Category Archives: HumanInterestRight

The Strange Case of ‘Illegal Logger,’ Aged 15

Another strange case of misdirected justice has caught the attention of Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar.

While visiting a penitentiary in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, on Wednesday, the minister met 15-year-old Riawan who was jailed for alleged illegal logging after a forest ranger found him carrying a piece of wood out of the jungle.

“This is strange, a child that young was arrested immediately, was immediately named a suspect,” Patrialis said, adding that he had asked police to review the case before proceeding.

Riawan’s case comes more than a year after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for reforms in the treatment of juvenile delinquents, saying that 90 percent of the children who ended up incarcerated were either unaware that they were committing a crime or were simply out of options and desperate.

Yudhoyono also approved a proposal for 500 young prisoners to be pardoned, but the Jakarta Globe later found that only 50 were immediately given full pardons.

“Based on the Child Protection Law, trial and jail for children is the last resort. The first option should be rehabilitating children and educating them, making sure they do not repeat the mistake,” said Kristin Tambunan, a legal aid lawyer.

The lawyer added that she doubted Riawan was an illegal logger based on the fact that he was caught carrying a piece of wood out of the jungle.

“In a place like Kendari, it is very common for children to be already working or collecting branches from the forest,” Kristin said.

“Even if he was working for an illegal logging syndicate, that doesn’t mean he knew what he had gotten himself into.”

Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of the National Commission for Children Protection (Komnas Anak), also regretted the police’s hasty decision to put Riawan behind bars. “Even more concerning, he was jailed with adults, because Kendari doesn’t have a special place for juvenile delinquents,” Arist said.

Prison would only be a crime school for children and teenagers because they would encounter many hardened criminals there. Arist said.

“Now that Pak Patrialis has seen the kid in jail, the minister should immediately help the boy with rehabilitation and save him from the bad influence of prison,” he said.

SBY wants to be a futurologist when he retires

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) says that he wants to be a futurologist when he retires.
“I am considering becoming a part-time futurologist because I have spent much time trying to plan and strategize by estimating what will happen next week, next year and over the next decade,” Yudhoyono said at a International Conference on Futurology on Wednesday.
As reported by Antara news agency, Yudhoyono said that he might contact futurologists and establish a futurologist club when he retired.
According to Yudhoyono, futurologists’ researches are very important to Indonesia, which is developing as a decentralized democracy.
“We are waiting to hear your various perspectives, so that I can understand a strategic way to achieve our national goals,” Yudhoyono told the conference.

The story of a sociologist who went undercover inside NII

Dewi Triana found herself sitting cross-legged in a small room listening to sermons denouncing Indonesia and exhorting her to help make the country an Islamic state. But Dewi wasn’t looking to overthrow the government; she was going undercover to learn the secrets of the outlawed Indonesian Islamic State (NII).

Indonesia is facing an identity crisis of sorts. Islamic fundamentalism is seen making inroads here, eroding support for the country’s inclusive state philosophy, Pancasila. People point to regional bylaws requiring Islamic dress and mobs of Muslims shutting down churches and closing bars as proof that the country is losing its pluralism.

It is against this background that the NII and the Al Zaytun boarding school in Indramayu, West Java, allegedly affiliated with the movement and seen as a breeding ground for radicals, have re-emerged as hot topics of discussion. The movement has been around for decades, but now its stated goal of establishing an Islamic state here seems someone more of an actual threat to some people.

Dewi, a sociologist who graduated from the University of Indonesia, decided to look beyond the headlines to find out what the NII was really about after a few of her friends were recruited by the organization.

She went undercover in the group in 2008 and 2009 and turned her findings into a book, “Mengapa Saya Memilih Negara Islam” (“Why I Choose an Islamic State”), which was released last month.

In the book, Dewi shares her firsthand accounts of the NII’s recruitment methods and details interviews with six former members of the organization. Perhaps her most surprising finding was that the NII is hardly the threat to the state that is portrayed in the media.

Book: Mengapa Saya Memilih Negara Islam’ (‘Why I Choose an Islamic State’)
Dewi Triana, Mizan Pustaka, 265 pages, In Indonesian

Read more..

Converse workers kicked, abused

Workers making Converse sneakers in Indonesia say supervisors throw shoes at them, slap them and call them dogs and pigs. Nike, the brand’s owner, admits that such abuse has occurred among the contractors that make its high-tops but says there was little it could do to stop it.

