to believe that the general situation of 
workers in Indonesia has not evolved but is still characterized by 
serious and worsening infringements of basic human and trade union 
rights and violations of freedom of association principles in law and 
practice."   
 
While Pancasila principles call for labor-management differences to be 
settled by consensus, all organized workers except civil servants have 
the legal right to strike.  While state enterprise employees and 
teachers rarely exercise this right, private sector strikes are 
frequent.  Before a strike can occur in the private sector, the law 
requires intensive mediation by the Department of Manpower and prior 
notice of the intent to strike.  However, no approval is required.  In 
practice, dispute settlement procedures are not followed, and formal 
notice of the intent to strike is rarely given because Department of 
Manpower procedures are slow.  These procedures have little credibility 
with workers, who ignore them.  Therefore, sudden strikes tend to result 
from longstanding grievances or recognition that legally mandated 
benefits or rights are not being received.  While strike leaders are not 
arrested for illegal strikes, they often lose their jobs and have no 
legal recourse for reinstatement.  The number of strikes has decreased 
significantly since the latter half of 1994, reversing a trend of the 
previous few years.  Government actions to raise and more vigorously 
enforce minimum wage rates may be partly responsible. 
 
   b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
Collective bargaining is provided for by law, and the Department of 
Manpower promotes it within the context of the national ideology, 
Pancasila.  Until 1994 only recognized trade unions--the SPSI and its 
components--could legally engage in collective bargaining.  Since early 
1994, new government regulations also permit unaffiliated plant-level 
workers' associations to conclude legally binding agreements with 
employers, and some 24 had done so by mid-1995, according to government 
figures.  Agreements concluded by any other groups are not considered 
legally binding and are not registered by the Department of Manpower.  
The majority of the collective bargaining agreements between the SPSI 
units and employers are negotiated bilaterally.  Once notified that 25 
employees have joined a registered SPSI or independent plant level 
union, an employer is obligated to bargain with it.  In companies 
without unions, the Government discourages workers from utilizing 
outside assistance, e.g., during consultations with employers over 
company regulations.  Instead, the Department of Manpower prefers that 
workers seek its assistance and believes that its role is to protect 
workers.  There are credible reports that for some companies, 
consultations are perfunctory at best and usually with management-
selected workers; there are also credible reports to the contrary from 
foreign companies.  Over half of the factory-level SPSI units have 
collective bargaining agreements.  The degree to which these agreements 
are freely negotiated between unions and management without government 
interference varies.  By regulation, negotiations must be concluded 
within 30 days or be submitted to the Department of Manpower for 
mediation and conciliation or arbitration.  Most negotiations are 
concluded within the 30-day period.  Agreements are for 2 years and can 
be extended for 1 year.  According to NGO's involved in labor issues, 
the provisions of these agreements rarely go beyond the legal minimum 
standards established by the Government, and the agreements are often 
merely presented to worker representatives for signing rather than being 
negotiated. 
 
Although government regulations prohibit employers from discriminating 
or harassing employees because of union membership, there are credible 
reports from union officials of employer retribution against union 
organizers, including firing, which is not effectively prevented or 
remedied in practice.  Some employers reportedly have warned their 
employees against contact with union organizers from the unrecognized 
SBSI organization.  Charges of antiunion discrimination are adjudicated 
by administrative tribunals.  However, because many union members 
believe the tribunals generally side with employers, many workers reject 
or avoid the procedure and present their grievances directly to 
Parliament and other agencies.  Administrative decisions in favor of 
dismissed workers tend to be monetary awards; workers are rarely 
reinstated.  The provisions of the law make it difficult to fire 
workers, but the law is often ignored in practice. 
 
Commenting on antiunion discrimination and restrictions on collective 
bargaining in the context of ILO Convention 98 on the right to organize 
and bargain collectively, the ILO's Committee on the Application of 
Conventions and Recommendations' June report expressed deep concern that 
"in spite of the direct contacts mission that went to Indonesia in 
November 1993, the discussion within the present committee last year, 
and the technical advisory mission that went to Indonesia in January 
1995, much progress was yet to be achieved to ensure in law and in 
practice the full application of the convention." 
 
The armed forces, which include the police, continues to involve itself 
in labor issues, despite new regulations promulgated in 1994 to prohibit 
military interference when there is no threat to security.  There is 
some evidence that the incidence of such military involvement has 
decreased since 1994, but not all observers share this perception.  
Workers charge that members of the security forces attempt to intimidate 
union organizers and strike leaders and have been present in significant 
numbers during some strikes, even when there has been no destruction of 
property or other violence.  Members of military intelligence attended 
and monitored trade union education seminars run by the Asian-American 
Free Labor Institute (AAFLI) and an AAFLI-SPSI sponsored seminar on 
democratization, even though these programs were approved by the 
Department of Manpower.  An AAFLI-SPSI program on legal aid for 
industrial disputes approved by the Department of Manpower, which the 
military command in Surabaya halted in 1993, was never allowed to resume 
despite government assurances to the contrary.  Military officials 
occasionally have been reported present during negotiations between 
workers and management.  Their presence has been described as 
intimidating by plant-level union officials.  A military officer was 
among those convicted in connection with the Marsinah murder case.  
 
