By the time of the Renaissance, the islands of Java and Sumatra had already enjoyed a 1,000-year heritage of advanced civilization spanning two major empires. During the 7th-14th centuries, the Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya flourished on Sumatra. At its peak, the Srivijaya Empire reached as far as West Java and the Malay Peninsula. Also by the 14th century, the Hindu Kingdom of Majapahit had risen in eastern Java. Gadjah Mada, the empire's chief minister from 1331 to 1364, succeeded in gaining allegiance from most of what is now modern Indonesia and much of the Malay archipelago as well. Legacies from Gadjah Mada's time include a codification of law and an epic poem. Islam arrived in Indonesia sometime during the 12th century and, through assimilation, supplanted Hinduism by the end of the 16th century in Java and Sumatra. Bali, however, remains overwhelmingly Hindu. In the eastern archipelago, both Christian and Islamic proselytizing took place in the 16th and 17th centuries, and, currently, there are large communities of both religions on these islands.
Beginning in 1602, the Dutch slowly established themselves as rulers of present-day Indonesia, exploiting the weakness of the small kingdoms that had replaced that of Majapahit. The only exception was East Timor, which remained under Portugal until 1975. During 300 years of Dutch rule, the Dutch developed the Netherlands East Indies into one of the world's richest colonial possessions.
During the first decade of the 20th century, an Indonesian independence movement began and expanded rapidly, particularly between the two World Wars. Its leaders came from a small group of young professionals and students, some of whom had been educated in the Netherlands. Many, including Indonesia's first president, Sukarno (1945-67), were imprisoned for political activities.
The Japanese occupied Indonesia for 3 years during World War II. On August 17, 1945, 3 days after the Japanese surrender to the Allies a small group of Indonesians, led by Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, proclaimed independence and established the Republic of Indonesia. They set up a provisional government and adopted a constitution to govern the republic until elections could be held and a new constitution written. Dutch efforts to reestablish complete control met strong resistance. After 4 years of warfare and negotiations, the Dutch transferred sovereignty to a federal Indonesian Government. In 1950, Indonesia became the 60th member of the United Nations.
Shortly after hostilities with the Dutch ended in 1949, Indonesia adopted a new constitution providing for a parliamentary system of government in which the executive was chosen by and made responsible to parliament. Parliament was divided among many political parties before and after the country's first nationwide election in 1955, and stable governmental coalitions were difficult to achieve. The role of Islam in Indonesia became a divisive issue. Sukarno defended a secular state based on Pancasila while some Muslim groups preferred either an Islamic state or a constitution which included preambular provision requiring adherents of Islam to be subject to Islamic law. At the time of independence, the Dutch retained control over the western half of New Guinea, and permitted steps toward self-government and independence.
Negotiations with the Dutch on the incorporation of the territory into Indonesia failed, and armed clashes broke out between Indonesian and Dutch troops in 1961. In August 1962, the two sides reached an agreement, and Indonesia assumed administrative responsibility for Irian Jaya on May 1, 1963. The Indonesian Government conducted an "Act of Free Choice" in Irian Jaya under UN supervision in 1969, in which 1,025 Irianese representatives of local councils agreed by consensus to remain a part of Indonesia. A subsequent UN General Assembly resolution confirmed the transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia. Opposition to Indonesian administration of Irian Jaya, also known as Papua or West Papua, gave rise to smallscale guerrilla activity in the years following Jakarta's assumption of control. In the more open atmosphere since 1998, there have been more explicit expressions within Irian Jaya of a desire for independence from Indonesia.
From 1524 to 1975, East Timor was a Portuguese colony on the island of Timor, separated from Australia's north coast by the Timor Sea. As a result of political events in Portugal, Portuguese authorities abruptly withdrew from Timor in 1975, exacerbating power struggles among several Timorese political factions. An avowedly Marxist faction called "Fretilin" achieved military superiority. Fretilin's ascent in an area contiguous to Indonesian territory alarmed the Indonesian Government, which regarded it as a threatening movement. Following appeals from some of Fretilin's Timorese opponents, Indonesian military forces intervened in East Timor and overcame Fretilin's regular forces in 1975-76. Smallscale guerrilla activity persisted after Indonesia declared East Timor its 27th province in 1976, following a petition by a provisional government for incorporation into Indonesia. The UN never recognized Indonesia's incorporation of East Timor and later brokered negotiations between Indonesia and Portugal on the territory's status. In January 1999, the Indonesian Government agreed to a process, with UN involvement, under which the people of East Timor would be allowed to choose between autonomy and independence through a direct ballot.
The direct ballot was held on August 30, 1999. Some 98% of registered voters cast their ballots, and 78.5% of the voters chose independence over continued integration with Indonesia. Many persons were killed in a wave of violence and destruction after the announcement of the pro-independence vote. In October 1999, the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) revoked the 1978 decree that annexed East Timor, and the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET) assumed responsibility for administering East Timor until it becomes independent.
Unsuccessful rebellions on Sumatra, Sulawesi, West Java, and other islands beginning in 1958, plus a failure by the constituent assembly to develop a new constitution, weakened the parliamentary system. Consequently, in 1959, when President Sukarno unilaterally revived the provisional 1945 constitution, which gave broad presidential powers, he met little resistance. From 1959 to 1965, President Sukarno imposed an authoritarian regime under the label of "Guided Democracy." He also moved Indonesia's foreign policy toward nonalignment, a foreign policy stance supported by other prominent leaders of former colonies who rejected formal alliances with either the Western or Soviet blocs. Under Sukarno's auspices, these leaders gathered in Bandung, West Java, 1955, to lay the groundwork for what became known as the Non-Aligned Movement. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, President Sukarno moved closer to Asian communist states and toward the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in domestic affairs. Though the PKI represented the largest communist party outside the Soviet Union and China, its mass support base never demonstrated an ideological adherence typical of communist parties in other countries.
By 1965, the PKI controlled many of the mass civic and cultural organizations that Sukarno had established to mobilize support for his regime and, with Sukarno's acquiescence, embarked on a campaign to establish a "Fifth Column" by arming its supporters. Army leaders resisted this campaign. Under circumstances that have never been fully explained, on October 1, 1965, PKI sympathizers within the military, including elements from Sukarno's palace guard, occupied key locations in Jakarta and kidnapped and murdered six senior generals. Major General Soeharto, the commander of the Army Strategic Reserve, rallied army troops opposed to the PKI to reestablish control over the city. Violence swept throughout Indonesia in the aftermath of the October 1 events, and unsettled conditions persisted through 1966. Rightist gangs killed tens of thousands of alleged communists in rural areas. Estimates of the number of deaths range between 160,000 and 500,000. The violence was especially brutal in Java and Bali. During this period, PKI members by the tens of thousands turned in their membership cards. The emotions and fears of instability created by this crisis persisted for many years; the communist party remains banned from Indonesia.
Throughout the 1965-66 period, President Sukarno vainly attempted to restore his political position and shift the country back to its pre-October 1965 position. Although he remained president, in March 1966, Sukarno had to transfer key political and military powers to General Soeharto, who by that time had become head of the armed forces. In March 1967, the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly (MPRS) named General Soeharto acting president. Sukarno ceased to be a political force and lived under virtual house arrest until his death in 1970.
President Soeharto proclaimed a "New Order" in Indonesian politics and dramatically shifted foreign and domestic policies away from the course set in Sukarno's final years. The New Order established economic rehabilitation and development as its primary goals and pursued its policies through an administrative structure dominated by the military but with advice from Western-educated economic experts.
In 1968, the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) formally selected Soeharto to a full 5-year term as president, and he was re-elected to successive 5-year terms in 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, and 1998. In mid-1997, Indonesia was afflicted by the Asian financial and economic crisis, accompanied by the worst drought in 50 years and falling prices for oil, gas, and other commodity exports. The rupiah plummeted, inflation soared, and capital flight accelerated. Demonstrators, initially led by students, called for Soeharto's resignation. Amidst widespread civil unrest, Soeharto resigned on May 21, 1998, 3 months after the MPR had selected him for a seventh term. Soeharto's hand-picked Vice President, B. J. Habibie, became Indonesia's third president.
President Habibie quickly assembled a cabinet. One of its main tasks was to reestablish International Monetary Fund and donor community support for an economic stabilization program. He moved quickly to release political prisoners and lift controls on freedom of speech and association. Elections for the national, provincial, and sub-provincial parliaments were held on June 7, 1999. For the national parliament, Parti Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDI-P, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle led by Sukarno's daughter Megawati Soekarnoputri) won 34% of the vote; Golkar ("functional groups" party of the government) 22%; Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP, United Development Party led by Hamzah Haz) 12%, and Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB, National Awakening Party led by Abdurrahman Wahid) 10%. In October 1999, the People's Consultative Assembly, which consists of the 500-member Parliament plus 200 appointed members, elected Abdurrahman Wahid as President, and Megawati Soekarnoputri as Vice President, for 5-year terms. Wahid named his first Cabinet in early November 1999 and a reshuffled, second Cabinet in August 2000.
