Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mengajar Wartawan di Wamena

SELAMA empat hari saya berada di Wamena, mengajar sebuah kelas penulisan serta mencari tahu persoalan penangkapan dua wartawan Perancis pada 6 Agustus 2014. Thomas Dandois dan Valentine Bourrat dari TV Arte, mengambil langkah dengan tak mencari visa wartawan karena melamarnya sulit sekali. Mereka kini ditahan di Jayapura. 

Saya juga jalan-jalan sekitar Wamena. Sejak pertama datang ke Wamena pada 1996, saya selalu merasa tertarik kembali ke kota ini. Makin tahun makin terlihat perubahan di Wamena.

Namun satu hal yang saya belum mengerti adalah mengapa kios, toko dan macam-macam bisnis di Papua, termasuk Wamena, dikuasai oleh orang non-Papua: Bugis, Jawa, Makassar, Tionghoa dan seterusnya. Orang Papua, misalnya di Wamena, berjualan di jalan, duduk di lantai.

Diskriminasi tentu satu faktor. Kredit bank juga diskriminasi lain. Saya ingin mengerti berapa persen bisnis Papua yang dikuasai orang asli? 

Bagaimana menguji penjelasan, salah satu orang Indonesia di Wamena, "Orang Papua memang tak suka duduk di kursi?"

Kelas penulisan di Wamena.

Saya mengajar sebuah kelas penulisan hanya dua hari. Belajar soal elemen jurnalisme dari Bill Kovach dan Tom Rosenstiel sampai perkakas menulis dari Roy Peter Clark. Saya minta peserta bikin PR. Dari 20 orang, yang bikin besar hati, hanya tiga tak bikin PR. Sisanya, bikin PR semua. Ini persentase yang tinggi. Tiga peserta cukup bikin saya senang lewat PR mereka. Ceritanya beragam, dari tak ada obat di rumah sakit Wamena sampai kesulitan orang asli daftar jadi pegawai Bank Papua.

Ada peserta perempuan cerita berbagai kesulitan yang dia hadapi dalam pernikahan. Suami selingkuh dan dia memutuskan bercerai dan membawa anak mereka satu-satunya. Saya kira perlu keberanian buat seorang perempuan, dimana pun dia berada, baik di Wamena maupun Jakarta, buat menulis pengalaman buruk.

Menulis dengan berani.
Persoalan pasar juga dibahas dalam kelas. Ada macam-macam jawaban. Saya harap para peserta akan menghasilkan karya yang mencoba menjelaskan persoalan ini. 

Buku saya, "Agama" Saya Adalah Jurnalisme, dibagikan dalam kelas ini. Saya juga pergi jalan ikut bakar batu di Hebuba, sebuah kampung di luar Wamena, bertemu dengan Yohanes Jonga, seorang pastor yang peduli dengan hak asasi manusia, juga kenalan lama. 

Wamena selalu menimbulkan kesan mendalam.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Indonesian Women’s Rights Under Siege

President Widodo should send a clear message by banning virginity tests

Published in:Al Jazeera

On Nov. 18, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that the Indonesian government subjects female police recruits to discriminatory and degrading virginity tests. Indonesia’s National Police law division head, Inspector General Moechgiyarto, defended the tests as a means to ensure the morality of female applicants.

“The procedure has been practiced for a long time,” he told reporters in Kuningan in South Jakarta on Nov. 19, referring to the use of virginity tests. “If [a candidate] turns out to be a prostitute, then how could we accept her for the job?” Indonesia’s coordinating minister for politics, law, and security, Tedjo Edhi, confirmed that virginity tests have long been obligatory for female military recruits.

The police’s and military’s use of a degrading, unscientific and discriminatory test is not an isolated example of women’s rights abuse in Indonesia. It is part of a wider pattern of attacks on women’s rights that has been in the making for more than a decade, despite guarantees in Indonesia’s Constitution against such discrimination.

In many parts of Indonesia, local laws compelling women and girls to don the hijab, or headscarf, are increasingly common in schools, government offices, and public spaces. While many of these laws specify traditional Sunni Muslim garb both for women and men, research by HRW shows they disproportionately target women.

In January 2013 the mayor of Lhokseumawe in Aceh province barred women from straddling motorcycles in the name of Sharia. In May 2013 the district chief in neighboring Bireuen barred women from dancing in public places. In Gorontalo on Sulawesi Island the government removed its entire female support staff in July 2013, replacing them with men as part of an initiative supposedly to discourage extramarital affairs. In Meulaboh, another Aceh regency, the local government has restricted women to wearing skirts since 2012.

The HRW is not alone in highlighting the proliferation of regulations that deny women the right to freedom from discrimination under international law. In August 2013, Indonesia’s Commission on Violence Against Women reported that since 1999, national and local governments have passed 342 discriminatory regulations, including 79 local laws requiring women to wear the hijab. Although the number of the discriminatory local laws has doubled, from 154 in 2009 to 334 in 2013, in July 2013 the Ministry of Home Affairs said it would revoke only eight of them.

