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Jakarta Post

Govt told to make realistic plan to probe past violence

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 12, 2016   /  05:09 pm

The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has lambasted the government'€™s claims that it will resolve past human rights abuse cases by the end of the year.

Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said on Saturday that the government had only made promises last year to resolve the cases, without any visible efforts to do so.

'€œThe plans made by the government have only been circling around from the President'€™s mouth to [the ears of] officials,'€ he said, adding that President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo himself did not have a clear concept of how to resolve the issues.

'€œ[The government] is not transparent, consultative. It does not have clear perimeters and does not resolve any problems.'€

On Friday, Jokowi said that all major past cases of violent human rights abuses would be resolved by the end of the year.

'€œEverything will be resolved this year,'€ he said at the State Palace, as reported by kompas.com.

Jokowi explained that the case resolutions would be handled by the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, the Attorney General'€™s Office (AGO), the National Police and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN).

He added that he was positive that the government would be able to resolve the past issues since the national economy was stable.

'€œWe will not look at [the cases'€™] year. What is positive is that it will be resolved this year. They will be resolved one by one.'€
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'€œThis is not a soccer match that is limited by time and whatever results [in that time] is accepted.'€


Earlier last year, the government announced that it would form a human rights task force consisting of the aforementioned institutions, alongside the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), which would try to resolve the rights issues via non-judicial mechanisms because of the complex technical problems involved, such as gathering evidence.

The government said that it had committed to resolving seven past human rights violations; the 1989 Talangsari incident in Central Lampung, the 2001 and 2003 Wamena and Wasior incidents in Papua, various kidnappings and unresolved shootings in the 1980s, the 1965 communist purge and the 1998 May riots.

Although the leaders of the relevant institutions had met with each other three times last year, the meetings were halted after former coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister Tedjo Edhy Purdjiatno was replaced in August by the current minister, Luhut Pandjaitan.

Haris explained that resolving the past cases was urgent as it would indicate the government'€™s commitment to victims and their families in the cases.

'€œI am worried that this will just be a process that will fail to bring justice, with no legal consequences,'€ he said.

Haris warned that the government should be careful because they may lose sight of the truth in their rush to resolve the issues.

'€œ[The government] cannot just decide that it will be resolved in six months. This is not a soccer match that is limited by time and whatever results [in that time] is accepted,'€ he said.

According to the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, the government scored 1.72 out of seven in 2015 for its efforts to settle past human rights abuses, with seven being the best score. In 2014, the government received a score of 1.51.

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