Pubdate: Mon, 16 Nov 2015
Source: Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
Copyright: The Jakarta Post
Author: Willo


Indonesia uses faulty statistics to justify rights violations in drug 
crimes. A group of worldwide social organizations has sent a letter 
to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) to urge the removal of 
its support for the methodologically defective data produced by the 
National Narcotics Agency (BNN), which it intends to use to increase 
punitive measures after declaring a national drug emergency. 
Antara/Agung Rajasa Major haul: Finance Minister Bambang Bodjonegoro 
(center), accompanied by National Narcotics Agency (BNN) head Comr. 
Gen, Budi Waseso (right) and customs and excise director general Heru 
Pambudi, briefs the press at the BNN building recently following the 
confiscation of 270 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in Medan, 
North Sumatra, and Dumai, Riau.

The data in question is related to the prevalence of drug use in 
Indonesia, which resulted from an unrepresentative sample. Besides, 
the definition of addiction is incompatible with the accepted 
criteria for substance use and does not distinguish between different 
drugs, frequency and use patterns, resulting in an overestimation of 
problematic drug use.

The group of social organizations is expressing to the UNDOC its 
worry about the support and use of this information. The defective 
data could have devastating consequences. The government declared a 
drug emergency that justifies punitive approaches to handling drug 
crimes, including detention, compulsive treatment and the death penalty.

Criminalizing the consumption of even small amounts of drugs has led 
to a massive increase in the number of prison inmates. Around 60 
percent of the 12,000 people locked up in Jakarta alone are 
imprisoned for substance abuse. Since most Indonesian prisons provide 
no health services, inmates are forced to engage in practices that 
carry a high risk of HIV transmission. The going rate for a used 
needle in a Jakarta prison is said to be less than 50 US cents per shot.

The country's "war on drugs" is therefore directly responsible for an 
explosion of HIV/AIDS cases in its penitentiaries. Official 
statistics show that around 30 percent of prison deaths recorded were 
due to HIV/ AIDS. Many of Indonesia's drug laws are inspired by the 
US approach to drugs, which has seeped into Indonesia through the 
UN's conservative narcotics policy.

Furthermore, a surge in funding for law enforcement in recent years, 
partially paid for by foreign donor agencies promoting "good 
governance", has provided the Indonesian government with the 
financial means to enforce laws that take a hard-line approach to drugs.


- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom