Fakhrizal Fakhri, Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) opposes the Draft Presidential Regulation (Perpres) on the Indonesian Military’s (TNI) role in Overcoming Terrorism which will soon be signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Komnas HAM Commissar Choirul Anam says that they will send a letter to Widodo urging him not to sign the Perpres. According to Anam, the Perpres is extremely dangerous for the sustainability of democracy and efforts to safeguard, protect and uphold human rights in Indonesia.
“We will send a letter to President Joko Widodo, because this will become a serious threat”, said Anam at the Komnas HAM offices in Central Jakarta on Thursday August 8.
Anam explained that there are several articles in the Perpres which have the potential to become a threat to the protection, fulfillment and upholding of human rights, particularly the involvement of the TNI in the eradication of terrorism.
Aside from this, Komnas HAM also highlighted the formation of the TNI’s new Special Operations Command (Koopsus TNI) which will have as one of its duties the prevention, prosecution and rehabilitation of terrorism which could potentially give rise to rights violations.
“Teachers are more important that the TNI in the context of preventing radicalism. Or psychologists which are more important than the TNI in the context of rehabilitation [of terrorists] for example. Kiyai [Islamic preachers] are more important than the TNI in the context of fighting [radical] religious doctrines for example”, continued Anam.
Anam said that the Perpres will also conflict with the Anti-Terrorism Law as well as the Constitution and could impact on the TNI’s professionalism.
He also called on the government to ensure that the prevention and rehabilitation of alleged terrorists be done by other agencies which have the competence to do this.
“So the Perpres reflects a revival of the old paradigm of the TNI reviving [its socio-political role] in our democratic life and this is dangerous”, said Anam.
Anam is also urging the public to legally challenge the Perpres if it is signed into law by Widodo.
“[Widodo has become] a president who has distancing himself from the idea of how to build a professional TNI. A president who has distancing himself from the idea of building a state which subject to legal doctrines”, said Anam. (edi)
The recently formed Special Operations Command (Koopsus TNI, also abbreviated Koopssus) is a 500-strong command that combines company-sized units of the elite army’s special forces (Kopassus) Detachment 81, the air force’s special forces (Korpaskhas) Detachment Bravo 90 along with a unit of navy seals and marine corps reconnaissance operators (Depjaka). Although the revised Anti-Terrorism Law allows for an expanded role for the TNI is combating terrorism, Widodo still has to issue a regulation defining what it will do and how it will complement the work of Detachment 88 and the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT).
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Komnas HAM Tolak Perpres Pelibatan TNI dalam Pemberantasan Terorisme”.]