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Jakarta Post

Govt to resolve past human rights cases

  • Ina Parlina and Nani Afrida

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 18, 2016   /  07:21 am

As a result of public demands that the truth behind decades-old cases of human rights abuse be revealed, the government has declared its readiness to resolve and find solutions to all past human rights cases.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters on Thursday that the government had no intention of forgetting past cases of human rights abuse, and President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo had ordered the government to resolve them.

'€œWe want to resolve all cases [of past human rights abuses], as well as cases in Papua. We will solve this using our way,'€ Luhut said, adding that the Indonesian people should find solutions, and not only seek to decide who was right or wrong.

'€œWe expect to settle six cases by May 2,'€ he added.

The six cases are the purge of communists following the Sept. 30, 1965 killing of six Army generals, the Talangsari, Trisakti, Semanggi I and II shootings and the disappearance of pro-democracy activists.

Luhut underlined that Indonesia should stop following '€œothers'€™ points of view'€.

It was reported that a government-sanctioned team was set up last year and tasked with finding options on how to resolve past rights abuses.

The team had concluded that a truth and reconciliation committee should be established to answer directly to the President. It recommended that the choice between using judicial or non-judicial mechanisms should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

The team consists of officials from the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, the Law and Human Rights Ministry, the Attorney General'€™s Office, the National Police, the National Intelligence Agency, the military and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

On Thursday, Komnas HAM commissioner Nurcholis said the commission had sent a letter requesting the US government release its documents on the events of 1965. This was part of the efforts by the commission to obtain more documents on the case although there is no decision as yet on whether or not to settle the case, along with other past atrocities, through legal proceedings or reconciliation.

'€œWhether it will be reconciliation or prosecution, it depends on the [future] decision. However, such documents [from the US] are still relevant. The more complete the data is, the better it will be,'€ Nurcholis told reporters.

The Associated Press previously reported that Komnas HAM had met with US State Department
officials and had made a formal request to President Obama for the release of files from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other agencies that would help in '€œencouraging the Indonesian government to redouble its own efforts to establish the truth'€ and promote reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Thomas Blanton, director of the nongovernment US National Security Archive, said the Obama administration had quite a good track record on declassifying documents for human rights accountability, as it did last October for Chile, revealing that former dictator Augusto Pinochet ordered the 1976 assassination of a Chilean diplomat.

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