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Having Discourse on Human Rights Defenders in Indonesia

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The public discussion of FH UNAIR: Scholars and Activists at Risk: Research on Human Rights Defenders in Indonesia, on Wednesday September 14. (Photo: M. Ahalla Tsauro)

UNAIR NEWS – Human Rights Study Center of Faculty of Law  Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) held another public discussion. The topic was “Scholars and Activists at Risk: Research on Human Rights Defenders in Indonesia”, on Wednesday, September 14 I Building C, FH Study Center.

In the occasion, there were five speakers sharing their perspectives on human rights defenders in Indonesia. They were Dr. Alice M. Nah (Center for Applied Human Right, Universitas York, UK), Dr. Herlambang P. Wiratraman (Center for Human Right Law Studies FH UNAIR), Andy Irfan (KontraS Surabaya), Abd. Wachid Habibullah, M.H (LBH Surabaya), and Dwi Rahayu, M.A. (Human Rights Teacher Association of Indonesia).

Alice started the discussion by elaborating her research activity on human rights in Indonesia and Malaysia. She said that human rights activists, teachers and researchers tend to receive negative treatments from the society as what happened to UIN lecturer Ar-Raniry Aceh Rosnida Sari who took her students to church for learning purpose but the locals could not understand her intention.

Herlambang explained specifically that freedom in academic community to speak, make opinion and have critical minds at college. He said that some schools and universities still feel inferior than the people with capital power. Therefore, universities are not very much different with an academic industry which can be bought.

“The process of campus liberation will indirectly bring universities to neat corporate system,” said HErlambang. “Students of law also have problems to examine a case,” added Herlambang.

In Indonesia, public has not realized the important roles played by human rights defenders yet. It was admitted by a speaker from KontraS Surabaya. “There are communities which do not understand the importance of human rights defenders’ roles,” Andy said.

In the discussion, some cases on human rights like Munir case, Salim Kancil, Rosnida Sari and many others were also discussed. (*)

Author : M. Ahalla Tsauro
Editor: Defrina Sukma S.