Jakarta. Indonesia on Thursday (21/09) accepted 167 of the 225 recommendations it received from international delegations during the 27th session of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review, or UPR, earlier in May, but crucially rejected the recommendation to abolish the death penalty.
Indonesia said the remaining 58 recommendations, including ones on abolishing the death penalty, addressing past human rights violations and ending prosecutions under blasphemy laws, "were noted" but considered "not in line with the priorities in Indonesia’s human rights agenda."
Indonesia went through its third UPR cycle in May, and had straight away accepted 150 recommendations put forward by 101 delegations during the review while placing the remaining 75 under further examination.
Indonesia stated its final position on the pending recommendations during the 36th session of the Human Rights Council last week.
During the session, Indonesia reaffirmed its position that "the death penalty is still a prevailing positive law in Indonesia."
"However, the revision of the penal code had provided a more robust safeguard in due process of law on the death penalty," Indonesia's deputy permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, Michael Tene, said.
The United Kingdom said it "regretted that the recommendations on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty had not been supported" and repeated its call that no evidence suggests death penalty is a more effective deterrent than alternative forms of punishment.
Other delegations in the session also expressed concerns that the Indonesian government had not addressed discrimination against minority groups in the country, which include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and followers of religious minorities.
"Indonesia took note of the remaining 58 recommendations with the consideration that they are not in line with the priorities in Indonesia’s human rights agenda. Some of the recommendations were also inaccurate and not based on facts," Michael said, according to a statement released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged the Indonesian government nevertheless to take some measures to deal with the recommendations it did not accept, including "measures to eradicate impunity, prioritize the settlement of gross human rights violations, guarantee freedom of religion and belief, ensure freedom of expression and abolish the death penalty.”
Komnas HAM and Amnesty International also noted that Indonesia has yet to ratify several international human rights accords, including the Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture and Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance.