UPR submission Indonesia
On 31 March 2022, Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Indonesia. The next UPR of Indonesia will take place in November 2022.
The report highlights concerns regarding Indonesia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to guarantee the proper functioning of lawyers, without harassment and hindrance, as set out in the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (Basic Principles) and other international rights instruments.
The first issue that is highlighted in the report is that lawyers from Indonesia often experience difficulties obtaining access to their clients in detention. Law enforcement officials at times block lawyers from legal access to their clients not only at detention centres, but also at police stations.
Another concern is that there is a lack of respect for lawyer-client confidentiality, meaning that there are often no facilities for lawyers to meet in private with their clients, or that conversations are being overheard by law enforcement officials.
Lawyers in Indonesia who defend human rights or politically sensitive cases are regularly subjected to threats, intimidation, improper interference, attempts to pressure them. They experience such attacks in various ways, including intimidating anonymous phone calls, threats and bullying on social media, attacks at their offices, and intentional damage to their cars, all in connection with their performance in good faith of professional duties. Whenever they report these attacks to the Indonesian authorities, many lawyers are not granted adequate protection, because law enforcement officials often do not seriously consider their case and, at times, criticize the lawyer.
Furthermore, lawyers are also subjected to threats, intimidation and physical attacks by members of law enforcement agencies or investigative bodies.
In light of these serious concerns regarding the situation of lawyers in Indonesia, Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada have made multiple recommendations to the Indonesian government.
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