Asia: Experts Meet to Discuss Challenges and Opportunities for Prosecuting Serious
JAKARTA, Nov. 15, 2011 - Experts and stakeholders from Cambodia, the Philippines, Bangladesh,
Indonesia, Burma, Timor-Leste, Thailand, and Nepal, along with international experts are gathering in
Jakarta's Hotel Atlet from November 15-16 to discuss the need for progress on prosecuting serious crimes
"Many Asian countries have experienced widespread and serious human rights abuses since the end of
World War II, yet only a few have taken steps to hold those responsible for these heinous crimes to
account," said Patrick Burgess, director of the Asia Program of the International Center for Transitional
Justice (ICTJ). "After many decades of lagging behind the rest of the world, leading Asian scholars and
practitioners are coming together this week to discuss how they can close this impunity gap, and make
sure that such atrocities never happen again."
This week's gathering in Jakarta will focus on the benefits, challenges, and lessons learned from various
Asian contexts where serious crimes have been prosecuted, either by domestic courts, international
tribunals, or "hybrid" domestic/international tribunals. It will include discussions with international
experts who have worked on domestic prosecutions of serious crimes in Europe, Latin America, Asia and
Africa, as well as international prosecutions of serious crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC),
the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the Special Court for
"With the continued lack of justice for victims of serious crimes in countries including Burma, Indonesia,
the Philippines and many more, we hope that these discussions will help spur Asian leaders to take
practical steps to pursue judicial accountability for these shocking crimes," noted Indria Fernida, deputy
coordinator of KontraS. "More Asian countries need to ratify the Rome Statute. This will strengthen
national capacity to prosecute those responsible for future serious crimes and contribute to peace and
security throughout the region."
This week's meetings and activities are being hosted and sponsored by ICTJ, Paramadina University,
KontraS, and the Indonesia Coalition for the ICC, with support from the European Commission.
The sessions that will be open to the media and the public will take place from 8:30-12:30 on November
15, at the Hotel Atlet Century Park Jakarta, 7th Floor.
The International Center for Transitional Justice works to redress and prevent the most severe violations
of human rights by confronting legacies of mass abuse. ICTJ seeks holistic solutions to promote
accountability and create just and peaceful societies. For more information, visit www.ictj.org
|Director, ICTJ Asia Program
||Deputy Director, KontraS