Collaboration with Media is Essential for Komnas HAM
The event began with a brief introductionby Taufan Damanik, who expressed appreciation to all the attending guests.
Following the introduction, Beka Hapsara announced Komnas HAM’s plans for thecelebration of International Human Rights Day 2018 that would be held in jointcommemoration with Komnas HAM’s celebration of the 70th anniversaryof the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”).
Elaborating on thedetails of the event, Beka explained “The materials gathered during this eventwill be presented to the President of Indonesia. It is an important milestonefor human rights as it would symbolise the President’s commitment towards theenhancement of human rights in Indonesia”.
The event included an open “Question and Answers(Q and A)” session which gave Komnas HAM commissioners the opportunity toaddress several questions that the journalists were eager to ask.
A journalist from CNN Indonesia asked, “Whyisn’t Komnas HAM on the news as much as other institutions like the KPK?Wouldn’t it be important to let the general public know of what Komnas HAM hasbeen up to?” to which Taufan responded “Given thatIndonesia is currently in a very political period coming up to the generalelections next year, we are very cautious of what we say to the media. Althougheach Commissioner may employ different strategies with regards to their fieldof expertise, we hold a united front and collectively work towards the positiveprogression of human rights protection in Indonesia”.
The journalist then asked, “Why doesn’tKomnas HAM share its data or pursue more collaborations with otherinstitutions?” Beka explained that “We do collaborate with other institutions.However, each party has different priorities and mandates. We do not wish tounintentionally hinder their progress while trying to perform our duties, viceversa”.
Ajournalist from Metro asked, “Why doesn’t Komnas HAM publicly discuss in themedia of its struggles and challenges with regards to institutions which havebeen accused of human rights violation?”
Amiruddin explained “As briefly mentioned,we are careful to stay away from political controversies. Public accusationsand bad publicity would only complicate our efforts to promote human rights. Wefocus on strengthening our relationships with all our partner institutions aswe believe that diplomacy and cooperation is instrumental in changing thebehaviour of alleged human rights violators”.
Continuing Amiruddin’s explanation, Sandraadded “Apart from diplomacy and maintaining good relations with our partners,Komnas HAM is also taking measures to ensure positive change. We haveidentified the need to enhance our mandate. Currently, the issue is that ourrecommendations are sometimes not prioritised. As such, we are makingarrangements to ensure that Komnas HAM will also monitor the status andprogress of the recommendations made”.
Sandra concluded the evening by thankingguests and journalists for their time. (Jeff)