Tuesday, August 2, 2011

War Crimes Court ‘Could Protect TNI’

Ratifying the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court could protect the Indonesian Military from wrongful accusations of human right violations during wars, a rights group said on Thursday.

The ICC was established to hear allegations of crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity. The ICC is intended to only be used in cases where a prosecution under a country’s judicial system is deemed ineffective.

So far, 116 countries have ratified the Rome Statute, meaning that they are subject to the court.

Indonesia’s Human Rights National Act, in place from 2004 to 2009, required the country to ratify the statute by 2008 but nothing was done to fulfil the terms of the act, which was initiated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Under the new Human Rights National Act 2011-2014, Indonesia is scheduled to ratify the Rome Statute in 2013.

But Marzuki Darusman, executive director at the Human Rights Resource Center for Asean, said on Thursday the ratification could be achieved sooner.

“TNI [the Indonesian military] is often blamed for being the perpetrator of human rights violence while on duty during conflict. This happens because there is no special regulation that protects it,” Marzuki said.

“But if Indonesia ratifies the Rome Statute, the TNI could actually be protected by the regulation because it [the ICC] will clarify who is the perpetrator of human rights violence during conflict,” he said.

However, he said that even after ratification, the Rome Statute could not be used to prosecute past serious human rights violations.

“The Rome Statute will not be implemented retroactively so it will not be used to solve human right violence cases that occurred in the past, but only ones that might happen in the future,” he said.

Marzuki said the Rome Statute will be only implemented prospectively.

Indriaswati Saptaningrum, executive director of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam), said the procedural issue should not have been a factor in deciding whether to ratify the Rome Statue.

“It needs to be understood that the implementation of the Rome Statute is not only about human rights abuses that happened in the past,” she said

“Therefore, delaying the Rome Statute ratification would only delay the enforcement of justice.”

Sumber; http://www.thejakartaglobe.com