By Dipa Nusantara Aidit
Oct 11, 2007, 05:29
Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) spokesman Hesti Armiwulan has in the last few days said the new members of the commission appointed recently will “continue to prioritize investigations of major human rights cases” and “will follow up and monitor the work on those cases done by the previous commission members”. Ah, so the previous commission members somehow didn’t manage to put state mass murders into one pile, low volume state murders into another, state rapes in another, state child abuse in another, and so on; let alone bring any cases to trial! Well we knew that already, didn’t we? That Indonesia has done nothing except pay lip service and therefore is in breach of its international obligations under the human rights conventions it signed up to years ago, with not a single complaint being investigated or adjudicated properly. So the new commission will continue to do the good work of the previous commission huh? We think it more than appropriate in several respects to hereon refer to the commission as HAMASS (HAM ASS), as they are clearly a dumb a whitewashing instrument of terror.
Hesti Armiwulan then shone light on how bogged down human rights “investigations” get in Indonesia when he announced that 15 investigators will visit Talang Sari in South Sumatra where the Indonesian military murdered around 200 villagers in 1989. We are not sure if that means HAMASS failed to visit the crime scene before or if this is a good time to send another investigative party, emphasis on “party”. Of course the 1960’s mass murder of thousands of Indonesians’ has an expired human rights sell by date, so HAMASS can not investigate those thank goodness. Plus instances of mass human rights violations (genocide) by Indonesia forced out into the International domain, such as with East Timor, are out of HAMASS' hands. Although the fact that the East Timorese mass state murders were first swept under the carpet by Jakarta refusing to prosecute anyone and which now are being absolved in the UN boycotted stand up comic special “Peace and Reconciliation Commission”, shows exactly what Jakarta requires HAMASS to do with cases under its mandate; nothing except cover them up.
Hesti of HAMASS went on to drop his hate nation further in it when he divulged that they currently receive an average 3 to 4 new cases per day, had a backlog of around 19,000 cases, of which HAMASS (as opposed to the previous recipient, the totally inappropriately named Ministry of Justice and Human Rights) received the last 583. This is a basic admission that Indonesia, as has been stated by human rights organizations around the world, has never, ever completed an investigation of human rights abuse in Indonesia, let alone brought any state criminals to trial. Nor will they of course while their so called investigators are going on parties to events they have no authority to investigate, as the TNI do not acknowledge their jurisdiction over its members. The 19,000 cases of human rights abuse registered with the Indonesian authorities naturally does not include every human rights abuse case in Indonesia as many people can not register complaints when they are dead or even under threat of death if they do so.
Recent human rights abuses that have taken place in West Papua for example include the abduction and assault by TNI members of the 17 year old daughter of a Papuan pro-independence leader. While Human Rights Watch state the police in that province, which Made Pastika the former Balinese police chief and wannabe Bali Governor once headed, routinely use rape and murder as a weapon against the civilian population there. Many human rights abuses (state murders) in Indonesia are written off by Jakarta as tribal clashes, but the problem with that is Jakarta arms and supports certain pro-Indonesian tribes to kill those who would be free of the stench of Java. In addition to the fact the 19,000 or so file 13’d human rights cases are just a fraction of the real number due to the inability of victims to register their complaint, a vast swathe of people have not bothered filing theirs yet.
You see, under the International Conventions on Human Rights, once you have filed, that is it; you can not file again at a later date even if your original complaint was ignored. Indonesia has not signed up to every or even many human rights conventions as yet but where it has it often limited its liabilities under them by adding conditions (“reservations”), plus Indonesia presently makes sure only Jakarta can adjudicate whether a human rights violation has occurred or not by refusing to sign up to the optional first protocols which allow international courts to receive and rule on cases (see: Indonesian Human Rights List). Many human rights victims are holding on for if and when Jakarta puts the matter beyond their own broom, as the Indonesian Government have said they will do clearly under pressure from the International community. But Jakarta will not sign up to the “full Monty” on human rights until it knows that the TNI and police can be trusted not to commit any more such crimes against humanity.
However, signing up unreservedly to the conventions and also the critical first protocols is always done on the basis of no retrospective liability. So, if and when it happens, Indonesia will basically just have to stop their human rights abuse against these victims or face the dire consequences. The signing of the relevant full conventions and protocols will just guarantee victims that the abuse will then stop, not that they can get justice for what happened before. Of course this should not stop Jakarta from properly investigating the cases already filed with them, pursuing the culprits and putting them into jail, but in all cynicism it will. The International community as they always do for selfish cause will champion the fact one day Jakarta has signed up in full to human rights and no longer has any ability to wholesale renege on their obligations. While the 19,000 or whatever it then is cases already filed with HAMASS will undoubtedly be continually investigated in the depths of file 13.
We only have to look at the farce regarding the state murder of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib and where it has come thus far under sole Indonesian investigation and jurisdiction, even with the massive amount of pressure from the International community. After Munir’s murderer Polycarpus Priyanto was convicted and then let off under extremely pathetic legal grounds (no witness had seen him plot the murder); after he had confidently predicted in a sea of carefully worded statements in which he did not deny he administered the lethal dose of arsenic to Munir, just that he was not guilty of murder. How Priyanto was clearly linked to the Indonesian Intelligence Service and the fact that recorded phone conversations showed the judge had been briefed and agreed to act for Priyanto in the state’s best interests. How ultimately under burgeoning worldwide pressure, the Indonesian president was forced to agree to get to the bottom of the murder committed by Indonesians in international airspace. How various agencies and law enforcement officers [sic] in Indonesia all tried to avoid being called upon to do the investigation. Where has this all come? Why, Indonesia is about to prosecute one of the airline’s executives in his role in the murder, which appears to have been arranging the documentation for the murderer Priyanto to be on the same flight as Munir. No retrial of Priyanto, no trial of the judge involved, and no trial of the Indonesian Intelligence Service members involved in his murder.
So we predict Indonesia is still a long way off being able to sign up to a set of international obligations on human rights which they can be held accountable to. The ongoing TNI fueled murders show no sign of abating and with the TNI insisting they rule over Indonesia and the Indonesian Government, there is no sign that Jakarta will be able to fulfill their objectives of full accession to and implementation of the real meat of the human rights conventions in the foreseeable future. This year the Indonesian House of Representatives said they had all party agreement to implement the Treaty of Rome on human rights which will allow complaints to be heard outside Indonesia, in a real justice system. We say “BS”. We say the Indonesian House of Representatives know by saying they hope to do this buys them more murderous time with the International community. We say Jakarta knows it has thousands more state murders to commit yet.
We say, do not believe the BS from Jakarta, vote with your holiday and investment dollars and boycott the evil nation until they respect human life.