Jakarta – Hundreds of civilians held the 750th Kamisan (Thursday) action in front of the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta today, Thursday October 27. During the action they urged President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to fully resolve past gross human rights violations.
A number of human rights activists and the families of victims of human rights violations attended the action. One of them was Sumarsih, the mother of Wawan, who was killed in the Semanggi I student shooting in November 1998.
The protesters wore black clothing and carried black umbrellas the message "Don't be silent, fight". They also took turns in giving speeches, one of which was given by Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid.
In his speech, Hamid touched on the formation of the Team for the Non-Judicial Resolution of Past Gross Human Rights Violations (PPHAM). The team was formed by Widodo not long ago through Presidential Decree Number 17/2022.
Hamid admitted that he had been offered a position on the team but after studying the decree he decided to refuse. According to Hamid, there was one issue which was absent from the decree.
"I read it, I studied it, [but] there was not one word about 'justice'", said Hamid.
Aside from Hamid, Widodo, another family member of a victim of the Semanggi tragedy also gave a speech. He asked that the case be resolved as justly as possible and reminded President Widodo (no relation) that he once pledged to resolve the case.
Widodo and a number of the other Kamisan action participants in front of the Palace called in President Widodo's pledge.
"Jokowi", he shouted loudly. "Don't lie!", replied the Kamisan participants.
Sumarsih meanwhile, in a written contribution representing the Solidarity Network for the Families of Victims (JSKK), urged the government to process past gross human rights violations in accordance with Law Number 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.
"We ask the Bapak [Mr] president to realise his promise of abolishing all forms of impunity, including legally investigating cases of gross human rights violations", said Sumarsih.
Kamisan actions are held every Thursday in front of the State Palace by rights activists and victims and the families of victims of human rights violations. The first Thursday action was held on January 18, 2007.
Under his Nawa Cita nine point program President Widodo pledged to resolve cases of human rights violations. The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) however notes that many cases of rights abuses have yet to be resolved. (yla/DAL)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aksi Kamisan ke-750 di Istana, Seruan 'Jokowi Jangan Bohong' Menggema".]