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Jakarta Post

'Wiranto's appointment bolsters impunity for human rights violators': rights groups

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 28, 2016   /  05:10 am
'Wiranto's appointment bolsters impunity for human rights violators': rights groups Activists from human rights watchdog Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) protest in front of the Presidential Palace on July 27 following the announcement of the new Cabinet members after the second Cabinet reshuffle. They were protesting against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to appoint retired general and chairman of Hanura Party Wiranto as the new Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister. (Antara/Aprilio Akbar)

Human rights groups have lambasted President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to appoint Wiranto as the new coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister, claiming it is in contrast to the government's own commitment to resolve the past human rights abuse in which Wiranto was alleged to have been implicated.

Wiranto's appointment manifested concerns that Jokowi did not take human rights abuse into account in his Cabinet shake-up, chairman of human rights advocacy group Setara Institute Hendardi said on Wednesday.

"Wiranto's presence in the Cabinet will bolster the impunity of human rights violators as it will be difficult for him to resolve gross human rights violations, involvement in several cases of which he  himself was suspected," Hendardi said in a text message to

(Read also : Wiranto’s job is to reform justice system: Jokowi)

His appointment indicated a dim future for Indonesia's efforts toward the fair settlement of rights violation cases, he said, adding that Wiranto held a strategic position that oversaw the performance of the Attorney General's Office, the National Police, ministries and institutions related to politics and legal and security affairs.

Separately, Al-Araf, director of human rights watchdog Imparsial also slammed the appointment of the retired military general with a poor human rights track record as a demonstration of Jokowi's inconsistency in his own vows to uphold human rights in his administration.

Wiranto was inaugurated on Wednesday afternoon replacing Luhut Pandjaitan who was appointed as the coordinating maritime affairs minister in the second Cabinet reshuffle. He was notoriously suspected of having committed gross human rights violations during the referendum in East Timor, now Timor Leste, in 1999 when he served as the commander of the Indonesian Military. (rin)

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