Summoning of generals over abductions politically motivated – Kontras

Source – October 18, 2008
Banner reads 'Reveal the Truth - Return those who have been disappeared' (ikohi)
Banner reads 'Reveal the Truth - Return those who have been disappeared' (ikohi)

Novia Chandra Dewi, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) believes that plan to summon former generals by the House of Representatives’ (DPR) Special Committing for Missing Persons is ridden with political motivations. The DPR should wait and decide whether or not to establish an ad hoc human rights court first.

“It’s difficult to avoid [the feeling] that reviving the Missing Persons Special Committee is ridden with political motivations, especially with the approach of the general elections,” said Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid following a discussion at the Daun Eatery on Jl. Pakubuwono in the Kebayoran Lama area of South Jakarta on Saturday October 18.

Hamid said that they are not too optimistic that these summons will result in the establishment of an ad hoc human rights court in the near future. “Don’t let these efforts be only a political endeavour, there is concern that it will only conducted like the previous special committee, which ended in stead in the subordination of the Semanggi I and II cases into a political fight, that is the president and the parliament at that time”, he explained.

According to Hamid, the Special Committee for Missing Persons does not need to reduplicate the work of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) by summoning these figures, or conducting another investigation. This is precisely what is of concern, that the investigation will be politically motivated and end up being used a forum of clarification.

Usman said that the DPR should go ahead and summon former Indonesian military (TNI) commander in chief retired General Wiranto, former army special forces (Kopassus) commander retired General Prabowo Subianto, former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy chief Muchdi Purwopranjono, Defense Ministry Secretary General Lieutenant General, former Jakarta military commander retired General Sutiyoso and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), however it depends upon what the real purpose is.

“On the question of summoning President SBY, why not directly access [information] from TNI headquarters? At the time SBY was the chief of the Officers Honour Council right, why is SBY only now [being summoned]? This is clearly very political”, said Hamid critically.

What about the discourse about issuing a subpoena if the former generals choose not to fulfill the summons? “This is also a political consideration, not judicial in the context of making them appear,” asserted Hamid. (zal/iy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]