Indonesia. Parliament increased the pressure on President
Abdurrahman Wahid to resign after a committee found him
"likely" to be involved in two corruption cases. He was
pricked twice, and despite the May prosecutor's dismissal of
the suspicions, Parliament accelerated the work of putting
the president before the national court. The criticism now
concerns general incompetence and his inability to overcome
I's economic and separatist problems.
Before the parliamentary session of Parliament in July,
Wahid announced a state of emergency, but the Supreme Court
unlawfully declared the decision and the security forces
refused to obey orders to evacuate Parliament. Instead,
Wahid was deposed and succeeded by Vice President Megawati
Sukarnoputri. Hamzah Haz, leader of the Muslim party PPP,
was elected new vice president.
Countryaah, the new government granted expanded autonomy and
increased control over its natural resources to the troubled
provinces of Aceh on Sumatra and Irian Jaya on New Guinea.
Irian Jaya changed his name to Papua and got the right to
use his own flag and national anthem.
President Sukarnoputri also traveled to Aceh asking for
forgiveness for mistakes made by previous governments.
Independence movements, however, rejected limited autonomy
and violence continued in both provinces. Hundreds of people
were killed in Aceh during the year, and in November
Independence leader Theys Eluay was assassinated.
I's financial problems continued. The budget deficit and
inflation increased, and central government debt was as
large as the entire gross domestic product. The
International Monetary Fund (IMF) held a $ 400 million loan
following criticism of I's slow economic reforms. The IMF
demanded, among other things, a tighter budget and increased
independence for the central bank. In order to reduce the
budget deficit, the government reduced the subsidies on,
among other things. fuel, electricity and pharmaceuticals,
which led to sharp price increases.
The extensive capital flight of recent years continued.
In 2001, at least $ 10 billion was estimated to disappear
from the country. In October, however, the IMF considered
that Indonesia was on the right track and resumed loan payments,
after which other lenders offered $ 3.14 billion. Of that
sum, however, 1.3 billion depended on rapid economic
The United States was not interested in human rights in
the country, but focused on military cooperation and in
September 2012, the United States sold 8 Apache attack
helicopters to the country.
In February 2013, the Free Papua Movement in Irian Jaya
attacked a division of soldiers and killed 8. It caused the
tension to rise dramatically in Irian Jaya. In April, police
attacked a congregation of Papuans gathered for prayer in
Aimas near Sorong in protest of the transfer of Irian Jaya
in 1963 from Dutch colonial rule to Indonesian colonial
rule. Two were killed at the scene and one died a few days
later. 22 were arrested and 7 of them charged with treason.
In March 2013, eight soldiers from the Indonesian Army
Special Unit Kopassus murdered 4 unarmed prisoners in
Cebongan prison outside Yogyakarta. Three of the soldiers
were subsequently sentenced to 6-11 years in prison and the
other 5 shorter prison sentences. Human rights organizations
welcomed the verdict as a step towards ending traditional
impunity in the country. As in Denmark, police officers and
soldiers are rarely convicted of their criminal acts.
Indonesia is the transit country for many refugees en
route from Asia to Australia. In 2013, the country contained
approx. 10,000 refugees from Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Burma who were in a kind of legal limbo since Indonesia
has no asylum law.
In July 2013, the Parliament passed a new NGO law, which
on a number of points impeded restrictions on the right to
speech, assembly and religion. The law largely prohibits
foreign aid to Indonesian NGOs and also prohibits NGOs from
spreading ideas of atheism, communism and Marxism-Leninism
that are all considered contrary to Pancasila.
In August, the government allowed free download of the
movie The act of Killing from the internet. The
partly Danish-funded documentary showed the role of the
state and its death patrols in the massacre of 500,000 -
1,000,000 Indonesians in 1965-66. The government thereby
lifted the de-facto ban that had, for almost 50 years,
overturned merely mention of the massacre.
The July 2014 presidential election was won by Joko
Widodo of PDI-P with 53.2% of the vote. His counterpart
Prabowo Subianto from PGIR had to settle for 46.8%.
Subianto, however, objected to the result, believing that
there had been systematic, structural and massive
irregularities in the election process. He therefore brought
the outcome before the Indonesian Constitutional Court,
which, however, after 3 weeks of processing the complaint
unanimously rejected it. Widodo had a past as a popular
governor of Surakarta and since Jakarta. He was the
country's first president, not the origin of the military or
the country's political and economic elite.
In September, the Aceh Parliament passed a supplementary
law based on Shariah that banned sex between same-sex,
pre-marital, adultery, alcohol, gambling, sexual abuse,
rape, allegation of adultery without evidence and staying in
the same room with people of the opposite sex without being
related to the person in question. The punishment for these
wrongdoings was stingy. In May, a woman in Aceh was
subjected to a group rape of 8 men who accused her of
adultery. She was then sentenced to trial for adultery.