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Jakarta Post

Activists cry foul as Simpang KKA 'atrocity' remains unresolved after 18 years

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 3, 2017   /   08:07 pm
Activists cry foul as Simpang KKA 'atrocity' remains unresolved after 18 years Activists from the Victims Solidarity Network for Justice (JSKK) and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) hold a silent protest every Thursday in front of the State Palace in Jakarta. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

It has been 18 years to the day, but the government is yet to resolve an alleged gross human rights violation in Aceh in which Indonesian military personnel reportedly shot hundreds of people protesting against a previous shooting incident.

The alleged shooting, known as Simpang KKA incident, also known as the Dewantara atrocity, occurred on May 3, 1999, and claimed 39 lives and injured 36 people. Ten people have remained unaccounted for.

The incident happened when the province was under martial law rule, which was lifted in 2005.

On Wednesday, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) reported that families of victims were conducting a ziarah (pilgrimage) to the burial sites of their loved ones. After that, they staged a silent protest to express disappointment that the case has remained unresolved.

“If the government has no will to find a solution, an international body should handle the matter,” stated a joint release by Kontras and the Coalition of Truth Revelation for Aceh. They also questioned President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s promise to resolve all past human rights cases and end the impunity of alleged perpetrators.

(Read also: Military operation in Aceh was '€˜gross human rights violation')

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) investigation in 2014 also revealed that the Simpang KKA incident constituted a gross human rights violation and recommended a legal process but the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) refused it. (bbs)