Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Sunday, April 21, 2013

100 Years After Kartini, Women Still Lack Rights in Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Johannes Nugroho, April 21, 2013

Military and police members rehearse for this year\'s Kartini
Day ceremony. (JG Photo/Yudhi Sujma Wijaya)

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“Religion must guard us against committing sins, but more often, sins are committed in the name of religion,” wrote early 20th century Indonesian women’s rights pioneer Raden Ajeng Kartini. In her correspondence with Estella Zeehandelaar, she also expressed her profound opposition to polygamy, a common practice among members of the Javanese nobility of her day, sanctioned by religion. And yet the great Kartini herself in the end had to bow to customs and religion when her father married her off as the fourth wife of the Regent of Rembang.

More ironically still, more than one hundred years after Kartini’s death, even though arranged marriages are mostly extinct, religious doctrine has continued to be used against the advancement of women’s rights in this country. The cases range from being medieval to downright ridiculous.

Hasan Ahmad, 47, a member of the legislative Council of Sampang, Madura, was recently arrested by the police for having had sex with nine underage girls. While acknowledging that his action was in breach of the law, Ahmad maintained that according to Islamic law he had not committed adultery as he had a cleric perform a marital rite — in a car — before engaging in sex with each one of the teenagers.

As Islam only allows four wives, Ahmad also revealed that he almost always divorced them after paying their sexual services. During his interview with the press, he laughingly dismissed his arrest as “due to his naughtiness.”

The fact that a lawmaker showed no contrition after being the perpetrator of sexual trafficking of underage girls simply highlights the challenges faced by Indonesian women’s rights movement. The defiant attitude also exemplifies how many Indonesians deem religious — read divine — laws are somehow higher than state laws, a definite handicap in any nation that endeavors to establish the rule of law.

In the autonomous province Aceh, which has embraced Islamic Shariah as normative law, anachronistic regulations against women seem to be in vogue. Earlier this year, the province’s city Lhokseumawe enacted a ban on female passengers straddling on a motorcycle, mandating sitting sideways as the proper religious way. In an April raid in the city, 35 women were detained for sitting astride on motorcycles.

More recently, a law was proclaimed to outlaw audible farting by women. Mayor Sayyid Yahia explained that it was against Islam that a woman should pass wind in a manner that can be heard by others, as he believed audible farting was a male behavior. Hence, by farting audibly, a woman is guilty of impersonating a man.

These clearly sexist regulations are clear setbacks for women’s rights in Aceh and highly ironic considering the region has had significant history of female leadership in the past.

Aceh has produced Tjoet Nyak Dien, the celebrated 20th century rebel leader against Dutch colonialism and more importantly Admiral Malahayati, the first woman sea admiral in world history. On Sept.11, 1599, under Malahayati, the Aceh navy successfully defeated the Dutch in a sea battle and killed the latter’s leader Cornelis de Houtman. Significantly, this battle saw the full participation of Malahayati’s 2,000 strong regiment of Inong Balee, Aceh’s women soldiers.

Today, in stark contrast, religion is being used in Aceh to discriminate against women. It does not help that Islamic religious texts are interpreted by religious councils comprising exclusively of male clerics.

However, hope remains as more and more intellectual Muslim women are coming forward to voice their opinions on gender equality. Muslim feminist Siti Musdah Mulia, and other prominent women with orthodox Muslim background such as Yenny Wahid, daughter of the late President Abdurrahman Wahid, will undoubtedly help shape the future of the struggle for equality between men and women in Indonesia.

Still, the road ahead is arduous, as evident in the recent difficulties experienced by political parties to fulfill the 30 percent quota of candidacy for parliament in the 2014 legislative elections.

It would seem, more than a century after its publication in 1911, Kartini’s “Out of Darkness Into Light” is still a pertinent reminder of unfinished her work, and indeed our work, towards gender equality in Indonesia. Her frustration with religion in relation to women’s rights is still, regrettably, relevant today. As did their ancestors who adapted Islam to the local values and customs, today’s Muslim feminists of this country must be the ones to shape the blending of their faith with the betterment of rights for all women. Happy Kartini Day!   

Johannes Nugroho is a writer and businessman from Surabaya. He can be contacted at

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