Friday, March 18, 2022

Protes terhadap pembredelan majalah Lintas di IAIN Ambon

Kemarin saya berbincang dengan lima wartawan Sigma dari Universitas Islam Negeri Banten, bersama Nisa Alwis dari Pandeglang, ketika dapat kabar bahwa Lintasdotcom dibredel di Ambon

Lintas menerbitkan majalah. Laporannya soal kekerasan seksual terhadap 25 mahasiswi dan 7 mahasiswa Institut Agama Islam Negeri Ambon pada 2015 sampai 2021. Ini liputan makan waktu. Pelecehan dan kekerasan terjadi saat kuliah kerja nyata, magang, bimbingan skripsi, indekos dosen, rumah pegawai, dan ketika belajar di ruang kelas. Pelakunya total 14 orang termasuk 8 dosen. 

Rektor IAIN Ambon Zainal Abidin Rahawarin "membekukan" Lintas. Diskusi berubah jadi protes pembredelan. Mereka cepat sekali bikin poster. Nisa memotret kami ... klik, klik, klik. 

Kami sebarkan lewat media sosial. Rektor seharusnya bikin team buat selidiki isi laporan, bukan sewenang-wenang bungkam kebebasan pers. Solidaritas ini buat dukung Lintas dan para korban.

Friday, March 11, 2022

When the religious affairs minister is accused of insulting Islam

Andreas Harsono 

Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas became the target of an angry campaign by religious fundamentalists after he issued a decree to regulate the volume on loudspeakers at mosques around the country. 

Gus Yaqut, as he is affectionately known, signed the decree on Feb. 21, asking mosques to use loudspeakers indoors and to limit the volume to 100 decibels when using them outside for the call to prayer. 

Many Indonesians have complained about increasingly loud calls to prayer that disturb the work, leisure and sleep of people who live or work nearby. CNN Indonesia compared 100 decibels to the noise created by a jet plane taking off 300 meters away.

A Religious Affairs Ministry official said they had consulted the Indonesian Ulama Council as well as the Indonesian Mosque Council in drafting the decree. But the decree immediately drew protests from many Islamic groups. The Prosperous Justice Party, the Indonesian version of the Muslim Brotherhood, opposes the decree, contending  that the government should not regulate loudspeakers. It condemned Gus Yaqut for an interview in which he compared the call to prayer with the volume created by barking dogs.

Street protests followed in some cities, with protesters trampling Gus Yaqut’s photo. One poster depicted him with the head of a dog. 

Roy Suryo, a politician from the Democrat Party, filed a report against Gus Yaqut with the Jakarta police for blasphemy, claiming that the comparison to dogs was an insult to Islam. Azlaini Agus, a politician in Pekanbaru in central Sumatra, where Gus Yaqut  gave the interview, also reported him to the local police

Nothing in the Quran or Islamic law refers to  loudspeakers,  a relatively recent addition to the call to prayer in the Islamic world, including in  Indonesia. 

Gus Yaqut himself  comes from a prominent Muslim family in Rembang in Central Java and is a member of the Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim group. His Muslim credentials are well known, as he used to head the Ansor Movement, a youth wing of the group. His older brother, Yahya Cholil Staquf, is chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama.  

Since its inception in 1965, Indonesia’s blasphemy law is often used to stifle free speech and differing viewpoints. 

In 2010, an American expat was jailed for five months for unplugging a mosque loudspeaker on Lombok Island. In 2016, after a Buddhist woman complained about the volume of a neighboring mosque in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra, Muslim mobs attacked her house, and burned and ransacked 14 Buddhist temples. 

In 2017, former Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama, a Christian, was sentenced to two years in prison on blasphemy charges after a politically motivated smear campaign that included a rally attended by more than 200,000 people.

More than 150 people have been convicted under the blasphemy law. It is most commonly used against minorities who are deemed to have criticized Islam. But as the case against Gus Yaqut shows, no one is immune.

