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Main » 2013 » March » 24 » World Criminal Court on Agenda in Indonesia
1:48 PM
World Criminal Court on Agenda in Indonesia
The government is again pushing for the ratification of a global statute establishing the International Criminal Court, a topic on which deliberations stalled in the House of Representatives since 2004.

"Indonesia will ratify the Rome Statute soon,” presidential adviser Albert Hasibuan said on Wednesday. Ratification of the statute, which Indonesia signed in 1998, will allow citizens to be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a condition some have been anxious about given the country’s checkered human rights record.

"There needs to a strong political will to solve [the deadlock] at the House. The government has shown its political will to solve the cases of human rights abuse,” Albert said. "Actually, the content of the Rome Statute is no different to laws and regulations [Indonesia] has already enacted.”

Trimedya Panjaitan, a senior lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said the opposition party supported the government’s efforts to expedite the ratification.

"Ratifying the Rome Statute will have a positive effect because there are a lot of human rights violations in Indonesia ... that have never been resolved,” he said.

But international law expert Hikmahanto Juwana suspected a hidden motive behind the government’s sudden renewed interest in ratifying the statute, saying that it might be connected to the upcoming presidential election.

Among those leading recent polls is retired general Prabowo Subianto, who has been accused of orchestrating the kidnapping of student activists in 1997-98 during his time as commander of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus).

Prabowo is also accused of orchestrating a series of bloody riots in Jakarta just days after the downfall of former president Suharto.

Another presidential hopeful is former military commander Wiranto, who is accused of gross human rights violations during East Timor’s ballot seeking independence from Indonesia in 1999.

Human rights groups alleged Wiranto led a band of pro-Indonesian militias to stir up security threats in East Timor, leaving thousands dead.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with Prabowo on Monday and Hikmahanto believed the men discussed the statute. The meeting also coincided with a visit to the ICC’s headquarters in The Hague by Deputy Justice Minister Denny Indrayana.

"The question is, ‘Was the deputy minister told by the SBY government to go to the ICC?’ The government has never been committed to ratifying [the statute] before,” the University of Indonesia professor said, referring to Yudhoyono by his initials.

"I suspect that the meeting [between Prabowo and Yudhoyono] is connected to ... Denny’s visit to the Netherlands.”

The Rome Statute stipulates that the ICC can hear international criminal cases related to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.

The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), which Prabowo founded, denied that ratifying the statute would hurt Prabowo’s chances for the presidency but added that the party would reject the government’s attempt at ratification.

"Ratifying the ICC [statue] would have a negative impact on the legal sovereignty of Indonesia,” Gerindra lawmaker Martin Hutabarat said. "Our legal process has declared Prabowo innocent. This is something already dismissed by a court.”

Source: The Jakarta Globe
Category: National News | Views: 498 | Added by: Admin | Tags: Human Rights, Indonesia | Rating: 0.0/0
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