Banda Aceh – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has been asked to pressure the Indonesian government to resolve cases of human rights violations that befell the people during the Aceh conflict. This was conveyed by 12 Acehnese civil society organisations during a meeting with Arbour at the UN representative offices in Aceh on Thursday July 12.
The groups also asked Arbour to pressure Indonesia to immediately form a human rights court and a truth and reconciliation commission in Aceh, because these are part of the mandate of Law Number 11/2006 on Aceh Governance.
During the 45-minute closed meeting, the Aceh Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) asked Arbour to pressure the Indonesian government to form an investigation team into cases of human rights violations and to exhume the graves of victims of crimes against humanity.
KontraS Aceh coordinator Asiah said that they had already sent a request for an investigation and the exhuming of graves of victims of the conflict to the National Human Rights Commission. “So far however there has been absolutely no action by the government”, said Asiah during a press conference following the meeting with Arbour at the offices of the Banda Aceh Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI).
According to Asiah, human skeletons have been found tied up in sacks with their hands bound and some of the skeletons are even headless. Up until now 62 skeletons have been found at 41 gravesites. Most were found in northern and eastern Aceh.h.
Aceh YLBHI director Afridal Darmi said that Arbour had promised to convey this information to the Indonesian government. “Although no concrete commitment came out of the meeting”, Darmi told journalists, adding that the respective groups used the opportunity to provide Arbour with written reports. Darmi estimates that they have compiled reports on at least 500 cases of human rights violations that took place in Aceh. [dzie]