House criticised over moves to get US travel ban on Syamsoeddin lifted

Source – April 28, 2011
Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin (Tribune)
Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin (Tribune)

Ari Saputra, Jakarta – Reports of moves by member of the House of Representative’s (DPR) Commission I on defense, foreign affairs and communication to overturn the United States ban on Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin entering the US has been criticised by human rights victims. They believe that such efforts are unnecessary because it is fitting that Sjamsoeddin be held to account for the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor and the May 1998 riots in Jakarta.

“We reject the request by DPR members to the US to revoke the US travel ban on Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin. The DPR commission’s visit to the US to lobby for the lifting of the travel ban is not the right thing to do because of allegations of responsibility for human rights violations”, said Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Haris Azhar.

Azhar conveyed the group’s objections during a break in a “Thursday” action in front of the State Palace on Jl Medan Merdeka Utara in Central Jakarta on Thursday April 28.

“The [US] refusal to give Sjafrie a visa is a form of the application of the principle of universal jurisdiction on case of gross human rights violations. These are serious crimes that are categories as enemies of humanity so it has authority anywhere and indefinitely. [He] must be punished over this case”, asserted Azhar.

Azhar is urging the DPR to concentrate on solving the TNI’s internal systems of correction rather than dealing with Sjamsoeddin’s travel ban. “The government should be thinking about correcting the TNI through a vetting mechanism or by identifying human rights violators, removing them from their posts and not including them in the command structure”, said Azhar. (Ari/nwk)

Source: Upaya Pencabutan Cekal Wamenhan ke AS Ditolak Korban HAM – detikNews. Kamis, 28/04/2011

[Translated by James Balowski.]