International Day of Victim’s Rights and Truth and Justice
Since 2010, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has issued a resolution establishing the “International Day of Human Rights, Truth, and Dignity for Victims of Serious Human Rights Violations”. SKPHP (Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran HAM Papua) is supporting this resolution by conducting a complimentary campaign to push forward the struggle for the fulfillment of the rights of victims of serious human rights violations in Indonesia, and especially in Papua.
During this campaign, SKHP has held a press conference at the offices of KontraS Papua, as well as distributing pamphlets and educational materials at various points throughout the community (Abe traffic circle, Expo bus terminal, and Padang Bulan Sosial (Abe)). In addition to BUK Jayapura, BUK Biak also joined in the campaigning on this day by distributing leaflets, and holding a public prayer service. Events were also held in Jakarta, where survivor’s groups and human rights workers gathered under the umbrella organization of KKPK (Coalition for Justice and Speaking the Truth).
CAMPAIGN, DAY OF VICTIM’S RIGHTS TO TRUTH AND JUSTICE
JAYAPURA, 23 MARCH 2011
“THE LEGAL PROCESS HAS FAILED”
It’s as though the government’s responsibility has ended. As if by establishing the National Commission on Human Rights and the Institute for the Protection of Witnesses and Victims, and by setting down on paper the various laws (Law 39/1999 regarding human rights, Law 26/2000 regarding the creation of a human rights court, and Law 13/2006 regarding the protection of witnesses and victims), the government’s responsibility is fulfilled. According to the mandate of the Special Autonomy laws of 2001, the government will guarantee “Progress on human rights, protection of human rights, and maintenance of human rights”. But in actuality, once the government has been neutered by the perpetrators of human rights violations, the government becomes silent and impotent. By dragging out the legal process of handling the cases of Wasior and Wamena, and by continually finding reasons for inaction, the institutions responsible show that indeed there is no desire to resolve the cases at all. The established legal institutions, which swallow massive amounts of government funding and are staffed by employees who receive monthly salaries, actually do not want to fulfill their function by resolving the problems of the people.
On this Day of Victim’s Rights, this Day for Truth and Justice, we push forward the struggle for fulfillment of the rights of victims of serious human rights violations in Indonesia, and especially in Papua. This commemoration is in unison with the proclamation of the United Nations Council on Human Rights, which has drawn up a resolution to observe the International Day for Victim’s Rights To Truth and Dignity for Victims of Serious Human Rights Violations, every 24th of March.
As defined here, victims of serious human rights violations include the victims of many different policies and actions which result in death, physical suffering, extreme psychological suffering, as well as the destruction of the human dignity of victims or their families. There are four principal components to the United Nations resolution: a) protection from forced disappearance, b) acknowledgment of the rights to truth and justice, c) acknowledgment of the importance of respecting the wishes of victims of serious human rights violations, and d) respect for those who dedicate their lives to working for human rights.
There are at least three facts that point to the importance of commemorating the Day of Victim’s Rights to Truth and Justice in Indonesia. First, there are large numbers of survivors and families of victims of serious human rights violations who are still seeking a resolution to the suffering they have experienced from the actions of State actors. (Including, among others, the Purge of 1965-66, the Shootings of 1983, Tanjung Priok 1984, Talangsari Lampung 1989, Wasior – Wamena in Papua in both 2001 and 2003, the military occupation of Aceh and Papua, the forced disappearances of 1997/1998, and Trisakti-Semanggi I and Semanggi II in 1998-1999.) Second, until this day, no meaningful progress has been made in solving the cases of serious human rights violations. There is even clear tendency for absolving the perpretrators of human rights violations, based on a strong culture of impunity. Disregarding the facts, the truth is hidden behind false narratives, which are used as a justification for continued human rights abuses as well as for the stagnation of the process of institutional reform. Third, there are more than a few human rights defenders scattered throughout Indonesia who continually work for the porotection and fulfillment of victim’s rights (justice, truth, reparations, and protection from further abuses) and it is important that we always remember and support their work.
Taking these three facts into account, it is important that we come together to remember the stories of the victims of serious human rights violations so that we can speak the truth and struggle for justice. We invite you all to commemorate this important day in solidarity and support the struggle to demand that the Republic of Indonesia take responsibility for fulfilling the rights of its victims.
Many cases of human rights violations have added to the suffering of the Papuan people, trampling on the self-respect and dignity of the humanity of Papuans, practiced by an uncaring State which disregards the cases of human right s violations in the land of Papua, including: Bloody Biak 1998; Abepura 7 December 2000; Wasior 13 June 2001; Bloody Wamena 6 October 2000 and 4 April 2003; the murder of Theys H. Eluay and the disappearance of Aristoteles Masoka on 10 November 2001; Abepura, 16 March 2006, and the shooting of Opinus Tabuni on 9 August 2008.
Out of all the cases mentioned above, only the incidents of Abepura 2000 have even been brought to trial, in the human rights court of Makassar. Meanwhile the legal process in the cases of Wasior and Wamena has stagnated in a futile tug-of-war between the Attorney General’s Office and the National Human Rights Commission in Jakarta. This despite the fact that these two cases clearly fall into the category of serious human rights abuses, as per the conclusions of the investigation performed by the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia. Because of this, SKPHP is spearheading a cooperative effort to highlight the cases of serious human rights violations in the land of Papua. As part of this campaign, SKPHP would like to make the following statements:
1.TO THE PUBLIC: THAT BEGINNING THIS YEAR OF 2011, EVERY 24TH OF MARCH SHALL BE COMMEMORATED AS THE DAY OF VICTIM’S RIGHTS TO TRUTH AND JUSTICE.
2.WE URGE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA TO SOON RESOLVE THE LEGAL PROCESS IN THE CASES OF WSIOR AND WAMENA.
3.URGE THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA TO SOON RESOLVE THE CASES OF SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OF WASIOR AND WAMENA.
4.TO THE GOVERNOR OF PAPUA, PAPUAN LEGISLATURE, AND PAPUAN PEOPLE’S COUNCIL TO INSTITUTE A FORMAL EVALUATION OF THE CASES OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE LAND OF PAPUA.
5.TO THE HEAD PLICE COMMISSIONAR OF PAPUA: MUST IMMEDIATELY TAKE ACTION TO RESOLVE THE LEGAL PROCESS IN THE CASE OF THE SHOOTING OF OPINUS TABUNI.
6.IMMEDIATELY CREATE A HUMAN RIGHTS COURT IN PAPUA, AS IS MANDATED IN THE SPECIAL AUTONOMY LAWS OF PAPUA.
Jayapura, 24 March 2011