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FA urges Pres. Yudhoyono to establish a law to ensure the rights of Indonesians

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Yesterday, the Indonesian Constitutional Court voted seven to one to officially abolish the Law No 27/2004 on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has reiterated that democratic governance and the rule of law will be his administrative priority, especially when Indonesia has also been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Security Council. However, the move by the Constitutional Court may negate any chances to address past human rights violations. This letter urges SBY to advise the parliament and the judiciary to get actively involved in crafting a new law and, one that will ensure the people of Indonesia will attain rights and justice.President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Republic of Indonesia
Istana Negara Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 384 5627 ext. 1003
Fax: +62 21 345 7782

Dear Mr President,

I am writing to request your Excellency to pursue the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in response to the recent decision made by the Constitutional Court on the abolishment of Law No 27/2004 on the TRC. Over the past two years, your administration’s commitment to democratic governance and rule of law has been rewarded by the election of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Security Council. However, the decision of the Constitutional Court may negate these advances.

According to the Constitutional Court, the abolishment is due to the fact that several articles in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are against the 1945 Constitution. Still, the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission itself is consistent with the 1945 Constitution in as far at the country’s commitment towards human rights and justice for its people concerned.  Victims of past human rights violations cannot be taken for granted and have the right to seek justice, fair reparation and guaranteed protection, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1945 Constitution.

Many countries in the world today have established similar commissions to address past human rights violations, and achieve reconciliation and harmony. Similarly, Indonesia has been at the centre of international community’s eyes because of the need to account for human rights violations. Instead of being a rationalization for not creating such a body the decision by the Constitutional Court on the TRC must be turned into an opportunity to effectively incorporate human rights norms and values into another mechanism. A victim-oriented approach remains as the core element in promoting peace and dignified justice.

Motivated solely by respect for human rights, I request to you to submit a new bill that will replace the existing law on the TRC. I also request to you to advice the Parliament and the judiciary to be actively involved in crafting the new law which will ensure that the rights and justice for the civilian population especially the victims of violence will be finally attained.


Anselmo Lee
Executive Director

Minister of Justice and Human Rights Hamid Awaluddin
High Commissioner of KOMNAS HAM Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara