Saturday, August 13, 2022

"Andreas Harsono is not well known to the public but he is very well known among a small network of human rights activists, dissident scholars, Indonesian journalists, and foreign correspondents. He is often the fixer behind their stories – unacknowledged, unassuming, unselfish. Now he has shown just what a superb chronicler he is in his own right."

Clinton Fernandes of University of New South Wales University
on Andreas Harsono's book Race, Islam and Power


Andreas Harsono meliput dampak dari tsunami 2014 di Aceh. Ombak raksasa tersebut membunuh lebih 100,000 orang dan mengakhiri perang selama tiga dekade antara Gerakan Acheh Merdeka dan Indonesia lewat perjanjian damai Helsinki pada Agustus 2015. ©Hotli Simanjuntak

Media dan Jurnalisme

Majalah Pantau
Saya bekerja sebagai wartawan The Jakarta Post, The Nation (Bangkok) dan The Star (Kuala Lumpur) serta majalah Pantau (Jakarta) soal media dan jurnalisme.

Saya ikut mendirikan Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, Institut Studi Arus Informasi (Jakarta), South East Press Alliance (Bangkok), Yayasan Pantau (Jakarta) dan Suara Papua (Jayapura). Pada 1999-2000, saya belajar jurnalisme di Universitas Harvard lewat Nieman Fellowship. Saya salah satu wartawan awal dari International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Washington DC).  


Buku dan Laporan

Monash University Publishing 2019
Saya menerbitkan dua antologi –Jurnalisme Sastrawi (2005) bersama Budi Setiyono dan “Agama” Saya Adalah Jurnalisme (2011)—serta beberapa laporan termasuk Prosecuting Political Aspiration: Indonesia’s Political Prisoners (2010), In Religion’s Name: Abuses Against Religious Minorities in Indonesia (2013) serta "I Wanted to Run Away": Abusive Dress Codes for Women and Girls in Indonesia (2021). Pada 2019, buku Race, Islam and Power terbit.
 

Hak Asasi Manusia

Filep Karma
Sejak 2008, saya bekerja sebagai peneliti buat Human Rights Watch. Ia membuat saya banyak menulis soal diskriminasi terhadap minoritas agama di Indonesia: minoritas dalam Islam termasuk Ahmadiyah dan Syiah; minoritas non-Islam termasuk Protestan, Katholik, Buddha, Hindu dan Khong Hu Chu; minoritas agama kecil maupun agama baru macam Millah Abraham. Minoritas gender --termasuk perempuan serta LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer)-- juga sering saya bahas. Secara geografis saya juga banyak menulis minoritas etnik macam Aceh, Kalimantan, Jawa, Maluku, Timor serta Papua.

Perjalanan

Chiang Mai 2018
Saya pernah jalan dari Sabang sampai Merauke, dari Miangas sampai Rote, lebih dari 80 lokasi, selama tiga tahun. Saya menulis tempat menarik. Saya juga sering menulis perjalanan di negeri jauh, dari Eropa sampai Amerika, praktis berbagai kota besar di Asia Tenggara. 

Cerita

Glodok, Jakarta 2019
Ini soal pengalaman hidup, dari kegembiraan sampai kesedihan, dari kawan sampai adik. Saya selalu tinggal di Pulau Jawa --Jember, Lawang, Malang, Salatiga, dan Jakarta-- namun pernah bermukim di Phnom Penh dan Cambridge. Kedua anak saya lahir di Jakarta. Isteri saya, Sapariah Saturi, kelahiran Pontianak, pindah ke Jakarta kerja. Saya sering mengunjungi New York. Mungkin kawan saya di luar Indonesia, paling banyak di New York. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Yet Another Victim of Indonesia’s Blasphemy Law

Former Government Minister Faces Prison for Allegedly Insulting Buddhism

Entrance to the Borobudur Buddhist temple, built in the 9th century on Java Island, Indonesia. ©2022 Andreas Harsono/Human Rights Watch

Andreas Harsono
Indonesia Researcher

Indonesia’s toxic blasphemy law has claimed another victim, this time a former government minister over a social media post deemed insulting to Buddhists.

The latest case started in June after the Indonesian government announced it would steeply increase the entry fee for the Borobudur temple in central Java. The Buddhist structure is one of Indonesia’s major tourist attractions, drawing more than four million visitors in 2019. Conservationists and government officials are increasingly worried about the number of visitors and see raising the entry fee as a way to limit the total.

On June 10, Roy Suryo, a former minister of youth and sports affairs, tweeted the picture of a Borobudur stupa whose image had been photoshopped to resemble President Joko Widodo. He received protests, including from Buddhist organizations, and soon deleted the tweet, apologizing and saying that he did not create the altered picture.

Kevin Wu, a leader of Dharmapala Nusantara, a Buddhist group in Jakarta, reported Suryo to the police for committing blasphemy against Buddhism. Jakarta police questioned Suryo three times and then charged him with violating the blasphemy law and the internet law. Police arrested him on August 5. If convicted, Suryo faces punishment of up to 11 years in prison.

The blasphemy law punishes deviations from the central tenets of Indonesia’s six officially recognized religions – Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism – with up to five years in prison. It was only used in eight cases in its first four decades after President Soekarno signed it in 1965 but convictions spiked during the decade when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Roy Suryo’s boss, was in power from 2004 to 2014. President Widodo’s administration is drafting a new criminal code with a plan to keep the blasphemy law, albeit with the disturbing proviso of expanding the law to cover beliefs as well as religions.

Ironically, Roy Suryo has also used the blasphemy law against his political opponents. In February 2022, he filed a police report against Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas for blasphemy, claiming Yaqut’s comparison of noisy mosques to barking dogs was an insult to Islam.

Roy Suryo’s arrest shows again that the blasphemy law is destructive and prone to misuse because it enables the “protection” of religion to be weaponized as a political tool. The Widodo administration should learn from these ugly cases and revoke the blasphemy law provisions.