Upon Arrival in Indonesia, Obama Must Address Human Rights Issues

Download PDF

As President Barack Obama prepares to fly to Indonesia November 9th, it is paramount that he concentrates on a few crucial human rights issues. Three main issues should be addressed:

Amnesty International holds raally for imprisoned Indonesian activist Filep Karma

First and foremost, President Obama must demand the immediate release of political prisoners.  Some individuals such as Filep Karma have been imprisoned for peacefully protesting by merely waving the Papuan flag.  He should do this before arriving in Indonesia to demonstrate our commitment to the right to protest peacefully and the freedom of expression.

Just last year in September, Indonesia passed a law that endorses stoning as a punishment for adultery. Not only is adultery punished but so is sexual orientation if it is not heterosexual, which can receive a punishment of 100 lashes from a cane. President Obama must urge the Indonesian authorities to repeal these laws which use cruel and unusual punishments.

Lastly, freedom of religion is severely restricted.  In fact, several laws further restrict freedom of thought and conscience.  “Blasphemy” is punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment and at least 13 people are currently serving time under this law.  Christian groups have been attacked by villagers linked to the Islamic Defenders Front, who enjoy impunity for their crimes.  Obama should demand that the Indonesian authorities guarantee freedom of religion and protect religious minorities.

The United States needs to stand with human rights in Indonesia and advocate for the protection of peaceful protestors, the repeal of inhumane punishments, and the guarantee of freedom of religion.  The best time to do that is when President Obama touches down on Indonesian soil on November 9th.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

2 thoughts on “Upon Arrival in Indonesia, Obama Must Address Human Rights Issues

  1. Dear Editors !!

    Upon Arrival in Indonesia, Obama Must Address Human Rights Issues

    What if he doesn't ??????? How can you be so Blunt as to what you want the president of the USA to do ??

    For all you know, the idea of his visit could be to talk of other issues, may be economical or Military. May be HR is not in his agenda this time around. He is the president and let him decide what he want's to discuss. He surely has his advisory panel who would know what to discuss and what not to discuss and most importantly, when and where to discuss. I don't think that none of them would need a watch dog who would bark at any thing that passes by to tell them what to do. Amnesty surely crosses the line on certain issues and this is not the first of it's kind by any means. If you are worried about HR, talk about them in a human manner – you be human first to talk about human rights..

  2. Dear Editors !!

    Upon Arrival in Indonesia, Obama Must Address Human Rights Issues

    What if he doesn’t ??????? How can you be so Blunt as to what you want the president of the USA to do ??

    For all you know, the idea of his visit could be to talk of other issues, may be economical or Military. May be HR is not in his agenda this time around. He is the president and let him decide what he want’s to discuss. He surely has his advisory panel who would know what to discuss and what not to discuss and most importantly, when and where to discuss. I don’t think that none of them would need a watch dog who would bark at any thing that passes by to tell them what to do. Amnesty surely crosses the line on certain issues and this is not the first of it’s kind by any means. If you are worried about HR, talk about them in a human manner – you be human first to talk about human rights..