Solving activist abductions a test case for Yudhoyono: NGOs

Source – November 10, 2008
Ikohi chairperson Mugiyanto (mugiyanto)
Ikohi chairperson Mugiyanto (mugiyanto)

M. Rizal Maslan, Jakarta – The state, through President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), should issue an immediate apology and rehabilitate the names of the pro-democracy activists and the families of the victims of the forced abduction in 1997-1998. This is necessary in order to solve the impasse in the legal proceedings into the case.

This request was conveyed by a number of legal and human rights NGO’s from the group NGO Solidarity with Cases of Forced Disappearances at the offices of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) on Jl. Borobudur in the Menteng area of Central Jakarta on Monday November 10.

“Political steps by the president need to be taken bearing in mind that the legal measure that have pursued up until now have been unable to resolve this complex multi-dimensional case. Yet, in his capacity as president, SBY has the full authority to resolve this case”, said the chairperson of the Indonesian Association of the Families of Missing Persons (Ikohi), Mugiyanto.

Mugiyanto explained that the president represents a key figure in efforts to crack this case. “Moreover as one of the members of the Officers Honour Council (DKP) at the time, SBY once question the generals who are believed to know about the abductions,” he said.

It is because of this therefore, Mugiyanto reiterated, President Yudhoyono should take the political step of ordering the commander of the Indonesian military (TNI) to open up the DKP’s documents – the investigation dossiers held by Puspom (the TNI military police headquarters) and Kopassus (the army special forces). The group also called on Yudhoyono to take special measures in the context of seeking information on the fate of the 13 abduction victims who has still not been found.

Mugiyanto also asked the House of Representatives (DPR) Special Committee (Pansus) on Missing Persons to genuinely aim to resolve the case. “The DPR Pansus on missing persons could become a double-edged-sword. But we hope that the reopening of the case by the Pansus will indeed be directed toward resolving the case legally. Because of this therefore, we are asking the DPR Pansus to immediately recommend to the president that an ad hoc human rights court be formed”, he added.

Mugiyanto said he also hopes that the president will order the Attorney General’s Office to conduct an immediate investigation before the case is taken before an ad hoc human rights court. “The commitment to fully resolving this has become a test case for the SBY administration and the DPR. If the government and the DPR are not serious about uncovering this case, then we should think again about electing them in the coming 2009 general elections”, he reiterated. (zal/mad)

[Translated by James Balowski.]