Leading Indonesian public figures Wednesday petitioned the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia to permit a case against the Myanmar junta. The application claims that the junta must be tried for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide against Myanmar’s Muslim population.
The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia speaks of human rights abuses universally. However, Article 5 of Law 26, 2000 places a restriction and specifies that trials for human rights violations can only take place if an Indonesian national commits the crime. Thus, the petition seeks to change this clause and extend protection to the citizens of Myanmar. According to petitioner and former Attorney General of Indonesia Marzuki Darusman, “the Indonesian constitution makes it clear that everyone has the right to equal treatment before the law.” Darusman believes that the change would expand the scope of protections and allow the junta to be tried in Indonesian Court.
Over two thousand people have died since Myanmar’s coup in February 2021, 15,000 people have disappeared or been arrested and 1.2 million are displaced. Myanmar has its own court system, but petitioners believe the courts are now a ‘politicised tool’ for the Junta. Because the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have delayed their cases against the junta, Wednesday’s application may lead to the first universal jurisdiction case against the Myanmar military.