Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Presidential Decree (Keppres) on the establishment of a non-judicial settlement team for past human rights violations is in keeping with the nation’s laws.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, made the remarks while delivering an online press statement, which was followed from Jakarta on Friday.

"Regarding the Presidential Decree on the settlement of past non-judicial human rights violations—it is an order from the laws and regulations," Mahfud said.

Furthermore, the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), through MPR Decree Number V/MPR/2000 concerning national consolidation and unity, had ordered the government to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR), he informed.

The commission was tasked with upholding the truth by revealing past abuses of power and human rights violations, in accordance with the provisions of the prevailing laws and regulations and carrying out reconciliation in the perspective of common interests as a nation.

Then, there is also Article 47 of Law No. 26 of 2000 concerning the Court of Human Rights (HAM). Article 47 Paragraph (1) of the law states that for serious human rights violations that occurred before the enactment of the law, it is possible for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) to resolve them.

Then, Paragraph (2) states that the KKR, as referred to in Paragraph (1), was established by law so the government could formulate the Law on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (UU KKR).

"In the past, the MPR made an order, then there was the UU KKR. In the past, the settlement of past human rights was carried out through two channels. One, judicial. Two, non-judicial. The non-judicial in the form of KKR, but then the UU KKR was scrapped by the Constitutional Court (MK)," Mahfud explained.

Thus, he said, the government is currently forming a non-judicial settlement team to deal with past human rights violations as a replacement for KKR. Even so, the formation of a non-judicial team will not stop the settlement of past human rights cases through the judicial route, he added.

"The judicial process continues," he clarified.

However, Mahfud said that the settlement of past human rights cases through the judicial route has faced obstacles, such as in the case of East Timor. The Attorney General's Office has always asked the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to collect more evidence on human rights violations, while Komnas HAM has felt that the evidence is sufficient.

"The technical juridical problem is that the Attorney General's Office always asks Komnas HAM to improve. Komnas HAM always feels that it is enough. In fact, the Attorney General's Office loses if it (sufficient evidence) is not corrected," he said.

It was due to insufficient evidence that as many as 34 people with alleged links to the East Timor case were released, Mahfud noted.

"A total of 34 people were acquitted by the Supreme Court because Komnas HAM also could not complete the evidence that could convince the judge," he said.

Thus, the former chief justice of the Constitutional Court also said that the formation of a non-judicial settlement team for past human rights violations as a substitute for the KKR, which has been scrapped by the Constitutional Court, is also aimed at overcoming obstacles in the legal process.

"Therefore, we open this non-judicial route as a substitute for the KKR. We must act immediately," Mahfud said.

He emphasized that he did not mind people who criticized the presidential decree.

"About criticism, I usually like criticism. I will listen to the criticism. We will solve the problem of gross human rights violations properly," he remarked.

President Joko Widodo earlier said that he had signed a Presidential Decree (Keppres) on the establishment of a non-judicial settlement team for past serious human rights violations.

The statement was delivered by President Widodo in his state address during the 2022 annual session of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) and the joint session of the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) at the Parliamentary Complex in Jakarta on Tuesday (August 16, 2022).

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Translator: Tri Meilani, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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