Dozens of workers interviewed by The Associated Press and a document released by Nike show that the footwear and athletic apparel giant has far to go to meet the standards it set for itself a decade ago to end its reliance on sweatshop labour.

That does not appear to explain abuses that workers allege at the Pou Chen Group factory in Sukabumi, which didn’t start making Converse products until four years after Nike bought Converse.

One worker said she was kicked by a supervisor last year after making a mistake while cutting rubber for soles. “We’re powerless. Our only choice is to stay and suffer, or speak out and be fired,” said the woman. The 10,000 mostly female workers at the Taiwanese-operated Pou Chen plant make around 50 cents an hour.

“They throw shoes and other things at us,” said a 23-year-old woman in the embroidery division. “They growl and slap us when they get angry.”

European Parliament adopts resolution on human rights in Indonesia

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on human rights in Indonesia, which makes reference to attacks on religious minorities such as Christians and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

The move last week by the European Parliament follows a resolution in the UK Parliament, which has been signed by 38 MPs so far, a letter of concern signed by members of Congress in the US and a resolution in the Swedish Parliament, all highlighting the violent persecution of minorities in Indonesia.

The European Parliament resolution expresses “grave concern at the incidents of violence against religious minorities, particularly Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, Baha’ís and Buddhists … at the local blasphemy, heresy and religious defamation by-laws, which are open to misuse, and at the 2008 Joint Ministerial Decree prohibiting the dissemination of Ahmadiyya Muslim teachings”, calling on the Indonesian authorities to “repeal or revise them.”

The resolution also applauds the work of civil society groups in Indonesia, including Muslim, Christian and secular think tanks, human rights organisations and counter-extremism organisationsin promoting religious freedom and human rights. It pledges support for those “actively promoting democracy, tolerance and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups.”

Finnish MEP Mitro Repo, Member of the European Parliament S&D group, said: “While Indonesia’s national ideology ‘Pancasila’ has been a great example of enshrining pluralism, cultural harmony, religious freedom and social justice, there is a deep concern that the blasphemy, heresy and religious defamation by-laws are open to misuse. Such laws do not have a place in a State that truly respects human rights and engages in an open dialogue with its civil society.”

He added, “Indonesia should be open to co-operation with the international community so that emerging problems can be pre-empted.”

US Court of Appeals reinstates Indonesia lawsuit against Exxon Mobil

ELEVEN Indonesian villagers can sue oil giant ExxonMobil over killings and torture allegedly committed by security forces protecting one of the company’s gas projects, US judges ruled on Friday.

The decision by the federal court in Washington reversed a 2009 ruling which held that the Indonesians had no right to sue Exxon in the United States, and was the latest twist in a decade-long court battle.

The 11 anonymous villagers filed the suit in 2001, alleging that Indonesian soldiers working for Exxon committed torture, rape and murder while protecting the gas project in the country’s resource-rich Aceh province. Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, suffered nearly three decades of conflict before the Indonesian government signed a peace pact with separatist rebels in 2005.

Ruling in favour of the villagers, court said that they could sue in the United States under a 1789 law called the Alien Tort Statute (ATS).

Indonesian Family in Legal Battle over $66 M Assets

The daughter of a wealthy Indonesian Japanese man is suing her stepmother over an estimated 80 million Singapore dollar ($66 million) worth of assets in Singapore.

Takako Murakami, 46, is continuing the legal tussle started by her father in 1995, when he took court action in Jakarta against Louise Maria Wiryadi, 71, to split matrimonial assets following their divorce.

He never saw that battle through, as he died in June the following year.
Murakami, as the executor of his estate, is now seeking to recover what she says is marital property.

She is going up against Wiryadi, her two stepbrothers Ryuji and Ryuzo, and Wiryadi’s brother-in-law Bahari Sjamsjur in her claim for her father’s half-share of a Faber Drive house, an Ardmore Park apartment, a Taman Serasi apartment and money in bank accounts which the Indonesian court had held to be marital assets in 2000.

Murakami is also claiming a half-share in two other properties and money in at least 15 bank accounts.

A 25-day hearing was scheduled to start in the High Court yesterday, but lawyers for both sides were in the judge’s chambers the whole day, so the case was adjourned to tomorrow.

