Activists call for formation of Acehnese truth & reconciliation commission

Aceh Kita – June 23, 2006
Protest calling for establishment of KKR and human rights court in Aceh (Sinar Keadilan)
Protest calling for establishment of KKR and human rights court in Aceh (Sinar Keadilan)

Radzie, Banda Aceh – Civil activists in Aceh are urging the Indonesian government to immediately form an Acehnese Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) and Human Rights Court in order to resolve problems that took place in the past. The call was conveyed by a number of Acehnese activists after they decided to resign from the Aceh Reintegration Agency.

According to the former executive director of the Forum of Acehnese Non-Government Organisations, TAF Haikal, a future KKR and human rights court would not involve the disputing parties. “We are proposing the immediate formation of a committee, within which the disputing parties are not involved. The institution would be independent”, Haikal said when speaking with Aceh Kita a short time ago.

Likewise, the executive director of the Coalition of Human Rights Non-Government Organisations, Faisal Hadi, said that a KKR and human rights court is desperately needed in order to resolve problems of human rights violations that occurred in the past. According to Hadi, the formation of an Acehnese KKR has been hindered because the KKR at the national level has yet to be formed. This is despite the fact that 40 candidate members for the KKR have already taken part in a fit and proper test yet not one has been selected by the president.

“By September 2005, the government should have already formed the KKR at the national level. But up until now the president has not selected any of the 40 existing candidates”, said Hadi.

The Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding says that a KKR will be formed in Aceh by the national KKR with the task of formulating and determining a means of seeking reconciliation.

According to Hadi, a future KKR in Aceh could take as example the KKR that was formed by the South African government in resolving human rights violations that took place during the Apartheid period. “Of course the South African model doesn’t have to be applied in its entirety, but what’s wrong with trying it first (trial and error)”, he said. [dzie]

[Translated by James Balowski.]