Terror Victims Not Adequately Compensated Under Existing Laws: LPSK


MARCH 31, 2017

Jakarta. Victims of recent terror attacks in the country have yet to receive compensation from the government, despite laws providing for that, a state official said.

Abdul Haris Semendawai, chairman of the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK), which was established by law in 2006, said terror victims are entitled to compensation and access to medical, psychological and psycho-social aid from government agencies.

"Victims of terror attacks often suffer from physical, material and immaterial losses. Amazingly, no-one has received compensation yet, despite numerous attacks in recent years,"Abdul said in Jakarta on Thursday (30/03).

He was speaking at a workshop on the National Framework for Compensation of Victims of Crime and Terrorism, co-organized by the LPSK, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power states that terror victims deserve compensation, whether it be from a perpetrator or a state body.

Collie Brown of UNODC said financial or material compensation may not be enough to fully treat victims, but it is one way to support their recoveries.

UNODC held a preliminary meeting before the workshop and revealed that the Indonesian government has set aside insufficient funds for victim compensation.

Considering UNODC's findings, Thursday's workshop brought together experts from the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Spain to introduce models of compensation already implemented in those countries.

"Hopefully these models can be of use to build a framework for Indonesia. They cannot all be applied here, but some can be tailored according to the country's condition," Brown said.

Chief Security Minister Wiranto said the workshop could be useful for Indonesian lawmakers, as a revision of the 2003 Anti-Terrorism Law is currently being considered by the House of Representatives.

"The timing is right because revisions of the Anti-Terrorism Law are being discussed by the House of Representatives," he said. "The workshop is expected to provide insights and recommendations for lawmakers on how to handle compensation for terror victims."

Erasmus Napitupulu of the Jakarta-based Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) said a stipulation requiring victims to seek compensation through court hearings is expected to be dropped and that victims are likely to be entitled to urgent medical assistance under the proposed revision.

"These existing requirements have hampered the rights of terror victims," Erasmus said in a statement on Friday.

The country has seen six major terror attacks in recent years, including the Bali bombings of 2002 and 2005 that killed more than 200 people and injured 300 others. Other terror attacks have accounted for more than 1,000 casualties, with nearly 270 killed and another 800 injured.

According to data from the Indonesian Survivors Foundation (YPI), none of those victims have received adequate assistance from the government.

The group said most of the victims who did receive assistance sought aid from foreign nongovernmental organizations and international donors.