The New Commissioner of The National Commission on Human Rights Do Not Stampede National Interest
The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) now has seven new leaders or commissioners who will face tough challenges, particularly in building effective team work to find solutions to unresolved past rights a abuse cases. The new commissioners half of whom have strong track records on human rights campaigning as activists in the past, for instance Chairul Anam of the Human Rights Working Group (HWRG) and was appointed the chairman of the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (KASUM) in 2014 to assess the murder of prominent rights campaigner Munir Said Thalib.
Other new commissioners are Beka Ulung Hapsara, an advocacy manager of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), Amiruddin Al Rahab, a former senior researcher at the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam), Ahmad Taufan Damanik, who once representated Indonesia on the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection on the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), Hairansyah and Munafrizal Manan, an academics and incumbent Sandrayati Moniaga were also selected from a total of 14 candidates who underwent assessment by the House.
Foundated 24 years ago in the twilight of then-president Soeharto’s new order regime, Komnas HAM unexpectedly suffered a decline in credibility after Soeharto stepped down.
However, its leadership in the 2012-2017 period has arguably been the least effective, with a number of human rights groups calling for reform of the government-sanctioned human rights body for making slow or little progress in resolving past rights abuses.
The year 2013 sam infighting over facilities and a prolonged power struggle within commissioners at Komnas HAM, which led to reduce public trust. Many suspects this was orchestrated by politicians who wanted to interfere in the international proceses of the commission ahead of the 2014 elections.
Its credibility was also undermined last year after alleged financial irregularities came to light in its 2015 financial report. At that time, the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) issued a disclaimer opinion, the worst possible evaluation, because of questionable spending of more than Rp 2 billion, which included suspected embezzlement and the fabricated purchase of an official residence for a Komnas HAM commissioner.
Yuni Andriyani of rights group the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) urged the new commissioners to “push for pro judicial mechanism” in resolving past abuse cases.
The new leadership is smaller than the outgoing leadership of 13 commissioners, whose terms will end in November, despite the 1999 Komnas HAM law allowing for up commissioners.
Lawmaker from Gerindra Party, Desmon J Mahesa said that with only seven commissioners, the work of Komnas HAM was expected to be more effective and solid.
However, the National Commission on Human Rights as “government partner” to guarantee and to protect human rights values and norms has been implementing and respecting either government officials include the military, police and civil servant or the all of Indonesia’s people, so that the National Commission on Human Rights does not investigate past human rights abuse which had had final decision by the court such as the 1965 tragedy, Munir’s case, Wamena and Wasior case in Papua, Talangsari case in Lampung, Udin’s case in Yogyakarta and Trisakti and 1997 riot case in Jakarta.
If the new commissioners of Komnas HAM will be exploting human rights abuse case which had been strafed by court decision, its mean Komnas HAM will be stampede national interest, and those efforts will be deranged earlier efforts. Politically, the public will be assessmented the commissioner of Komnas HAM have particularly been dotard and dementia influences.
These new commissioners must be independent and as part of the government, the commissioners of Komnas HAM must be understand on the effects of their decision in the context of resolving past human right abuse might have been made a political travesty and to be reprimand by the government if Komnas HAM’s decisions will be made bickering within government and to make a feud feeling between part of society. Hopefully.
*) Hendrijanto Ikhbal, Junior observer on strategic issues.