The trial of 12 Kopassus (Special Forces Command) soldiers accused of the extrajudicial execution of four detainees is likely to be little more than a sham warned Amnesty International as the military hearing opens on Thursday.
“These courts should never be used to try those accused of human rights violations. They are biased, and they create an intimidating environment for witnesses to testify,” said Isabelle Arradon, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Programme.
Kopassus forces have been accused of a range of serious human rights violations in the past but the vast majority have never been tried in an independent court for these crimes.
“This horrific case is a stark reminder of how reforms of the military and the justice system have been stalled for years in Indonesia. Perpetrators of past crimes run free and new abuses can be committed with apparent impunity. There has to be immediate changes in law and practice so that human rights violators can be effectively tried before independent, civilian courts, and to send a clear message that no one is above the law,” said Arradon.