Wednesday, September 30, 2009

House urges justice for kidnapped activistsThe Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 09/29/2009 1:16 PM | National

Parliament has called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to form a human rights court to try the cases of rights activists kidnapped in 1997.

The House of Representatives also urged Yudhoyono to find out what happened to the 13 kidnapped activists, who remain missing.

Compensation for their families should also be paid, the House went on, while the government should ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

The House made the call Monday, following recommendations by its special committee on the kidnapping cases.

"Attorney General Hendarman Supandji must continue the investigation with the National Commission on Human Rights so that the suspects can be taken to court," said committee chairman Effendi Simbolon. "The court should be established by presidential decree."

After the session, relatives of the missing activists presented Effendi with a white rose "to symbolize their respect for his leadership of the committee," reported.

Effendi told The Jakarta Post the calls were made after a discussion of the cases with the human rights commission, various human rights NGOs and families of the missing activists.

"The committee didn't make any investigation of its own, but we based our recommendations on the human rights commission's investigation," he said.

He added the committee had tried to summon government officials to confirm facts in the case.

The committee had invited Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo A.S., Indonesian Military Chief Gen. Djoko Santoso, Attorney General Hendarman Supandji, State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Syamsir Siregar, Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono, and Justice and Human Rights Minister Andi Mattalata.

"None of the officials accepted our invitation," Effendi said.

"We sent a letter to the President to urge the officials to come, but he didn't give any clear instructions."

He added the committee had also planned to summon suspects in the kidnapping cases, but had refrained from doing so.

The suspects include failed vice-presidential candidates Wiranto, from the People's Conscience Party (Hanura), and Prabowo Subianto, from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), as well as officers from the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus).

Mugiyanto, chairman of the Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared, said the families were satisfied with the House's stance.

"The House has done its part in making recommendations to the government," he said.

"Now we hope the government will act on the recommendations."

He said forming a human rights court was important, since the Attorney General's Office had repeatedly postponed any investigation due to the lack of an ad-hoc court.

Mugiyanto, also kidnapped but latter released in 1997, said finding the activists was the main concern of the families.

"At the very least, the truth about their fate must be unveiled," he said.

"If Indonesia doesn't want to be burdened with past human rights violations, this step must be taken."

Mugiyanto said he hoped Yudhoyono would follow up on the recommendations within the first 100 days after his inauguration. (mrs)

Source: The Jakarta Post,

No comments: