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AGO to set up special unit to tackle past rights abuses

Jakarta Post - April 12, 2017

Margareth S. Aritonan, Jakarta The Attorney General's Office is planning to create a special directorate, which will handle the settlement of past human rights violation cases.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo announced the plan during a hearing with members of the House of Representatives' Commission III, which oversees law and human rights, on Wednesday.

The special directorate will be led by an echelon-two official and will focus its work on finding solutions to past human rights violations, he said. "We hope the establishment of this directorate will effectively push forward efforts to settle cases of past rights abuses," Prasetyo said.

Among past rights abuses, which remain unresolved, are the anticommunist massacres of 1965; the mysterious shootings of criminals between 1982 and 1985, known as Petrus; the Talangsari massacre in 1989; and the forced disappearances of anti-Soeharto activists in 1997 and 1998.

Other cases include the Tri Sakti tragedy in 1998; the Semanggi I and Semanggi II student shooting incidents in 1998 and 1999; as well as a string of abuses that occurred in Wasior and Wamena, Papua, in 2001 and 2003 respectively.

During the meeting, Prasetyo reiterated the government's stance against resolving past abuses through a human rights tribunal. He said insistence on a judicial mechanism would prevent settlement efforts from progressing because of the sensitive nature of rights abuse cases.

Prasetyo further explained that the new directorate would collaborate with other related government institutions in search of win-win solutions. "It is needed to prevent gross rights violations in the future," he said, when asked about the significance of the directorate. (ebf)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/04/12/ago-to-set-up-special-unit-to-tackle-past-rights-abuses.html.

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