The United Nations has also sounded the alarm. “The committee is deeply concerned about the persistence of a large number of discriminatory laws at the national level … [as well as] discriminatory bylaws,” the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, said in its 2012 compliance review (PDF).

Failure to act on women’s rights will mark a betrayal of Indonesian women and haunt President Joko Widodo’s administration for years to come. 

Indonesian women’s rights groups have opposed the passage of these discriminatory regulations. The National Commission on Violence Against Women linked a sharp decline in the enactment of such rules from 2006 to 2009 to the “strong reactions from civil society at the national level.”

This is not the Indonesia I knew growing up. I was born in Jember, a small town in East Java in 1965. At the time, there were no regulations that required women to wear the hijab. There was no multiplicity of local regulations and ordinances curtailing women’s freedom to dress, dance or ride pillion. To be sure, Indonesia was no paradise for women’s rights in the 1970s and 1980s. For example, the 1974 Marriage Law contained many discriminatory provisions, including the legalization of polygamy. But it also recognized women’s right to marital property.

Although Indonesia’s dictator Suharto flouted many basic human rights during his 33-year-long reign, he established the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment in 1983. A year later he allowed Indonesia to sign and ratify the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the first human rights convention the country signed. In October 1998, Suharto’s successor President B.J. Habibie formed the National Commission on Violence Against Women. In concert with the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment, the agency was explicitly tasked with integrating women’s rights as a key component of government policy formation.

Indonesia’s democratization and decentralization after Suharto’s fall in 1998 has emboldened Islamic activists who have spearheaded the calls for laws and regulations that limit women’s rights. Ironically, the rise of discriminatory laws occurred despite the fact that Indonesia elected its first female president in 2001 and enacted a domestic violence law three years later. The 2010 gender equality bill, aimed at ending discrimination, remains stalled in parliament because of opposition from Islamist politicians.

The government’s failure to prevent the erosion of basic rights of women and girls is not accidental. Opening the Indonesian Ulama Council congress in 2005, former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, wooed members of the country’s top Muslim clerical body, promising to integrate fatwas (Islamic edicts) into government policies. He appointed a handful of conservative politicians and Islamic clerics as advisers and Cabinet members.

President Joko Widodo, who replaced Yudhoyono in national elections on July 9, was sworn into office on Oct. 20. Widodo’s challenge is to prove that his administration will not tolerate abusive virginity tests or trade women’s fundamental rights for political support from Islamist militants.  Widodo should send that message by boldly banning virginity tests and lifting Islamist-imposed restrictions on women’s rights. Failure to act on women’s rights will mark a betrayal of Indonesian women and haunt his administration for years to come. 

Andreas Harsono is an Indonesia researcher at the Human Rights Watch.

Monday, November 24, 2014

HRW calls on Indonesia to scrap 'virginity tests' for female police

Deutche Welle

Human Rights Watch has condemned Indonesia's use of "virginity tests" to filter female police applicants. The group's Andreas Harsono says some officials claim they want to get rid of "prostitutes" among the applicants.

In a report published on November 18, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses the Indonesian government of subjecting women applying for Indonesia's National Police to discriminatory virginity tests. Based on interviews with both female police and police applicants in six Indonesian cities who had undergone the test, the report describes the practice as "painful and traumatic" for the women.

The test is done early in the recruitment process as part of the applicants' physical exam. Personnel from the Police Medical and Health Center conduct the tests primarily in police-operated hospitals.

The report claims that the examination has included the "two-finger test" to determine whether female applicants' hymens are intact. It also argues that the practice contravenes National Police principles which state that recruitment must be both "nondiscriminatory" and "humane."

Nisha Varia, HRW's associate women's rights director, said: "The Indonesian National Police's use of ‘virginity tests' is a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women."

In a Deutche Welle interview, Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher at HRW, says some police doctors and officers claim these tests are needed to "check the morality of the recruits."

DW: Why is the Indonesian police still conducting virginity tests on female recruits?

Andreas Harsono: The so-called "virginity test" has been in practice for a long time. We interviewed a retired policewoman who said that her 1965 class had been tested. We also found that several policewomen had protested the practice in the late 1980s as well as the late 1990s.

Finally in 2009, the National Police chief issued a new mechanism, the Regulation No. 5 on Health Inspection Guidelines for Police Candidates, which requires female police academy applicants to undergo an "obstetrics and gynecology" examination. It does not specify that a "virginity test" is to be administered. The test is given early in the recruitment process as part of the applicants' physical exam.

But old habits die hard. Police Medical and Health Center personnel conduct the tests primarily in police-operated hospitals. We found some police doctors and police officers saying that they want to get rid of "prostitutes" among the applicants. They therefore included the discredited and degrading "two-finger test" to determine whether female applicants' hymens are intact or torn.

What impact does this test have on the female recruits?

Applicants who "failed" were not necessarily expelled from the force, but all of the women described the test as painful and traumatic. In Padang, West Sumatra, policewomen regretted that they took the test, saying that the state does not trust them to be "good women" who are able to work professionally, according to Nurani Perempuan, a women's rights advocacy organization.

