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Jakarta Post

Promises, pitfalls on the path to end forced disappearance

  • Usman Hamid

London   /   Thu, April 23 2009   /  02:01 pm

A series of enforced disappearance cases that have occurred frequently in Indonesia in the past have not only caused mental and physical damage to victims, but also agony to our senses as human beings. Enforced disappearance is defined as more than just incommunicado detention, torture or possible extra-judicial execution (Rodley: 2000). First, the refusal of state authorities to acknowledge this "illegal" detention will at the end of the day become a denial of responsibility. Second, from victims' perspectives, there is a question as to whether or not they are still alive, and even if physical torture ceases, as time goes by there is growing despair because incommunicado detention permanently denies their contact with and protection from the outside world. Third, prisoners' families also suffer unknown fates. Rodley emphasizes that by any standards they ...