Rights For The Wronged
Next month SBY will re-assume the presidency with the strongest popular mandate since Soekarno. I'll be taking a more in-depth look at his tasks later, but for the moment, here are just a few matters of concern which, if he sorts them out, will greatly enhance his legacy when he steps down in five years time.
However, because all these human rights abuses, bar one, were at the hands of the Indonesian military, of which he was a prominent part, I doubt that any of the victims, or their surviving families will receive any kind of closure.
Twenty-five years ago, September 12th 1984, the military brutally cracked down on Muslim protesters in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, on the order of President Soeharto.
According to the official military version, which was announced Sept. 14, 1984, nine protesters were killed and 50 were injured when anti-riot troops dispersed about 1,500 protesters. They were marching to the local military office to demand the release of their friends. According to human rights and civil society groups, the number of victims was much higher than the military version, perhaps as many as 400. According to the Post’s report, the violence erupted in the wake of tension-charged speeches in Tanjung Priok’s Rawa Badak Mosque by three Muslim preachers reportedly criticizing the government and agitating the congregation.
The victims and families, with the support of Kontras (the Human Rights Working Group and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence), have sent a lertter to the UN Rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, asking her to examine previous trials in which 14 defendants were eventually acquitted after a series of appeals, allegedly following pressure on the prosecutors from the military.
The Indonesian military invaded the former Portugese colony of East Timor on December 7th 1974. From then on until (and including) 1999, when locals opted for independence in a historic UN-sanctioned referendum, becoming Timor Leste, they used torture and extra-judicial killing as a matter of course against pro-independence activists.
Ironically, the Comarca Balide prison, which was under the 'management' of the military police until their departure in 1999, now houses the offices of the CAVR (Timor Leste Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation), an independent body created by the UN, which has produced the most comprehensive documentation of the 1975–1999 atrocities in East Timor.
The current president of East Timor, Ramos Horta, has rejected a Truth and Reconciliation Commission enabled to hear testimony and to bring closure, if not retribution for those responsible.
Five years ago, SBY told Suciwati, the widow of the slain outspoken human rights activist Munir, that he would find Munir’s killer(s). SBY set up a commission to find the 'truth'; however, he has failed to release it.
Muchdi Purwopranjono, the former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy head and the alleged mastermind of Munir's killing, was acquitted of all charges in July this year. He has a nefarious past.
Disappearances of student activists 1998
Munir had alleged that Muchdi and then Lt.Gen. Prabowo, Suharto's son-ín-law, had been behind the disappearances of student activists in the immediate lead up to the end of the New Order régime in 1998. The then Armed forces chief General Wiranto later admitted that Kopassus was involved in the kidnappings after an internal probe showed the Kopassus command had issued orders to "uncover several movements then considered radical and jeopardizing government programs and public security."
(Prabowo and Wiranto thankfully both failed in their recent quests to become vice prresidents.)
Some 60,000 people have lost their homes, jobs, livelihoods and access to education as a result of a drilling error by PT Lapindo Brantas, a Bakrie company.
Although the police cannot find grounds for a criminal prosecution, the National Commission on Human Rights is planning a lawsuit against the President and Lapindo.
SBY mandated Lapindo to pay compensation. Some have been quite pleased and invited Abdurizal Bakrie to break his fast with them. However, others, many others, are still waiting.
And to make matters worse, PT Minarak Lapindo Jaya, a Lapindo subsidiary tasked through a presidential decree to manage the mud, used to operate 12 pumps in the area. Currently only two are operational.
Expect to hear of yet more blameless and newly impoverished victims.
But don't expect to hear much from SBY.
Aceh legislature has passed a law allowing the stoning of adulterers and homosexuals.
I don't think that stoning is a punishment for being stoned, but guess where I'm not going for my holidays.
.........................Pic from Thomas Belfield who got it from ?