Press Release
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KontraS (The Commission of the Disappeared and Victims of Violence)
Urgent Appeal: Efforts to resolve past cases in accordance with the rights of victims, norms/instruments and international human rights law guarantees the rights of victims towards truth, justice, recovery, and guarantee non-reoccurrence.

Dear friends,

The Commission of the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) has written to you all to inform that currently it is undergoing a framework effort in resolving past cases in Indonesia that has been concepted by the Watimpres/Presidential advisory council (one of the teams that has been assigned by President SBY.

Case details:

KontraS, the victims and their families are still conducting settlements of past cases in Indonesia. Efforts urge the President to take policy steps within the scope of the President’s prerogative rights under section 14 of the 1945 Constitution.

A series of meetings with the President has been conducted by KontraS precisely on March 28, 2008 and June 7, 2010, followed by a meeting in the month of May 2011 between the National Commission of human rights with President SBY related to the settlement of past human rights violations.

On September 2011, a meeting was conducted between KontraS, victims and their families with the Minister of Political, Law and Security Coordinator (Menkopolhukam), Djoko Suyanto. In the meeting, the President asked to find the best method to resolve the major past human rights violation cases. Currently under the coordination of the KemenkoPolhukam has been formed a team to resolve major past human rights violations with the mechanisms, formats and accountability that are not yet clear.

On February 17, 2012, KontraS carried out a meeting with victims and their families with Albert Hasibuan, a member of Watimpres (The Presidential Advisory Council) from division of the Law and Human Rights Affairs. The meeting was to convey feedback to Wantimpres about matters associated with the design concept resolving human rights violations in the past that contains the expectations and the rights of victims within the Design Concept of justice, truth, recovery and the guarantee of non-reoccurrence, political conditions and policy measures that can be taken by the President. These inputs are delivered either orally or in writing as stipulated in the Draft of the President’s policy in Past Human Rights Cases for Victims Justice. After the meeting it has been know that through the Design Concept of Resolving Past Major Human Rights Violations that has been formed by the Watimpres that there is a desire by the President to resolve past major human rights violations, and even with openness to apologize in the name of the country.

On the April 25 2012, it was conducted a meeting between KontraS coordinator, Elsam, National Commission on Human Rights with the representatives from victims and families of gross human rights violations and victims of violence in Aceh with the Watimpres to give three inputs regarding the expectations of the victims. The first, is to urge the president to apologize as the head of the nation and government. Second, is to urge the legal process towards cases that are now stagnant at the Attorney General. Third, regarding the recovery of victims in terms of compensation and rehabilitation.

The effort of the Watimpres lately has shown improvement compared to the Team from Menkopolhukham, where the position of Watimpres has the authority to give advice and considerations to the President, whether asked or not, and also to consider the presence of Albert Hasibuan as a member of Watimpres. Albert Hasibuan is a former member of the National Commission of Human Rights and was also the Head of the Investigating Team for the case of Trisakti, Semanggi I and II also the case of Timor Leste. Due to this Albert Hasibuan has experiences in gross human rights violations when he was appointed as the Commissioner/member of the National Commission of Human Rights.

Based on the description above, it is important to encourage the efforts currently being initiated by Watimpres:

  1. To support the efforts of Mr. Albert Hasibuan of Watimpres to continue the positive measures that are being explored to resolve the case related to the past human rights violations.
  2. To urge the Watimpres to ensure the completion of the Design Concept in accordance with the victims' rights, human rights norms, instruments, international human rights law that guarantees the rights of the victims to truth, justice, recovery and guarantee non-reoccurrence.
  3. To ensure a follow-up that is quick, precise and continuous from the President.

Background Information

Cases of past human rights violations in Indonesia have been recorded since the Soeharto era, such as the tragedy of the massacre of 1965/1966, Tanjung Priok massacre in 1984, the massacre in Lampung Talangsari 1989, abduction of activists in1997/1998, the tragedy in May 1998; riots and shootings in Trisakti / Semanggi I and II 1998. A series of legal and non-legal settlement of past cases mentioned above are still ongoing.

