Asia: Experts Meet to Discuss Challenges and Opportunities for Prosecuting Serious Crimes


JAKARTA, Nov. 15, 2011—Experts and stakeholders from Cambodia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Burma, Timor-Leste, Thailand, and Nepal, along with international experts are gathering in Jakarta’s Hotel Atlet from November 15–16 to discuss the need for progress on prosecuting serious crimes in Asia.

“Many Asian countries have experienced widespread and serious human rights abuses since the end of World War II, yet only a few have taken steps to hold those responsible for these heinous crimes to account,” said Patrick Burgess, director of the Asia Program of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). “After many decades of lagging behind the rest of the world, leading Asian scholars and practitioners are coming together this week to discuss how they can close this impunity gap, and make sure that such atrocities never happen again.”

This week’s gathering in Jakarta will focus on the benefits, challenges, and lessons learned from various Asian contexts where serious crimes have been prosecuted, either by domestic courts, international tribunals, or “hybrid” domestic/international tribunals. It will include discussions with international experts who have worked on domestic prosecutions of serious crimes in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, as well as international prosecutions of serious crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“With the continued lack of justice for victims of serious crimes in countries including Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines, and many more, we hope that these discussions will help spur Asian leaders to take practical steps to pursue judicial accountability for these shocking crimes,” noted Indria Fernida, deputy coordinator of KontraS. “More Asian countries need to ratify the Rome Statute. This will strengthen national capacity to prosecute those responsible for future serious crimes and contribute to peace and security throughout the region.”

This week’s meetings and activities are being hosted and sponsored by ICTJ, Paramadina University, KontraS, and the Indonesia Coalition for the ICC, with support from the European Commission.

About ICTJ

The International Center for Transitional Justice works to redress and prevent the most severe violations of human rights by confronting legacies of mass abuse. ICTJ seeks holistic solutions to promote accountability and create just and peaceful societies. For more information, visit


Patrick Burgess Director, ICTJ Asia Program Tel: +62 21 391 4864

Indria Fernida Deputy Director, KontraS Mobile: +62-8161466341