News Desk (The Jakarta Post)
Mon, January 16, 2023
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is expected to tour several regions of the country to hold a meeting with survivors and families of human rights abuses as part of an effort to bring about the past.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Minister Mahfud MD said on Monday that President Jokowi was serious about finding resolutions to past human rights abuses and the trip was an opening salvo in the effort.
“These ceremonial trips will show the public that the government means business. It is likely that the president will pay a visit to places like Aceh and Talangsari,” Mahfud told reporters on Sunday, referring to two places where the Indonesian military (TNI) personnel were alleged to have committed human rights violations against civilians during the New Order and early Reformasi period.
Last week, President Jokowi expressed deep regret over gross human rights violations during the country’s post-colonial past, dating back to the mass killings of communists and suspected sympathizers in the mid-1960s.
He cited 11 other rights incidents, spanning a period between 1965 and 2003, including the killing and abduction of students drafted into security forces during protests against New Order strongman Soeharto’s autocratic rule in the late 1990s.
“I, as head of state, acknowledge that there were major human rights violations that occurred in many events,” Jokowi said.
“And I deeply regret that these violations occurred.”
On Monday, Mahfud added that the government would hold meetings with survivors and families of former atrocities currently living abroad and issue policies that guarantee their rights as Indonesian citizens.
Mahfud said the government is looking at Geneva, Amsterdam or a city in Russia to be the site of meetings with the Indonesian diaspora.
Jokowi appointed Mahfud, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi to prepare logistics for the meetings.
“Those who are now living abroad should also receive the same message and this again shows that we are serious,” Mahfud said, quoted by Compass.