In 2009, Abdurrahman Wahid, a former president and chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama, said that the blasphemy law should be repealed because it had been used as a political weapon  and to incite anger among Muslims. Unfortunately, his fears are now being played out.  
Because it is used to suppress speech and is applied arbitrarily, Human Rights Watch has long called for repeal of the blasphemy law, which has no place in a democracy. Indonesia should rid itself of this toxic law. 

Andreas Harsono is senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Friday, March 04, 2022

Mining, Protests and a Young Villager’s Death in Sulawesi

Andreas Harsono

On February 12, a young man was taking part in a seemingly routine protest by the Aliansi Rakyat Petani (Alliance of People’s Farmers) about five kilometers from his home in Tada village in Central Sulawesi. Farmers and other local residents had been organizing almost daily protests since January 2021, demanding the revocation of the license for PT Trio Kencana, a mining company.

But things turned nasty that night. Protesters, angry that the governor had not kept his commitment to speak to them, blocked the provincial road with trucks. The police responded by deploying 15 trucks of their own and water cannons. The authorities turned off the electricity in the area. At around 11:30 p.m., local police started firing teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters blocking the Trans Sulawesi road. They arrested at least 59 protesters.

Protesters alleged that the police used live ammunition to disperse the rally. Nine minutes after midnight, the protesters found the body of Erfaldi Erwin Lahadado, a 21-year-old mechanic. He had been struck by gunfire on his right shoulder.

I checked Erfaldi’s Instagram account. It shows him dressed in a bright yellow jacket next to his Honda motorcycle. His Instagram portrayed the life of a young man: music, family, friends, but no sign of activism.

Why was he on the streets that night?

In August, the Central Sulawesi government had granted PT Trio Kencana a license to start digging for minerals in Kasimbar and South Tinombo districts in Parigi Moutong regency. It’s a huge area of 15,725 hectares, almost the size of Bandung or Washington, D.C. The land contains the homes, farms, schools, clinics and businesses – such as kiosks like the one run by Erfaldi’s mother – of 50,000 people. Parigi Moutong is also Central Sulawesi’s largest food-producing area.

PT Trio Kencana says that it is mining gold on the Kasimbar site and has promised “environmental protection, community service, and transparency” on its website, but it is not clear to local residents how these commitments are being kept. Villagers are concerned about the possibility that their land will be confiscated and are angry about ongoing exploration activities, as three mining pits in Kasimbar have flooded rice fields nearby.

Central Sulawesi, according to the Mining Advocacy Network, an Indonesian environmental group, is facing an ecological crisis because of excessive mining operations. The province has issued a total of 135 licenses over the last decade — 28 for an exploration phase and 107 others for operations already in production. The Mining Advocacy Network has called for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Jakarta to revoke the license for this mining operation.

Among local residents’ chief complaints is that they say they were not consulted about the deal. They are afraid that more digging will pollute the soil and water in the area. Governor Rusdi Mastura promised on February 7 to meet with the affected communities. He has yet to do so. But he has called on the police to arrest “provocateurs.”

The Central Sulawesi police chief, Rudy Sufahriadi, has promised to investigate the fatal shooting. His team found 60 bullet casings at the scene and sent them for ballistic examination in Makassar, South Sulawesi, confirming the villagers’ claim about live ammunition. Many local residents are skeptical that the police will be held accountable. The police promised to announce the result in March.

Rosmawati, Erfaldi’s mother, has repeatedly asked the police and authorities to find the person who shot her son and bring them to justice. She is hoping that his death will be the last among the farmers and others struggling to protect their land and environment.

Protes di Jakarta soal Penyerangan Ukraina oleh Federasi Rusia

Milk Tea Alliance protes pernyerbuan Ukraina depan 
Kedutaan Besar Rusia di Jakarta sore ini.

