Victims' families ask voters to look at presidential hopefuls' human rights track record
The Jakarta Post
An association of human rights abuse victims' families said it hoped voters would take presidential hopefuls' background of human rights violations into serious consideration before choosing their presidential candidate.
'We choose to not forget [the human rights violations]. The upcoming administration won't be able to set a higher standard if they are haunted by the ghosts of past violations,' Maria Catarina Sumiarsih, from the Network of the Solidarity of Victims' Family, told a discussion at Padjajaran University in Bandung on Tuesday.
Maria was the mother of Bernardinus Realino Norma Irawan alias Wawan, a student of Atmajaya University who killed during a rally in 1998.
'If the future president's hands are tainted by blood then what chance is there that he will solve problems with violence,' she said.
Al Araf of Imparsial said the country was indebted to the victims of 1998 violence.
'Their deaths are a faithful remainder that we have work to do; finding those responsible for the deaths of our comrades,' he said.
Two presidential hopefuls, former TNI chief Gen (ret) Wiranto and former Army Strategic Reserve's Command Commander (Pangkostrad) Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subianto have pasts blighted by time human rights violations.
Both ex generals, were deemed responsible by the Human Rights National Commission (Komnas HAM) for the abduction of 1998 activists. (dic)
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