President Wahid's government has continued to pursue democratization and to encourage renewed economic growth under challenging conditions. In addition to continuing economic malaise, his government has faced regional, interethnic, and interreligious conflict, particularly in Aceh, the Moluccas, and Irian Jaya. In West Timor, the problems of displaced East Timorese and violence by pro-Indonesian East Timorese militias have caused considerable humanitarian and social problems. An increasingly assertive Parliament has frequently challenged President Wahid's policies and prerogatives, contributing to a lively and sometimes rancorous national political debate. During the People's Consultative Assembly's first annual session in August 2000, President Wahid gave an account of his government's performance. Under pressure from the Assembly to improve management and coordination within the government, he issued a presidential decree giving Vice President Megawati control over the day-to-day administration of government.
In 2001, Indonesia continued to make progress in some areas of its transition from a long-entrenched authoritarian regime to a more pluralistic, representative democracy. In July the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), which is the country's supreme governing institution, exercised its constitutional right to convene an "extraordinary session," and removed President Abdurrahman Wahid from office in connection with charges of corruption and misrule. Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri replaced Wahid, as stipulated by law, and the MPR elected United Development Party Chairman Hamzah Haz to replace Megawati as Vice President. Wahid was elected in 1999 in the country's first pluralistic elections, in a process judged free and fair by international monitors. The Government continued to face enormous challenges because institutions required for a democratic system either do not exist or are at an early stage of development. Existing institutions, including the government bureaucracy and security establishment, often were obstacles to democratic development. A constitutional amendment process underway since 1999 has provided for a clearer separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. The President and the appointed Cabinet are accountable to the MPR, the majority of whose members are elected. The 500-member Parliament (DPR), of which 462 members were chosen in the 1999 elections (but which also includes 38 unelected members of the military), remained a forum for vigorous debate of government policy and practice during the year 2001. The Parliament frequently challenged the authority and policies of the executive branch, including the removal of Wahid in July. The MPR, which consists of the Parliament, 130 elected regional representatives, and 65 appointed functional group representatives, held its second annual session in November. Previously, the MPR had met only once every 5 years to elect the President and Vice President and to consider other matters reserved for the MPR. During its November session, the MPR amended the 1945 Constitution to provide, among other changes, for direct presidential and vice-presidential elections, a bicameral legislature with a regional representative's chamber, and a constitutional court with the power of judicial review of legislation. The amendments, if fully implemented, would increase elected officials' accountability to constituents by allowing people to elect the President and Vice President. The human rights protection amendment to the Constitution was incorporated in 2000 and was not further amended during the year 2001. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary; however, it remains subordinated to the executive and there is pervasive corruption.
Indonesia has a market-based economy in which the government plays a significant role. It owns more than 164 state-owned enterprises and administers prices on several basic goods, including fuel, rice, and electricity. In the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis that began in mid-1997, the government took custody of a significant portion of private sector assets through acquisition of nonperforming bank loans and corporate assets through the debt restructuring process.
During the 30 years of Soeharto's "New Order" government, Indonesia's economy grew from a per capita GDP of $70 to more than $1,000 by 1996. Through prudent monetary and fiscal policies, inflation was held in the 5%-10% range, the rupiah was stable and predictable, and the government avoided domestic financing of budget deficits. Much of the development budget was financed by concessional foreign aid.
In the mid-1980s, the government began eliminating regulatory obstacles to economic activity. The steps were aimed primarily at the external and financial sectors and were designed to stimulate employment and growth in the non-oil export sector. Annual real GDP growth averaged nearly 7% from 1987-97, and most analysts recognized Indonesia as a newly industrializing economy and emerging major market.
High levels of economic growth from 1987-97 masked a number of structural weaknesses in Indonesia's economy. The legal system was very weak, and there was and is no effective way to enforce contracts, collect debts, or sue for bankruptcy. Banking practices were very unsophisticated, with collateral-based lending the norm and widespread violation of prudential regulations, including limits on connected lending. Non-tariff barriers, rent-seeking by state-owned enterprises, domestic subsidies, barriers to domestic trade, and export restrictions all created economic distortions.
The regional financial problems that swept into Indonesia in late 1997 quickly became an economic and political crisis. Indonesia's initial response was to float the rupiah, raise key domestic interest rates, and tighten fiscal policy. In October 1997, Indonesia and the International Monetary fund (IMF) reached agreement on an economic reform program aimed at macroeconomic stabilization and elimination of some of the country's most damaging economic policies, such as the National Car Program and the clove monopoly, both involving family members of President Soeharto. The rupiah failed to stabilize for any significant period of time, however, and President Soeharto was forced to resign in May 1998. In August 1998, Indonesia and the IMF agreed on an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) under President Habibie that included significant structural reform targets. President Abdurrahman Wahid took office in October 1999, and Indonesia and the IMF signed another EFF in January 2000. The new program also has a range of economic, structural reform, and governance targets.
The effects of the financial and economic crisis were severe. In 1998, real GDP contracted by an estimated 13.7%. The economy bottomed out in mid-1999, and real GDP growth for the year was an anemic 0.3%. Inflation reached 77%in 1998 but slowed to 2%in 1999. The rupiah, which had been in the Rp 2,400/USD1 range in 1997 reached Rp 17,000/USD1 at the height of the 1998 violence, returned to the Rp 6,500-8,000/USD1 range in late 1998. It has traded in the Rp 6,500-9,000/USD1 range since, with significant volatility. Although a severe drought in 1997-98 forced Indonesia to import record amounts of rice, overall imports dropped precipitously in the early stage of the crisis in response to the unfavorable exchange rate, reduced domestic demand, and absence of new investment. Although reliable unemployment data are not available, formal sector employment contracted significantly.
As of September 2000, Indonesia's economic outlook is mixed. Recently released economic data provide evidence that the economic turnaround that began in the second quarter of 1999 has continued and accelerated. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), year-on-year real GDP growth reached 4.13% in August 2000. Driving this higher than expected GDP growth are record exports, solid manufacturing growth, and continued strong levels of household consumption. At the same time, high petroleum prices are increasing the value of Indonesia's oil exports. As the economy has picked up, there has been a significant increase in corporate debt restructuring, although questions remain about the viability of some deals.
Less positively, foreign investment still lags far below its pre-crisis levels; the rupiah has lost more than 22% of its value since President Wahid was elected, and the stock market is in record low territory. Indonesia's banking and corporate sectors are still extremely weak. Asset sales by the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency have slowed amidst turmoil in the agency's senior leadership. Banking sector reform has stalled. Progress on corruption cases against is excruciatingly slow and capricious. These developments have shaken most analysts' faith in the reform credentials of the Wahid administration.
Indonesia's public sector external debt rose from $54.2 billion in March 1998 to about $80 billion by mid-2000. Private sector external debt stood at approximately $82 billion.
The economy, which is market-based with a significant degree of government intervention, increased by approximately 3 percent during the year 1999, following more than 4.8 percent growth in 2000. Industrial exports grew strongly, particularly in labor-intensive textiles, electronics, wood products, and other light manufacturing industries based in the densely populated islands of Java and Bali. Underemployment remained high at approximately 19 million persons. Over 40 percent of the adult working population is employed in agriculture, which in Java, Bali, and southern Sulawesi primarily involves rice and other food crops but elsewhere concentrates on cash crops such as oil palm, rubber, coffee, tea, coconut, and spices. Per capita gross domestic product among the population of 211 million was $738 in 2000, well below the levels achieved before the severe economic downturn that began in July 1997. The downturn affected most severely the urban poor, particularly in Java, partly as a result of a wholesale shift in employment from the higher-paying formal sector to the less secure informal sector. The negative impact of the economic and financial downturn was smaller in less populated, natural resource-rich Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Sumatra. Large disparities in the distribution of wealth and political power contributed to social tensions across the country and continued to create demands for greater regional autonomy. Two laws providing for greater political and economic decentralization and for revenue sharing among the country's provinces and districts came into effect in January. Parliament approved the Aceh Special Autonomy Law in July and the Papua Special Autonomy Bill in October. The two provinces of Aceh and Papua were granted special autonomy, which affords them greater political, cultural, and economic benefits, including the right to retain a larger percentage of their oil and gas revenues.
