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Jakarta Post

Activists, victims' families doubt truth commission idea

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, December 14, 2019   /  01:09 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Human rights activists hold a rally in front of the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday, demanding justice for past human rights abuses. The rally, also known as Kamisan, has been held routinely every Thursday for more than 10 years.(The Jakarta Post/Dhoni Setiawan)

It has been 21 years since Maria Catarina Sumarsih lost her son, Benardinus Realino Norma Irawan, aka Wawan, then 20 years old, who was killed during a student protest that took place in Jakarta between Nov. 11 and 13 in 1998. At that time, students were marching to the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) complex to protest against the dual function of the military and to express distrust in the MPR, which was a product of the New Order regime. The students never got into the MPR because they were blocked by security personnel around the Semanggi cloverleaf bridge.  Wawan was a member of a humanitarian volunteer team and was going to tend to injured student protesters when he was shot in the chest by security personnel. Witnesses said Wawan had obtained permission from security personnel and was carrying a white flag as a sign for the personnel not to shoot him. He w...