Press Release
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Situation of Human Rights in the Province of Aceh in 2009
The Government Eschew From Any Responsibility


The Indonesian government once again did not show that the agenda to surcease past human rights abuses was of importance. The Department of Law and Human Rights (Departemen Hukum dan HAM - DEPKUKHAM) has not come after its promise to provide a law draft (Rencangan Undang-Undang – RUU) for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Komisi Kebenaran dan Rekonsiliasi – KKR) to the parliament of the Republic of Indonesia (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia - DPR RI) in Juli 2009. Thus, it is not surefire that the National Legislation Program (Program Legislasi Nasional - Prolegnas) implements the law draft as a regulation and thus will be discussed. It is clear already that the government did not consider the vicitms’ demands to be serious, moreover did it impressively eschew any responsibility. In the Aceh context long debates still can not smoothen the establishment of the Canon (“Qanun”) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, because the Acehnese government still insists that a regulation presupposes the inauguration/existence of the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission before the canon of the commission is going to be ratified. 

Irrespective of several argumentations made by the Aceh government, the fact that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Aceh does not yet have a format constitutes the main indicator that the government does not have a strong political will to introduce the commission (to Aceh), as one surcreasing mechanism for several human rights abuses that have happened in Aceh. 

In the matter of enforcing the Islamic Shari’ah Law, although a lot of polemic occurs, it can not be denied that the endorsement of the “Jinayah Qanun” by the Acehnese parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Aceh - DPRA) has put aside the constitution and a number of national and international human rights instruments in the past period, of which several have been ratified by Indonesia. Two of those are the whiping and the stoning punishments which constitute abusive, inhuman punishments that are not conducive to education and include psychic and psychological effects. Now that the “Jinayah Qanun” has been discussed, it has certainly not been started with long, profound studies and has not a historic background, so that a lot of articles with multiple interpretations possible will cause an uncertainty in the application of law in later. 

The eagerness to pass judgements has been increased, yet it is not considered whether the society in the aftermath of the conflict and the tsunami is ready to practice law sanctions. Not to say that the system and tools of the supporters that is not in disorder has strong impact on the level of awareness and education of the population in following up the Islamic Shari’ah law. In fact, the Acehnese parliament should seriously evaluate the framing of the canon by consulting those of competence in Aceh and on the national level during the process. With the result that the canon becomes a law regulation that is in synergy with the national instruments of the human rights without reducing the substance of the upheld Shari’ah values. 

An important lesson can be drawn from the process of the election (Pemilihan Umum – Pemilu) in 2009. Even though the election generally proceeded well, a certain number of election violations have been found in several areas. Furthermore, KontraS Aceh identified acts of deviation by authorities of the National Indonesian Military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - TNI) in securing the election (Pemilu) by stationing militaries and in the handling against election violations by the military. The ineffectiveness of the role of the election observation committee (Panitia Pengawas Pemilu – Panwaslu) and the police not being able to end up several election violations constitute important annotations that have to be followed up onwards, both on the regulatory level as well as concerning the equipment of other operational supporters. 

Moreover, the professionality of the police’s role in the enforcement of law and security in Aceh is still under examination, amid still take place acts of violence by the apparatus of the police in practicing its duties and functions. In 2009, KontraS Aceh identified at least 12 cases of civil and political rights violations committed by the Aceh police forces, including 7 cases of alleged acts of extra judicial killings and 5 cases of alleged acts of persecution/torture. From these 12 mentioned cases only the perpetrators of three cases have been processed before law (The case of the death of Susanto in Krueng Raya Greater Aceh, the case of persecution of Irham Mahmud, assistant teacher at the primary school (Sekolah Dasar – SD) of Lampeneurut Greater Aceh, and the case of the shooting of a member of the National Indonesian Military (TNI) in Cot Lamkeuweuh, Banda Aceh). 

The effectiveness of the police’s role as a leading actor in enforcing law has also been examined as several acts of terror against foreigners in Aceh by parts that were supposed to be skilled, experienced and professional. In this case, the police seemed to have difficulties in revealing and processing in a legal way the terror network(s), although the policy admitted that they have collected several names. On the other side, the National Indonesian Military (TNI) discourses its involvement in the society’s security and order (Keamanan dan Ketertiban Masyarakat - Kamtibmas) in Aceh. Unfortunately, this condition has not been responded by the Acehnese government and other political authorities in Aceh to coordinate the development of the situation of the security with the security forces that are existing. 

The system of security governance in a democratic state system that (highly) upholds civil supremacy and stands against violence constitutes a great agenda in the post-conflict that should get support from all (available) civil and political entities in Aceh to be overhauled and at once supervised. Yet, since more than 4 years of peace, the manifestation of this agenda has been given too few attention by the governmental and political authorities in Aceh. This goes as far as that the pace and role of the security forces seems not to be well-coordinated and tendencially deviates from the duties, groundworks and functions (Tugas, pokok dan fungsi - Tupoksi) that are directed by existing regulations. 

For 2010 it is hoped that the Acehnese government will discuss and validate the Canon of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Qanun KKR) and together with the Acehnese parliament (DPRA) insist that the central government (Pemerintah Pusat) not overextends the time to discuss and validate the law draft of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (RUU KKR). A synergy of the local law and the national and international human rights instruments constitute an indefectible matter, including the alignment of what comes out of the Shari’ah Canon (Qanun Syariat). And as a manifest of the civil supremacy, the Acehnese government has to coordinate the role and function of the security forces according to their respective duties, groundworks and functions (Tupoksi), so that security and order manifest in the Acehnese society becomes more and more established. 

Banda Aceh, 06 January 2010 

 KontraS Aceh Board of Directors,

Hendra Fadli   Asiah Uzia Fery Kusuma
Coordinator Vice Coordinator 
Division of Study and Campaign 

Vice Coordinator

Divison of Investigation and Advocation