Jakarta. Calls are reemerging for the government to reform the military justice system, a long-overdue issue and a necessary measure to end impunity.
Military courts have seen dozens of soldiers convicted of criminal offenses and discharged from their posts, but have also been notorious for lacking transparency.
The military justice system is governed by the 1997 Law on Military Tribunals. Human rights activists from the Jakarta-based Indonesian Human Rights Monitor, or Imparsial, have been urging the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to revise the law.
According to Imparsial director Al Araf, it should be made possible to charge soldiers who commit criminal offenses and to have them tried by civilian courts to meet the principle of equality before the law.
"This matter has been neglected by the current administration. The government should understand that this reform has been mandated by the people," he told the reporters on Wednesday (19/10).
Al Araf was referring to People's Consultative Assembly Decree No. VI of 2000, on the separation of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police, and Decree No. VII of 2000, on the roles of the military and police, both of which mandate the reform of the military justice system.
Concerns over the lack of accountability in military courts have risen in recent months, when several cases of violence against civilians have been reported.