Protesters call out Vice President Kalla, say resolution of human rights cases ‘zonk’

CNN Indonesia – December 11, 2018
Protesters call out Kalla at Komnas HAM building – December 11, 2018 (CNN)
Protesters call out Kalla at Komnas HAM building – December 11, 2018 (CNN)

Jakarta – When Vice President Jusuf Kalla (JK) arrived at the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to commemorate International Human Rights Day on Tuesday December 11, he was greeted with a demonstration by families and relatives of victims of human violations.

The protesters were demanding that the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Kalla fulfill its pledge to resolve past human rights cases.

The protesters came from families of the victims of the mysterious shootings (Petrus) in the 1980s, the May 1998 Jakarta riots, the 1965-66 anti-communist purge, the 1989 Talangsari massacre, the 2007 assassination of renewed rights activists Munir Said Thalib and the 2017 acid attack against Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan.

They were demonstrating against Kalla who was there in place of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo who was initially scheduled to attend the event. The protesters shouted out calling on the government to immediately resolve the violations which have befallen them and their families.

As Kalla exited the Komnas HAM building the demonstrators held up banners and placards with messages urging that their cases be resolved.

When they pushed forward towards Kalla however, who was accompanied by Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, the demonstrators were blocked by security personnel and the presidential security detail (paspampres).

“Human rights [day] is commemorated today, but cases of human rights cases are still zonk [have come to nothing], but [you] brazenly pledge, sell the sweet promises of Nawa Cita [Widodo’s nine point priority program]. They’ve never been resolved”, cried one of the speakers facing off against the Paspampres officers guarding Kalla.

The protesters said they were demonstrating at Komnas HAM in order to remind the government in person not to turn human rights into a political commodity but fulfill and realise human rights as part of social life. “Don’t be a regime that lies and lies again, that tramples on the ordinary people’s rights”, the speaker said.

Several of the protesters even accused Widodo, Kalla and security personnel of acting repressively by preventing the demonstrators from approaching Kalla. “This politically symbolic, a political position”, they said.

“To all members of Indonesian society, this must be remembered in the 2019 presidential and legislative elections, that in fact Jokowi-JK have no political commitment to resolve cases of past human rights violations”, continued the speaker.

Putri Kanesia from the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) meanwhile called on all parties to urge Widodo to immediately resolve gross human rights violations and other abuses in a manner which is concrete and accountable before the 2019 presidential election.

“There are still nine past cases of gross human rights violation which based on Komnas HAM’s pro-judicial investigations are still stuck at the Attorney General’s Offices for various reasons, such as there is insufficient evidence or that the government of Indonesia has not yet formed an ad hoc human rights court”, she said.

Kanesia said that she is deeply disappointed by the government’s attitude to human rights.

“As we approach the end of the Jokowi-Kalla administration’s term in office there has still not been a single case that has been successfully brought before an ad hoc Human Rights Court and no perpetrators have been brought to justice. Yet the pledge to resolve these cases was included in the Jokowi-JK Nawa Cita when they were elected in 2014”, she said. (tst/arh)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Pedemo di depan JK: Penuntasan Kasus HAM Masih Zonk”.]