Murakami’s father, Takashi Murakami Suroso, was a Japanese citizen who went to Indonesia towards the end of World War II.
Granted citizenship there, he worked his way up to senior management and advisory levels at Mitsubishi Corp, becoming very wealthy.

More..

Indonesian Family in Legal Battle over $66 M Assets

The daughter of a wealthy Indonesian Japanese man is suing her stepmother over an estimated 80 million Singapore dollar ($66 million) worth of assets in Singapore.

Takako Murakami, 46, is continuing the legal tussle started by her father in 1995, when he took court action in Jakarta against Louise Maria Wiryadi, 71, to split matrimonial assets following their divorce.

He never saw that battle through, as he died in June the following year.
Murakami, as the executor of his estate, is now seeking to recover what she says is marital property.

She is going up against Wiryadi, her two stepbrothers Ryuji and Ryuzo, and Wiryadi’s brother-in-law Bahari Sjamsjur in her claim for her father’s half-share of a Faber Drive house, an Ardmore Park apartment, a Taman Serasi apartment and money in bank accounts which the Indonesian court had held to be marital assets in 2000.

Murakami is also claiming a half-share in two other properties and money in at least 15 bank accounts.

A 25-day hearing was scheduled to start in the High Court yesterday, but lawyers for both sides were in the judge’s chambers the whole day, so the case was adjourned to tomorrow.

Murakami’s father, Takashi Murakami Suroso, was a Japanese citizen who went to Indonesia towards the end of World War II.
Granted citizenship there, he worked his way up to senior management and advisory levels at Mitsubishi Corp, becoming very wealthy.

More..

Indonesian Family in Legal Battle over $66 M Assets

The daughter of a wealthy Indonesian Japanese man is suing her stepmother over an estimated 80 million Singapore dollar ($66 million) worth of assets in Singapore.

Takako Murakami, 46, is continuing the legal tussle started by her father in 1995, when he took court action in Jakarta against Louise Maria Wiryadi, 71, to split matrimonial assets following their divorce.

He never saw that battle through, as he died in June the following year.
Murakami, as the executor of his estate, is now seeking to recover what she says is marital property.

She is going up against Wiryadi, her two stepbrothers Ryuji and Ryuzo, and Wiryadi’s brother-in-law Bahari Sjamsjur in her claim for her father’s half-share of a Faber Drive house, an Ardmore Park apartment, a Taman Serasi apartment and money in bank accounts which the Indonesian court had held to be marital assets in 2000.

Murakami is also claiming a half-share in two other properties and money in at least 15 bank accounts.

A 25-day hearing was scheduled to start in the High Court yesterday, but lawyers for both sides were in the judge’s chambers the whole day, so the case was adjourned to tomorrow.

Murakami’s father, Takashi Murakami Suroso, was a Japanese citizen who went to Indonesia towards the end of World War II.
Granted citizenship there, he worked his way up to senior management and advisory levels at Mitsubishi Corp, becoming very wealthy.

More..

Indonesian Family in Legal Battle over $66 M Assets

The daughter of a wealthy Indonesian Japanese man is suing her stepmother over an estimated 80 million Singapore dollar ($66 million) worth of assets in Singapore.

Takako Murakami, 46, is continuing the legal tussle started by her father in 1995, when he took court action in Jakarta against Louise Maria Wiryadi, 71, to split matrimonial assets following their divorce.

He never saw that battle through, as he died in June the following year.
Murakami, as the executor of his estate, is now seeking to recover what she says is marital property.

She is going up against Wiryadi, her two stepbrothers Ryuji and Ryuzo, and Wiryadi’s brother-in-law Bahari Sjamsjur in her claim for her father’s half-share of a Faber Drive house, an Ardmore Park apartment, a Taman Serasi apartment and money in bank accounts which the Indonesian court had held to be marital assets in 2000.

Murakami is also claiming a half-share in two other properties and money in at least 15 bank accounts.

A 25-day hearing was scheduled to start in the High Court yesterday, but lawyers for both sides were in the judge’s chambers the whole day, so the case was adjourned to tomorrow.

Murakami’s father, Takashi Murakami Suroso, was a Japanese citizen who went to Indonesia towards the end of World War II.
Granted citizenship there, he worked his way up to senior management and advisory levels at Mitsubishi Corp, becoming very wealthy.

More..