Jakarta School Rape Case Pair Guilty

Jakarta School Rape Case Pair GuiltyAn Indonesian court has found Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman and Ferdinant Tjiong, a teaching assistant, guilty of raping three children in a case regarded as rigged to help a plaintiff win a US$125 million lawsuit against the Jakarta Intercultural School. After the sentence was read, Bantleman said "we will continue to fight until the truth comes…

Holding The Tobacco Industry Liable

Holding The Tobacco Industry LiableDespite overwhelming credible and scientifically robust evidence that tobacco kills and is a common risk factor for major non-communicable diseases, public health program have been unable to make significant headway in cutting tobacco use, particularly in the third world. With more than 6 million tobacco-related deaths every year, the world is far from eliminating the…

Opinion: Western Arrogance in Indonesian Courts

Opinion: Western Arrogance in Indonesian CourtsThe death penalty has been shown to have little deterrent effect and will always be vulnerable to miscarriages of justice. Likewise, laws against drugs tend to generate more crime in the form of protection rackets, murder and money laundering than they prevent social ills. That said, the outcry from Australia (and others) about Indonesia’s probable…

Grave International Concern over Jakarta School Case

Grave International Concern over Jakarta School CaseIn April, the mother of a 5-year-old kindergartner at Jakarta Intercultural School, the city’s most prestigious school for expatriate children and one of the most highly regarded in Asia, charged that her son had been sodomized repeatedly in a school bathroom by janitors.  The case, which is universally regarded as specious, was later expanded to…

Can Jokowi Tame Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry?

Can Jokowi Tame Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry?Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry, arguably the country’s most powerful state institution – and often named one of its most corrupt – is facing unprecedented questioning over its broken land rights system.   The ministry, which oversees more than 70 percent of the country's land area, also represents a major test of how serious Joko Widodo, the…

Indonesian Women Police Recruits Face Degrading Virginity Check

Indonesian Women Police Recruits Face Degrading Virginity CheckThe Indonesian National Police force female applicants to go through degrading and painful tests to prove their virginity, the Indonesian branch of Human Rights Watch has said. The examination includes an embarrassing, discredited and uncomfortable “two finger test” to determine if a woman’s hymens are intact, according to interviews with recruits who went through the…

Indonesian Brothel Closures hit HIV prevention

Indonesian Brothel Closures hit HIV preventionIn 2013 Surabaya’s firebrand mayor, Tri Rismaharini, closed two of the city’s six red light districts. In June, she shut down Dolly, one of the largest sex work complexes in Southeast Asia. But while she is running the campaign in the name of public morality, research shows closing brothels puts sex workers at increased risk, and…

Heartening Report on Global Hunger

Heartening Report on Global HungerThe world has made significant progress in combating global hunger, according to the 2014 Global Hunger Index published this week by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The state of hunger in developing countries as a group has improved since 1990, falling by a heartening 39 percent, according to the 2014 index. “Undernourishment fell most…

The ISIS Threat in Indonesia

The ISIS Threat in IndonesiaIndonesia, with the largest Muslim population in Asia, is one of the most vulnerable states in Southeast Asia to possible infiltration from members of the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS). Although the capacity of violent extremist groups remains low, this could change with the  eventual return home of an unknown number of Indonesians…

Danger Grows for Environmental Activists

Danger Grows for Environmental ActivistsAmid increasing attacks on people engaged in environmental activism, experts are calling for a global protection regime to defend and support campaigners subjected to harassment and abuse. “We need to come up with an umbrella organization that looks after environmental activists’ rights and is in a position to launch rapid action that assists those in…
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