Minister seeks evidence substantiating gross rights abuse allegation

Jakarta Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD sought strong evidence to support the allegation of gross human rights violation during a shooting that claimed the lives of six Islamic Defender Front (FPI) members.

“I would say that the government would be open to any evidence that supports (the allegation of) gross human rights violation. Please convey it now or later to the president. Do not let it only be based on a belief, as we all have our own beliefs regarding the perpetrators of the incident,” the minister noted at the Presidential Office here on Tuesday.

Mahfud made the statement after accompanying President Joko Widodo to a meeting along with seven representatives of the Murder Incident Supervisory Team (TP3) of six FPI members, including Amien Rais, Abdullah Hemahahua, and Marwan Batubara.

“Mr Marwan Batubara said they believe that the six (victims) were Indonesian citizens. Okay, we believe that too and believe that they are faithful men. We also believe that, and Mr Marwan Batubara believes that a gross human rights violation was committed,” Mahfud affirmed.

However, this has run counter to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) investigation concluding that the incident at the KM 50 Cikampek toll road was a common human rights abuse.

According to the minister, the three criteria indicating a gross human rights violation comprise firstly it being structured and executed by a legal authority, and secondly, it would be carried out systematically in clear stages.

“It would then claim several victims. If they have the evidence, bring them to the court, and we can prosecute the perpetrators based on Law No. 26 of 2000,” he emphasized.

The minister spoke of the team having met with the Komnas HAM, though they did not present the evidence of gross human rights violation during the incident.

The government has made assurance of not intervening in Komnas HAM’s investigation into the case, Mahfud noted.

On January 8, Komnas HAM had reported the result of its investigation into the deaths of six FPI members of a convoy to escort FPI leader Rizieq Shihab on December 6-7, 2020.

The commission reached a conclusion that human rights violations were committed during the shooting incident.

Commissioner of Komnas HAM Mohammad Choirul Anam believes that the shooting of six FPI members constituted unlawful killing since it was committed by police personnel without any crucial attempt being made to avert the fall of victims.

Source: Antara News