Jokowi's commitment to human rights just political rhetoric: Rights Watchdog

Source – August 28, 2022
mparsial Deputy Director Gufron Mabruri in Jakarta – November 12, 2017 (Kompas)

Dian Erika Nugraheny, Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) Director Gufron Mabruri believes that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to push for the resolution of alleged human rights violations through non-judicial channels or outside the courts shows that his commitment to settling these cases is just political rhetoric.

"Settlement through non-judicial channels which is being encouraged and is the preferred choice of the president confirms that uncovering the truth and the fulfillment of justice for victims is just political rhetoric", said Mabruri when contacted by on Saturday August 27.

Mabruri said there is an inconsistency between the statements and actions or steps taken by the president in resolving past gross human rights violations.

This, said Mabruri, has been demonstrated during the administration of President Widodo who has in fact, and is still, appointing alleged perpetrators of past human rights violations to government positions.

Mabruri said that the President has even given these suspected perpetrators strategic posts in the administration. One example being Wiranto who was previously given the post of Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs and is now the chairperson of the Presidents' Advisory Board.

Then there is Prabowo Subianto, who currently holds the post of Defense Minister.

"These facts show that the claim that the President is committed to resolving past gross human rights violations has been proven not to fit with or be consistent with his actions", said Mabruri.

President Widodo stated that he had signed a Presidential Decree (Keppres) on the formation of a team for the non-judicial resolution of past gross human rights violations.

This was conveyed by the president in his State of the Nation address to the People's Consultative Assembly on August 16. The President also claimed the issue of resolving past gross human rights violations continued to be a serious concern for the government.

Speaking separately, Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff (KSP) Jaleswari Pramodhawardani said the presidential decree on the formation of a team for the non-judicial resolution of past gross human rights violations which was signed by the president is a commitment to provide priority to the fulfillment of the rights of victims.

"A non-judicial mechanism is orientated towards victims' recovery. In addition to this, settling the issue through judicial and non-judicial channels is complementary, not replacing each other (substituting), to ensure a comprehensive resolution to the case", said Pramodhawardani in a KSP press statement on Monday August 22.

Pramodhawardani also denied the argument that the presidential decree does not have a clear legal basis. He stressed that a policy on a non-judicial resolution can done by the president through an executive measure.

"Several studies also explain that the various truth commissions which have existed in the world have been formed through executive measures, including through presidential decrees", said Pramodhawardani.

Pramodhawardani added that there are currently 13 cases of gross human rights violations that have yet to be settled. Out of these 13, nine cases are gross human rights violations which occurred before the enactment of Law Number 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.

"Given the various incidents which span times and places which are so long and extensive, as well as various kinds of constructions and typologies, they certainly cannot be settled by just one approach", said Pramodhawardani.

"Non-judicial mechanisms provide great opportunities for the victims to be heard, be empowered, to be honored and their dignity restored", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Langkah Jokowi Teken Keppres Tim Non-Yudisial Kasus HAM Dinilai Cuma Retorika Politik".]