The Observatory has been informed by the Commission for the
Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) about the ongoing judicial
harassment against Fatia Maulidiyanti, current Coordinator of KontraS, FIDH’s Vice President, and OMCT General Assembly member, and Haris Azhar,
Executive Director of Lokataru. KontraS is a human rights organisation
formed by a number of civil society organisations and community leaders
in 1998 to monitor human rights issues in Indonesia and handle cases of
enforced disappearances and victims of state violence. Lokataru
Foundation is an organisation working for the realisation of a
collaborative and meaningful positive engagement among state,
communities, and private sectors based on human rights values and the
rule of law principles, by fighting abuse of power, corruption, and
human rights violations.
The first hearing of the criminal defamation trial against Fatia
Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar is scheduled for April 3, 2023 before the
East Jakarta District Court. During this audience, the indictment
against the two human rights defenders will be read. If convicted, Fatia
Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar could be sentenced to up to four years in
The Observatory recalls that the defamation case against Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar was opened in August 2021. The accusation against them stems from a police report filed
on September 22, 2021, by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Indonesian
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, against the
two human rights defenders. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan alleged that both
violated criminal defamation provisions, namely “attacking someone’s
honour or reputation with accusations” and “defamation” (Articles 310
and 311 of the Criminal Code, respectively) and Article 45(3) of the
amended Electronic Information and Transaction (EIT) Law 
. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan asked for 300 billion Indonesian rupiahs
(approximately 18 million Euros) in compensation. On March 6, 2023, the
Jakarta Metropolitan Regional Police submitted the findings of the
investigation opened against the two human rights defenders to the
Attorney General’s Office for their prosecution.
On August 26, 2021, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan sent a subpoena through
his legal representatives to Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti’s
attorneys in relation to a talk show video 
posted on Haris Azhar’s YouTube channel on August 20, 2021. In the
video, Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti discussed the findings of
research carried out by several environmental and human rights
organisations, including KontraS, about the business activities of
Indonesian army officials, both active and retired, in the gold mining
sector and their alleged plans to exploit the Blok Wabu area in Sugapa
District, Intan Jaya Regency, Papua Province. 
The video claims that Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan owns shares of PT Toba
Sejahtera Group (TS), a company that controls PT Tobacom Del Mandiri
(TDM), one of the mining companies that are involved in the mining
operations in the Blok Wabu area.
In the subpoena, Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti were asked to
explain the reason for posting the video and to apologise to Luhut
Binsar Pandjaitan within five days through Haris Azhar’s YouTube
channel, mass media, and online media, and to promise not to reoffend.
Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti refused to apologise. Furthermore, in
the subpoena, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan threatened to take further legal
action should Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti fail to comply with his
The Observatory condemns the judicial harassment of Haris Azhar and
Fatia Maulidiyanti, which seems to be only aimed at punishing them for
their legitimate human rights activities and for exercising their right
to freedom of opinion and expression.
The Observatory calls on the authorities in Indonesia to put an end
to any acts of harassment –including at the judicial level– against
Haris Azhar, Fatia Maulidiyanti, and all other human rights defenders in
the country, and to ensure that they are able to carry out their
legitimate human rights activities without any hindrance or fear of
45(3) of Law No. 19 of 2016 Concerning the Amendment to Law No. 11 of
2008 on Electronic Information and Transactions stipulates that any
person who knowingly and without authority distributes and/or transmits
and/or causes to be accessible Electronic Information and/or Electronic
Records with contents of affronts and/or defamation could be prosecuted.
The punishment for this offence is imprisonment not exceeding four
years and/or a fine not exceeding seven 150 million Indonesian rupiah.
video is entitled "Ada Lord Luhut dibalik Relasi Ekonomi-Ops Militer
Intan Jaya!! Jenderal BIN Juga Ada!!” [“There is Lord Luhut behind the
Economic Relations-Military Operations Intan Jaya!! The General of the
State Intelligence Agency is also there!!].
operations in the Blok Wabu area have been linked to extrajudicial
killings, land grabbing, and environmental degradation, which have
resulted in the displacement of members of the local communities.