INDONESIA: Focus Discussion and Sharing with all Commissioners of the Aceh TRC

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to inform you about focus discussion and sharing with all Commissioners of the Aceh Truth and Reconciliation (Aceh TRC).

Since the Aceh TRC established four years ago, the Commission has achieved some important points. They can be described as follows:

5200 victims have been interviewed and statements have been taken since December 2017 – 15 March 2020 (the date when the lockdown was put in place for Aceh). Aceh TRC has to cancel statement taking for another 968 victims that have been planned for the year of 2020.

Three public hearings (Dengar Kesaksian) have been conducted. Two of the public hearings were on themes (on Torture in November 2018 and on Disappearance in November 2019), and the other one was geographic based with mixed cases (North Aceh, Bireun and Lhokseumawe Region in July 2019).

One of the public hearings that was planned to take place in November 2020 on extrajudicial killing cases has been canceled due to the pandemic related government re-focusing budget, and 15 memorialization that was supposed to take place in this year alone – all of them has to be cancelled.

The full interview is available here

Some important points discussed in the interview are:

1. The Aceh TRC had encouraged the formation of the National Taskforce in effort to support the reparation for victims of past human rights violations in Aceh. Those efforts were facilitated by Dirjen HAM since 2018 to 2019 and now postponed;

2. In order to respond the impact of Covid 19 pandemic, Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection had requested some datas to the Aceh TRC. It was aimed to fulfill the rights of 1,375 affected survivors;

3. On 19 August 2020, The Aceh TRC had signed the MoU with Indonesia’s Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) for protection and reparation effort for victims of past human rights violations in Aceh;

4. The Commission has Created an SOP of Reconciliation;

5. The Commission has Facilitated the capacity building of mediators from Majelis Adat Aceh across districts in Aceh Province (especially in statement taking districts);

6. In Planning for Muzakarah about Reconciliation Model with Ulama;

7. In fact, the victims who were recommended by the Aceh TRC to get reparation programs have not received their rights yet. Urgent reparation which was recommended by the Aceh TRC also has not followed up yet. The duties of Aceh TRC, and also of the Government of Indonesia as the actor who is responsible for the gross violations of human rights, must continue;

8. There is a new fresh development in national level. There is initiative by the President to establish a new law on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Albeit some question remains on whether the new law has any effect to the Aceh’s TRC, either positive or negative, whether the Aceh’s TRC will be acknowledged or not, and even whether the law will be implemented in not so long future or whether it will be another unimplemented law in the face of the pandemic;

9. Covid-19 pandemic or any other emergency should not be an excuse for the state and the government to deny the rights of the victims.