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Jakarta Post

Historic abuse cases left out in Jokowi-UN rights commissioner meeting

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 7, 2018   /   06:09 pm
Historic abuse cases left out in Jokowi-UN rights commissioner meeting Activist Suciwati, widow of human rights defender Munir, speaks before protesters during the weekly Kamisan silent protest in front of the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Sept. 7, 2017. (The Jakarta Post/Ibrahim Irsyad)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein did not talk about unresolved serious human rights violation cases in Indonesia when they met at the Merdeka Palace on Tuesday, a deputy minister has said.

Jokowi and Zeid discussed several issues, including the draft of Indonesia’s criminal code bill and the country’s role in assisting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh.

Deputy Foreign Minister AM Fachir revealed that Hussein and Jokowi did not discuss the unresolved cases of human rights abuses, let alone specific cases such as those related to 1965 or other tragedies that have taken the lives of thousands in the country.

“[Hussein] only said that every country had its own challenges, including [in addressing] past histories, and there are various possible models [to resolve the cases] that can be considered,” Fachir said on Tuesday.

The UN commissioner also told the President that he was willing to provide assistance in what he deemed necessary for the country’s efforts to resolve the violation cases, Fachir said. “That’s all,” he added.

He went on to say that there were also no talks about Indonesia’s death penalty and issues surrounding Papua brought up during the one-hour discussion with Hussein, who was invited by the government to visit Indonesia from Feb. 5 to 7.

State rights body National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM) as well as watchdog the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) previously expressed hope that Hussein would urge Indonesia’s government to resolve human rights abuse cases.

Jokowi’s administration has promised to settle at least seven cases of historic human rights violations, including the 1965 communist purge and the 1998 riots. However, many have criticized the government’s sluggish efforts in addressing the cases. (ahw)