Remembering Rumoh Geudong, Raising Hope for Truth and Justice in Pidie-Aceh, Indonesia
Pidie, Aceh, Indonesia, 3 March 2020 – In recognition of the International Day for the Right to Truth and Dignity of Victims (commemorated annually on 24 March), PASKA Aceh, Mukim Aron Pidie, and Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) held a vigil to remember the atrocities that took place at Rumoh Geudong, Bili Aron Village, Pidie, Aceh.
Starting in 2017, survivors and civil society have taken steps to preserve the stories from survivors and demand justice for the violations they endured. This event is to remember and recognize the contribution of the people of Aceh, many from Pidie, who suffered humiliation and loss. The survivors are calling on the State not to bury the truth about what happened during the conflict period.
The Rumoh Geudong Monument, inaugurated on 12 July 2018, is located in the front of the former detention center, in operation during the conflict The monument is a first step in transforming the former torture centre into a public memorial to teach younger generations not to repeat the past.
Galuh Wandita, Director of Asia Justice and Rights said, “Rumoh Geudong has been a silent witness to past atrocities in Aceh. Now, based on the vision of the survivors, this site of torture has transformed to become a place where people can remember and learn about human rights, and the cost of impunity. We remember as way to ignite hope for justice and work with survivors to rebuild their lives after conflict.”
Human rights defender, Azriana Manalu, welcomed this continued effort to recognize the plight of survivors. She reflected, “The memorialisation process has gained growing support from the Aceh government and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR Aceh.) We must continue to push both the Aceh and national governments to take concrete steps in resolving cases of human rights violations in Aceh, most importantly for victims of torture.”
The event also featured a video screening, public lecture, prayers and a photo exhibition showing the resilience of survivors. PASKA Aceh also organized a local market, showcasing creative products from survivors.
The State must do more to affirm its commitment to end impunity for human rights violations and bring justice for the victims. Concrete steps must be taken to acknowledge the sacrifice made by survivors of human rights violations, and to promise them that these violations will never take place again. Truth and justice are the sturdy foundation to build a better future.
For more information:
Galuh Wandita, Director, Asia Justice and Rights – firstname.lastname@example.org / +6281382761997
Dodi Yuniar, Program Manager – Indonesia, Asia Justice and Rights – email@example.com / +62818267531