This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Kamisan, a silent protest held by victims of human rights violations every Thursday (Kamis in Indonesian) across from the Presidential Palace. The action calls on the government to end the impunity of perpetrators, but so far it has fallen on the deaf ears of two administrations: former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s.
The first Kamisan, known for the participants’ largely black attire and black umbrellas, was held on Jan. 18, 2007.
(Read also: Victims of human rights, activists to observe 10th anniversary of Kamisan in 5 cities)
Ever since Jokowi took office more than two years ago, the families of victims and survivors have been hoping he would meet them in person because of his promise to resolve past human rights abuses during his election campaign.
Meeting survivors and their relatives in person will build the courage required to make the political commitment to end ongoing abuses, says Sanata Dharma University lecturer Mutiara Andalas, adding that the government currently lacks this courage and political will. “An encounter with survivors could be a source of political courage for a regime to accept that a state can make mistakes,” Andalas told a discussion about Kamisan in Jakarta on Wednesday.
In 10 years, the Solidarity Network of Victims for Justice (JSKK) has expanded its network and reach and this year the 10th anniversary will be commemorated in five cities. [evi]