The Indonesian president declared a war on people who use drugs. Community activists responded with a short video, explaining why the hate campaign launched by the government is ineffective and wrong. Please support their fight by watching and sharing this movie!
It has been 8 years since Indonesia enacted its latest drug law, Law No. 35 of the Year 2009 on Narcotics. This law criminalises drug use and small amounts of drug possession, and also includes the death penalty as the ultimate punishment for production and trafficking.
The criminalisation of people who use drugs has resulted in overcrowded populations in Indonesia’s prisons. Since the enactment of the law, the prison population has risen from 140% capacity in 2012 to 174% in 2017.
President Joko Widodo’s administration also execute people accused of being drug traffickers. In total, this administration has executed 18 persons (6 on 18 January 2015, 8 on 29 April 2015, and 4 on 29 July 2016). From those 18, only 3 are Indonesians, the rest are foreign nationals.
During the campaign trail before he was elected back in 2014, Joko Widodo was often criticised by his (ex-military) political opponent for not being tough and brave enough to be the President of Indonesia. In his party congress, Joko Widodo proudly claimed that these execution have proven that he is a tough and brave leader.
Looking at those facts, LBH Masyarakat, a legal aid organisation based in Jakarta, Indonesia, made this simple video to visually express the failed punitive approach of Joko Widodo’s administration and the steps that it could take to create a more successful drug policy.
By creating this video, LBH Masyarakat hopes that the administration and its supporters could see that imprisonment is not the solution for people who use drugs, execution should be stopped, and the death penalty should be abolished: because every human matters.
Article by Yohan David
Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat
Community Legal Aid Institute