Indonesia: The appointment of Gen. Wiranto as top security official shows contempt for human rights
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to make Gen. Wiranto Indonesia’s most powerful security official a mere day after Indonesia ordered the execution of 14 death row prisoners shows contempt for human rights, Amnesty International said today.
“This is adding insult to injury. A day after ordering a fresh round of executions, Jokowi has now decided to hand control of the country’s security apparatus to someone was indicted for crimes against humanity by a UN sponsored tribunal,” said Josef Benedict, Deputy Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.
On 27 July 2016, Gen. Wiranto was appointed to the position of Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs.
Gen. Wiranto was also publicly named as a suspect in the inquiry initiated in 1999 by Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM), but was never charged in Indonesia.
Komnas HAM concluded on the basis of its investigations that Gen. Wiranto was aware of the “widespread and organized” violations of human rights that occurred in 1999, at the time of the East-Timor referendum. It also concluded that Gen. Wiranto had ultimate responsibility for the breakdown of security in the aftermath of the announcement of the result of the ballot.
As Indonesia’s most powerful security official, Gen. Wiranto’s office now oversees many ministries and other state institutions, including the Attorney General who should have made criminal investigation and indictment based on the Komnas HAM’s findings.
In February 2003, the UN sponsored Special Panels for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court, Timor-Leste indicted Gen. Wiranto, then the Indonesia’s Minister of Defence and Security, and Commander of Armed Forces, for crimes against humanity in connection with the events in East Timor in 1999.
Currently Gen. Wiranto is the chairman of the Hanura (People’s Conscience) Party who supported Joko Widodo during his 2014 presidential campaign. He ran unsuccessfully for President of Indonesia in 2004, and ran unsuccessfully for the vice-presidency in 2009.
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