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Komnas HAM asked to take up issue of SBY and Wiranto

Detik.com - April 28, 2004

M. Rizal Maslan, Jakarta – United Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violations (Solidaritas Kesatuan Korban Pelanggaran HAM, SKKP HAM) has called on the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to take the initiative and have an active position on the process of nominating presidential and vice-presidential candidates. They also called on Komnas HAM to take up the issue of [former armed forces chief] Wiranto and [recently resigned coordinating minister for politics and security] Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) becoming presidential candidates.

These demands were submitted to Komnas Ham on Wednesday April 28 at the Komnas HAM offices on Jalan Latuharhary in Central Jakarta. The scores of SKKP HAM members were accompanied by the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Usman Hamid and were received by the deputy chairperson of Komnas HAM, Solahuddin Wahid.

SKKP HAM said that Wiranto must be held accountable for human rights violations in Indonesia. This includes the abduction of activists1, the shooting of students at Trisakti and Semanggi2, the May 1998 riots in Jakarta and the scorched earth campaign waged the military in East Timor in 1999.

SKKP HAM said that SBY, who used to be the chief of staff of the Kodam Jaya (regional military command) should be held accountable for the attack on the Indonesian Democratic Party headquarters3 on Jalan Diponegoro on July 27, 1996. They also said that SBY is responsible for the policy of implementing martial law in Aceh.

“SKKP HAM does not want Gus Solah (Solahudin familiar name) to support Wiranto”, said Hamid. As has been reported, Gus Solah as been mentioned several times as Wiranto’s running mate for the position of vice-president.

On this question, Gus Solah denied it was true. “I have never been contacted by anyone, especially to become a vice-presidential candidate. I have also told PKB [the National Awakening Party] not to form a coalition with [the former state ruling party] Golkar”, said Gus Solah.

With regard to accusations of human rights violations committed by the two former generals, Gus Solah stated that Komnas HAM has done the maximum possible to investigate the cases. “We even recommended to President Megawati [that she] form an ad-hoc team to investigate the May riots. This issue should be taken up with the DPR [People’s Representative Assembly]”, said Gus Solah. (dit)


1. On May 12, 1998, security personnel shot into a crowd of student protesters from the Trisakti University near their campus in West Jakarta, killing four students and injuring several. This proved to be the spark which set-off three days of mass demonstrations and rioting in Jakarta which eventually lead to the overthrow of former President Suharto. Similar incidents occurred on in November 1998 and September 1999 when troops opened fire on demonstrators from the Atmajaya University in Jakarta using rubber bullets and live ammunition in the area of Semanggi, South Jakarta, resulting in the death of dozens of student demonstrators.

2. Following weeks of protests at the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) headquarters in Central Jakarta by pro-Megawati PDI supporters after the Suharto regime engineered Megawati's removal as the party's democratically elected chairperson, on July 27, 1966, paid thugs backed by the military attacked and destroyed the PDI offices resulting in the death of as many as 50 people. Popular outrage at the attack sparked several days of mass rioting and violent clashes with police.

3. Between 1997 and 1998 as many as fourteen pro-democracy activists were abducted by members of the elite special forces Kopassus. After extended periods of detention - in many cases the victims were severely tortured - most were released although four remain missing and are presumed dead. Former Kopassus chief Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto who was at the time President Suharto's son-in-law is alleged to have ordered the abductions. In April 1999, 11 low-ranking Kopassus officers were tried by a military court for the kidnappings and given sentences of between a year and 22 months in prison, although six of them were allowed to remain in the army.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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