Press Release of ELSAM: Receptivity of Omar Al-Bashir: The Indonesian Government continuing Impunity

The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) regretted and strongly criticised the Government of Indonesia’s decision to welcome the presence of Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir, to attend the 5th Extraordinary OIC Summit 2016.

Omar Al-Bashir is a person that the International Criminal Court (ICC) allegedly suspected him responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide towards civilian, particularly to Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnicities, during 2003 until 2008. To that end, in 2009 and 2010 the Court issued arrest warrants to Bashir, put him as the most wanted person to be tried in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Although Indonesia had yet to be a State Party of the Rome Statute of ICC, however in accordance with the Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005), where operative clause 2 firmly stated the importance of fully cooperation between non-member States and the Court. It was aimed to support the work programme of ICC in resolving the situation in Darfur, Sudan. Bearing in mind the binding nature of that resolution to all UN member States, as enshrined under Article 25 of the UN Charter 1945, thereby although Indonesia has not become the member of ICC, it still bounds to the obligation contained in that resolution.

Contrast when Al-Bashir did not attend the past 2015 Asia-Africa Conference. Ironically, the Indonesian government at the present time disavowing its international obligation by permitting the international fugitive to enter the motherland and attending the largest meeting between Muslim countries worldwide held on 6-7 March 2016. The acceptance from Indonesian government is indeed in contravention with the spirit brought at that Summit, namely “United for a Solution” in tackling the violation of fundamental values of human rights and humanity in Palestine, and not to be part of that problem per se, as stated by President Joko Widodo of Indonesia on its opening remarks at the OIC Summit 2016. By accepting Al-Bashir to Indonesia, this will weaken Indonesia’s human rights diplomacy at international level, which indirectly supported the continuity of impunity committed by the President of Sudan.

In addition that, the inconsistency of Indonesian foreign policy that receiving Bashir was also manifested by the fact up to 2013, it was recorded at least 161 Indonesian citizens participated with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), which aimed to maintain the stability in Darfur region of Sudan, while peace talks continue. The dualism of Indonesian standing in maintaining peace and protecting human rights in Sudan on one side, whilst on the other side rolling out a red carpet for the atrocities actor can be observed beforehand.

Therefore, ELSAM, as part of the Indonesian Civil Societies Coalition for the International Criminal Court (Indonesian CICC), urges the Indonesian government to furnish an official statement that openly clarifying their decision to receive Al-Bashir’s presence at the Fifth Extraordinary OIC Summit. This gesture has raised questions over the Government of Indonesia’s commitment to immediately ratify the Rome Statute, as an integral part to break the chain of impunity, and contributed to the accountability of human rights abuses related cases. Ultimately, ELSAM again would like to remind the Indonesian government to instantly ratifying the Rome Statute so that current disavowal will not be happened in the future. Moreover, the efforts to combat the impunity practices that remain lived and rooted in the international level, can also be muffled by Indonesian participation to the ICC, as well as ensuring the future of Indonesia with no gross human rights violation cases (non-recurrence).

Jakarta, 7 March 2016

For further information, please reach Wahyudi Djafar (Deputy Director of PSDHAM), phone: 081382083993, or Ruben Sumigar (Researcher), phone: 085780094050.