House to select rights commissioners
The House of Representatives is set to select human rights commissioners next week after receiving a list of 30 nominees who have passed the final round of screening.
The deputy chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Ridha Saleh, announced the names of 30 potential commissioners on Tuesday, saying that his office will submit the final list to the House no later than next week.
“We have received the list of candidates from the selection committee […] which we will to the House Commission III overseeing human rights and legal affairs for the final decision,” Ridha told The Jakarta Post.
The committee selected the 30 finalists out of a pool of 363 applicants through a four-stage process that began in February. The screening rounds included administrative requirements, views of human rights issues in the country, physical condition, written papers, interviews and public assessments.
The final list includes activist Dede Oetomo, former head of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Erna Ratnaningsih, Taufik Basari from the Legal Aid Institute for the Community (LBH Masyarakat), and activist and land issue researcher Sandra Moniaga.
The committee also endorsed Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat, the deputy secretary-general of the nation’s largest moderate Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, and Rev. Mindawati Perangin from Medan, North Sumatra.
Urban poverty activist I. Sandyawan Sumardi, former law and human rights director general Hafid Abbas and incumbent commissioners Nur Kholis and Yosep Adi Prasetyo are also among the 30 candidates.
The list also includes three visually impaired candidates, Mochamad Soedioto, a board member of the Indonesian Association of Visually Impaired People (Pertuni), Setia Adi Purwanta from Yogyakarta’s Inclusive Education Center and Suharto from Jakarta’s Disability Mainstreaming program.
Committee chairman Jimly Asshiddiqie told the Post separately that the finalists were the best among all of the applicants based on his team’s assessment.
Meanwhile, a selection committee member, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) political analyst Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, said that the team had chosen nominees from various backgrounds in accordance with the UN’s Paris Principles.
“The principles stipulate that a national rights institution must be independent as well as pluralist,” Ikrar told the Post.
He acknowledged, however, that some candidates would receive negative reactions from the lawmakers, highlighting candidates such as gay activist Dede and Sandra from the Society for Ecology-based Law Reform (Huma).
“The most important point is that all the candidates, including Dede, are qualified to be the next human rights commissioners. The committee is not judging a candidate based on his or her sexual orientation,” he said.
Nasir Djamil, deputy chairman of the House’s Commission III, said that the lawmakers “would judge the new rights commissioners on their integrity and moral principles”.
The Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) lawmaker said that the new commissioners should not engage in any kind of “unusual behavior” that differed from the views of society. (asa)