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Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls on Jakarta for support

Kompas.com - January 23, 2020

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) Chairperson Afridal Darmi says that responsibility for resolving human rights (HAM) violations during the armed conflict in Aceh is a national issue.

"If it's localised (to the regional level), it will be as if HAM violations are not an Indonesian national issue, just the problem of a small group in Aceh", said Darmi when speaking in the Cikini area of Central Jakarta on Thursday January 23.

Darmi said that if the view point develops that it is only a regional responsibility, then the resolution will be exclusive. Moreover, said Darmi, so far it has been difficult to invite the central government to talk about resolving human rights violations in Aceh.

This being the case, the Acehnese people will feel as if the problem is only a regional responsibility. "It (the KKR Aceh) cannot work effectively if there are no policies supporting it from the central government", he said.

Darmi said that the lack of policies by the central government will make it likely that statements by victims or witnesses are susceptible to being criminalised.

Because of this therefore, they are waiting on the central government to take legal steps to resolve human rights violations in Aceh. "We're waiting on a policy from Jakarta, these (KKRs) are indeed quite common all over the world", he said.

Widodo urged to act on recommendations

Airlangga University legal faculty lecturer Herlambang Wiratman meanwhile is urging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to immediately create legal instruments to follow up on the KKR's recommendations related to alleged human rights violations during the conflict in Aceh.

"The legal instruments could be created by pushing for a Perppu (regulation in lieu of law). A Perppu is more likely because it can form new regulations", said Wiratman in Cikini in Thursday.

According to Wiratman, a Perppu could become a sign of legal politics by the government. A Perppu would at the same time complement legal instruments in order to strengthen the existence of the Aceh KKR in accordance with the mandate of the 2005 Helsinki agreement.

Aside from this, said Wiratman, there are two other legal instruments which President Widodo could use to follow up on the Aceh KKR's recommendations, namely a presidential regulation (Perpres) and a presidential instruction (Inpres).

A Perpres could strengthen the work of the Aceh KKR as well as provide protection by the government. Meanwhile an Inpres would be aimed at synergising the work of state institutions or administrative relations.

In particular this would apply to ministries, non-ministerial institutions, including regional heads, so that they would not be working in opposite directions. "The Indonesian government must respond with legal and political sincerity", he asserted.

The KKR Aceh represents a mandate that came out of the Helsinki agreement between the pro-independence armed Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Indonesian government on August 15, 2005.

The KKR Aceh has already provided a number of recommendations on human rights violations which occurred during the armed conflict in Aceh including efforts at finding the truth, reconciliation and reparation.

[Translated by James Balowski based on two articles by Kompas.com on January 23. The original title of the lead article was "Pelanggaran HAM di Aceh, KKR Aceh: Ini Persoalan Bangsa Indonesia".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/01/23/22394591/pelanggaran-ham-di-aceh-kkr-aceh-ini-persoalan-bangsa-indonesia