Sean Filo M, Fadhli Ruhman, Jakarta – The National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) held an event at Pondok Ranggon Public Cemetery on Saturday to mark 25 years of the Reformation.
"Within 25 years of the Reformation, Komnas Perempuan held this commemorative event to serve as the best lesson so that the tragedy will not occur again," Komnas Perempuan head Andy Yentriyani said.
The commission has paid attention to the effort made by the Fact-Gathering Joint Team (TGPF), which verified 85 sexual violence cases that occurred in May 1998, including 52 rape cases, she informed.
According to Yentriyani, Komnas Perempuan, along with human rights activists, the victims' families, and survivors have made an effort to ensure that the cases are followed up.
She also noted that the 25th anniversary of the Reformation has become a special occasion since it coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Law on Sexual Crime.
The experiences of the victims of the May 1998 incident are one of the factors that affected the formulation of the law.
Yentriyani said she expects that the public will collectively mobilize to support the effort to fulfill the rights of the May 1998 incident victims.
Mass action that led to riots occurred from May 13 to May 15, 1998, in Jakarta and several of its main regions.
It was triggered by the Asian financial crisis that caused many companies to go bankrupt and millions of people to lose their jobs.
This in turn led to destructive violence, looting, and burning of public facilities, office buildings, malls, shops, and vehicles.
Other crimes such as physical violence, sexual violence, and rape also occurred during the riot. The mob not only targeted Chinese people, but also indigenous people.
The incident in May 1998 led to the resignation of President Soeharto and the transition of power to B.J. Habibie.
It also marked the end of the New Order government that had lasted 32 years and the start of the Reformation.