Subject: INDGOV: Statement at HRC on Ad Hoc Court

The following is the text of a statement made by Indonesia at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva:

Statement by Ambassador Djismun Kasri, Head of Indonesian Delegation

Item 9: Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world.

Madam Chairperson,

The reform process initiated in 1998 by the Government of Indonesia has seen some major changes, evidanced among others by a thorough overhaul of the country's legislation and infrastructures. Nowhere have these changes been more meaningful than in the field of human rights, which the government considers crucial and where it has made serious efforts to remedy past shortcomings. This painstaking process has taken time and will now only be completed under the second five-year National Plan of Action, 2003-2008. But the are ongoing and a stronger mechanism for their implementation is in the course of elaboration.

The plan which involves all the governmental and national human rights institutions, as well as civil society, as implementing partners, is composed of five main pillars, namely: 1) Preparation of the ratification of international human rights instruments; 2) Further harmonization of domestic laws relevant to human rights; 3) Dissemination of and education in human rights; 4) Application of human rights norms and standarts; and 5) Monitoring, evaluating and reporting, including to the relevant treaty bodies, on the national implementation of human rights instruments which have been ratified by Indonesia.

At this juncture, Madam Chairperson, I should like to comment briefly on the development of the legal proceedings in the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court in the prosecution of cases of human rights abuses commited in East Timor in 1999. The court has handed down verdicts after several cases of human rights violations were established. How ever, I would like to point out that the current legal processes have not reached their final stage not least because the verdicts are now being brought to the court of appeal and to supreme court for their final adjuducation. For these reasons, therefore, we consider it unfar and unjustified that the report of the High Commissioner, as contained in document E/CN.4/2003/37, referring to so-called "informed observers", as well as the statements of several delegations speaking on this agenda item, should contain judgmental observations on certain important aspects of the legal proceedings in the ad hoc court, which are indeed still ongoing. These observations are tantamount to predjuging the ability of the Indonesian judicial system to function fairly, independently and transparently.

My Government is commited to ensure that the ad hoc court functions effectively and in accordance with due process of law. However, it cannot intervene in this process, nor can it impinge on the jurisdiction of the judiciary. Likewise, the conclusions of KPP-HAM on the basis of the preliminary inquiry conducted by Komnas HAM are independent from, and do not predetermine, any conclusions reached by the Attorney-General's Office on the basis of its own investigations. As for the functioning of the ad hoc court itself, the first of its king in Indonesia, it reflects the current reform process through the substantive and procedural laws which govern its proceedings. Although we are not claiming that it is perfect yet and that some aspects cannot still be improved, this does not warrant the heavy-handed criticism and condemnation we have received.

Madam Chairperson,

I should like to conclude by pointing out the positive spirit in which the forging of relations between the Governments of Indonesia and Timor Lorosae has taken plase. We are much encouraged by this forward-looking attitude which, we are conviced, will be instrumental in helping to solve any remaining issues as well as in building our long-term productive bilateral relations.

Thank you

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