Petition filed in Indonesia to prosecute the Myanmar junta for atrocities
Jakarta, Sep 7 (EFE).- A group of public figures in Indonesia petitioned the constitutional court on Wednesday for permission to file a case against the Myanmar junta for suspected crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.
The unprecedented petition to prosecute Myanmar’s military in Indonesia is based on its law’s recognition of the principle of universal jurisdiction.
“The Indonesian constitution adheres to the principle of universal jurisdiction, which is why it speaks of the whole world and not all citizens,” lawyer Feri Amsari told EFE.
“All human rights laws should protect not only the citizens of the country, but the whole world,” Amsari said.
The petition will be examined by the constitutional court within the boundaries of Indonesian law.
The penal code of Indonesia restricts prosecution for human rights abuses committed outside of the country to Indonesian nationals exclusively.
The country’s penal code limits prosecution for human rights violations outside the national territory to Indonesian citizens only.
The legal team in charge of the petition said the article “violates the constitution” by not respecting the principle of universal jurisdiction established by the charter of justice that must prevail over other norms.
The signatories of the petition include lawyer and rights defender Marzuki Darusman, the head of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.
Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists has also backed the petition.
Sasmito Madrim, a member of the AIJ, said the Myanmar military executed activists and journalists.
Madrim expressed confidence that the petition will allow “any human rights violator in Myanmar or anywhere else in the world to be tried when (they) set foot in Indonesia.”
The signatories have recalled in a statement that the petition could lead to the first universal jurisdiction case against the Myanmar military in an Asean member state.
Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The regional bloc has been trying to mediate between pro-democracy leaders and the military junta that seized power in a coup on Feb.29, 2021.
The signatories have cited the execution of four democratic activists in July as an example of the atrocities committed by the junta.
They also mention that more than 2,000 people have died due to the military crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests after the coup that sparked a wave of an exodus from the troubled-country.
The turmoil has forced 1.2 million people out of their homes, triggering a humanitarian crisis with 14 million needing urgent aid.
It is the second petition against the military rulers outside Myanmar since the coup.
A similar criminal complaint was filed in Turkey in April.
The coup has thrown Myanmar into crisis, triggering large-scale protests and a nationwide civil disobedience movement.