Press Release
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Violence activities are increasing, peace control is weak

KontraS Aceh registered that in 2007 violence activities have increased compared to last year, which was around 51 cases. Out of 51 cases, 12 involved police officers, 4 cases involved the army officers, 2 cases involved former member of the Aceh Freedom Movement (GAM) and 33 cases with unidentified perpetrators. The number of victims was 79. Out of 79, 10 people were murdered, 9 people were gunned down but still alive and 60 people were tortured. In addition, we had 9 arson case and 12 bomb exploding/terror and grenade with unidentified perpetrators. Criminal activities with fire arms around 31 times with 2 victims dead and 4 wounded. Mysterious shooting occurred 5 times with 3 people died and 7 people wounded.

We are in view there five reasons behind this increasing trend. First, weak control from the security forces in keeping the peace. Second, there is no early warning system to avoid the repetition of the conflict. Third, unfair and discriminative in law supremacy. Fourth, incorrect reintegration concept from the beginning. Fifth, weak performance of the police.

Forum for Coordination and Communication (FKK), established under Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security, to replace madate of COSA in AMM, does not effectively play its role to avoid conflict in Aceh after AMM is no longer exist in Aceh. What FKK is typically doing is coming as violence occurs but they could not stop the violence spreads out. The big mandate of FKK could also reduce the role and function of the Aceh government and will pose a threat to Acehnese ability in keeping the peace.

The year 2007 is also a year with law supremacy and human rights fulfillments are still in big question mark. The fact that the Comission for Truth and Reconciliation as well as Human Rights Tribunal are not yet established also show no guarantee for justice and rights fulfillment for human rights violations victims in Aceh. This is disturbing since the demand from victims of conflict and human rights violations to have fair legal process and justice is getting stronger. A number of celebration activities for some tragedies have supported the demand in the past in Aceh. This is an effort to emind the government of those cases. To date, support from the government is only in statemet and central and regional government are blaming each other.

In addition, aside from their achievements in solving the robbery case with fire arms, the police are still using violence activities in performing their duties as shown in Tanjong Beuridi case and shooting incident in Lhoksukon and Tiro. The armed forces also are still intervening social politics issue in Aceh by issuing political statement, not linked to their portfolio in security. These statements for instance are illegal weapons submission, wanted list of perpetrator in Alue Dua, symbol of GAM and the need of local party. In Alue Dua case, the intervention from the armed forces to the legal process is very obvious. As a result, the police could not work independently.

A credit should be given to the government when they are welcoming Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the United Nations for Human Rights Issues and Louis Arbour, Head of Human Rights Commission of the United Nation. Unfortunately, the government is still not sensitive with human rights issues. The case of eight staffs of Legal Aid Foundation in Banda Aceh who are doing advocacy work is a good example. All the staffs are being criminalized in legal process while in fact they are helping the people since PT Bumi Flora in Aceh Timur is taking over the land with power. It shows that the government is inconsistent and not respecting human rights. The government is also not protecting human rights defender, which is guaranteed by the law. The government is doing something after some pressures from the United Nations.

In 2008, government’s commitment in upholding human rights issues will be tested if they can establish the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation as well as HumanRights Tribunal in Aceh. Violence threats will be present if commitments from the actors in charge are weak. Without reintegration process, the use of early warning system, upholding the law, fair and openness in problem solving, violence threats will also be present. Reintegration and problem solving are necessary. The two are challenges for peace keeping process in Aceh to be sustainable in the future.

Banda Aceh, 07 January 2008

Working Body of KontraS Aceh


Asiah Uzia