Regeneration of KontraS Coordinator: Continuing the Relay of Struggle to Demand Human Rights Accountability to the State!

15 July 2023 – Within every 3 years, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) carry out regeneration processes, namely management changes. The coordinator position held by Fatia Maulidiyanti ended on July 17 2023. Based on the results of the General Meeting of Members (RUA) – as the highest organizational decision-making mechanism, it has been decided that Dimas Bagus Arya will continue his leadership role as the new Coordinator for the 2023 – 2026 term. Previously, Dimas was an Assistant Manager and a member of the Impunity Watch Division.

The challenges faced will certainly be much more severe, especially since the change in leadership of this organization took place in the midst of the criminalization case against Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar whose process is ongoing at the East Jakarta District Court. In addition, the democratic situation in Indonesia is getting worse proven by the number of phenomenons such as the ITE Law which has not been revised, the ratification of a new Criminal Code (KUHP) which contains several anti-democratic and repressive articles by the state in responding to the expression of good opinion. in public and digital spaces. The poor situation in democracy is emphasized by the Indonesian democracy index which has not improved.

Not to mention the problem of resolving past gross human rights violations. The government acted recklessly by forming a Team for the Non-Judicial Settlement of Past Gross Human Rights Violations (PPHAM) to escape responsibility for a judicial settlement. Apart from that, the belief and good will to resolve various past tragedies in a comprehensive and just manner are also doubtful, marked by the government’s reluctance to convey an apology to the victims. Moreover, there are no signs of progressiveness in nature to hold human rights criminals to account in court and institutional reform efforts. We always believe that the series of incidents of violence in the form of extra-judicial killings, torture, brutality by security forces and other forms of contemporary human rights violations cannot be separated from the acute problem of impunity.

However, these various situations and challenges will not hamper KontraS’ steps in advocating for the benefit of victims. We also continue to be committed to responding to human rights violations and incidents of injustice through research that encourages policy improvement. In addition, in order to ensure public understanding of human rights values, the campaign through the various platforms which we have will certainly continue. These various human rights defense works lead to one thing, namely a state that is responsible within an accountability framework and a society that can be more active in advancing human rights, democracy and justice. The various works to promote human rights are also supported by KontraS’ environment, which is dominated by young people.

In his vision, Dimas Bagus Arya said that “Urging the accountability for the state’s obligations in fulfilling, protecting and respecting human rights in Indonesia is the vision and mission of KontraS which has been proven by many efforts and organizational work where the state often responds coercively without improvements. Which means that the ideas and imaginations of humanity that have so far faded due to political interests and other pseudo-interests must be revived so that they are in line with good practices in the state and provide space for human rights values to exist.”

“For this reason, KontraS’ work will be increasingly relevant in dismantling violent practices by the state and continue to strengthen resilience and enrich human rights perspectives for citizens to create a dynamic public space that is increasingly empowered in dispelling all forms of abuse of power by the State and take part in maintaining the culture and approaches to violence”. Dimas Bagus Arya added.

As for Fatia Maulidiyanti, the coordinator who resigned, gave a statement “The process of changing leadership in CSOs, like KontraS, indicates good regeneration in the struggle for and defense of human rights in Indonesia. The replacement of the coordinator also sends a message that KontraS will always exist and consistently carry out its function as a watchdog for the state, which has been increasingly arbitrary lately.”