Kontras receives int’l
award on human rights

The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), a non-governmental organization advocating human rights issues, has received the Emilio F. Mignone International Human Rights Prize 2012 from the Argentina government.

“I want to congratulate you for the award on behalf of my embassy and government,” Argentina Ambassador Javier A. Sanz de Urquiza said on Wednesday at the Kontras office in Jakarta.

Javier said that Kontras was chosen from among 49 other NGOs around the globe for its lasting commitment to promoting human rights in Indonesia.

The NGO was founded in 1998 by activists and organizations that initially wanted to seek justice for many cases of forced disappearances in the country during the New Order era.

“We are grateful for this award. It is like a breath of fresh air for us amid the uncertain commitment of the Indonesian government to resolve cases of human rights violations,” Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said.

The Indonesian government, according to Haris, has been less than committed to solving human rights abuse cases.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO), for instance, recently rejected a National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) report stating that the 1965 communist purge was a gross human rights violation and declined to probe the atrocity. The AGO said that the commission needed to gather more evidence before declaring the 1965 incident a gross human rights violation.

“We hope that this award will make our government eager to resolve human rights abuse cases,” Haris said. (riz/iwa)

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