August, 21, 2014. The Jakarta Post, Jakarta – Rights groups have urged president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to implement his commitment to advancing human rights in Indonesia soon after the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) inaugurates him and vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla on Oct.20.

International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) program officer Hilman Handoni said it was hoped that Jokowi would create policies that increased the number of human rights-friendly cities in the country as a concrete measure to prevent human rights abuses in the future.

Hilman explained further that a human rights-friendly city was based on a concept of a city that could protect a plural society and develop facilities that were friendly to the disabled, women, children and the elderly.

“Wonosobo [in Central Java] is a human rights-friendly city. If [Wonosobo Regent] Kholiq Arif was able to make his city human rights-friendly, other regional heads should be able to do the same. Jokowi should urge them to make the same policy,” Hilman said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Human rights watchdog Imparsial researcher Swandaru said he hoped Jokowi would give stronger protection to human rights defenders because many of them were still facing serious threats for advancing human rights in the country.

Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) deputy coordinator Chrisbiantoro said he hoped Jokowi would strengthen the National Commission on Human Rights’ (Komnas HAM) capacities, which have been widely criticized for having weakened due to previous governments’ tendencies to decrease the commission’s power, leaving many rights abuse cases unresolved.

“Let’s see unresolved cases such as the murder cases of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib and journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin or Udin. Their killers are still free. That’s Jokowi’s homework ,” said Chrisbiantoro. (alz/ebf)


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