Widodo asked to order AGO to resolve Semanggi case following court ruling

Kompas.com – November 5, 2020
Sumarsih taking part in 508th Kamisan action in front of State Palace – October 5, 2017 (Kompas)

Devina Halim, Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) is calling on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to order Attorney General ST Burhanuddin to fully resolve the Semanggi I and II tragedies through the mechanism of a human rights court.

This was conveyed by Komnas HAM commissioner Choirul Anam in response to the Jakarta State Administrative Court's (PTUN) ruling on Wednesday which found that Burhanuddin broke the law by stating that the Semanggi I and II student shootings in 1998-99 were not a gross human rights violation.

"The important role isn't Komnas HAM's, but the president. In looking at this ruling, to again order the Attorney General to use the procedures of Law Number 26/2000 (on a Human Rights Court) and immediately resolve this case", said Anam when contacted by Kompas.com on Thursday November 5.

Anam said that the ruling confirms that the Semanggi I and II incidents were a gross human rights violation. The ruling is also a reflection on how gross human rights cases should be resolved, through the mechanism of law enforcement.

"The avenue that must be pursued is through Law Number 26/2000, not through other avenues, including political avenues. For law enforcement officials, it [must] be handled by procedures that are regulated and legally valid", he said.

Komnas HAM furthermore hopes that the Attorney General will implement the PTUN judges' ruling and not submit an appeal. It is also hoped that the Attorney General will take steps to resolve the case in accordance with the law on human rights courts.

"We hope that prosecutors will focus on the procedures which exist under Law Number 26/2000 and that the president will keep his [election] promise to resolve cases of gross human rights violations", said Anam.

As has been reported, yesterday the Jakarta PTUN found in favour of a lawsuit by the families of the victims of the Semanggi I and II shootings which was filed against Attorney General Burhanuddin.

The panel of judges declared that Burhanuddin's statement during a hearing with the House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission III overseeing legal, human rights and security affairs on January 16 that the Semanggi I and II tragedies were not a gross human rights violation was an unlawful act.

"[The statement] was an act which broke the law on the part of a government agency and/or official", read the ruling in a document uploaded on the Supreme Court's website on Wednesday November 4.

In addition to this, the panel of judges also ordered the Attorney General to issue a statement at the next DPR Commission III meeting on the handling of the Semanggi I and II cases which is in line with the actual situation.

Finally, the panel of judges ordered the defendant to pay court costs of 285,000 rupiah.

The families of the victims that submitted the lawsuit against Burhanuddin were Maria Katarina Sumarsih, the mother of the late Bernardinus Realino Norma Irmawan, and Ho Kim Ngo, the mother of the late Yap Yun Hap.

Irmawan was one of the students who were shot dead during the Semanggi I incident on November 13, 1998 while Yap Yun Hap was a University of Indonesia student who died during the Semanggi II incident on September 24, 1999.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Presiden Jokowi Diminta Perintahkan Jaksa Agung Segera Tuntaskan Tragedi Semanggi I dan II".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/11/05/14292251/presiden-jokowi-diminta-perintahkan-jaksa-agung-segera-tuntaskan-tragedi