Labor Law applies equally in export processing zones. 
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
The law forbids forced labor, and the Government generally enforces it.  
However, there are credible reports of teenage children being forced to 
work under highly dangerous conditions on fishing platforms off the 
coast of northeastern Sumatra.  These platforms are miles off shore, 
with access controlled by the employers, and in many cases the children 
are held virtual prisoners on the platforms and forced to work for up to 
3 months at a time for well below the minimum wage.  According to 
knowledgeable sources, hundreds of children may be involved.  The local 
government has done little to address the problem. 
 
   d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
Child labor exists in both industrial and rural areas, and in both the 
formal and informal sectors.  There are an estimated 2.7 million working 
children between the ages of 10 and 14, according to a 1994 report of 
the UNited Nations Human Rights Commission.  The number of out-of-school 
children age 7 to 15 who are economically active may be as high as 6.5 
million, according to a 1989 study, and the number would be even greater 
if those who have not left school are included.  Indonesia was one of 
the first countries to be selected for participation in the ILO's 
international Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC), and it 
signed a memorandum of understanding with the ILO on May 29, 1992 to 
guide collaboration under this program.  Recommendations for an action 
plan were developed at a national conference in Bogor in July 1993.  
During 1995, 30 government labor inspectors received ILO-sponsored 
training on child labor matters under the IPEC program.  However, 
enforcement remains lax. 
 
The Government acknowledges that there is a class of children who must 
work for socioeconomic reasons, and in 1987 the Minister of Manpower 
issued regulation per-ol/men/1987, "Protection of Children Forced to 
Work," to regulate this situation.  This regulation legalizes the 
employment of children under the age of 14 who must work to contribute 
to the income of their families.  It requires parental consent, 
prohibits dangerous or difficult work, limits work to 4 hours daily, and 
requires employers to report the number of children working under its 
provisions.  It does not set a minimum age for children in this 
category, effectively superseding the colonial-era government ordinance 
of December 17, 1925, on "Measures Limiting Child Labor and Nightwork of 
Women," which is still the current law governing child labor and sets a 
minimum age of 12 for employment.  The 1987 regulation is not enforced.  
No employers have been taken to court for violating its restrictions on 
the nature of employment for children, and no reports are collected from 
establishments employing children. 
 
Act No. 1 of 1951 was intended to bring into force certain labor 
measures, including provisions on child labor which would replace those 
of the 1925 legislation.  However, implementing regulations for the 
child labor provisions have never been issued.  Thus the child labor 
provisions in the 1951 Act have no validity. 
 
   e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
In the absence of a national minimum wage, area wage councils working 
under the supervision of the national wage council establish minimum 
wages for regions and basic needs figures for each province--a monetary 
amount considered sufficient to enable a single worker to meet the basic 
needs of nutrition, clothing, and shelter.  While Indonesia has 
succeeded in dramatically lowering the level of poverty throughout the 
country, the minimum wage rates until recently have usually lagged 
behind inflation and even the basic needs figures.  The Government 
raised minimum wage rates in 1994 and again on April 1.  There is no 
national minimum wage.  The minimum wage varies from province to 
province.  In Jakarta it is about $2 (RP 4600) per day.  While in 
certain provinces the new rates are still below the provincial basic 
needs figures, the Department of Manpower estimates that, on the 
average, minimum wage rates equal 108 percent of the basic needs 
figures, up from 97 percent as of August 1, 1994.  The Government 
announced in November that further increases would take effect April 1, 
1996.  There are no reliable statistics on the number of employers 
paying at least the minimum wage.  Independent observers' estimates 
range between 30 and 60 percent.  The Department of Manpower increased 
the number of labor inspectors and announced a scheme of "blacklisting" 
offending companies, but enforcement of minimum wage and other labor 
regulations remains inadequate, and sanctions too light.  The Department 
of Manpower has drafted a revision of a basic labor law that would raise 
statutory fines, which have been devalued by inflation, to more 
appropriate levels.  Some observers believe increased government 
pressures on employers and memories of the 1994 Medan riots have 
improved minimum wage compliance somewhat. 
 
Labor law and ministerial regulations provide workers with a variety of 
other benefits, such as social security, and workers in more modern 
facilities often receive health benefits and free meals.  The law 
establishes 7-hour workdays and 40-hour workweeks, with one 30-minute 
rest period for each 4 hours of work.  The law also requires 1 day of 
rest weekly.  The daily overtime rate is 1 1/2 times the normal hourly 
rate for the first hour, and twice the hourly rate for additional 
overtime.  Regulations allow employers to deviate from the normal work 
hours upon request to the Minister of Manpower and with the agreement of 
the employee.  Observance of laws regulating benefits and labor 
standards varies from sector to sector and by region.  Employer 
violations of legal requirements are fairly common and often result in 
strikes and employee protests.  The Ministry of Manpower continues 
publicly to urge employers to comply with the law.  However, in general, 
government enforcement and supervision of labor standards are weak. 
 
Both law and regulations provide for minimum standards of industrial 
health and safety.  In the largely Western-operated oil sector, safety 
and health programs function reasonably well.  However, in the country's 
100,000 larger registered companies in the nonoil sector, the quality of 
occupational health and safety programs varies greatly.  The enforcement 
of health and safety standards is severely hampered by the limited 
number of qualified Department of Manpower inspectors as well as by the 
low level of employee appreciation for sound health and safety 
practices.  Allegations of corruption on the part of inspectors are 
common.  Workers are obligated to report hazardous working conditions.  
Employers are forbidden by law from retaliating against those who do, 
but the law is not effectively enforced. 
 
(###)


[end of document]

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