Yudhoyono must be bolder on human rights in next period – Kontras

Detik.com – September 1, 2009
Protesters call for president to solve Munir case (Viva)
Protesters call for president to solve Munir case (Viva)

Rachmadin Ismail, Jakarta – There has been no significant change in the handling of cases of missing person or human rights violations since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been in office. Over the next period therefore, Yudhoyono is being urged to show more courage.

“Our hope is that the president will be more resolute, bolder and be faster in dealing with human rights cases”, said Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) coordinator Usman Hamid speaking at the Department of Justice and Human Rights building on Jl. HR Rasuna Said in the Kuningan area of South Jakarta on Tuesday September 1.

According to Kontras’ records, there have been at least 1,225 people who have disappeared since 1968 in connection with political incidents. In the most recent case of the May 1998 riots meanwhile, there are still 13 people whose whereabouts remain unknown.

The problems described above are still occurring, said Usman, because Yudhoyono has not received adequate support from the House of Representatives to deal with human rights case, particularly in the trials of suspects.

“As an example in the case of Munir, it has only been the main suspect and his assistant [that have been convicted], while the principle actor has yet to be tried”, he explained.

With a sufficient degree of support from the political parties in the coming period, said Usman, Yudhoyono should be able to be bolder. The initial step that could be taken is to propose the formation of an ad hoc human rights court.

“We want there to be an ad hoc human rights courts, so that the government has a court that is sufficiently just in acting against human rights violators,” he asserted. (mad/ndr)

[Translated by James Balowski.]