M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – A civil coalition for victims and people against forgetting past human rights abuses said that those who committed human rights crimes during the New Order era are not fit to hold a state position, let alone run for the upcoming presidential election.
The coalition made the statement during a discussion event to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances which falls every August 30.
According to an advocacy group Centra Initiative chairman Al Araf, it was written into the law in order to create a separation between the past and the future so as to ensure political health. Araf denied that his statement was political.
Sri Hidayati, a member of the Families of Missing Persons Association (IKOHI) which is also part of the coalition, seconded Araf's statement on banning perpetrators of New Order-era enforced disappearances from running for president.
Sri argued that investigating cases of enforced disappearance under leaders who have no background in human rights cases takes a long time and is still ongoing. "Not to mention when the country is later run by the perpetrators. It is impossible for them to reveal themselves as it would be like committing suicide," she said.
Sri also assured that she will not be silent and will continue to fight for justice for the enforced disappearances. According to her, there are many people who are still fighting for the resolution of past human rights violations.