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NGOs accuse Indonesia government of delaying human rights tribunal
Publication Date : 27-02-2013
Indonesian Human Rights defenders have expressed their suspicions that the government’s recent initiative to hold discussions on the possibility of opening human rights tribunals were politically motivated. They argued that the discussion, which was raised in close proximity to the 2014 General Elections, could implicate some of the strong presidential candidates.
“We are actually surprised to learn that the Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto had just begun talks with the House of Representatives leadership on the plan to establish an ad hoc human rights tribunal on the 1997-1998 forced disappearance case,” the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Families of Missing Persons Association (IKOHI) said in a joint statement issued on Tuesday.
“On the one hand, it is good that the tribunal might be finally established. On the other hand, however, we are concerned that the tribunal is merely political tool to crush political opponents,” they added.
The activists were referring to People’s Conscience (Hanura) Party chairman and former Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. (ret.) Wiranto as well as Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party chief patron and former Special Forces Command (Kopassus) Commander Lt. Gen. (ret.) Prabowo Subianto, who were both implicated in the violations during the 1998 riots.
Kontras and IKOHI are among the organisations who have repeatedly accused the Indonesian government of ignorance with regards to the victims of past human rights abuses because it failed to establish an ad hoc human rights tribunal even though a mandate had been given by the House in 2009.