Since President Soeharto fell from power in 1998, Indonesia has struggled to address a legacy of abuse cultivated under his regime. ICTJ works with civil society and state officials to help Indonesians ensure accountability for the human rights violations and crimes of the past.
Indonesia was under General Soeharto’s “New Order” regime from 1965 to 1998. This period was rife with violence and widespread repression, including systematic abuse in Timor-Leste, Aceh, and Papua.
After the Soeharto ended in 1998, the country took commendable steps towards democracy and rights protection. Indonesia introduced human rights provisions into its constitution and established a Human Rights Court to try those accused of crimes against humanity and genocide.
Despite these efforts however, of 34 persons tried by the Human Rights Court to date, all have been acquitted or had their convictions overturned on appeal.
A law establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was passed in 2004. Human rights organizations and victims’ representatives raised concerns about a clause in the law which allowed amnesty for perpetrators of serious crimes, and required victims to forgive perpetrators in order to qualify for reparations.
In response, in 2006 the Constitutional Court annulled the entire law, effectively halting the TRC process. This decision has also stalled the establishment of local truth commissions in Papua and Aceh.
The Indonesian government is currently in the process of drafting a new TRC law.
ICTJ has been engaged in Indonesia since 2002. We work with many different groups, strengthening their capacity to develop and pursue transitional justice at the community and national levels.