Religion in Indonesia was a complex and volatile issue in the early 1990s, one not easily analyzed in terms of social class, region, or ethnic group. Although Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions influenced many aspects of life, the government generally discouraged religious groups from playing a political role. The state guaranteed tolerance for certain religions (agama) regarded as monotheistic by the government, including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but only as long as these creeds remained outside of politics.
Islam was the dominant religion by far in Indonesia, with the greatest number of religious adherents: around 143 million people or 86.9 percent of the population in 1985, which when adjusted for 1992 estimates represents between 160 million and 170 million adherents. This high percentage of Muslims made Indonesia the largest Islamic country in the world in the early 1990s. Within the nation, most provinces and islands had majority populations of Islamic adherents (ranging from just above 50 percent in Kalimantan Barat and Maluku provinces to as much as 97.8 percent in the Special Region of Aceh.
According to orthodox practice, Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion in which God (Allah or Tuhan) is a pervasive, if somewhat distant, figure. The Prophet Muhammad is not deified, but is regarded as a human who was selected by God to spread the word to others through the Quran, Islam's holiest book, the revealed word of God. Islam is a religion based on high moral principles, and an important part of being a Muslim is commitment to these principles. Islamic law (sharia; in Indonesian, syariah--see Glossary) is based on the Quran; the sunna, Islamic tradition, which includes the hadith (hadis in Indonesian), the actions and sayings of Muhammad; ijma, the consensus of a local group of Islamic jurisprudents and, sometimes, the whole Muslim community; and qiyas or reasoning through analogy. Islam is universalist, and, in theory, there are no national, racial, or ethnic criteria for conversion. The major branches of Islam are those adhered to by the Sunni and Shia Muslims.
To a significant degree, the striking variations in the practice and interpretation of Islam--in a much less austere form than that practiced in the Middle East--in various parts of Indonesia reflect its complex history. Introduced piecemeal by various traders and wandering mystics from India, Islam first gained a foothold between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries in coastal regions of Sumatra, northern Java, and Kalimantan. Islam probably came to these regions in the form of mystical Sufi tradition. Sufism easily gained local acceptance and became synthesized with local customs. The introduction of Islam to the islands was not always peaceful, however. As Islamized port towns undermined the waning power of the East Javanese HinduBuddhist Majapahit kingdom in the sixteenth century, Javanese elites fled to Bali, where over 2.5 million people kept their own version of Hinduism alive. Unlike coastal Sumatra, where Islam was adopted by elites and masses alike, partly as a way to counter the economic and political power of the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, in the interior of Java the elites only gradually accepted Islam, and then only as a formal legal and religious context for Javanese spiritual culture.
These historical processes gave rise to enduring tensions between orthodox Muslims and more syncretistic, locally based religion--tensions that were still visible in the early 1990s. On Java, for instance, this tension was expressed in a contrast between santri and abangan, an indigenous blend of native and Hindu-Buddhist beliefs with Islamic practices sometimes also called Javanism, kejawen, agama Jawa, or kebatinan. The terms and precise nature of this opposition were still in dispute in the early 1990s, but on Java santri not only referred to a person who was consciously and exclusively Muslim, santri also described persons who had removed themselves from the secular world to concentrate on devotional activities in Islamic schools called pesantren--literally the place of the santri.
In contrast to the Mecca-oriented philosophy of most santri, there was the current of kebatinan, which is an amalgam of animism, Hindu-Buddhist, and Islamic--especially Sufi--beliefs. This loosely organized current of thought and practice, was legitimized in the 1945 constitution and, in 1973, when it was recognized as one of the agama, President Suharto counted himself as one of its adherents. Kebatinan is generally characterized as mystical, and some varieties were concerned with spiritual self-control. Although there were many varieties circulating in 1992, kebatinan often implies pantheistic worship because it encourages sacrifices and devotions to local and ancestral spirits. These spirits are believed to inhabit natural objects, human beings, artifacts, and grave sites of important wali (Muslim saints). Illness and other misfortunes are traced to such spirits, and if sacrifices or pilgrimages fail to placate angry deities, the advice of a dukun or healer is sought. Kebatinan, while it connotes a turning away from the militant universalism of orthodox Islam, moves toward a more internalized universalism. In this way, kebatinan moves toward eliminating the distinction between the universal and the local, the communal and the individual.
Another important tension dividing Indonesian Muslims was the conflict between traditionalism and modernism. The nature of these differences was complex, confusing, and a matter of considerable debate in the early 1990s, but traditionalists generally rejected the modernists' interest in absorbing educational and organizational principles from the West. Specifically, traditionalists were suspicious of modernists' support of the urban madrasa, a reformist school that included the teaching of secular topics. The modernists' goal of taking Islam out of the pesantren and carrying it to the people was opposed by the traditionalists because it threatened to undermine the authority of the kyai (religious leaders). Traditionalists also sought, unsuccessfully, to add a clause to the first tenet of the Pancasila state ideology requiring that, in effect, all Muslims adhere to the sharia. On the other hand, modernists accused traditionalists of escapist unrealism in the face of change; some even hinted that santri harbored greater loyalty towards the ummah (congregation of believers) of Islam than to the secular Indonesian state.
Despite these differences, the traditionalist Nahdlatul Ulama (literally, Revival of the Religious Scholars, also known as the Muslim Scholars' League), the progressive Consultative Council of Indonesian Muslims (Masyumi), and two other parties were forcibly streamlined into a single Islamic political party in 1973--the Unity Development Party (PPP). Such cleavages may have weakened Islam as an organized political entity, as demonstrated by the withdrawal of the Nahdlatul Ulama from active political competition, but as a popular religious force Islam showed signs of good health and a capacity to frame national debates in the 1990s.
The Indonesian criminal code in force since independence is basically the Netherlands Indies Criminal Code, which was put into effect in 1918. It incorporates certain amendments promulgated by the revolutionary government in 1946. Since 1958 it has been applied uniformly throughout the national territory.
The Code of Criminal Law is contained in three chapters. Chapter I defines the terms and procedures to be followed in criminal cases and specifies mitigating circumstances that may affect the severity of a sentence. Chapters II and III, respectively, define the categories of felonies and misdemeanors and prescribe the penalties for each type of offense. The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors generally conforms to that in Western countries. As noted above, several other statutes dealing with criminal offenses were also in force, the most significant of which were laws concerning economic offenses, subversive activities, and corruption.
As of 1992, penalties for major offenses included death, imprisonment for periods up to life, local detention, and fines. Total confiscation of property was not permitted. Penalties for minor crimes and misdemeanors included deprivation of specified rights, forfeiture of personal property, and publication of the sentence of the court. Punishments listed in the code were the maximum allowable; judges had discretionary authority to impose lesser punishment. A public drive for the abolition of the death penalty was launched in 1980 following the execution of two persons convicted of murder. In 1992, however, the death penalty remained in force.
Like many countries, Indonesia experienced rising crime as a by-product of increased urbanization and the social and economic dislocations associated with national development. The scope of the crime problem was difficult to gauge, but conditions such as large numbers of unemployed or underemployed in the nation's cities, lack of sufficient jobs for high school and university graduates, and a breakdown in traditional systems of social control were often cited as responsible for the increase in crime. During the 1980s, the government sometimes resorted to extrajudicial means to control a perceived increase in crime, especially in urban areas. The government's clandestine "Petrus" operation in Java in the early 1980s is the best known. Specifically approved by Suharto and directed by the army's special forces, the Petrus campaign was directed at known criminals involved in robbery, rape, murder, and other violence. Public opinion approved of the operation, which was characterized by collection of detailed intelligence on targeted criminals and condoning of nighttime shootings. Public reports lacked details, but few if any innocent bystanders were killed by Petrus. It was thought that a similar operation was conducted against suspected criminals and radical separatists in Aceh in early 1991, but the government refused comment on the operation. By the early 1990s, the actual number of crimes increased only moderately from year to year. Both the authorities and the public, however, were concerned about their increasingly violent nature.
Under Indonesian law, certain categories of crime were handled under special statutes outside the penal code. Offenses such as bribery, the assessment of illegal "levies," and the diversion of public funds for private use by business figures or officials formed a special class of crime usually handled under a 1955 statute on economic crimes and a 1971 statute on corruption. Political offenses and acts that Indonesian authorities regarded as threats to national security were usually prosecuted under Presidential Decree Number 11 of 1963 concerning the eradication of subversive activities. Promulgated as a statute in 1969, it granted far-reaching authority in dealing with almost any act that did not conform to government policy and carried a maximum penalty of death.
