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Jakarta Post

Activists slam Jokowi for lip service on human rights cases

  • Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 12, 2017   /   08:05 pm
Activists slam Jokowi for lip service on human rights cases Human rights activists put sticky notes on a black board during the 500th 'Kamisan' rally in front of the State Palace in Jakarta on July 27, 2017. The notes contain their demands for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to fulfill his campaign promise to resolve past cases of human rights abuses. (The Jakarta Post/Wendra Ajistyatama)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has been criticized for claiming that resolving past human rights violations was still part of his administration’s agenda, despite having failed to take any concrete measures in the matter.

Jokowi made the statement at an event commemorating International Human Rights Day on Sunday, but his comment was dismissed by the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) as “diplomatic language."

At the event, which was held in Surakarta, Central Java, Jokowi admitted that resolving past human rights violations was not an easy task.

Kontras further criticized the President for his lack of sincerity in truly resolving the atrocities, which was part of his platform for the 2014 presidential campaign.

"[His statements] were nothing more than diplomatic language and political communication aimed at winning public sympathy," Kontras said in a statement on Tuesday.

In direct contrast to his promise, Jokowi has appointed several figures allegedly involved in past human rights violations as key members of his cabinet.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, for example, is a retired military general who allegedly played a key role in facilitating military violence against civilians during the referendum of East Timor, now Timor Leste, in 1999.

In his current post, Wiranto oversees the work of related ministries and government institution tasked with handling past abuse cases, like the Attorney General's Office, (AGO) which also remains sluggish in the matter, rights activists claim. (ipa)