Subject : US Government Must Move Forward Gun Control Regulation and Spread the Understanding of Non Discrimination
Ambassador Robert O. Blake Jr.
Embassy of The United States, Jakarta
Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan No. 3 - 5. Jakarta 10110, Indonesia.
Telephone: (62)(21) 3435-9000. Fax: (62)(21) 386-2259.
The Commission for The Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) – a human rights non-governmental organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia, condemns the racial crime in Charleston, South Carolina. The case occurred when Dylann Roof shot and killed nine members of a Bible study group who were inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. We share our deepest condolences and sympathy with the family of nine victims. KontraS deplores the flux of racism violence in United States of America which lead to the casualties. This case adds to the long list of the racial crimes with gun violence in United State of America.
We demand the Government of United States to have gun control within the country because of the high number of abuses with these weapons. Gun control is needed to prevent future killings and abuse of weapons. Take into consideration that the Report of racial crimes in the US 2013 based on FBI database has shown the high number of incidents, with more than 2500 cases. Without appropriate measures, we are afraid the occurance of this kind of case in the near future.
We also urge the US Government to develop an appropriate communication and dialogue between communities, in cooperation with civil society and members of affected communities in order to spread understanding and educate the society in a spirit of non- discrimination, respect for others, and tolerance.
KontraS acknowledges that US Government has ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination since 21 October 1994. In 2014, the last review committed by the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlighted gun control in relation to racial discrimination cases. On the concluding observation published in 25 September 2014, The Committee is concerned at the high number of gun-related deaths and injuries which disproportionately affect members of racial and ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans.
Echoing the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommendation on the gun violence related to racial discrimination, we urge the US Government to take effective legislative and policy measures to fulfil its obligation to protect the right to life and to reduce gun violence, including by adopting legislation to expand background checks for all private firearm transfers and prohibiting the practice of carrying concealed handguns in public venues; and increasing transparency concerning gun use in crime and illegal gun sales.
The US Government has to ensure the necessary measures to move forward gun control legislation. This regulation shall be made to prevent the guns no longer misused by the wrong hand. In the near future, we would like to see the United States people to live in social harmony, with a depth understanding and practicing tolerance with no more racial crimes, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, foremost no more gun violence related to racial crime.
Jakarta, 25 June 2015
Haris Azhar, MA