The special statutes also contained special procedures that differed in important respects from those in the Criminal Procedures Code. Thus, for example, while the code stated that a suspect could only be held a maximum of 120 days before being brought to trial, the subversion law allowed suspects to be held up to one year.
The most prominent use of the special procedures regarding political offenses involved Kopkamtib's mass arrests and detention of some 200,000 persons in connection with the 1965 coup attempt, most of whom were never charged or tried. These prisoners were classified as group A, B, or C, according to the government's perception of how deeply they had been involved in the events of 1965 or in any of the banned organizations, including the PKI. The last 30,000 of those persons still not brought to trial were released between December 1977 and December 1979. Some PKI members were sentenced to death in the mid-1960s and remained in prison for years while their cases went through the appeals process. Several of these prisoners were executed as late as 1990. Only a handful of those convicted in connection with the coup were still in custody in 1992, although some 36,000 were still barred from voting, and 1.4 million former PKI members were closely monitored by Kopkamtib's successor organization, Bakorstanas.
INCIDENCE OF CRIME
The crime rate in Indonesia is low compared to major industrialized countries. An analysis was done using INTERPOL data for Indonesia. For purpose of comparison, data were drawn for the seven offenses used to compute the United States FBI's index of crime. Index offenses include murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. The combined total of these offenses constitutes the Index used for trend calculation purposes. Indonesia will be compared with Japan (country with a low crime rate) and USA (country with a high crime rate). According to the INTERPOL data, for murder, the rate in 1999 was 0.99 per 100,000 population for Indonesia, 1.00 for Japan, and 4.55 for USA. For rape, the rate in 1999 was 0.63 for Indonesia, compared with 1.47 for Japan and 32.05 for USA. For robbery, the rate in 1999 was 5.11 for Indonesia, 3.34 for Japan, and 147.36 for USA. For aggravated assault, the rate in 1999 was 4.43 for Indonesia, 15.97 for Japan, and 329.63 for USA. For burglary, the rate in 1999 was 1.83 for Indonesia, 206.01 for Japan, and 755.29 for USA. The rate of larceny for 1999 was 16.36 for Indonesia, 1267.95 for Japan, and 2502.66 for USA. The rate for motor vehicle theft in 1999 was 1.69 for Indonesia, compared with 34.01 for Japan and 412.70 for USA. The rate for all index offenses combined was 31.04 for Indonesia, compared with 1529.75 for Japan and 4184.24 for USA. (Note: data were not reported to INTERPOL by the USA for 1999, but were derived from data reported to the United Nations for 1999)
TRENDS IN CRIME
Between 1995 and 1999, according to INTERPOL data, the rate of murder increased from 0.76 to 0.99 per 100,000 population, an increase of 30.3%. The rate for rape decreased from 0.64 to 0.63, a decrease of 1.6%. The rate of robbery increased from 3.49 to 5.11, an increase of 46.4%. The rate for aggravated assault decreased from 4.67 to 4.43, a decrease of 5.1%. The rate for burglary decreased from 24.95 to 1.83, a decrease of 92.7%. The rate of larceny increased from 9.33 to 16.36, an increase of 75.3%. The rate of motor vehicle theft decreased from 8.41 to 1.69, an decrease of 79.9%. The rate of total index offenses decreased from 52.25 to 31.04, a decrease of 40.6%.
The legal system of Indonesia is based on Roman-Dutch law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts and by new criminal procedures code. Because of widespread complaints about the penal code, which many regarded as a colonial legacy ill-adapted either to Indonesian cultural norms or to modern criminal offenses, a committee began working in the early 1980s on a complete revision. The committee was expected to finish its work in early 1993. The draft would then have to be approved by the minister of justice and submitted to the DPR for passage into law, a process not expected to be completed until mid-1993, assuming no major controversy arose over the draft law.
The proposed new code was likely to eliminate the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors and to pay greater deference to adat in the handling of certain crimes. Although not likely to replace the special subversion law, the proposed code attempted to describe offenses against the state with more specificity. It was also likely to recommend that prisoners who committed crimes because of personal conviction, such as political offenses, be treated differently from common criminals. Whereas two-thirds of the crimes detailed were expected to be the same as in the old code, the new penal code was expected to cover new classes of offenses such as computer crime.
A new Code of Criminal Procedures was promulgated on December 31, 1981. The new code replaced a 1941 revision of an 1848 Dutch colonial regulation that stipulated legal procedures to be used in both criminal as well as civil cases. Both national jurists and government officials had complained that statutory ambiguity in the old code and certain of its provisions in some cases had led to abuses of authority by law enforcement and judicial officials. Under the old system, several authorities, including the police, the regional military commands, and the public prosecutors, shared powers of arrest, detention, and interrogation--an often confusing situation that sometimes led plaintiffs to file complaints with the particular agency they believed would deal most favorably with their case. Individuals could be arrested and detained on suspicion alone, and there were broad limits on how long a suspect could be held before being charged or brought to trial. Moreover, the accused could request legal counsel only when his case was submitted to a judge and not during any pretrial proceedings.
The new code represents a considerable step forward in the establishment of clear norms of procedural justice. Criminal investigatory powers are vested mainly in the police. A suspect can be held only twenty-four hours before the investigating officials present their charges and obtain a detention order from a judge. Specific limits are established on how long a suspect can be held before a trial. The new code expressly grants the accused the right to learn the charges against him or her, to be examined immediately by investigating officials, and to have the case referred to a prosecutor, submitted to court, and tried before a judge. The accused also has the right to obtain legal counsel at all levels of the proceedings. Should it turn out that a person has been wrongly charged or detained under the new code, he or she has the right to sue for compensation and for the restoration of rights and status.
In practice, the new criminal procedures code did not always live up to its promise. Prohibitions against mistreatment and arbitrary detention, for example, were sometimes ignored, as were guarantees regarding adequate defense counsel. This was especially true, as noted by outside jurists, in political cases. In addition, the 1981 code was supposed to apply to all criminal cases, with a temporary exception made for special laws on subversion and treason that contain their own procedures for prosecution; these special laws had not been brought under the provisions of the new code in 1992.
POLRI, the Indonesian National Police, was incorporated into the armed forces in 1964 during the Sukarno era. Under Suharto steps were taken to militarise the
Police are empowered by means of the National Defence Law of 1982 and the Police Law of 1997. As part of ABRI, the Police Force assumed all aspects of military structure, including ranks, budget, duties and even wage structure. The 1997 Law placed POLRI within the integral command structure of ABRI. On 01 April 1999, POLRI was separated from ABRI, the Indonesian armed forces. Although POLRI has been separated from ABRI, it remains under the jurisdiction of the Defence Minister, General Wiranto.
By 1993 POLRI was responsible for arresting and interrogating suspects, while a special POLRI force was responsible for dealing with street demonstrations. The BRIMOB (Brigade Mobil, Mobile Brigade), the most militarised force in POLRI, was trained to deal with mass demonstrations. Since the May 1998 upheaval, PHH (Pasukan Anti Huru-Hara, Anti Riot Unit) have received special anti-riot training.
Since 1945 Indonesia's National Police organization has been a national force, financed, directed, and organized by the central government. The strength of the national police force in 1992 was around 180,000. Its main duties were to maintain public order and security. Like the other armed services, the police considered themselves to be a social force active in national development, and therefore they participated in the armed services' civic missions.
The commander bore the title of police chief and was the highest ranking uniformed police officer in the nation. He was assisted by a deputy police chief. Police headquarters in Jakarta included a staff and several separate administrative bodies that handled specialized police functions. The police had its own territorial organization made up of seventeen jurisdictions, each of which was known as a Police Regional Command (Polda). Each Polda was administratively subdivided at the district, subdistrict, and village level. Polda Metrojaya, which had responsibility for the metropolitan Jakarta area, was subdivided into precincts, sections, and police posts. It was commonly referred to as the Jakarta Raya Metropolitan Regional Police.
Each Polda had its headquarters in a provincial capital and was assigned police units varying in strength and composition according to the needs dictated by the characteristics of the area. These forces were organized as city police forces or rural units and were under the operational command of the Polda commander, who in turn was directly responsible to national police headquarters. All police elements were charged with supporting the local government in their areas.
Functionally, the police were organized into a number of specialized elements. The largest of these was the uniformed police, which included both the general police, who performed conventional police duties relating to the control and prevention of crime and protection of property, and the traffic police, who patrolled the nation's roadways and supervised the licensing of drivers and the registration of motor vehicles. Also part of the uniformed force were the women police, who specialized in social matters and the welfare of women and children. Elite units of special police were employed to enforce order in terrorist situations beyond the capability of the regular forces. These units were better armed and more mobile than the general police and lived in separate barracks under more rigid discipline. These police wore the same uniform as other police but were distinguished by special badges.
