Subject: Komnas-HAM Accuses AGO Of Human Rights Injustices

Jakarta Globe

February 19, 2009

Nurfika Osman

Komnas-HAM Accuses AGO Of Human Rights Injustices

The Attorney General's Office was responsible for worsening the injustices already done to human rights victims and their families through its repeated failure to resolve cases involving the Indonesian Armed Forces, the National Commission for Human Rights, or Komnas-HAM, said on Wednesday.

Saharuddin Daming, a Komnas-HAM commissioner, said that the AGO had failed to build successful prosecutions off of Komnas-HAM's investigations into the Semanggi I and II tragedies in Jakarta, the Talang Sari massacre in Lampung Province, the Tanjung Priok massacre, and widespread TNI abuses in Indonesian Papua and Aceh Province, as well as during the military occupation of East Timor.

"Our job," Saharuddin said of Komnas-HAM, "is to investigate the case together with the police," before handing the case off to the AGO for prosecution.

The AGO, he said, is "where the problems occur."

According to the 2000 Law on Human Rights Courts, Komnas-HAM, the AGO, and the ad hoc Human Rights Court were to share responsibility for handling human rights cases, he said, with Komnas HAM conducting investigations, the AGO handling prosecutions and the court trying and deciding cases.

"Most people blame [Komnas HAM] for the unresolved cases," he said. "They should ask the attorney general to clear up these issues, as all the BAP [investigation reports] have been handed to them."

Ultimately, however, the problems with finding justice for human rights victims lay not only with the AGO, but with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Saharuddin said, suggesting that the former general had helped shelter TNI officials accused of human rights violations.

"For example," he said, "those who are responsible at the violence in East Timor in 1999 were Prabowo Subianto, Hendropriyono and Adam Damiri."

Prabowo, currently a presidential hopeful, is the former head of the Army's feared Special Forces, or Kopassus, as was Hendropriyono, who many activists have alleged was responsible for ordering the murder of leading human rights campaigner Munir Said Thalib. Adam Damiri at one point led the military command overseeing East Timor.

A report released by the Indonesia-Timor Leste Commission for Truth and Friendship last year found that Indonesian Armed Forces and police personnel cooperated with and supported pro-Indonesia militias responsible for grave violence in East Timor.

The military was also accused of gross violations in the so-called Semanggi I incident, which left 17 civilians dead, including six university students. The shooting in Semanggi occurred when thousands of students staged rallies in front of Atma Jaya University protesting the special session of the People's Consultative Assembly from Nov. 10 to 13, 1998.

Komnas HAM, he said, also uncovered human rights violations by the military in Papua between 1963 to 2002. Mass arrests, detentions, murders, and disappearances of Acehnese during the long-running conflict between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh movement were also uncovered.

AGO spokesman Jasman Pandjaitan called some of Komnas HAM's reports, "incomplete," offering only that additional investigations were needed to look into the unresolved cases. He declined to comment, however, on which cases remained incomplete and any plans the AGO might have to reinvigorate investigations into some of the nation's darker periods.

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