Justice at Stake: Concerns Arise over Indonesia's Rights Abuse Compensation Program

Justice at Stake: Concerns Arise over Indonesia's Rights Abuse Compensation Program
Protesters gather each week outside the presidential palace to try to push Indonesia to reckon with past or ongoing human rights violations Photo source: Jessica Washington | Al Jazeera


Lone de Chene

South East Asia and Pacific Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence.

The Indonesian government's new non-judicial settlement program for past human rights abuses has raised concerns about impunity and hindered justice. The program aims to compensate victims and families affected by 12 past human rights violations, including the killings during the 1965 mass killings and the Aceh conflict. 

President Joke Widodo came up with the program, in order to “heal wounds” of the past. The compensation includes scholarships, health insurance, vocational training, and other forms of assistance. The compensation is not intended to replace or negate any potential legal action for resolving the cases or securing justice for victims, according to Widodo. However, critics argue that the program provides an opportunity for impunity and fails to hold perpetrators accountable. 

While some victims and families welcome the program, rights groups, including Amnesty International, emphasize the need for legal efforts to ensure accountability and the right to truth for the victims. Every Thursday, a small group of people holds demonstrations in Indonesia’s capital, aiming to push Indonesia to reckon with past and ongoing human rights violations. Victims and activists continue to demand justice and the realization of human rights reforms in Indonesia.

Sources and further readings:

Washington, J., & Hasibuan, S. (2023, June 29). Indonesian rights abuse compensation plan fans fears of impunity. Human Rights News | Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2023/6/28/indonesian-rights-abuse-compensation-plan-fans-fears-of-impunity