A small unit of Sea and Air Police patrolled the national waters and airspace, providing tactical aid to other elements by regulating traffic, guarding against smuggling and the theft of fish, and supplying transport. The unit was also active in disaster relief. Its equipment included a few helicopters and light airplanes and various small seacraft.
Plainclothes police were assigned primary responsibility for criminal investigations, especially in complex cases or in cases involving several jurisdictions. They also handled forensics, intelligence, security, and the technical aspects of crime fighting, such as fingerprinting and identification.
One of the oldest National Police units was the Mobile Brigade, formed in late 1945. It was originally assigned the tasks of disarming remnants of the Japanese Imperial Army and protecting the chief of state and the capital city. It fought in the revolution, and its troops took part in the military confrontation with Malaysia in the early 1960s and in the conflict in East Timor in the mid-1970s. In 1981 the Mobile Brigade spawned a new unit called the Explosive Ordnance Devices Unit.
In 1992 the Mobile Brigade was essentially a paramilitary organization trained and organized on military lines. It had a strength of about 12,000. The brigade was used primarily as an elite corps for emergencies, aiding in police operations that required units to take quick action. The unit was employed in domestic security and defense operations and was issued special riot-control equipment. Elements of the force were also trained for airborne operations.
Police recruits were volunteers. Applicants were required to have at least a sixth-grade education and to pass a competitive examination. Other qualifications included physical fitness and good moral character. After three years' service as ordinary police, personnel with junior secondary-school diplomas could enter training to become NCOs. Those with three years' experience as NCOs were eligible for further training to enable them to become candidate officers and eventually enter the officer corps. Most higher ranking officers entered the force as graduates of the Police Division of Akabri.
Advanced training in vocational and technical subjects was available for regular police, for NCOs, and for officers. Promotions were often based on performance in advanced education. The Police Command and Staff School offered advanced training to police officers assigned to command units at the subdistrict, district, and Polda level. Training there focused on administration and logistics.
Currently, the 275,000-member armed forces (TNI) are under the supervision of a civilian defense minister but retain broad nonmilitary powers and an internal security role, and are not fully accountable to civilian authority. The military and police jointly occupy 38 appointed seats in the DPR reserved for the security forces, as well as 10 percent of the seats in provincial and district parliaments. The security forces, whose members do not have the right to vote in elections, agreed to relinquish their appointed seats in the national and regional legislatures in 2004, but appear likely to retain some seats in the MPR until as late as 2009. In 2000 Wahid signed a decree abolishing the Agency for Coordination of Assistance for the Consolidation of National Security (BAKORSTANAS), which had given the security forces had wide discretion to detain and interrogate persons who were perceived as threats to national security. In 2000 Wahid also signed a decree removing the national police force of 175,000 members from the supervision of the Minister of Defense and providing for civilian oversight. This step, in addition to the formal separation of the police from the armed forces in 1999, was intended to give the police primary responsibility for internal security. The separation of the military and the police was reinforced through a 2000 constitutional amendment and a police law enacted during the year 2001. There continues to be confusion in the armed forces regarding the respective responsibilities of each institution in some cases. The decree provides a caveat that permits the Army to provide security assistance to the State Police upon the latter's request. Notwithstanding these changes, the military continues to play a substantial internal security role in areas of conflict, such as Aceh, the Moluccas, and Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya). Members of both the TNI and the police committed numerous serious human rights abuses.
The Government's human rights record is poor, and it has continued to commit serious abuses. Security forces were responsible for numerous instances of, at times indiscriminate, shooting of civilians, torture, rape, beatings and other abuse, and arbitrary detention in Aceh, West Timor, Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya), and elsewhere in the country. TNI personnel often responded with indiscriminate violence after physical attacks on soldiers. They also continued to conduct "sweeps" that led to killing of civilians and property destruction. The Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS) reported that during the period between June 2000 and June 2001, police killed 740 persons. Despite the May 2000 agreement between the Government and the leaders of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) to limit armed hostilities, military, police, and GAM forces committed numerous extrajudicial killings. Security forces in Papua assaulted, tortured, and killed persons during search operations for members of militant groups. The security forces inconsistently enforced a no-tolerance policy against flying the Papuan flag, tearing down and destroying flags and flag poles, and killing eight persons, and beating others who tried to raise or protect the flag prior to the signing into law of the Papua Special Autonomy Law, which permits the flying of the flag as a cultural symbol. There continued to be credible reports of the disappearance of civilians, KONTRAS reported 55 cases of forced disappearance between January 1 and September 2001. The killers of two Achenese NGO activists, Jafar Siddiq Hamzah and Tengku Hashiruddin Daud, who had been abducted in 2000 and later found dead with indication of torture, had not been identified by year's end. Papuan independence leader Theys Eluay was kidnaped and killed in November 2001. Crossborder raids into East Timor by East Timorese prointegration militias resident in West Timor, armed and largely supported by the army, diminished during the year 2001 as the Indonesian military withdrew its backing. Three Timorese who admitted killing three U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) workers in West Timor were brought to trial in Indonesia and charged with manslaughter instead of murder. Security forces have tortured and otherwise abused persons. Rapes and sexual exploitation by security forces continue to be a problem.
Historically, politically related extrajudicial killings have occurred most frequently in areas in which separatist movements were active, such as Aceh, Papua, and formerly East Timor, and security forces continue to employ harsh measures against separatist movements. In addition security forces killed unarmed demonstrators, and there also were numerous instances of reported extrajudicial killings by security forces in cases involving alleged common criminal activity. The Government rarely holds the military or police accountable for committing extrajudicial killings or using excessive force.
The police on several occasions throughout the country used deadly force to disperse demonstrators. At times the police and the military killed civilians in the crossfire of their attacks on each other. The police often have employed deadly force in apprehending suspects or dealing with alleged criminals, many of whom were unarmed. For example in September, 2001, police shot and killed 23 persons suspected of illegal weapons possession in an incident in Jakarta, claiming that they resisted arrest. During the year 2001, police shot and killed at least 25 Africans suspected of trafficking in narcotics. Africans constitute a disproportionately large percentage of those killed while being arrested, suggesting that such killings are racially motivated. In response to criticism that the methods used were unjustifiably harsh and amounted to execution without trial, police generally claimed that the suspects were fleeing, resisting arrest, or threatening the police. Police did not release complete statistics regarding the number of these cases by year's end 2001. According to a report issued in 2000 by the Committee for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS), 843 persons remain missing as a result of military operations, land disputes, and political and religious activities over the past 20 years. In addition KONTRAS reported that 106 persons remained missing in Aceh during the year 2001.
The Criminal Code makes it a crime punishable by up to 4 years in prison for any official to use violence or force to elicit a confession; however, in practice legal protections are both inadequate and widely ignored, and security forces continue to employ torture and other forms of mistreatment, particularly in regions where there were active security concerns, such as Aceh and Papua. Police often resort to physical abuse, even in minor incidents.
Domestic human rights organizations have continued to play a significant role in advocating for improvements in human rights; however, at times security force members killed, abused, and detained human rights activists and humanitarian workers, most frequently in areas with active insurgencies. On March 29, 2001, security forces reportedly killed three human rights workers and left their bodies in a village in South Aceh. In June in Jakarta, police detained and threatened Non Governmental Organization (NGO) members before releasing them.
Judicial warrants for searches are required except for cases involving suspected subversion, economic crimes, and corruption; however, security agencies regularly made forced or surreptitious entries into homes and offices. Security forces also commonly engaged in surveillance of persons and residences and selective monitoring of local and international telephone calls without legal restraint.
The Criminal Procedures Code contains provisions against arbitrary arrest and detention, but it lacks adequate enforcement mechanisms, and authorities routinely violate it. The code specifies that prisoners have the right to notify their families promptly and that warrants must be produced during an arrest except under specified conditions, such as when a suspect is caught in the act of committing a crime. The law authorizes investigators to issue warrants to assist in their investigations or if sufficient evidence exists that a crime has been committed. However, authorities at times made arrests without warrants.
The law presumes that defendants are innocent and permits bail. Defendants or their families also may challenge the legality of their arrest and detention in a pretrial hearing and may sue for compensation if wrongfully detained. However, it is virtually impossible for detainees to invoke this procedure or to receive compensation after being released without charge. In both military and civilian courts, appeals based on claims of improper arrest and detention rarely, if ever, are accepted. The Criminal Procedures Code also contains specific limits on periods of pretrial detention and specifies when the courts must approve extensions, usually after 60 days. The courts generally respect these limits.
