Victims of rights abuses in Aceh divided over non-judicial settlement

Source – June 27, 2023
Widodo speaking with 1965 victims at former Geudong House site in Aceh – June 27, 2023 (Sekpres)

Dian Erika Nugraheny, Jakarta – A victim of the Kertas Kraft Aceh pulp and paper mill in Aceh massacre, known as Simpang KKA, Samsul Bahri, said he hopes that the government will continue to pursue legal or judicial means to settle the 12 cases of past gross human rights violations acknowledged by the state.

Bahari also hopes that the government will pay attention to the victims of these violations.

"So we hope that in fulfilling this, we hope that the government will as quickly as possible form human rights courts, which are judicial, not just a non-judicial [settlement]. Our hope is that the government will truly pay attention to the victims", said Bahari as quoted in a Presidential Secretariat press release on Tuesday June 27.

Meanwhile one of the members of a family of victims of gross human rights violations during the 2003 Jambo Keupok massacre in Aceh, Saburan, expressed his gratitude over the government's efforts find a non-judicial resolution for the families of victims of past violations .

Saburan also hopes that the program carried out by the government through the non-judicial settlement can be on target and received directly by victims or families of victims.

"I, representing all the heirs of the families of the Jambo Keupok victims, express my deepest thanks to Pak [Mr] Jokowi [Joko Widodo], a Pak President who has acknowledged that cases that we suffered were gross human rights violations", said Saburan.

"We very much hope that the government will be serious in providing help to the families of victims and also be serious and thorough in collecting data", he said.

A member of a family of victims of the Geudong torture house in 1998, Fauzinur Hamzah, hopes that with a non-judicial settlement program there will be no more disputes in the country.

Hamzah also hopes that gross human rights violations will not occur again in Indonesia. "Hopefully in the future there will be no more disputes or blood spilled in Indonesia. We love Indonesia", he said.

On Tuesday, President Widodo launched a program for the Implementation of Recommendations on the Non-Judicial Settlement of Gross Human Rights violations at the Geudong House in Pidie regency, Aceh province.

The launch marks the start of the non-judicial settlement of 12 cases of past gross human rights violations.

In January Widodo decided that the government would pursue the non-judicial resolution of past abuses and focus on the rehabilitation of the rights of victims but without negating judicial mechanisms.

The head of state said at the time that the launch of the program would mark a joint commitment to carry out efforts to prevent similar incidents from ever happening again in the future.

There are 12 cases of past gross human rights violations that occurred over the period 1965 to 2003. They are:

1. The 1965-1966 mass killings
2. The Mysterious Shootings (petrus) in 1982-1985
3. The Talangsari incident in Lampung, 1989
4. The Geudong House and Sattis Post incident in Aceh, 1989
5. The forced disappearances of activists in 1997-1998
6. The May 1998 riots in Jakarta
7. The Trisakti and Semanggi I-II incidents in 1998-1999
8. The murder of shamans in 1998-1999
9. The Simpang KKA incident in Aceh, 1999
10. The Wasior incident in Papua, 2001-2002
11. The Wamena incident in Papua, 2003
12. The Jambo Keupok incident in Aceh, 2003

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Korban Kasus HAM Berat di Aceh Tuntut Penegakan Hukum Tetap Dilanjutkan".]