Members of the National Human Rights Commission Komnas HAM and of the Commission on Women’s Rights Komnas Perempuan – both official government institutions – gave testimonies during the International People’s Tribunal on 1965 in the Hague this week.
The appearances of Dianto Bachriadi of Komnas HAM and Mariana Aminuddin of Komnas Perempuan on Thursday afternoon were not scheduled in advanced.
Bachriadi felt it necessary to clarify the Komnas HAM document which was mentionned repeatedly throughout the sessions. The 2012 document is titled ‘Investigation of Gross Human Rights Violation during the 1965 – 1966 events’.
Aminuddin, meanwhile, testified about her institutions’s report on sexual violence against women during 1965 – 1966. She corroborated testimonies by expert witness Dr. Saskia Wieringa and other witnesses regarding violence against women during that time. When asked by chief judge Zak Yacoob regarding IPT1965, Aminuddin underlined the importance of the Tribunal.
‘This is not like a seminar,’ Aminuddin said. ‘Here, it’s like jumbled thread which can be smoothed out one by one. It makes it easier for us to verify things, and also able to hear the voices of the victims in court today.’
Aminuddin carries an official letter from President Joko Widodo, and said that she came to The Hague to observe how the international community responds to the Tribunal. She further said that the Tribunal’s results would be a supporting document which her institution can present to the state.
Meanwhile, Dianto Bachriadi counters comments which accuse IPT1965 of smearing Indonesia’s image. ‘We are here to discuss gross human rights violations. We speak about solving crimes against humanity. We speak about uncovering the truth, about humanity. We speak about topics which are crucial for the improvement and upholding of human rights in Indonesia.’
Dianto Bachriadi further said that he did not come to The Hague for political purposes. ‘I have nothing to do with those things. I am a member of the Human Rights Commission. I speak about human rights.’
At the commencement of every IPT1965 session, chief judge Zak Yacoob always asks if anyone representing the Indonesian government is present in court. He repeats the same question after every recess. Each time there was no anwer, as could be seen by the empty chairs reserved for representatives of the Indonesian government. It turns out that the whole time two members of official government institutions were present, albeit not officially representing Jakarta.