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Collaboration with Media is Essential for Komnas HAM

Komnas HAM held a media gathering with several media top officers at the Hermitage Hotel, Jakarta, on 6 December 2018. The conference attracted journalists from among others, CNN Indonesia; Kompas; and Metro.

The event was hosted by Komnas HAM Chairperson- Ahmad Taufan Damanik, Komnas HAM Deputy Chair of External Affairs- Sandra Moniaga, Komnas HAM Commissioner- Beka Ulung Hapsara, and Komnas HAM Commissioner- Amiruddin.

The event began with a brief introduction by Taufan Damanik, who expressed appreciation to all the attending guests.

Following the introduction, Beka Hapsara announced Komnas HAM’s plans for the celebration of International Human Rights Day 2018 that would be held in joint commemoration with Komnas HAM’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”).

Elaborating on the details of the event, Beka explained “The materials gathered during this event will be presented to the President of Indonesia. It is an important milestone for human rights as it would symbolise the President’s commitment towards the enhancement of human rights in Indonesia”.

The event included an open “Question and Answers (Q and A)” session which gave Komnas HAM commissioners the opportunity to address several questions that the journalists were eager to ask.

A journalist from CNN Indonesia asked, “Why isn’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 has been up to?” to which Taufan responded “Given that Indonesia is currently in a very political period coming up to the general elections next year, we are very cautious of what we say to the media. Although each Commissioner may employ different strategies with regards to their field of expertise, we hold a united front and collectively work towards the positive progression of human rights protection in Indonesia”.

The journalist then asked, “Why doesn’t Komnas HAM share its data or pursue more collaborations with other institutions?” Beka explained that “We do collaborate with other institutions. However, each party has different priorities and mandates. We do not wish to unintentionally hinder their progress while trying to perform our duties, vice versa”.

A journalist from Metro asked, “Why doesn’t Komnas HAM publicly discuss in the media of its struggles and challenges with regards to institutions which have been accused of human rights violation?”

Amiruddin explained “As briefly mentioned, we are careful to stay away from political controversies. Public accusations and bad publicity would only complicate our efforts to promote human rights. We focus on strengthening our relationships with all our partner institutions as we believe that diplomacy and cooperation is instrumental in changing the behaviour of alleged human rights violators”.

Continuing Amiruddin’s explanation, Sandra added “Apart from diplomacy and maintaining good relations with our partners, Komnas HAM is also taking measures to ensure positive change. We have identified the need to enhance our mandate. Currently, the issue is that our recommendations are sometimes not prioritised. As such, we are making arrangements to ensure that Komnas HAM will also monitor the status and progress of the recommendations made”.

Sandra concluded the evening by thanking guests and journalists for their time. (Jeff)

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