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Rights activists question revival of truth and reconciliation commission

KBR - November 15, 2019

Dian Kurniati, Jakarta – The Presidential Palace has confirmed that it plans to revive the law on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) which was annulled by the Constitutional Court in 2006.

Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said that the government wants the option of resolving cases of human rights violations through non-judicial mechanisms instead of the judicial mechanism of trying the cases in court.

Moeldoko said that the KKR could be formed by enacting a new law which contains mechanisms for resolving human rights (HAM) cases through a non-judicial mechanism, along with who exactly will be appointed to undertake this.

"It once happened, there was once a judicial review if I'm not wrong. It could, it could be revived again. Essentially that the various [cases] which are considered to be HAM violations, not just focus on a judicial resolution, but there is an alternative, a non-judicial resolution. This non-judicial resolution requires someone to deal with it and pursue it", said Moeldoko at his office on Friday November 15.

Moeldoko declined to comment in detail on the discourse about reviving the KKR because according to Moeldoko, the matter of the KKR will be explained personally by the Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD and Attorney General ST Burhanuddin.

Mahfud raised the issue of reviving the KKR after being inaugurated as the new security minister on October 23. Mahfud said he wants to use a KKR to resolve the past cases of human rights violations which have reached an impasse.

He plans to gather together the ministry's technical advisors to begin discussing Law Number 27/2004 on a KKR.

Revealing the facts

The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) meanwhile has questioned the government's plan to resolve the 1998 Semanggi I student shootings [which was commemorated several days ago] and other cases of human rights violations using a KKR Law.

Kontras Coordinator Yati Andriyani says that if the cases are resolved through means of a reconsolidation then the facts must be revealed first to act as a guide. Meanwhile the perpetrators who committed the violations are not known yet.

"But it is still suspected that the KKR which is intended by the government will actually be a reconciliation. A reconciliation process has stages, right, what's called a reconciliation must be embarked upon by a revelation of the truth. A revelation of the truth about what the facts are in the case, who the perpetrators are, revealing who must be held liable. If the government proceeds directly to a reconciliation, this is just the same as efforts to cover up the cases by washing their hand of them", said Andriyani at the M Block Space in Jakarta on Wednesday November 13.

Andriyani added that a KKR Law does not negate the state's obligation to undertake legal process against the perpetrators of human rights violations.

According to Andriyani, the law on human rights and a law on the KKR will complement each other, but who the perpetrators are must be revealed first. In this way the government cannot negate legal proceedings through a KKR.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Penuntasan Kasus HAM, Istana Ngotot KKR".]

Source: https://kbr.id/nasional/11-2019/penuntasan_kasus_ham__istana_ngotot_kkr/101350.html