Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Morning_Star_flag
Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Morning_Star_flag

West Papuans’ struggle for independence is a long history filled with historical grievances, sustained human rights abuses, economic injustice, ‘slow genocide,’ and institutional racism (MacLeod, 2011; MacLeod, Moiwend, & Pilbrow, 2016). During the colonization period, the Melanesian peoples of New Guinea island were colonized by three powers: the British and the Germans controlled the island’s eastern parts, while the Dutch established their presence in the western parts (Robinson, 2010). The Dutch colonized areas were named the Dutch New Guinea and formed part of the Dutch East Indies, the nucleus of modern-day Indonesia. When Indonesia was granted independence in 1945, the…


On 15 September 1999, the United Nations Security Council authorized the use of force in East Timor. Through the adoption of Resolution 1264/1999, the Council deemed it necessary to establish a multinational force to protect the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) and end human rights abuses in the region (Security Council, 1999a). Soon after, the Australian-led International Force, East Timor (INTERFET) was deployed to the ground on 20 September 1999, authorized to use all means necessary since the condition in East Timor was considered as a threat to global peace and security (Security Council, 1999a; Robinson, 2003).

Source: http://www.easttimor.org.uk/images/easts/war12.jpg
Source: http://www.easttimor.org.uk/images/easts/war12.jpg

Generally…


Nowadays, relatability is a term widely used by human rights activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to plan their advocacy and campaign strategies. Years of using jargon and legal terms within their work have proven ineffective in today’s world, where people are more attracted to personal human stories that are easily digestible and further ‘connect’ with them (Forbes, 2019).

For the people, even the term human rights is quite alien. A survey by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) shows that although 42 percent of Indonesians understand that everyone is born with and possess the same rights, 36 percent…


On 16 January 2020, Attorney General ST Burhanuddin made a remorseless remark during a hearing with the House of Representative’s (DPR) Commission III, stating that the Trisakti, Semanggi I, and Semanggi II (TSS) shootings were not gross human rights violations (Jakarta Post, 2020). He referred to the findings made by the Special Committee (Pansus) of DPR in 2001, which many activists deemed unconstitutional due to the non-existent mandate for the DPR to conduct such an investigation.

The Attorney General’s statement sparked disapproval from the victims of TSS shootings. The victims used the findings from the Commission for Investigating Human Rights…


Human rights theorists and activists often present the idea of justice (or injustice) in the relational contexts between the state, its people, accountability, and the rule of law (Gready, 2008). Therefore, the units of analysis regularly revolve around the government, the legal structure that sustains it, or the civil society being governed most times improperly. Furthermore, utilizing jargon and juristical terms is seen as an ordinary and necessary practice by either theorists or activists.

Such an assumption of the usual practice in campaigning for justice is not wrong. However, it has the potential to place the locus of human rights…


September 7, 2020, marks the sixteenth year since the assassination of an Indonesian human rights defender, Munir Said Thalib. Munir was poisoned on his flight to Amsterdam by Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, a state-owned airline Garuda Indonesia pilot, on September 7, 2004. An autopsy result published in November 2004 reveals that the perpetrator used arsenic to killed Munir (ICTJ, 2011). In June 2005, the Fact-finding Team on Munir’s killing (TPF Munir) found shreds of evidence that the murder was premeditated, involving a retired Special Forces (Kopassus) general who acted as Deputy Chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) named Muchdi Purwoprandjono…


Police forces lining up in front of the parliament building during the Reformasi Dikorupsi protest on 30 September 2019.
Police forces lining up in front of the parliament building during the Reformasi Dikorupsi protest on 30 September 2019.

September 2019, Indonesia witnessed the biggest mass protests since the Reform movement back in 1998. Students, labor unions, activists, and other civilian elements in different cities in Indonesia took to the streets from 20 to 30 September 2019 to express their dissatisfaction regarding how the country is being run. They demanded the strengthening of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the legalization of the Anti-Sexual Violence bill, the end of military occupation in Papua and West Papua provinces, and investigation of human rights abuses by the police, among others. The people reiterated the importance for the government to fulfill the Reform…

Aldo Kaligis

Student in the dual degree program Master in Transdisciplinary Development and International Law for Human Rights in AdMU and University for Peace.

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