World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Indonesia: President, establish rights tribunals

Indonesia: President must establish rights tribunals

Human Rights Watch
New York, March 23, 2001

Human Rights Watch today urged Indonesian
President Abdurrahman Wahid to issue a presidential decree establishing
special human rights courts.

On March 21, Indonesia's parliament formally approved special courts to
prosecute the 1999 crimes in East Timor, as well as cases stemming from
a massacre by security forces of Muslim protesters in Tanjung Priok, the
port area of Jakarta, in 1984. Under Indonesian law,
establishment of the courts now awaits only action by the
president.

"The parliament's action removes a huge obstacle to justice, but the
real question is when we will see actual trials begin," said Sidney
Jones, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. "Not only do we need the
President to issue a decree, but we also need the Attorney-General to
issue indictments and the Supreme Court to appoint judges for the new
courts. Unless all of that happens quickly, skepticism about Indonesia's
will to confront the military about human rights abuse is just going to
grow deeper."

Indonesian justice groups have long demanded a tribunal for the crimes
committed in East Timor after the independence referendum there on
August 30, 1999. In January 2000, separate international and Indonesian
commissions of inquiry concluded that systematic rights abuses had taken
place, and that Indonesian military officials and the militia leaders
they organized and trained were responsible for the crimes. The
international inquiry team, set up at the request of United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and under the auspices of the U.N. High
Commissioner for Human Rights, called for an international tribunal to
be set up to try the crimes.

The international community ultimately did not push for immediate
establishment of such a tribunal, deferring instead to Indonesia's
assertion that it would see that justice be done in Indonesian courts.
Indonesia's failure until now to take meaningful steps toward
prosecution of the crimes has led to renewed calls for an international
tribunal, a demand likely to be echoed in coming weeks at the annual
meeting of the U.N. Commission for Human Rights in Geneva.

The Tanjung Priok incident, in which troops opened fire on Muslim
protestors in 1984, has long been a symbol in Indonesia of the alleged
second-class status and political powerlessness of Muslim groups.
Although the overwhelming majority of Indonesia's citizens are Muslim
and the country is today led by a moderate Muslim cleric, Muslim
political forces were marginalized during the first two decades of
Soeharto's rule. Since the ouster of Soeharto in May 1998, pressure has
mounted for justice for the Tanjung Priok crimes.

A copy of the letter to Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid can be
found at http://www.hrw.org/press/2001/03/indo0323.htm#letter

For more information on Indonesia, please see:

Indonesia: Transition and Regional Conflict (HRW Focus Page) at
http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/indonesia/index.htm

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news