The Jakarta Post [web site]
April 5, 2010
Victims of Rights Abuses Challenge Deputy Minister Appointment
by Arghea D. Hapsari
A number of families and victims of past human rights abuses are
challenging the President’s appointment of Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin as the
deputy to defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro in court.
They filed on Monday a legal suit against the policy with the Jakarta
State Administrative Court (PTUN). The plaintiffs, who are families
and victims of the deadly 1998 riots and the 1997/1998 abduction of
student activists, asked the court to annul the presidential decree
that promoted the former Jakarta Military commander to the new position.
Foreign and domestic rights groups have accused Sjafrie of
involvement in the 1998 riots and atrocities in East Timor. He,
however, has never been implicated in the cases.
Several human rights groups, including the Commission for Missing
Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), are representing the
plaintiffs in the court battle.
Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid said Sjafrie’s position as a deputy
minister “could hamper future attempt to probe into his alleged part
in the past rights abuses”.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono installed Sjafrie as the deputy to
the defense minister in Jan. 6.