Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has been criticised over his support of the death penalty, with the latest Human Rights Watch report taking aim at his ‘decision’ to make executions a ‘symbol of his resolve’.
Indonesia executed 14 convicted drug traffickers in the face of ‘intense international criticism’ last year, the 2016 World Report states.
Among those were Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who were executed via firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan in Central Java.
Describing it as a ‘serious backsliding on his (the president’s) reform agenda’, the report compared the number to the 20 people who were executed in the 10 years under his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The report also pointed to the Commission on Violence against Women statement that as of October last year, local and national governments had 31 new ‘discriminatory regulations’ – bringing the total to 322.
One example of this was a regulation issued in July by the Ministry of Defence allowing male employees to take second wives if their first spouse was unable to have children.
A month earlier, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court rejected a move to increase the minimum age of marriage for girls from 16 to 18.
Meanwhile thousands of refugees and asylum seekers continue to live in ‘legal limbo’ because Indonesia is not party to the Refugee Convention and lacks an asylum law, the report states.