The authorities routinely approve extensions of periods of detention. In areas in which active guerrilla movements exist, such as Aceh and Papua, there are many instances of persons being detained without warrants, charges, or court proceedings. Bail rarely is granted. The authorities frequently prevent access to defense counsel while suspects are being investigated and limit or prevent access to legal assistance from voluntary legal defense organizations. Special laws on corruption, economic crimes, and narcotics are under the Criminal Code.
Security forces frequently detained participants suspected of inciting demonstrations, although most were released after questioning. Security forces detained a number of foreign members of both foreign and domestic NGO's during the year 2001. In past years, several foreign tourists have been subject to arbitrary arrest and detention while traveling in Papua.
The Indonesian legal system is extraordinarily complex, the independent state having inherited three sources of law: customary or adat law, traditionally the basis for resolving interpersonal disputes in the traditional village environment; Islamic law (sharia, or, in Indonesian, syariah), often applied to disputes between Muslims; and Dutch colonial law. Adat courts were abolished in 1951, although customary means of dispute resolution were still used in villages in 1992. The return to the 1945 constitution in 1959 meant that Dutch laws remained in force except as subsequently altered or found to be inconsistent with the constitution. An improved criminal code enacted in 1981 expanded the legal rights of criminal defendants. The government in 1992 was still reviewing its legacy of Dutch civil and commercial laws in an effort to codify them in Indonesian terms. The types of national law recognized in MPR(S) Decree XX, (July 5, 1966), include, in addition to the constitution, MPR decrees, statutes passed by the DPR and ratified by the president, government regulations promulgated by the president to implement a statute, presidential decisions to implement the constitution or government regulations, and other implementing regulations such as ministerial regulations and instructions. Obviously, the executive enjoys enormous discretion in determining what is law.
The prosecutory function rested with the attorney general, who held the position of supreme public prosecutor. The attorney general occupied a cabinet-level post separate from that of the minister of justice, both of whom reported directly to the president. In 1992 the Attorney General's Office included 27 provincial-level prosecutors' offices and 296 district prosecutors' offices.
The public prosecutor's principal functions were to examine charges of felonious conduct or misdemeanors brought by individuals or other parties, and then either to dismiss a charge or to refer it for trial to the state court having jurisdiction. The prosecutor's office was also responsible for presenting the case against the accused in court and for executing the sentence of the court.
The matter of control over the conduct of the preliminary investigation has had a history of contention between the prosecuting authorities and the police going back to the late 1940s and early 1950s. Practice under the old code of criminal procedure evidently rested on working agreements between the two services, under which the police, in principle, conducted primary investigations but deferred to the prosecutor whenever the latter asked to undertake the investigation. Under the new code of criminal procedure, a clear division was made between the investigatory function, which was given solely to the police, and the prosecution function, which remained with the prosecutor's office. The only exception was in the case of "special crimes," a category which was not further defined but which was believed to be reserved for unusually sensitive cases such as espionage and subversion, in which the prosecutor could also take a role in the investigation. Continuing tension between the prosecutor and the police was evident during debate over a new prosecution service law in 1991. The law as passed gave the attorney general the power to conduct limited investigations in cases that were determined to be incomplete. The 1991 law also established the positions of deputy attorney general and a sixth associate attorney general responsible for civil cases and administrative affairs.
The court system comprised four branches: general courts, religious courts, military courts, and administrative courts. In the early 1990s, all criminal cases (except those involving ABRI personnel) were tried in the general courts. The new criminal procedure code set forth rules for establishing in which court a case must be tried, should military and general court jurisdiction combine or overlap.
Since the late 1960s, the Suharto government, with the strong support of the legal profession, made efforts to ensure the independence of the judiciary. The Basic Law on the Judiciary Number 14 (1970) prohibited all interference in judicial matters by persons outside the judiciary, a prohibition that in principle was also contained in the elucidation of the judicial articles of the constitution. The executive branch exercised some measure of influence over judges through the control exercised by the minister of justice over the appointment, training, promotion, and transfer of judges.
The president was empowered to grant amnesty or special dispensation to convicted persons. This power was used on several occasions to declare general amnesties--in 1980, for example, for suspected PKI members imprisoned on Buru Island. The president also could grant individual amnesty and clemency powers and was the final appeal authority for those sentenced to death. Under the new criminal procedures code, cases on which final judgment had been rendered could be opened for reconsideration should new evidence surface.
Today, the Constitution provides for the independence of the judiciary; however, there are a few signs of judicial independence, and in practice, the judiciary is subordinate to the executive and the military. Pursuant to a 1999 law, a gradual transfer of administrative and financial control over the judiciary from the Department of Justice to the Supreme Court is to take place by 2004. However, judges are civil servants employed by the executive branch, which controls their assignments, pay, and promotion. Low salaries encourage widespread corruption, and judges are subject to considerable pressure from governmental authorities, who often exert influence over the outcome of cases.
A quadripartite judiciary of general, religious, military, and administrative courts exists below the Supreme Court. The right of appeal from a district court to a high court to the Supreme Court exists in all four systems. The Supreme Court does not consider factual aspects of a case, only the lower courts' application of the law. The Supreme Court theoretically is an equal branch in relation to the executive and legislative branches, and in November the MPR granted the Supreme Court the right of judicial review over laws passed by Parliament.
A panel of judges conducts trials at the district court level, which consists of posing questions, hearing evidence, deciding guilt or innocence, and assessing punishment. Initial judgments rarely are reversed in the appeals process, although sentences can be increased or reduced. Both the defense and the prosecution may appeal cases.
Defendants have the right to confront witnesses and to produce witnesses in their defense. An exception is allowed in cases in which distance or expense is deemed excessive for transporting witnesses to court; in such cases, sworn affidavits may be introduced. State prosecutors are reluctant to use existing legal powers to plea bargain with defendants or witnesses, or to grant witnesses immunity from prosecution. As a result, witnesses generally are unwilling to testify against the authorities. The courts commonly allow forced confessions and limit the presentation of defense evidence. Defendants do not have the right to remain silent and may be compelled to testify against themselves.
The Criminal Procedures Code gives defendants the right to an attorney from the time of arrest, but not during the prearrest investigative period, which may involve prolonged detention. Persons summoned to appear as witnesses in investigations do not have the right to legal assistance, even if information developed during testimony subsequently becomes the basis of an investigation of the witness. The law requires counsel to be appointed in capital punishment cases and those involving a prison sentence of 15 years or more. In cases involving potential sentences of 5 years or more, an attorney must be appointed if the defendant is indigent and requests counsel. In theory indigent defendants may obtain private legal assistance, such as that provided by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation. However, in practice defendants often are persuaded not to hire an attorney, or access to an attorney of their choice is impeded.
In many cases, procedural protections, including those against confessions coerced by the security forces or police, are inadequate to ensure a fair trial. Corruption is a common feature of the legal system, and the payment of bribes can influence prosecution, conviction, and sentencing in civil and criminal cases.
In October the review panel of the Supreme Court overturned the Court's own guilty verdict against former President Soeharto's son, Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, shortly after the killing of one of its justices. Police accused Tommy Soeharto of ordering the killing of the justice to influence the outcome of the trial. Legislators, the Attorney General, and legal reformers have expressed their disagreement with the review panel's decision in the case. However, in the absence of any law providing for the appeal of a review panel's decision, the decision to overturn the Court's guilty verdict likely would stand.
Despite the beginning of the transfer of administrative and financial control over the judiciary from the Department of Justice to the Supreme Court, there were few signs of judicial independence. The Courts have continued to be used to take action against, or deny legal remedy to, political activists and government critics.
In November 2000, the DPR enacted a law establishing a permanent human rights court. The law creates four new district courts to adjudicate gross violations of human rights. The law requires that each of the five-member human rights courts include three human rights judges appointed to 5-year terms by the President upon nomination by the Supreme Court. Although cases are appealed to the standing High Court and Supreme Court, the law requires that those courts include three human rights judges on an ad hoc basis on the five-member panel when hearing human rights cases. The law provides for internationally recognized definitions of genocide, crimes against humanity, and command responsibility as core elements of gross human rights violations. However, it does not include war crimes as a gross violation. The law strengthens the powers of the Attorney General, who is the sole investigating and prosecuting authority in cases of gross human rights violations, and who is empowered to appoint ad hoc investigators and prosecutors. The law also empowers the Attorney General (as well as the courts) to detain suspects or defendants for multiple fixed periods in cases of gross human rights violations. However, the law requires the extension of any detention of alleged violations to be approved by the human rights court. For gross human rights violations that occurred before the enactment of the law, the law allows the President, with the recommendation of the DPR, to create an ad hoc bench within one of the new human rights courts to hear cases associated with a particular offense.
