A few weeks ago, President Joko Widodo issued Presidential Decree Number 17 of 2022 concerning the establishment of a non-judicial settlement team for serious past human rights violations.
We agree with the statement of the victims of past human rights abuses and their families, namely that the Presidential Decree 17 of 2022 is a means of eliminating the mistakes of perpetrators of past human rights abuses because they have conceptual problems that violate the victims’ right to truth and access to justice and proves that the State did an omission concerning the perpetrators of past human rights abuses.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) supports the Solidarity Committee for Munir (KASUM) by giving an assessment that the composition of the team is also filled with people who are suspected of having a track record of human rights violations. This can be seen in the appointment of Mr. As’ad Said Ali as a member of the team.
In fact, Mr. As’ad’s name appeared in the Fact Finding Team (TPF) for the murder of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib as the person who is strongly suspected of being involved in Munir’s murder. In the trial of Indra Setiawan (Director of the Garuda Indonesia Company at the time of the Munir murder case), he explained that he “made the assignment letter because Pollycarpus visited him in June or July 2004 at the Bengawan Solo Restaurant, Hotel Sahid, Jakarta. During the meeting, according to him, Pollycarpus showed a warrant from the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) which was signed by the then Deputy Head of the BIN, As’ad Said Ali. The contents of the letter stated that he had asked Pollycarpus to be assigned as a security officer on the grounds that the Garuda Indonesia Company is a vital and strategic Company, and therefore that its security needs to be improved.”
The appointment of people suspected of committing human rights violations as members of the Human Rights Violation Settlement Team (PPHAM) by President Joko Widodo is not only against human rights standards and mechanisms, but also attacks the mind and deceives the feelings of all the victims of serious human rights violations in Indonesia and their families. This step by the President only strengthens the position that the Government does not have the political will to reveal the truth and provide justice to the victims. On the other hand, we also question the attitude of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) which has remained silent about this President’s decision. The silence of the Komnas HAM can be interpreted by the public that the Komnas HAM allows or approves of impunity to take place and approves the wrong actions of the Government.
We also remind Komnas HAM that the Human Rights Violations Settlement Team (PPHAM) which will resolve human rights violations through non-judicial channels has actually delegitimized Komnas HAM which has been taking judicial steps in resolving cases of serious human rights violations. Moreover, in the team, there are personages suspected of being involved in the Munir murder case, for which Komnas HAM will also soon form an ad-hoc team in that case.
Furthermore, we consider that the formation of the PPHAM containing alleged perpetrators of human rights violations by the President further shows that the issue of past serious human rights violations is only used as an annual political agenda for political contestants, including President Joko Widodo.
The protracted settlement of cases of past serious human rights violations has not only caused prolonged suffering for the victims, but has also become a stumbling block for national political reconciliation for the Government. The settlement of cases of past serious human rights violations must be carried out comprehensively, namely the disclosure of the truth and the judicial process. Reconciliation or non-judicial processes that have been initiated several times by the Government must be based on facts or the disclosure of the truth first. Without revealing the truth, reconciliation or other non-judicial processes will only serve as blank cheques or a means of impunity for perpetrators of past gross human rights violations.
On the basis of the foregoing, the AHRC urges President Joko Widodo to;
1. Drop the Presidential Decree No. 17 of 2022 concerning the establishment of a non-judicial settlement team for past serious human rights violations in the interest of fulfilling the right to truth and justice for victims;
2. Instruct the Attorney General as the investigator to immediately follow up on the results of the investigations of past human rights violations by the National Human Rights Commission (HAM) through conducting transparent, objective, honest, fair and responsible investigations of past serious human rights violations;
3. Ensure and guarantee the protection of the ad-hoc team for the investigation of serious human rights violations in the murder of Munir and ensure that the ad-hoc team can access all matters relating to the case;
4. Urge the Komnas HAM to take a firm stand on the President’s wrong policy by asking the President to cancel the Presidential Decree and return to the judicial route that has been carried out by the Komnas HAM itself.