Handoyo Wants the US to Learn from Indonesia following Alleged Violations of Human Rights on PeduliLindungi
Member of the House Commission IX, Rahmad Handoyo. Photo: Jaka/Man
Member of the House Commission IX — overseeing health, expressed his regret over the US Department of State report that Indonesia’s mobile COVID-19 tracking application, PeduliLindungi, has potential violations of human rights. Instead, he said the US should learn from Indonesia in the COVID-19 response, particularly in using the COVID-19 tracking application.
“As an Indonesian citizen and also Member of Parliament, I have to question their arguments for making such an allegation,” he said on Saturday (16/4/2022). “Does the NGO report provide sufficient information to judge that PeduliLindungi violates human rights? Instead of making the alleged violations of human rights, the US should learn the advantages of the PeduliLindungi application in tracking the COVID-19 cases. They should learn from Indonesia to handle COVID-19 better.”
He said the US should, through its embassy in Indonesia, directly ask the Indonesian government what the PeduliLindungi application is all about and how it works. He added that before releasing the report, they should ask the Indonesian government for clarification. "Again, don't use an NGO report to judge that Indonesia violates human rights. It is very unfair that the analysis of human rights violations is based on the NGO report only," said the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician.
He went on to say the government, along with the public, has taken several measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including rolling out vaccination programs, imposing health protocols, and public activity restriction (PPKM) policy. He said all measures were implemented concurrently. By doing so, the Indonesian government has been able to protect its people from COVID-19. He claimed that Indonesia’s response to COVID-19 was way better than that of the US.
“There is no doubt that Indonesia has been considered one of the best countries to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Don’t forget that Indonesia was once invited by the US to exchange views on how to handle the pandemic. This fact should be respected, and the US should refrain from nitpicking based solely on an NGO report. The fact is that PeduliLindungi has protected Indonesian people from the pandemic.”
Handoyo added the NGO report on alleged violations of human rights that was issued by the US did not provide sufficient information. He believed it is necessary to question the US true motive for issuing such a report. “As a sovereign country, we need to question their true motive for raising this issue of human rights violations. The US should be corrected. The US Department of State should not judge a country only by an NGO report without seeking confirmation from the Indonesian government.”
The Indonesian government has the right to protect its people from COVID-19 by using the PeduliLindungi application. In fact, the system has been quite successful in controlling COVID-19 cases in Indonesia. "As a sovereign country, we also respect other countries' sovereignty. This means that the US must respect Indonesia's sovereignty too and not accuse Indonesia of violating human rights," said the legislator from the Central Java V constituency.
A report "Indonesia 2021 Human Rights Report" issued by the US Department of State last week suggested indications that Indonesia's mobile COVID-19 tracking application, PeduliLindungi, had violated human rights. It was said the application had a potential violation of privacy. It accused that the personal information of tens of millions of people in the application had been taken without permission. The US said that the indication had been reported by some NGOs. However, no detailed information was provided about the NGOs. (sf-mut)