During 2000 victims of human rights violations sought for the first time to use the courts to obtain redress. In July 2000, the People's Democratic Party sued former President Soeharto and 13 other former senior officials for damages associated with the imprisonment of party leaders, the banning of the party, and the destruction of its property. The suit still was being heard at year's end. In addition in 2000, four members of the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) sued the police in Jakarta for forcibly removing them from a peaceful demonstration and hunger strike that they were conducting inside the Parliament building in Jakarta. After being forcibly removed, they later were kidnaped and threatened by unknown persons. A district court dismissed the suit, but an appeal to the High Court still was pending at year's end.
President Wahid released all remaining political prisoners from the Soeharto and Habibie eras in December 1999. A number of prisoners since have been convicted and are serving sentences on criminal charges such as subversion, defaming the Government and rebellion.
Indonesia's 441 prisons were administered by the Department of Corrections within the Department of Justice and included three categories of prisons based mainly on the number of inmates they could hold. The nine largest, or Class I prisons, held prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment or death.
A 1990 study of Indonesian prison conditions conducted by Asia Watch found conditions harsh in most cases. Poor food, unsanitary conditions, and inadequate medical care were common, as were mistreatment and corruption. Overcrowding in ancient and inadequate facilities also occurred. The study noted the need for better training of prison personnel and renovation of prison facilities.
Several specialized prisons for women and two for youths were located in Java. Where it was not possible to confine such prisoners in separate institutions, as was usually the case outside of Java, efforts were made to segregate juvenile from adult offenders and females from males in separate sections of the same institution. Ordinarily, prisoners were permitted visits by family members and could receive limited amounts of food and other articles to supplement the minimal supplies they were issued. Under some circumstances, prisoners were permitted to spend their nights at home. Most prisons tried to provide medical service of some kind, although it was generally regarded as inadequate.
Rehabilitation provisions included literacy classes, moral and religious training, and workshops to teach crafts and skills. Some prisons operated small industries or agricultural enterprises that sold their products on the local market. Proceeds were used to pay a small wage to the working inmates, to buy recreational equipment, and to maintain buildings and grounds. In some prisons, inmates worked in fields outside the prison confines.
Although regular prisons often housed both convicted criminals and political prisoners, the latter were kept isolated from other prisoners. Political prisoners were also held in Kodam headquarters and in separate labor camps and detention facilities staffed by military personnel.
Between 1969 and 1979, Kopkamtib ran a separate penal colony on Buru Island for Group B prisoners, who were convicted on charges of indirect involvement in the 1965 attempted coup. In late 1979, following the nationwide release of Group B prisoners, the penal colony on Buru Island was closed and the island was designated a transmigration site.
Many released prisoners faced problems in reintegrating themselves into society because families were often shamed by the prisoner's incarceration or feared they would be discriminated against by officials or neighbors should they continue association with the released prisoners. In 1981 the nation's first prisoner's aid society was privately formed in Jakarta to help released prisoners overcome some of these difficulties and to find employment. Released political prisoners detained in connection with the 1965 attempted coup encountered particular problems upon their return to society. Their identification cards, which all Indonesians carry, had special markings indicating their status. Former political prisoners were denied employment in the civil service, the armed forces, and in essential industries. They were able to vote but could not hold any elected office. In some parts of the country they were required to check in regularly with local authorities and to inform them of their movements.
Today, prison conditions are harsh, and mistreatment and extortion of inmates by guards and violence among prisoners is common. The incidence of mistreatment drops sharply once a prisoner is transferred from police or military custody into the civilian prison system or into the custody of the Attorney General. Nine prisoners at the Kebon Waru Prison in Bandung died from untreated illnesses, according to press reports in July. Credible sources report that criminal prisoners in some facilities are beaten routinely and systematically as punishment for infractions of prison rules and to coerce information about other prisoners. During an August raid of Cipinang Prison in East Jakarta, police seized knives, swords, sickles, machetes, firearms, and hand grenades, which had been smuggled into the prison for the inmates, according to press accounts. Prison brawls frequently occur over drugs or ethnic divisions. Former inmates at Jakarta's Cipinang Prison told the press in November 2000 that drug use among prisoners is common, and that inmates can obtain drugs, better treatment, and better conditions by bribing guards. Government officials admitted publicly that prison guards were involved in prison "drug syndicates."
Women are housed separately from men in prisons, but in similar conditions. Juveniles are not housed separately from adults.
The Government generally does not permit routine prison visits by human rights monitors, although some visits occasionally are permitted; however, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was able to visit 12 convicted prisoners during the year 2001.
Violence against women remains poorly documented. The Government does not collect data on domestic violence. Women's rights NGO's estimate that only 15 percent of domestic violence incidents are reported. According to a legal aid organization involved in domestic violence issues, approximately 11 percent of rural women suffer some form of domestic violence. Experts on the subject agree that the number of incidents has risen since the onset of the country's economic downturn starting in mid-1997, which has been aggravated by social changes associated with rapid urbanization. The domestic violence victim advocacy group, Kalyana Mitra, counseled 96 cases in West Java between January and October, 75 domestic violence cases, 17 rape cases, and 4 sexual harassment cases. The Government has acknowledged the problem of domestic violence in society; however, violence against women, especially when it occurs within the home, is perceived by the public to be a private matter and not within the purview of the Government.
Rape is a punishable offense, and perpetrators have been arrested and sentenced for rape and attempted rape, but reliable statistics are unavailable. Women's rights activists believe that rape is seriously underreported due to the social stigma attached to victims. Some legal experts report that unless a woman immediately seeks an examination at a hospital that produces physical evidence of rape, she would be unable to bring charges successfully. A witness also is required in order to prosecute for rape, and only in rare cases can a witness be produced, according to legal experts. Some women reportedly fail to report rape to police because the police do not take their allegations seriously. The maximum prison sentence for rape is 12 years, but observers claim that sentences usually are much shorter. Mob violence against accused rapists frequently is reported. An August 1999 conference of forensic experts recommended that standard procedures be adopted for examining and taking statements from rape victims, in an effort to improve the successfulness of rape prosecutions. However, by year's end, no rape investigation standards were in place, nor were uniform procedures followed.
Rape by a husband of a wife is not considered a crime under the law. Cultural norms dictate that problems between a husband and wife are private matters, and violence against women in the home rarely is reported. While police could bring assault charges against a husband for beating his wife, they are unlikely to do so.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), which is widely criticized by international health experts as damaging to both physical and psychological health, is practiced in some parts of the country. No national legislation exists on FGM. Customary ("adat") law has allowed for symbolic female circumcision and small-cut (mild) incisions of the clitoris, which would fall under the World Health Organization's (WHO's) type IV classification of FGM (this category includes pricking, piercing or incising of the clitoris). According to reports, FGM practices appear to be increasingly symbolic in nature (for example, a pinprick or the cutting of a ceremonial root). More invasive FGM practices--removal of the clitoral prepuce, partial removal of the sensitive tip of the clitoris, and even total removal--reportedly occur in Madura, South Sulawesi, and parts of East Java. However, there are no epidemiological reports on the frequency of these practices. Since FGM is not regulated, and religious leaders have taken no formal position, the method used often is left to the discretion of the local traditional practitioner. FGM usually occurs within the first year after birth, often on the 40th day, although it is performed in some areas up to age 10. It is performed either at a hospital or, especially in rural areas, by the local traditional practitioner. Both government officials and NGO leaders familiar with FGM problems believe invasive FGM practices are declining. The Government included FGM as a gender issue in its National Action Plan to End Violence against Women, published in late November. FGM heads the Action Plan's list of religious teachings requiring investigation and modification. The Government and NGO's are targeting awareness campaigns at Muslim religious leaders and those directly involved in performing female circumcisions (such as traditional birth attendants), and towards society at large, to bring about an end to these practices.
There were reports of the forced conversion of hundreds of Christians in Maluku in November and December 2000. Both male and female converts later were forced to undergo circumcision.
The country is a significant source, transit point, and destination for trafficking in women and children for the purpose of forced prostitution and in some cases for forced labor. It is widely alleged that TNI-backed militias raped numerous women during the 1999 violence in East Timor and kept many as sex slaves. Kirsty Sword-Gusmao, the wife of East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao, reported to the international press in November 2000 that 33 pregnant East Timorese women returned to East Timor and claimed they had been abducted and forced to serve as sex slaves for the TNI in West Timor.
Female domestic servants also are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. In some cases, unscrupulous recruitment agencies have promised women employment as domestic servants overseas and then held them against their would for extended periods until jobs are found for them. Women working abroad as domestic servants often risk various forms of abuse, exploitation, and other cruel treatment. The Government has taken some steps to assist its citizens working abroad, but advocates charge that much more needs to be done.
According to a study, there are about 170,000 street children in 12 urban areas. Of these, about 20 percent are girls. At least 60 percent of the street children polled were not enrolled in school. There were about 10,000 street children in Jakarta. Medan, Bandung, Surabaya, Makassar (Ujung Pandang), and Yogyakarta are other cities with substantial populations of street children. Of the 1,600 street children living in Yogyakarta, about 25 percent are girls. Many of them are victims of sexual abuse or are engaged in prostitution. Another NGO survey suggests that there are at least 100,000 street children and 6 million abandoned children in the country.
Street children sell newspapers, shine shoes, help to park or watch cars, and otherwise attempt to earn money. Many street children work under hazardous conditions as scavengers, garbage pickers, and on fishing platforms and fishing boats. According to credible sources, there are hundreds, perhaps over 1,000 children working in hazardous conditions on fishing platforms off the east coast of North Sumatra. Many thousands of children work in factories and fields.
Child abuse is not prohibited specifically by law. According to Unicef's 2000 report, close family members frequently discipline children; however, there are no reliable sources for violence within families. Governmental efforts to combat child abuse have been slow and ineffective due to cultural sensitivities, lack of monitoring mechanisms and verification procedures regarding child abuse.
In September 2000, a network of illegal baby adoptions was uncovered by the authorities. Four persons were arrested and three babies were rescued and used as evidence. The babies allegedly were bought from low-income families and were sold to wealthy infertile couples.
Child prostitution and other sexual abuses occur, but firm data are lacking. Police continue to uncover syndicates involved in trafficking girls to work in brothels on various islands or in other countries. According to a 1998 NGO study, there were 406 cases of child abuse that year, 900 to 1,200 cases of child rape, and 40,000 to 70,000 cases of other sexual abuse against children.
There is no separate criminal justice system for juveniles. Ordinary courts handle juvenile crime, and juveniles often are imprisoned with adult offenders. A Juvenile Justice Law was passed by Parliament in 1996 and was signed by then-President Soeharto in 1997. It defines juveniles as children between the ages of 8 and 18 and establishes a special court system and criminal code to handle juvenile cases; however, it has not been implemented. An estimated 400,000 children are brought to court annually, according to UNICEF statistics. Sixty percent of the children are involved in petty crimes such as theft. Areas with the highest reported incidences of juvenile crime are Java, including Jakarta (7,281), South Sumatra (1,336 cases), and North Sumatra (994).
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
The law prohibits trafficking in persons; however, trafficking in persons is a serious problem. The country is a source, transit point, and destination for trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution and in some for forced labor. There are no government statistics on the number of persons trafficked; however, the Indonesian Women's Coalition for Justice and Democracy, a leading NGO advocating for antitrafficking legislation, believes that as many as 400,000 Indonesian women and children are trafficked each year. The ILO estimates that 21,000 children are working as prostitutes in the country.
Prostitution is not prohibited specifically by law and prostitution is widespread. Official statistics reported 75,106 registered prostitutes in 1999, up from 72,000 in 1995. However, NGO's estimate that there are as many as 1.3 million prostitutes in the country, 30 percent of whom may be under 16 years of age. NGO findings indicate a growing trend in child prostitution and sexual exploitation. A university professor estimates that about 150,000 children enter prostitution each year. The prevalence of child prostitutes appears to vary by region. According to an NGO study, approximately 15 percent of the prostitutes in parts of Central Java were between 16 and 20 years of age. In a seminar held in Batam in August, researchers reported that 50 percent of more than 1,800 sex workers whom they interviewed in 1998 were younger than 18 years of age. Other estimates suggest that as many as 6,000 sex workers in Batam are under age 18. An October NGO report found that trafficking in teenage girls from North Sumatra to Singapore and Malaysia was increasing. A growing number of children enter prostitution to help their families or to support drug habits. In September the ILO, in collaboration with the University of Indonesia's department of social welfare, published a preliminary study of trafficking trends in Jakarta, Batam (Sumatra), Medan (Sumatra), and Bali, that found that many girls entered prostitution after failed marriages they had entered when they were as young as 10 to 14 years old.
Some teenage prostitutes come from middle class families. Child prostitutes can earn $500 to $1,000 (about Rp. 4.7 to 9.4 million) per month, 10 to 20 times what an unskilled factory worker earns. The demand for young girls is increasing, as many clients seek young girls who are perceived to be less likely to carry HIV/AIDS.
While not documented thoroughly, the sex trade is believed widely to have increased sharply as women hurt by the economic downturn sought means of support for their families. Instances of families in rural areas of Java and Sumatra being forced by economic circumstances to "sell" their daughters to local men continue to be reported.
Kirsty Sword-Gusmao, the wife of East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao, reported to the international press in November 2000, that 33 pregnant East Timorese women, who had returned to East Timor, claimed that they were abducted and forced to serve as sex slaves for the TNI in West Timor.
There are credible reports of trafficking in girls and women and of temporary "contract marriages" with foreigners in certain areas, such as West Kalimantan and Sumatra, although the extent of this practice is unclear. Many such marriages are not considered legal, and the children born from them are considered born out of wedlock. According to one report, poor Sino-Indonesian parents from Sinkawang, West Kalimantan, who were desperate for money and believed that their daughters would have a better future, have sold thousands of their daughters into contract marriages to Taiwanese men. Some of the girls were as young as 14 years old. If such marriages fail, the women have no legal recourse. According to one source, there were as many as 10,000 Sino-Indonesian women from Sinkawang living in Taiwan whose legal status was uncertain.
Police continue to uncover syndicates involved in trafficking young women and girls, many younger than age 18, to work in brothels on islands in Riau province, Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya (all in Java); Denpasar (Bali); Medan (Sumatra); Ambon (Maluku); Manado, Makassar, and Kendari (Sulawesi); and Jayapura, Sorong, and Merauke (Irian Jaya). Others are trafficked to Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. Many of the girls and women were hired under false pretenses. One tactic commonly employed is to offer young women in rural areas jobs as waitresses or hotel employees in distant regions, typically at island resorts. After the new recruits arrive at the site they learn that they have been recruited as sex workers. In some instances, women are held forcibly at brothels or are prevented from leaving an island. In other cases, the women have no option other than to accept the work because they lack money to travel and face other economic pressures. There also have been cases of boys involved in prostitution, especially in popular tourist destinations such as Bali and Lombok; at times such boys have been victims of trafficking, although the incidence reportedly is low.
According to the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS), only about 750,000 out of 2 million citizens working abroad in any given year are undocumented. However, because many workers enter Malaysia and other countries without documentation and government methodology for making estimates is questionable, the estimate of 2 million is not reliable. In February the Government signed a joint labor statement with Bangladesh, India, and Nepal in a Bangkok session of the Regional Southeast Asia Trafficking Convention. The statement includes among its points the recognition that trafficking has become a part of the labor migration process.
Although production of narcotics, particularly opiate-derived products from the Golden Triangle in the Thai-Burmese-Lao border area, substantially increased during the late 1980s, Indonesia did not become either a major producer or user of illicit drugs. There was, however, considerable concern on the part of the national leadership and police officials that Indonesia might become an important drug trafficking center as major drug routes in mainland Southeast Asia shifted to take advantage of Indonesia's relatively innocuous reputation. The booming tourist destination of Bali provided a base for individual traffickers and transactions. Although there was no extradition treaty between the United States and Indonesia, Indonesian authorities were cooperative in deporting drug suspects, particularly if the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) was involved. During 1991, for example, a suspected American drug trafficker was deported to the United States with the cooperation of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Indonesian National Police, and Interpol. In addition, periodic police campaigns in the Special Region of Aceh and Sumatera Utara Province, which were the country's leading producers of marijuana (much of it used for local cooking and consumption), targeted marijuana fields in joint police/military eradication operations.
The criminal justice system was still evolving in the early 1990s, particularly under national and international scrutiny because of intense interest in the prosecution of civilians charged with criminal or subversive actions in the East Timor incident. Those trials, which were monitored by the international press and foreign diplomats stationed in Indonesia, were judged to have been smoothly run. The trials illustrated the close relationship in Indonesia between the larger issues of internal security and national defense and Indonesia's criminal justice system.
Internet research assisted by Robert Castillo