INDONESIA: AHRC denounces the lack of effective witness and victim protection

INDONESIA: AHRC denounces the lack of effective witness and victim protection


Asian Human Rights Commission

PRESS RELEASE, Hong Kong, 18 Feb. 2010 

"Since the Witness and Victim Protection Law was enacted in 2006, little progress has been made regarding witness and victim protection because of a lack of political will", says an analyst from the Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

The Witness and Victim Protection Agency (Lembaga Perlindungan Saksi dan Korban or LPSK), created only in 2008, suffers a lack of employees and budget that jeopardizes its efficiency. Moreover, "the increasing number of demands contrasts with the LPSK’s actual capacity to efficiently protect people and illustrates the very real need for an effective Agency", says the AHRC.

In its statement, the AHRC asserts that the LPSK also often fails to offer effective protection to witnesses and victims, who suffer from threats and intimidation. It also underlines the lack of restitution or compensation for the victims and their families. "No justice can be achieved without reparations" says the AHRC analyst. The full statement can be viewed here.

The Hong-Kong based organisation also denounces the bad image of the Agency since the LPSK's former deputy chairman Ketut Sudiarsa was involved in a corruption case. Underlining that the way the LPSK members are selected is incompatible with its neutral and independent status, it calls for a fairer selection, targeting "honest, trusted and experienced persons".

The AHRC considers that "a partial police force, fear of reprisals and no effective protection of witnesses and victims leads to a general failure of justice and a lack of fair trials in Indonesia."

It recommends that sufficient means are finally given to the LPSK in order to carry out its mission, which implies a substantial support from all state departments as well as a change in police culture. "Effective witness protection is a necessary step to address the culture of impunity and human rights violations"

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.