Orasi oleh Andreas Harsono

Selamat sore. Sebuah kehormatan bisa bersama saudari-saudara dari Milk Tea Alliance, berada depan Kedutaan Rusia di Jakarta, guna protes penyerbuan Federasi Rusia terhadap Ukraina. 

Penyerbuan Rusia terhadap Ukraina adalah pelanggaran terhadap sebuah negara berdaulat. Ia tercermin dari resolusi anggota-anggota Perserikatan Bangsa-bangsa: 141 negara minta Rusia segera mundur; 35 negara abstain –termasuk Afrika Selatan; India, Tiongkok—serta hanya lima negara setuju penyerbuan, termasuk Belarus, Eritrea, Korea Utara, Suriah, dan Rusia sendiri. 

Penyerbuan Ukraina juga langgar Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances pada 1994. Memorandum tersebut menjamin keamanan wilayah Belarus, Kazakhstan, dan Ukraine, ketika mereka bersedia menyerahkan senjata-senjata nuklir mereka. Ia diteken oleh tiga negara superpower: Amerika Serikat; Britania; dan Rusia. 

Saya juga mengutuk pelanggaran hukum humaniter internasional akibat penyerangan Rusia terhadap Ukraina, termasuk pelanggaran berat dan sistematis terhadap berbagai macam gedung sipil --apartemen, sekolah, rumah sakit-- dan warga sipil di Ukraina. 

Saya minta pemerintah Indonesia, lewat UN Human Rights Council di Geneva, membentuk komisi penyelidikan untuk menyelidiki semua dugaan pelanggaran dan pelanggaran hak asasi manusia dan pelanggaran hukum humaniter internasional, dan kejahatan terkait, dalam penyerangan Federasi Rusia terhadap Ukraina, serta menetapkan fakta, keadaan, dan akar masalah dari setiap pelanggaran tersebut. 

Keputusan Presiden Vladimir Putin buat berbohong --ketika mulai mengirim lebih dari 100,000 pasukan Rusia ke perbatasan Ukraina sejak Januari 2022—lantas menyerbu pada 24 Februari, tak terlepas dari berbagai penindasan terhadap kebebasan berpendapat, berserikat serta kebebasan pers di Rusia dalam satu dekade terakhir.  

Kami hormat terhadap berbagai wartawan dan blogger Rusia yang berani melawan sensor rezim Putin di Rusia. Mereka tetap pakai istilah “perang” daripada “operasi militer khusus.” Vladimir Putih pakai eufemisme guna mengecoh masyarakat di Rusia. Putin bilang tujuan penyerbuan adalah “de-Nazi-fisikasi” dari Ukraina. Tak ada bukti bahwa pemerintahan Ukraina tak lakukan pemilihan umum bebas serta meredam kebebasan. 

Sebaliknya, Kementerian Pendidikan Rusia meluncurkan program khusus untuk memastikan bahwa sekolah-sekolah di Rusia bikin anak-anak menganggap bahwa perang di Ukraina bukan “perang.”

Walau kebebasan berpendapat dilarang, namun ribuan orang Rusia berdemonstrasi menentang perang. Tokoh masyarakat, wartawan, seniman, dan puluhan ribu anak muda bicara menentang perang di Ukraina. Sekitar 7,000 orang dari 13 kota seluruh Rusia ditahan polisi. Radio Echo dan TV Rain di Moscow ditutup. Novaya Gazeta, suratkabar independen di Moscow, juga dapat ancaman guna memakai bahasa yang kabur yang dipakai Putin. Ia juga bisa dibredel. 

Kami berada disini buat angkat suara. Mungkin suara kita kecil. Jumlah wartawan lebih banyak dari demonstran. Mungkin kami takkan cukup membuat para diplomat Rusia mengirim pesan ke Moscow. Tapi hidup kita terbuat dari orang-orang yang tidak membisu. Kita mengirim pesan yang jelas: hentikan serbuan terhadap Ukraina dan selidiki Vladimir Putin. 

Andreas Harsono