(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): There should be no cover-up of the mass gang-rapes of women and children during the brutal mid-May riots in Indonesia as the world will be watching and judging how Indonesia redeems its national honour, integrity and international reputation from a dark and shameful chapter of her nationhood.
This is why the regional and international civil society find very troubling the threat by Indonesia's police chief, Lieutenant-General Roesmanhadi on Monday that non-governmental organisations could be charged for spreading rumours and called for proof to support allegations of the rapes of some 150 ethnic Chinese women in Jakarta and other cities during the riots in which about 1,200 people were killed.
Marzuki Darusman, the vice chairman of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission who heads the team investigating into the mass gang rapes, yesterday responded by declaring that the rape allegations were true. "If you ask me whether there were rapes, I would say yes. Some members of my team have visited the victims," he said.
Darusman said Roesmanhadi's statement was unfortunate because it could harm the investigation as some victims who had agreed to testify had since changed their minds, fearing intimidation.
There should be no undue delay but a speedy completion of the investigations and the Malaysian Government should add its voice to the international demand for an early end to the investigations and that drastic action should be taken by the Indonesian Government against the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity in taking part in the mass gang rape of women and children in Indonesia in May.