Christoforus Ristianto, Jakarta – The coordinator and also a victim of the 1989 Talangsari massacre, Edi Hasadad, is asking the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to ignore a recent peace declaration as a means to resolve the case.
“We are asking Komnas HAM to ignore this peace declaration because we don’t think that it is in accordance with existing laws”, said Hasadad when presenting a request for an audience on the legal position of the 1989 Talangsari case in Lampung at the Komnas HAM offices in Jakarta on Monday March 4.
On February 20 a peace declaration was declared by a cross-section of stakeholders in East Lampung.
They were part of the Human Rights Violations Integrated Team (Tim Terpadu Pelanggaran HAM) which is made up of the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam), the speaker of the East Lampung Regional House of Representatives (DPRD), the East Lampung deputy regent, the East Lampung chief state prosecutor, the East Lampung district police chief (Kapolres) and the commander of the East Lampung 0429 District Military Command (Dandim).
Also involved was the East Lampung Sukadana National Investigation Commission (KPN), the Labuhan Ratu sub-district head, the Rajabasa Lama Village chief and Talangsari social figures.
The declaration, said Hasadad, has deeply disappointed the victims of the Talangsari massacre because for 30 years they have consistently campaigned for the case to be resolved in a human rights court, not through a peace declaration.
“Therefore we support Komnas HAM in continuing to urge the Attorney General’s Office to immediately process the Talangsari case and take it to next level of a criminal infestation”, said Hasadad.
“Because we know that up until now only Komnas HAM has been really consistent in fighting for the victims of Talangsari”, he added.
Amnesty International Indonesia Director Usman Hamid meanwhile added that the peace declaration is invalid in legal, constitutional and institutional terms.
“This (peace declaration) cuts into the authority of institutions like Komnas HAM, the Attorney General and also the DPR [House of Representatives] in resolving the Talangsari case”, said Hamid.
Hamid is asking the government to resolve cases of gross human rights violations such as the Talangsari massacre in accordance with the mandate of Law Number 26/2000 on an ad hoc Human Rights Court.
The Talangsari incident revolves around a dawn attack by a battalion of army soldiers on the village in Lampung regency on February 7, 1989, which was believed to be home to a group accused of attempting to establish an Indonesian Islamic state. Officials said 27 members of the Warsidi-led Koran recital group were killed in the incident, but rights groups put the death toll as high as 246. The attack was led by then Army Colonel AM Hendropriyono who went on to head up the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and according to US diplomatic cables leaked in 2011 was involved in the assassination of renowned rights defender Munir. A close ally of Megawati Sukarnoputri – chairperson of President Joko Widodo’s ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle – in 2014 Hendropriyono was appointed an advisor to newly elected President Widodo.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Komnas HAM Diminta Abaikan Deklarasi Damai Kasus Talangsari”.]