Rights group want war crimes included as gross human rights violation

Kompas.com – November 23, 2020
Participants of 558th Thursday action hold banners with names of human rights violators – July 13, 2020 (Kompas)

Nicholas Ryan Aditya, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that war crimes need to be included as gross human rights violations. The group said this in the context of commemorating 20 years since the enactment of Law Number 26/2000 on a Human Rights Court.

"Because war crimes here are not just between two or more countries, but it’s also about armed conflicts which exist within a country", said Kontras advocacy division staff member Tioria Pretty in a webinar titled Fighting Impunity: Critical Notes after 20 Years of the Law on a Human Rights Court on Monday November 23.

Pretty continued saying that internal armed conflicts have occurred in Indonesia in East Timor and Aceh. He also said that what is occurring in Papua is also included in the category of an armed conflict as defined under the Geneva Convention.

"Regardless of the fact that the state does not want to refer to Papua as a military operation zone, the situation that can be seen there can actually be included in the concept of an armed conflict which is regulated under the Geneva Convention", he explained.

Because of this therefore, he believes that armed conflicts should be subject to stipulations regulated under war crimes.

In Indonesia, war crimes are not included as a gross human rights violation under the Law on a Human Rights Court, although it does cover crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity. Yet, said Pretty, based on the Rome Statues there are four crimes which are included as gross human rights violations.

"If we look at the differences, there are four gross human rights violations based on the Rome Statues, the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. Meanwhile what is referred to in the Law on a Human Rights Court is the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity", he explained.

In Indonesia, war crimes and crimes of aggression are considered to be ordinary crimes and are not included under the jurisdiction of a Human Rights Court.

"Because they cannot be taken before a human rights court, the context is that they're taken before ordinary public courts", he said.

Today, 20 years ago, on November 23, 2000 the Law on a Human Rights Court was officially enacted in Indonesia.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "20 Tahun UU Pengadilan HAM, Kontras: Kejahatan Perang Perlu Masuk Pelanggaran HAM Berat".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/11/23/19500371/20-tahun-uu-pengadilan-ham-kontras-kejahatan-perang-perlu-masuk-pelanggaran