But we also met policewomen who feel that the test is justified. They are proud to be virgins and feel upset with their outspoken colleagues who protest the test. I believe they're upset because they're forced to go out of their comfort zone.

What happens to recruits who refuse to take the test?

We never found a recruit who refused the test. Most applicants were surprised when they found out that the health test included examining their "insides," including vaginas. One recruit said if she had refused to take the vagina examination, she would have automatically been eliminated from the selection process.

What happens to those applicants who fail the virginity test?

They are never told. The National Police uses a matrix in which all results, from an applicant's blood test to her X-ray photo, from hymen to eye sight, are organized into a scoring system. If the final score is below a certain level, they're not accepted.

But the head of the National Police law division, Inspector General Moechgiyarto, said that they needed to check the morality of the recruits by checking their virginity. He asked, "If she (a candidate) turns out to be a prostitute, then how could we accept her for the job?" His admission confirms our research that virginity is still a major factor.

How long have these tests been conducted?

We know that it began in 1965, at the latest. Women were first recruited to be police officers in 1948, but the National Police did not recruit more female officers until 1958. It gradually grows but the number of policewomen is still around three percent of the total 400,000 police officers in Indonesia. The new 7,000 recruits this year are going to increase the number from 14,000 to 21,000. It will be five percent when they are to graduate in December.

Are there any plans to abolish the tests?

National Police chief General Sutarman claims that no more virginity tests are being conducted. I guess he should make his statement into a written one.

What do you urge the Indonesian government to do?

We ask the National Police authorities in Jakarta to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it.

Andreas Harsono has covered Indonesia for Human Rights Watch since 2008.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Soal kolom agama di KTP

Tjahjo Kumolo bersama rekannya.
BAGAIMANA melihat ide Menteri Dalam Negeri Tjahjo Kumolo bahwa kolom agama dalam KTP bisa dikosongkan? Ada yang setuju, ada yang tak setuju. Ada media yang memberitakan dengan salah sehingga timbul komentar yang tak perlu.

Mulanya, saya kira, harus dilihat dari UU tentang Administrasi Kependudukan tahun 2006. Tepatnya pasal 64 soal kolom agama tersebut:

(1) KTP mencantumkan gambar lambang Garuda Pancasila dan peta wilayah negara Republik Indonesia, memuat keterangan tentang NIK, nama, tempat tanggal lahir, laki-laki atau perempuan, agama, status perkawinan, golongan darah, alamat, pekerjaan, kewarganegaraan, pas foto, masa berlaku, tempat dan tanggal dikeluarkan KTP, tandatangan pemegang KTP, serta memuat nama dan nomor induk pegawai pejabat yang menandatanganinya.

(2) Keterangan tentang agama sebagaimana dimaksud pada ayat (1) bagi Penduduk yang agamanya belum diakui sebagai agama sesuai dengan ketentuan Peraturan Perundang-undangan atau bagi penghayat kepercayaan tidak diisi, tetapi tetap dilayani dan dicatat dalam database kependudukan.

Artinya, bagi orang yang agama atau kepercayaannya tak termasuk satu dari enam agama yang diakui pemerintah Indonesia --sesuai dengan Penetapan Presiden Soekarno pada 1965: Islam, Protestan, Katholik, Hindu, Buddha dan Khong Hu Cu-- dia tetap boleh menyatakan agama atau keyakinannya dalam database kependudukan. Namun ia tak tercantum dalam KTP. Secara teknik, apa yang tercantum dalam kolom agama berupa tanda "-" (strip).

Di Indonesia, ada lebih dari 400 agama di luar keenam agama tsb. Ini mulai dari agama lokal, misalnya Kejawen, Sunda Wiwidan, Parmalim sampai Kaharingan, maupun agama impor macam Taoisme, Shinto dan sebagainya. Mereka berhak dapat KTP dengan agama dicatat dalam database kependudukan namun tak tercantum dalam KTP.

Dewi Kanti Setianingsih beragama Sunda Wiwidan. Sesuai UU Administrasi Kependudukan, agama tersebut dicatat dalam database kependudukan namun tak dicantumkan dalam KTP
Prakteknya, saya sering menemukan pegawai negeri tak mau menjalankan ketentuan UU Administrasi Kependudukan. Orang Kaharingan dan sebagainya sering dipaksa memilih satu dari enam agama resmi tsb.

Ini bukan saja soal KTP. Ia juga soal akte pernikahan maupun akte kelahiran. Mereka tak bisa mencatatkan pernikahan mereka sehingga anak yang lahir dianggap anak haram. Akte kelahiran anak-anak mereka hanya ada nama ibu --tanpa nama ayah.

Ia adalah diskriminasi terhadap para pemeluk agama-agama kecil di luar enam agama tersebut. Saya kira UU Administrasi Kependudukan belum ideal dengan memperbolehkan semua agama dicantumkan dalam KTP tapi setidaknya ia memberi ruang kepada agama-agama kecil dicatat dalam database kependudukan.

Tjahjo Kumolo tak keluar dari ketentunan hukum ketika dia bicara bahwa warga Indonesia, apapun agamanya, harus dilayani dengan KTP.