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IKOHI

Friday, June 23, 2006

General Wiranto Knows the Fate of the Victims of Disappearances

IKOHI: ‘Wiranto lied and must be held accountable for the abductions’
Suara Pembaruan - June 15, 2005

Jakarta – The chairperson of the Association of Families of Missing Persons (Ikohi), Mugiyanto, says the 14 activists who disappeared between 1997-98 are dead. This was confirmed by the former minister of defense/armed forces chief retired General Wiranto during a secret meeting with a team investigating the disappearance of activists in 1997-98.

"We obtained information that the secret meeting was held at a coffee shop at the Lippo Building on Jalan Jenderal Sudirman on June 10. At that time Wiranto said that the 14 activists who are still missing are dead", Mugiyanto told journalists in Jakarta on Tuesday June 14.

According to Mugiyanto, during the meeting with the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) team, Ruswiati Suryasaputra, Wiranto was asked about the whereabouts of the 14 activists. Wiranto responded only by saying, "They are no more".

For Ikohi, which has been assisting the families of the missing activists, Wiranto's answer is extremely surprising because since the case of the abducted of activists between 1997-98 was uncovered, the TNI (armed forces) has only admitted to abducting nine activists, all of whom were released.

"Wiranto's statement represents new evidence which can renew hopes to uncover the mystery of the disappearance of the activists. The statement must be responded to and acted upon by the Komnas HAM team”, he said.

He added that the families of the abducted activists urgently need to know the whereabouts of their family members as well as who the perpetrators of the abductions are. And if indeed they are dead, were the activists are buried.

Opportunity to communicate
Based on the testimonies of a number of victims who were abducted and then freed, they were held at the army’s elite special forces (Kopassus) headquarters Group IV/Sandi Yudha in Cijantung, East Jakarta. While they were locked up, they were able to communication with several of the 14 activists who have not returned including Yani Afri (alias Rian), Sonny, Deddy Hamdun, Noval Alkatiri, Ismail, Herman Hendrawan and Suyat.

“As the commander of ABRI [Indonesian armed forces, now called TNI], retired General Wiranto has concealed important information from the families of the victims of these abductions. He has lied to the public and for seven years Wiranto has systematically and closely guarded the information”, said Mugiyanto.

Based on Wiranto’s confession, Ikohi is urging the Komnas HAM team to immediately summon and question Wiranto over the matter.

They also believe that meeting at the coffee shop was part of a conspiracy between investigators and the suspected perpetrators and not an investigation in the framework of Law Number 39/1999 on Human Rights.

Wiranto’s summons must focus on his capacity as ABRI commander who received written orders from former President Suharto to “investigate the names of 28 activists through a military operation”. As ABRI commander, Wiranto must be held accountable for the actions of his subordinates. (O-1)


Translators notes:
Wiranto has since denied making the statement and has accused Ikohi of slander and of violating his human rights. According to a report in Detik.com on June 16, Wiranto said that he gave no information whatsoever to Komnas HAM during the meeting “because it was not a fact finding” investigation.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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IKOHI was set up on September 17, 1998 by the parents and surfaced victims of disappearances. Since then, IKOHI was assisted by KONTRAS, until October 2002 when finally IKOHI carried out it first congress to complete its organizational structure. In the Congress, IKOHI decided its two priority of programs. They are (1) the empowerment of the social, economic, social and cultural potential of the members as well as mental and physical, and (2) the campaign for solving of the cases and preventing the cases from happening again. The solving of the cases means the reveal of the truth, the justice for the perpetrators, the reparation and rehabilitation of the victims and the guarantee that such gross violation of human right will never be repeated again in the future.

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