Indonesia Imposes New Restrictions On Papua NGOs

Indonesia Imposes New Restrictions On Papua NGOs
Human Right Watch says freedom of expression, association limited

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 21, 2013) – Human Rights Watch says a new law in Indonesia that gives the government wide powers to shut down NGOs will expose civil society to wide-ranging problems in West Papua.

The Law on Mass Organisations imposes a broad gamut of obligations and prohibitions on NGO activities, and severe limitations on freedom of expression and association.

The NGO law obliges civil society to adhere to respect for monotheism, regardless of their religious or secular orientation, and states that NGOs must “maintain the value of religion and belief in Almighty God,” regardless of their religious or secular orientation.

HRW’s Phil Robertson says the law reflects a desire among lawmakers for NGOs to be taken out of the picture.

“This is basically constructing a crude instrument to allow the government of Indonesia to go after whoever it wants in civil society for whatever reason they want. I mean it’s basically a blank cheque for government repression of NGO activities,” said Phil Robertson.

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