Rights commission should name candidates that have violated human rights

Kompas.com – January 12, 2013
Kontras Coordinator Haris Ashar - 2013 (Tribune)
Kontras Coordinator Haris Ashar - 2013 (Tribune)

Aditya Revianur, Jakarta – The coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Haris Ashar says that the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) should issue a list of 2014 presidential (capres) and legislative (caleg) candidates that have committed crimes against humanity.

The aim of this would be so that the General Elections Commission (KPU) could be more selecting in accepting candidates from certain political parties.

“The KPU accepts capres and caleg from the political parties right. Komnas HAM should release a checklist of capres and caleg that includes human rights violators, both minor and serious”, said Ashar speaking at the Kontras offices in Jakarta on Saturday January 12.

Ashar explained that the list would be useful since ‘rotten’ politicians can no longer nominate themselves for the 2014 elections. According to Ashar, Komnas HAM has the authority to provide a detailed list of politicians that have violated human rights. These violators, he explained, should not just be restricted to militaristic crimes, but also corporate crimes against humanity.

“Imagine if half of the Lapindo management nominated themselves. The implication of this would be to obstruct democracy. In addition it would also smooth the way for a totalitarian regime in Indonesia”, he asserted.

Ashar added that several presidential candidates from military circles would be blocked by this. One of the examples being the presidential candidate from the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), former army special forces (Kopassus) commander General Prabowo Subianto, who was the mastermind behind the abduction of activists in 1997-98 and the May 1998 riots in Jakarta.

Aside from Subianto, the presidential candidate from the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), namely former Armed Forces chief General Wiranto cannot be released from responsibly for gross human rights violations. According to Ashar, Wiranto is responsible for the Semanggi I and II fatal shooting of student protesters in Jakarta in 1998 and for crimes committed in East Timor.

In addition to Subianto and Wiranto, the presidential candidate from the Golkar Party, namely party chairperson Aburizal Bakrie or ‘Ical’ also cannot be released from responsibility for human rights violations.

According to Ashar Ical is responsible for the Lapindo mudflow disaster in East java. “If the regime changes for the worse, Komnas HAM would find it even harder. Increasingly blocked in carrying out its mandate”, concluded Ashar.

[Komnas HAM, Keluarkan Daftar Capres dan Caleg Penjahat Kemanusiaan – Kompas.com. Sabtu, 12 Januari 2013. Translated by James Balowski.]