Chief Security Minister Wiranto. (Antara Photo/Suwandy)

Gov't Forms Team to Resolve Past Rights Abuses


JULY 31, 2018

Jakarta. Chief Security Minister Wiranto reaffirmed the government's commitment to resolve past human rights abuses by the state, and announced the formation of an integrated team for this purpose.

"We want to resolve these issues together so that no one would put the blame on another. The government has not been evading [its responsibility]," Wiranto told reporters in Jakarta on Monday (30/07).

The integrated team would comprise of the Attorney General's Office, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the National Police and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

The team will investigate the abuse cases and what has been hindering their resolution.

Komnas HAM is strongly dependent on other institutions in bringing perpetrators to justice. It has to report its findings to the Attorney General's Office, which then decides what steps to take. Over the years, however, the attorney general has repeatedly returned the commission's reports, citing various reasons.

In June, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo expressed his commitment to take responsibility for resolving past human rights violations, and requested that Wiranto and Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo step up their efforts.

Shortly after the president's request, however, Prasetyo referred to one of the reports by Komnas HAM as "assumptions and opinions."

The new step taken by the government could improve coordination and transparency. Wiranto also mentioned the possibility of addressing past human rights violations through a non-judicial mechanism.

However, according to the minister, lack of evidence is one of the issues that make it difficult to help the progress of investigation.

"There are a number of challenges, including insufficient evidence. While Komnas HAM has conducted their investigations, their results have not yet met the requirements laid out by the attorney general to move further to prosecution," Wiranto said.

The unsolved cases include the murder of student activists during violent street protests in Jakarta in 1998, the 1965-66 anticommunist purge and a number of rights abuses in Papua.