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Rights commission won't join government's integrated team to 'resolve' rights violations

Tempo - August 6, 2018

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta -- The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) is reluctant to take part in the integrated team to investigate past gross human rights violations which is being touted by Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Menkopolhukam) Wiranto.

Komnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara believes that the plan to establish the integrated team is not in accordance with the core principles of Komnas HAM or its authority in resolving past cease of human rights violations.

"Komnas' main principle is when talking about resolving past gross human rights violations that it is to be through judicial means", said Hapsara at the Komnas HAM offices in Central Jakarta on Monday August 6.

Hapsara said that the judicial process has three implications. First that the public understand the construction of the incident that actually happened. Second, to find the perpetrators who carried out the act and bear command responsibility for humanitarian crimes.

And third, obtaining clarity on the matter of compensation for victims. "[So] it's clear that we go through a judicial process which is tested in court", he said.

Hapsara said that it is a judicial mechanism that is mandated by Law Number 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. If the government is envisaging a non-judicial mechanism, said Hapsara, then Komnas HAM does not have the authority to take part in such an endeavor. "Komnas is not in a position to join the team", said Hapsara.

Earlier, following a meeting at the Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs on July 31, Wiranto said that they are considering a non-judicial mechanism to resolve past gross human rights violations.

Wiranto claimed that the meeting was attended by representatives from the Department of Home Affairs, the Attorney General's Office and Komnas HAM. He said that the integrated team would investigate and find evidence on past gross human rights violations.

Komnas HAM chairperson Ahmad Taufan Damanik said that during a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on June 8 they explained Komnas HAM's position on the matter.

At the time, he said, Komnas HAM handed over a position paper to the president the contents of which called for judicial measures to be taken to resolve past rights violations. "We asked Bapak [Mr] President to pursue the steps that we had earlier discussed", said Damanik.

Today's statement meanwhile, said Damanik, is a clarification on the earlier claim by the Menkopolhukam that Komnas HAM would be involved in the integrated team.

"We have studied the matter. And on this occasion [I] want to clarify this to the concerned parties, particularly the victims, because in moral terms Komnas HAM acts under the advice of the victims", said Damanik.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Komnas HAM Enggan Bergabung ke Tim Terpadu yang Digagas Wiranto.]

Source: https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1114397/komnas-ham-enggan-bergabung-ke-tim-terpadu-yang-digagas-wiranto.

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