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Jokowi government accused of failing to side with victims of Talangsari massacre

CNN Indonesia - February 10, 2022

Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Association of Families of Talangsari Lampung (PK2TL) believe that the government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has failed to side with the victims of gross human rights violations in Talangsari, Lampung, on February 7, 1989.

In commemorating 33 years since the Talangsari incident, Kontras and the PK2TL are asking the government to provide legal certainty over the case which has dragged on for some time.

"The process of resolving the Talangsari case has dragged on and on and the victims have long waited for legal certainty. At this 33rd commemoration the PK2Tl hopes that there will be legal certainty from President Jokowi", said PK2TL Chairperson Edi Arsadad in a press release on February 9.

The two groups said that after meeting with officials from related ministries and institutions, namely the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam), as well as the Justice and Human Rights Ministry (Kemenkumham), they found there were developments in a number of policies which still did not side with the victims.

"The Integrated Team on Handling Alleged Gross Human Rights Violations which made Talangsari an area of focus in the application of the government's version of restoration is now reaching the end of its term", wrote Kontras in the release.

"This choice makes a great deal of sense after the series of controversies and the maladministration discovered by the Ombudsman. In its implementation, it was noted that the team often did not heed the stipulations in the regulations and the voice of the public, particularly the victims", he added.

Kontras continued saying that in their meetings with the Kemenko Polhukam and Kemenkumham, there was unexpected news that there had been follow up actions on the drafting of a Draft Law on a Commission of Truth and Reconciliation (RUU KKR).

It was discovered that the drafting of the law did not in any way involve the victims who should be the main stakeholders.

"The existence of a commission to uncover the truth about gross human rights violations which have happened in Indonesia is indeed important, but it must be properly supervised like what are its goals, the mechanisms and principles of the truth commission which will be formed", he said.

Along with the PK2TL, Kontras believes that the drafting of a KKR law without involving the victims is a bad as the efforts pursued previously by the government.

"The government must stop treating the victims as just socialistic objects, and start involving the victims for what they are, namely stakeholders. Because of this, as a government partner, the victims must be invited right from the start in discussions on drafting policies which have implications for the victims and then at each stage thereafter", said Kontras Monitoring and Impunity Division Head Tioria Pretty.

Thus, Kontras and the PK2TL are asking several things of the government in investigating the unfinished case.

First, that the Minister for Justice and Human Rights stop shifting responsibility to the legislative and the Attorney General's Office and immediately continue the legal process into the Talangsari case.

Second, that the Kemenkumham and the Kemenko Polhukam, along with related state institutions, involve the victims from the start and in all stages of drafting policies on revealing the truth and reconciliation. (cfd/DAL)


The Talangsari incident revolves around a dawn attack by a battalion of army soldiers on a village in Lampung regency on February 7, 1989, which was believed to be home to a group accused of attempting to establish an Indonesian Islamic state. Officials said 27 members of the Warsidi-led Koran recital group were killed in the incident, but rights groups put the death toll as high as 246.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kasus HAM Talangsari Mandek, KontraS Sindir Kepastian Hukum Jokowi".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20220210081753-12-757364/kasus-ham-talangsari-mandek-kontras-sindir-kepastian-hukum-jokow