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Startseite Urgent Actions 2021 11 Human rights defenders accused of defamation Human rights defenders facing unjust trial
FI 107/21-2
Aktiv seit 16. März 2023 | Noch 39 Tage Laufzeit

Human rights defenders facing unjust trial

AI-Index: ASA 21/6557/2023

On 6 March 2023, the Jakarta Metropolitan Regional Police handed over its investigation findings of an alleged defamation case involving two human rights defenders, Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar, to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation and prosecution. On 17 March 2022, Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar were charged with defamation under the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions Law, after having been reported by the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs on 22 September 2021. Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar now face a possible four-year sentence if found guilty.


Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar are Indonesian human rights defenders. Fatia Maulidiyanti is the coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), an organization established during Indonesia's authoritarian period that is well-known for exposing human rights violations and advocating victims' rights. Haris Azhar is a lawyer, lecturer, and founder of Lokataru Foundation, an up-and-coming human rights organization.

On 20 August 2021, Haris Azhar uploaded a video on his YouTube channel containing a conversation between himself and Fatia about a report that mentioned that some companies allegedly were involved in exploring the Wabu Block gold mine in Intan Jaya, Papua. The report was completed by nine organizations, including KontraS, led by Fatia Maulidiyanti, launched on August 12, 2021, and is titled «A Political Economy Study of Military Placement in Papua: The Case of Intan Jaya». The report suggests a relationship between concessions granted by the Indonesian government to some companies and the irregular military deployment in Papua. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, former military general and incumbent Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, was allegedly a minority shareholder in one of the companies mentioned in the report.

Following the video's release, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan sent two subpoenas against Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar on 26 August and 2 September 2021. According to his spokesperson, the subpoenas invited Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris to explain the motive, intention, and purpose behind the video's content. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan felt that the footage disseminates untrue opinions, character assassinations, and fake news.

On 29 August 2021, Haris Azhar explained that the data mentioned in the dialogue came from the report produced by multiple civil society organizations, which outlined the alleged involvement of several military figures in the mining industry.

On 21 October 2021, the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Regional Police (Jakarta’s Police) summoned Fatia Maulidiyanti, Haris Azhar, and Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan for mediation. Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar fulfilled the summons, while Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan did not. As a result, the mediation was postponed indefinitely.

On 17 March 2022, Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar were accused of defamation and charged under Article 27 paragraph (3) of the ITE Law. On 21 March 2022, both were summoned by Jakarta's Police for the investigation process.

On the morning of 6 March 2023, Jakarta's Police summoned Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar to inform them about the case file's completion and to perform a medical check-up before handing the case file over to the East Jakarta District Court, a municipality-level prosecution unit that works under the auspices of Jakarta's Attorney General Office, on the same day.

Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar's legal team said the trial could start as early as 13 March 2023.

Amnesty International Indonesia has recorded at least 1'021 human rights defenders were prosecuted, arrested, attacked, and intimidated by various actors from January 2019 to December 2022. Meanwhile, there are at least 332 people that have been charged under the ITE Law, most of them accused of defamation, between January 2019 and May 2022.

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.

  • Take action on Social media: Infos see the yellow field on the right.

  • Please take action before 11 May 2023.

  • Preferred language: English, Indonesian. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Dear Mr. Manthovani,

I am deeply concerned about two human rights defenders, Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar, accused of violating the defamation provision of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE). They now face prosecution after the police submitted the findings of their investigations to the Attorney General's Office on 6 March 2023. These criminal proceedings against Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar add to a long list of cases against human rights defenders in Indonesia involving the unjustified suppression of freedom of expression.

Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar were reported to the police by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, who also sued the two human rights defenders 100 billion rupiahs each.

The allegations relate to a video on Haris Azhar’s YouTube channel, in which he and Fatia Maulidiyanti discuss a report titled «A Political Economy Study of Military Placement in Papua: The Case of Intan Jaya», which suggests alleged connections between military operations and mining activities in Intan Jaya Regency, in Papua. The report, launched on 12 August 2021, was written by nine organizations, including a human rights organization (KontraS) led by Fatia Maulidiyanti.

It is very distressing to learn that Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar face criminal charges and a possible four-year sentence, simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed under both international and national law.

Therefore, I urge you to:
- Drop the charges and close the investigation against Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar;
- Ensure that all human rights defenders can carry out their peaceful activities without harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention, or fear of reprisals, in line with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;
- Amend the ITE Law to decriminalize defamation and ensure that defamation is only treated as a civil matter.

Yours sincerely,


Appeals to

Reda Manthovani
Chief of DKI Jakarta Attorney General’s Office
Jl. H. R. Rasuna Said No.2, Jakarta Selatan,
DKI Jakarta 12950

Phone: +62 21 5254128
Twitter: @KejatiDki

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Ir. H. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
State Secretariat, Jl. Veteran No. 17-18, Kota Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia (10110)

Twitter: @jokowi

• Establish a legal framework to protect human rights defenders from the risk of being criminalized for exercising their rights to promote and defend human rights
• Amend the Electronic Information and Transactions Law according to international human rights standards

Prof. Dr. H. Mohammad Mahfud Mahmodin
Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.15, RT.2/RW.3, Gambir,
Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10110

Twitter: @mohmahfudmd

Ensure that the Attorney General’s Office drop the case by releasing the Stipulation of Termination of Prosecution (Surat Ketetapan Penghentian Penuntutan, SKP2)


Copies to

Botschaft der Republik Indonesien
Elfenauweg 51
3006 Bern

Fax: 031 352 24 80



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Letter delivery to other countries - General info:
It is possible to send PRIORITY letters to almost all countries.
Please check
on the Website of the Swiss Post, whether letters are currently being delivered to the destination country.
If not, we ask you to use other communication channels (email, fax or social media, if available) for the delivery of your appeal and/or send it via the embassy with the request for forwarding to the named person.

Response on your appeal/letter

It might be that you will receive a reply to your appeal letter. You do not have to answer to it by yourself, but we would be grateful if you would send us this letter. Ideally scanned by e-mail to We forward the replies to the relevant research team (via Amnesty's International Secretariat). The colleagues analyze the content and decide on how to proceed, which may be reflected in a Further information.

Incidentally, we do not fear any consequences for UA activists in Switzerland. However, it makes sense to consider not to wrtite a letter if you intend to travel to the country (or have family there). This applies above all to «problematic» and repressive countries. (Russia, Turkey, China, ...)

Social media




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Suggested messaging:

Human rights defenders are not criminals. Freedom of expression is not a crime. Drop the charges against Haris and Fatia!
suggested hashtags: #SaveHarisandFatia #KamiBersamaHarisdanFatia #LindungiPembelaHAM

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