There were several attempts to resolve the cases in the past, yet despite these efforts there are still many obstacles and weaknesses. Ad hoc human rights court for the case of Tanjung Priok in 2003, which held 15 people as defendants, did not touch the chain of command. Quality of the trials was very questionable as during the trials; there were efforts to reconcile with the perpetrator of the victim, so that many of the victims have revoked their testimony in the trial. The trial also did not give a decision on the recovery, such as rehabilitation and compensation to victims and their families. While for the case of Trisakti / Semanggi I and II, the government held a military court (non transparent internal court) immediately after the event. The military court has convicted six police officers. In 2002, the military court sentenced nine members Gegana (bomb squad) / Regimen II of the Police Mobile Brigade, and in 2003 a military court also sentenced the shooter in Semanggi II. The same was conducted on 1998 cases of the kidnapping of activists, which the government held a military tribunal to bring the perpetrators to face the trial court, but again did not touch the perpetrators of higher positions. This trial did not touch the disclosure of 13 other activists who are still missing.
Up until now, the efforts to urge the resolving of the cases are still are undergoing. Such as the recommendations that has been issued by Pansus DPR RI (Special Committee in Parliament) regarding the kidnapping of the 1997/1998 activists which emphasizes to the President of Indonesia to look for those whom are still missing, to Ratify the  Convention on anti forced disappearance to prevent the reoccurrence etc, to urge the National Commission of Human Rights to use their mandate to conduct a pro-justica investigation for some of the past human rights violations cases such as the 1965/1966 case and also efforts to urge the agenda of recovery with the responsibility of the perpetrator.

SUGGESTED ACTION: Please write a letter to the member of WATIMPRES (PRESIDENTRIAL ADVISORY COUNCIL), Mr. Albert Hasibuan to continue positive measures that is being undertaken regarding the resolving of past cases in gross human rights violations (please see attachment the sample letter) to: Mr. Albert Hasibuan, Member of the Presidential Advisory Council (Watimpres) in Law and Human Rights.

Sample letter to Mr. Albert Hasibuan, Member of President Advisory Council (Watimpres) in Law and Human Rights:

Mr. Albert Hasibuan
Member of Presidential Advisory Council (Law and Human rights)
Jl. Veteran III Jakarta Pusat 10110
Ph: 62-21-3444-801
Fax: 62-21-3812-063, 3865-092


Your Excellency,

................(inform briefly on your organizations) .............................………………………
(Name of organization).................................. we intend to give our appreciation towards the positive measures that are now being initiated by you as one of the members of Watimpres in Law and Human Rights Issues.

We noted earlier attempts to work together to find a design concept to resolve the case of past human rights violations of that have faltered. The team formed under the Menkopolhukham (Ministry of Politics, Law and Security) has not given a significant advance over the mechanisms, formats and accountability for the completion of the work of the past human rights abuses. Although the team has met with the victims, related to the mandate given by the President to seek the settlement framework of past cases, but the post-meeting continuation is unknown.

Furthermore, the design concept of the settlement of Past Human Rights abuses, which is currently, conducted by the Watimpres, especially by you as a member of Watimpres in law and human rights issues is considered to be quite precise. This is related to the position Watimpres which as an institution has a mandate to give advice and consideration to the President and also Mr. Albert Hasibuan own existence that had direct contact with cases of human rights abuses as a member of the National Commission of Human Rights and was the Chairman of the Investigation Team for the case of Trisakti, Semanggi I and II and in Timor Leste.

In connection to the above, we provide the broadest support to you:

  1. To continue the positive measures that are being explored to resolve the cases related to the human rights abuses
  2. To ensure the concept of settlement of past abuses in accordance with the rights of victims, human rights norms, instruments and international human rights law that guarantees the rights of victims to truth, justice, recovery and guarantee non-reoccurrences.
  3. To ensure a follow-up that is fast, accurate and continuous from the President regarding the concept of settlements of past abuses that has been proposed by Watimpres.

We thank you for your kind attention, and we look forward to hearing from you.

(Name of Organization)