GAM declares commitment to fight for past rights violations

Aceh Kita – March 8, 2007
GAM spokesperson Bakhtiar Abdullah (sumugah)
GAM spokesperson Bakhtiar Abdullah (sumugah)

Armia AM, Lhokseumawe – The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) has declared its commitment to fight for cases of past human rights cases. In addition to this, GAM has also admitted that it will continue to seek amendments to Law Number 11/2006 on Aceh Governance.

“GAM will endeavour to undertake those things that were agreed to in the Helsinki MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), including those pertaining to cases of human rights violations”, said GAM spokesperson Bakhtiar Abdullah when speaking with Aceh Kita after attending the inauguration of the North Aceh governor not long ago.

Cases of past human rights violations remain a subject of heated debate. Why is it that Indonesia considers that the only cases of human rights violations that can be tried in the Human Rights Court are only those that took place during the time period following the Helsinki agreement.

GAM however is insisting that crimes against human rights prior to the Helsinki agreement must also be investigated. The Aceh governance law also states that the only human rights violations that can be tried in the Human Rights Court are those that took pace post the Helsinki negotiations.

Abdullah believes that Law Number 11/2006 was ratified by the Indonesian government before it not fully based on the Helsinki MoU that was signed by GAM and Indonesia on August 15, 2005. It is because of this therefore, that Abdullah hopes that the recently elected governor and regency heads will be able to fight for amendments to the law.

In addition to this, Abdullah said he hopes that the current Aceh leadership will be able to fight for the welfare of the victims of the conflict who have already suffered greatly since the conflict broke out in Aceh. [akh]