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Security chief says rights violations prior to 2000 not government's responsibility

CNN Indonesia - January 27, 2022

Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD is asking people to stop urging the government to resolve nine cases of gross human rights violations which occurred before 2000.

Mahfud said that cases which occurred before 2000 are not under the authority of the government, but rather the House of Representatives (DPR). This refers to Article 43 of Law number 26/2000 on a Human Rights Court.

"Sisters and brothers, the resolution [of cases] which occurred before Law Number 26/2000 was issued are now under the DPR's jurisdiction. So don't pressure the government any more to resolve human rights violations before 2000", said Mahfud in giving greetings to an online discussion on Thursday January 27.

Mahfud cited the nine cases of gross human rights violations before 2000 as being the September 30 Movement (the 1965 mass killings), the mysterious shootings of petty criminals (1983-1985), the Talangsari massacre in East Lampung (1989), the forced disappearance of activists (1997-1998), the May riots in Jakarta (1998) and the Trisakti student shootings (1998).

Then the Dewantara incident or Krueng Geukueh tragedy, the torture of 65 witnesses during the incident at the Rumoh Geudong in Aceh and the killing of black magic practitioners in Banyuwangi, Jember and Malang (1998-1999).

Mahfud said in order to resolve human rights violations which occurred before 2000 the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) must hand the case files over to the DPR. Then the DPR can decide whether or not the president should form an ad hoc human rights court.

"Komnas HAM will hand them over, then the DPR will discuss the evidence and the possibility [of trying the case] from various angles. Then the DPR can say it can then the president will be instructed to form an ad hoc human rights court", he said.

"That is what must be done if you want to hold a trial involving human rights violations before 2000", he said.

Nevertheless, Mahfud conceded that there are four cases of gross human rights violations which occurred after 2000 which are the government's responsibility.

The four case are the Bloody Waisor incident in Papua (June 13, 2001), the Jambo Keupok Tragedy in South Aceh (2003), and the Wamena (2003) and Paniai cases (2014) in Papua.

"So the problems which occurred after [2000] are indeed the responsibility of the current government. The National Human Rights Commission submits them to the government, then the government follows up on it", he said.

As has been reported, out of the four gross human rights violations which occurred after 2000 only one has reached the criminal investigation stage at the Attorney General's Office, namely the Bloody Paniai incident.

Bloody Paniai was an incident which occurred on December 8, 2014. At the time, local people were holding a protest action over an assault by TNI (Indonesian military) members against a youth at the Karel Gobai Square in Enarotali, Paniai. (yla/DAL)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahfud soal HAM Berat Sebelum Tahun 2000: Jangan Desak Pemerintah Lagi".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20220127130947-12-751967/mahfud-soal-ham-berat-sebelum-tahun-2000-jangan-desak-pemerintah-lag