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Activist calls on rights commission to probe arms sales to Myanmar junta

Kompas.com - October 4, 2023

Aryo Putranto Saptohutomo, Jakarta – Human rights activist and former United Nations (UN) Special Reporter Marzuki Darusman has asked the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to investigate the alleged involvement of three state-owned enterprises (SOE) in the sale of weapons to the Myanmar junta.

The three state-owned enterprises are arms maker PT Perindustrian Angkatan Darat (PT Pindad), shipbuilder PT Penataran Angkatan Laut (PT PAL) and aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI).

In his request, Darusman asked that the Komnas HAM conduct an investigation and find further evidence of the alleged involvement of the three SOEs.

He also asked Komnas HAM to form a special fact finding team related to the arms trade business and its links to human rights.

Meanwhile Darusman is urging the government, including the Defense Ministry and the SOEs Ministry, to permanently stop the weapons trade with the Myanmar military junta.

"Until the conflict stops and a true transition towards democracy has occurred in Myanmar," read the report sent to Komnas HAM on Tuesday October 3.

According to Darusman, the three SOEs that are alleged to be involved have also committed gross human rights violations by selling arms to the Myanmar junta.

The allegations were contained in a report on complaints of alleged human rights violations sent to Komnas HAM by Darusman. In the report it explained that gross human rights violations committed by the military junta were found in Myanmar.

"The Indonesian business entities, namely PT Pindad, PT PAL and PT Dirgantara Indonesia are involved in these gross human rights abuses through arms trading with parties that are affiliated with the Myanmar military junta", said Darusman.

In the report it stated that the three SOEs had violated Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution and Law Number 39/1999 on Human Rights. "As well as the 1949 Geneva Convention and international agreements on arms trading", said Darusman.

Because of this, Darusman believes that the Komnas HAM has the authority to investigate the alleged involvement of the three SOEs in cases of gross human rights violations in Myanmar.

Komnas HAM through its commissioner Hari Kurniawan said that the report was received by the commission on Tuesday afternoon.

He said that they are still in the process of researching the report after which Komnas HAM will be able to issue an official statement.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Komnas HAM Diminta Selidiki 3 BUMN Diduga Jual Senjata ke Junta Militer Myanmar".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/10/04/20361101/komnas-ham-diminta-selidiki-3-bumn-diduga-jual-senjata-ke-junta-milite