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HRW: proposed amendments to Indonesia terror law threaten human rights

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Tuesday urged [press release] the Indonesian Parliament [official website] to reject proposed amendments to its law on the "eradication of terrorism" [Law No. 15/2003]. HRW asserts that the proposed amendments are too vague and would limit the exercise of free expression and directly conflict with Indonesia's obligations to international human rights, leading to fundamental rights violations. The proposed amendments are in response to the recent attacks in Jakarta [Al Jazeera report] and would allow the stripping of citizenship and confiscation of passports of Indonesians suspected of supporting the Islamic State. Neither the amendments nor the proposing officials provide a process by which citizenship would be stripped or passports confiscated.

Indonesia [HRW country report] has previously faced international criticism for undermining human rights. In October Amnesty International reported that death row inmates in Indonesia have been denied [JURIST report] the right to counsel, beaten and coerced into confessions. In April eight convicted drug smugglers [JURIST report] were executed by firing squad for their part in a smuggling ring. In November 2013 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Indonesia [JURIST report] to end discrimination. In February of that year a group of UN human rights experts called on Indonesia [JURIST report] to amend a bill they claimed would unfairly limit the rights of assembly, speech and religion of private organizations. In July 2012 an Indonesian cleric was imprisoned for violating [JURIST report] the nation's blasphemy law. The international community criticized [JURIST report] Indonesia the preceding March for the arrest of peaceful demonstrators. In January 2011 three soldiers were sentenced [JURIST report] for their role in making a video showing the torture of detainees. In December 2010 rights groups advocated [JURIST report] for the repeal of two Sharia laws which imposed strict Islamic dress in public and prohibited unmarried men and women from being alone together.

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