Day of Action 2017

SUPPORT, DON’T PUNISH 2017

Narrative Report – LBH Masyarakat, Indonesia

Background

The administration of President Joko Widodo has shown its true face: a regime that place human rights as campaign tools, and not as an issue that should be won. Joko Widodo’s war on drugs policy is a proof to it. His administration has failed to create an effective, humane, and holistic drug policy by maintaining the criminalization of drug possession and using. On the contrary, his administration has conducted 3 wave of death penalty executions, which have taken 18 lives so far – all for drug offenses.[1][2][3] Despite heavy criticism from international community, the Attorney General already plans for the 4th wave of execution.[4] The current drug policy has also resulted in prison overcrowd nationwide and extrajudicial killings of drug-crimes suspects. Amnesty Indonesia is working on a report on about[5] and even Indonesia’s Ombudsman conducted a meeting with the police and civil society to talk about that.[6]

Proposed Activities

LBH Masyarakat saw an urgent need to fight back the dark narrative on drugs. We believe that through  an honest discussion on drugs, we could contribute in creating a more supporting environment for an effective drug policy. One way of doing it is by creating short films that exposes the fallacy of the current drug policy, and by making sure that such films are accessible to anyone. With the Support! Don’t Punish campaign, we plan to create two five minutes-films, followed by film dissemination and review in three drug user communities.

Execution of Activities

After thorough thinking and discussion, we decided that it is best to have one longer film rather than two short films. We then created one 13-minutes videos that covers several analysis from human rights, political communication, and policy effectiveness. We put the video in 2 separate platform: Youtube[7] and Facebook.[8] In Youtube, the video has successfully generated 215 views. While in Facebook, the video has 511 views.

We chose three cities where we will conduct film screening and discussion; Jakarta, Bogor, and Surabaya. However, we later decided to change Surabaya with Lombok. We think that drug user community in Surabaya is organised and stronger than the one in Lombok.

The first film screening is conducted in Bogor on July 11th, 2017, in collaboration with Bogor Drug User Network (PKN Bogor). We did the screening in Bogor Community Health Center, which provides methadone treatment. Methadone patients came to the event after they had their daily dose of methadone. In the end, around 20 people participated on the event.

The second screening is conducted on July 13th, 2017, in collaboration with AKSI-NTB, a community-based drug rehabilitation center that also provide treatments for children in Lombok. AKSI-NTB has a strong relationship with relevant stakeholders in Lombok, including local police; local authorities in many sectors including health, social affairs, and prison; etc. These stakeholders, together with their drug rehabilitation patients attended the film screening and discussion. In total, there are almost 30 people participating on the event that evening.

We tried to conduct the third screening and discussion in Jakarta. However, our target organization/community for partnership was busy at that time. Although they, at first, has agreed to hold the screening, they kept postponing the agreed date. We then decided to drop the third screening, and allocated the support to help campaigning for Fidelis Ari case. Fidelis Ari is criminalised for planting, cultivating and processing cannabis to treat his late wife who was suffered Syringomyelia[9], a rare disease.

Prior to the arrest, Fidelis has tried different medications to cure his late wife’s disease, but all to no avail. After thorough research, he found out some people outside Indonesia that use cannabis to treat syringomyelia. He came to the National Narcotic Board (BNN) to seek for permission to plant, cultivate, and use cannabis to treat his late wife. It is not permission that he received, but a visit from the BNN to arrest him in his house. Since Fidelis was detained by the BNN, the medication towards his wife had to be stopped. This halt was then proven to be fatal. Few days later, his wife passed away because she lost the medicine she needs. This situation didn’t stop the law enforcement to prosecute Fidelis.

In April 2017, LBH Masyarakat, Yayasan Sativa Nusantara, Lingkar Ganja Nusantara and Atmajaya University held a press conference to show our concern towards the case. Fidelis was planned to be sentenced in early August. Therefore, we believe that we must build a public support on Fidelis case so that the court will be able to decide the case with justice. We did a campaign on a car free day – where people could held their activities on two main streets of Jakarta. We carried out an online campaign by using #SaveFidelis to generate public support. We also issued two press releases,  one before[10] and one after[11] the verdict. The prosecutors asked for 5 months imprisonment and the judges decided for 8 months. Both are under the minimum mandatory sentence for such criminal offense, which is 5 years.

Lesson Learned

From the 2017 SDP campaign, we draw the following lesson learned that we hope would be helpful for the next SDP campaign  in the future:

First, even though the film we created raise a lot of interesting discussion in the screenings and generated certain level of views, it has a poor watch time in both Youtube and Facebook portal. We assume that it is due to the length of the film that is too long. This level of watch time didn’t happen with our previous videos which are shorter than this one.

Second, we deem the campaign on Fidelis case to be considerably successful. There is a high engagement from the public. And we could also witness the impact of public support in the verdict. We hope that SDP campaign can continue supporting this kind of activity.

Lastly, during the film screening in Lombok, some participants clearly stated their approval of Duterte’s method of extrajudicial killings. We see the needs to further campaign against the way of Duterte’s drug war in the ASEAN region, so it will not badly influence other countries’ policy.


[1] The Guardian, “Six drug convicts executed in Indonesia, including five foreigners”, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/18/indonesia-six-drug-convicts-shot-dead-five-foreigners

[2] The Guardian, “Who were the eight people executed by Indonesia?”, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/29/bali-nine-who-are-the-nine-people-being-executed-by-indonesia

[3] The New York Times, “Indonesia Executes 4 Prisoners Convicted of Drug Crimes”, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/29/world/asia/indonesia-executions-drug-crimes.html?mcubz=1

[4] The Jakarta Post, “Plan to execute death row inmates still on: AGO”, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/25/plan-to-execute-death-row-inmates-still-on-ago.html

[5] See https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/08/indonesia-at-least-60-killed-as-police-shootings-of-drug-suspects-skyrocket/

[6] CNN Indonesia,  “Diduga Efek Jokowi, Penembakan Pengedar Narkotik Naik Drastis”, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20170919174648-12-242788/diduga-efek-jokowi-penembakan-pengedar-narkotik-naik-drastis/

[7] See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN3EeXmuR8A

[8] See https://www.facebook.com/LBHM.id/videos/10155421868677370/

[9] Syringomyelia is the development of a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx) within your spinal cord. Over time, the cyst may enlarge, damaging your spinal cord and causing pain, weakness and stiffness, among other symptoms.

[10] See http://lbhmasyarakat.org/rilis-pers-putusan-fidelis-semoga-hukum-menemukan-kemanusiaan/

[11] See http://lbhmasyarakat.org/rilis-pers-fidelis-sudah-berjuang-dan-itu-lebih-dari-cukup/