Attorney General rejects the Paniai Case files again for further processing

In late May 2020, the Attorney General returned the case files of the Panai Case of 2014 again. Komnas HAM had submitted a reviewed version of the investigation dossier on 14 April 2020 to be processed by a human rights court. According to the Attorney General, Komnas HAM failed to follow instructions to meet all requirements for further processing the case. Multiple NGOs in Indonesia criticised that the Attorney General was not willing to prosecute past gross human rights violations and was blocking the prosecution process. They called on President Joko Widodo to act as a mediator between both government institutions to avoid further delays in the prosecution process.

On 11 February 2020, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) submitted the Paniai case files for the first time to the Attorney General who returned the investigation dossier to Komnas HAM on 19 March 2020. He claimed that the dossier failed to meet the material and formal requirements for an investigation into a gross human rights violation.

This justification for the return of case files was already given on 27 November 2018, when the Attorney General’s Office returned nine case files for similar reasons. Among those cases are two serious human rights violations that took place in Wamena on 4 April 2003 and in Wasior on 13 June 2001. Since 2002, the case files of multiple past gross human rights violations have been passed back and forth between KOMNAS HAM and the Attorney General’s Office without any progress. None of the cases have been brought to a human rights court and the perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity, many of them holding important positions in the Indonesian military and police.