Saturday, 18 January 2020

Jokowi's Infrastructure Potentially Harms Human Rights: Watchdog

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaNational Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) conveyed three recommendations to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as supports and evaluations of the government’s programs in human rights enforcement.

    The commission’s chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik explained the first is the agenda to settle 11 cases of severe human rights violations that had been submitted to the Attorney General's Office (AGO).

    The cases are the events of the 1965-1966 purge, the mysterious killings or Petrus of 1982-1985, the 1997/1998 activist kidnappings, tragedies of the 1998 Semanggi and Trisakti, the 1989 Talangsari, the May 1998 riots, the 2001 Wasior and the 2003 Wamena, as well as the 1998-1999 Dukun Santet case, the 2003 massacre in Jambo Keupok, Rumoh Geudong, Pos Sattis, up to Simpang KKA (Kertas Kraft Aceh) tragedies.

    “To date, no concrete step has been taken by the AGO to follow up the cases to the stage of investigation and prosecution as mandated in Law No. 26/2000 on Human Rights Court,” said Taufan in his office, Thursday, November 28.

    The second note, he went on, is the conflict on natural resources. Years ago, the case was dominated by agriculture, mining, and forestry issues. However, in line with the rapid infrastructure development for the past few years, people mostly complained about infrastructures. “Such as toll road construction, railway and station revitalization, as well as airport and dam constructions,” Taufik added.

    Meanwhile, the third note is the rampant cases of intolerance and violation against the freedom of expression. The legal effort carried out in each case had never brought the perpetrator to the court, or the actor was only charged with light sentences.

    Additionally, there were many acts of persecution committed by mass organizations as if those occurred because of different views. “Social media is a powerful tool to mobilize the mass to commit persecution,” Taufik underlined.

    Therefore, Komnas HAM urged President Jokowi to create a priority list to settle those issues, which is necessary to fulfill the mandate of the 1945 Constitutional Law. “As to honor, protect, and fulfill human rights,” Taufik said.

    HALIDA BUNGA