INDONESIA: Parliament must call for ad hoc human rights court in Trisakti and Semanggi case
(Hong Kong, March 15, 2006) It is imperative that the Indonesian parliament formally revoke its 2001 recommendation that the Trisakti and Semanggi killings of 1998-99 do not constitute gross human rights violations, said the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Wednesday.
In an urgent appeal issued by the Hong Kong-based rights group on March 15, 2006 the group noted that, "although this [recommendation] was revoked by the Third Commission of the House of Representatives in June 2005, it needs to be confirmed by the parliament".
"While much lip service has been paid by parliamentarians towards the victims' families and other symbolic gestures made, no effective action towards justice has been taken," the group said.
Under Indonesian law, the establishment of an ad hoc human rights court is the only legal remedy available for gross human rights violations committed before 2000. Its establishment requires a parliamentary recommendation and a presidential decree.
For this reason, "until the parliament formally revokes its 2001 recommendation and calls for the establishment of an ad hoc human rights court, the victims of the Trisakti and Semanggi killings will obtain no justice" said the AHRC.
On February 23, 2006 during an internal meeting of the House of Representatives (Rapat Badan Musyawarah), it was agreed that a further discussion regarding this matter should take place in the Third Commission.
"The Third Commission as well as the parliament is now obliged to discuss the Trisakti and Semanggi killings and come up with a satisfactory conclusion. The victims and their families have been waiting for justice over five years now," said Philip Setunga, programme coordinator of the AHRC.
"That there is no time frame specified for when the discussion should take place, or when it will be formally discussed in a plenary session of the parliament is cause for concern," continued Setunga.
The Indonesian government has recently undertaken to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which requires that effective remedies are available for those whose rights have been violated.
"Ensuring the victims of the Trisakti and Semanggi killings their right to remedies would be a good beginning towards Indonesia's obligations under the ICCPR," noted Setunga.
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About AHRC The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
Posted on 2006-03-27