Activists in Indonesia at Risk of Torture

A detainee is released after 'interrogation' into the theft of a police weapon in Bireuen police district headquarters. © www.acehkita.com

What is the penalty for handing out posters and books on human rights violations when the president is in town?  If you are in Indonesia, the penalty may be detention or worse:  you may be taken away by a police force notorious for using torture on those in custody.

This scenario happens all too frequently in Indonesia, especially against human rights defenders. The lastest example is that of a group of ten Malukan activists who on Monday, August 2nd planned to distribute materials detailing human rights violations. These activists were then detained by Detachment 88, Indonesia’s anti-terrorism police squad.  In the past, activists arrested by this police force faced torture in the form of continual beatings, threats at gunpoint, and were even forced to crawl on their bare stomachs over scalding hot asphalt.

Respect for the right to free expression must eclipse the use of torture in Indonesia .  Take action today by writing to Indonesian officials (PDF) not only for the recently detained ten Malukan activists but also for all those who were tortured in the past, who are living testaments to the injustice in Indonesia.

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