A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reiterated that the responsibility of reparations for the victims of past gross human rights violations, including acts of terrorism, is in the hands of the government.
He also stressed the government's commitment to uphold the rights of all citizens during a public ceremony on Wednesday to hand over compensation to terror victims.
"The reparation to victims of crimes, including the victims of gross human rights violations and acts of terror, is part of the state's responsibility to be present to provide protection and uphold the victims' rights," Jokowi said in the ceremony on Dec. 16 at the State Palace, which was livestreamed on the Sekretariat Presiden YouTube channel.
The government began its reparation program in 2018 through the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK), the President said, which included financial compensation, medical and psychological health services and psychosocial rehabilitation.
The program was strengthened this year specifically for victims of terrorism with the issuance of Government Regulation No. 35/2020 on compensation for victims of past acts of terror. The regulation opens access to the agency for terror victims and their families to seek compensation without first obtaining a court order.
During Wednesday's ceremony, Jokowi formally handed over Rp 39.205 billion (US$2.78 million) in total compensation for 215 victims and victims' families of 40 terror incidents.
The President said in his speech that the handover of the compensation was part of the government's concern for and responsibility to victims who had been waiting years for reparations. The funds were incomparable to the suffering the victims had endured, he said, as some had lost their jobs and could not make a living anymore, while many had suffered psychological trauma and physical injury and were stigmatized by society.
"We hope the presence of the state for the victims can boost their spirit and provide moral support [for the victims] to get through their [burdens] as impacts of the terror acts and to continue their lives with optimism," said Jokowi.
LPSK chairman Hasto Atmojo Suroyo said Wednesday's ceremony was a landmark move by the government to hand over compensation that the victims had been awaiting for nearly 20 years, adding that victims of the first Bali Bombing in 2002 were among the recipients.
"The government is responsible for protecting and respecting the human rights of victims of grave crimes, including victims of terrorism," Hasto said.
He said the LPSK had handed over compensation of up to Rp 8.2 billion to victims of previous terrorist attacks in accordance with court decisions.
Victims who had received compensation for past terror acts included the victims of the 2016 Oikumene Church attack in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, the 2016 Thamrin bombing in Jakarta, the 2017 bombing of the North Sumatra Police headquarters, the 2017 Kampung Melayu bombing in East Jakarta, the 2018 Santa Lidwina Church attack in Yogyakarta and the 2018 Surabaya church bombings in the provincial capital of East Java.
Continuing, Hasto said that other terror victims who had received compensation included the victims of the 2011 mosque bombing in Cirebon, West Java, the 2018 fatal shooting of two policemen on the Kanci-Pejagan toll toad near Cirebon, the 2019 attack on the Wonokromo Police in Surabaya, the terror attacks from 2012 to 2016 in Poso, Central Sulawesi, and the 2019 stabbing attack on then-chief security minister Wiranto in Pandeglang, Banten.
He explained that the victims' next of kin received Rp 250 million out of the Rp 39.2 billion handed over on Wednesday, while surviving victims with serious, moderate and minor injuries respectively received Rp 210 million, Rp 115 million and Rp 75 million.
The agency had verified the victims and the victims' next of kin eligible to receive compensation in its next handover, but Hasto did not disclose details on either the sum or the criminal incidents.