Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) is a non-profit organization, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, whose aim is to contribute to the strengthening of human rights and the alleviation of entrenched impunity in the Asia-Pacific region. Its work focuses on countries involved in transition from a context of mass human rights violations to democracy, where it strives to build cultures based on accountability, justice and a willingness to learn from the root causes of mass human rights violations to help prevent the recurrence of state-sanctioned human rights violations.
AJAR believes that the governments and civil society in Asia who recognize that combating impunity and building strong mechanisms to achieve accountability and respect for victims are essential foundations for peace and prosperity. In this context, Asian countries will be recognized internationally as leading the way in courageously and honestly confronting past violations, using this process to construct new societies based on universal principles of human rights
AJAR’s mission is to increase the capacity of local and national actors, particularly victim’s organizations, in the fight against entrenched impunity, and contribute to building cultures based on accountability, justice and a willingness to learn from the root causes of mass human rights violations in Asia.
Patrick Burgess, President
Patrick Burgess is an international human rights expert and co-founder and President of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR). He is an Australian barrister who has lived and worked full-time in Asia full time for 20 years. Patrick’s previous positions include Senior Member and Acting Principal Member (head) of the Australian Refugee Tribunal, Director of Human Rights for two UN peacekeeping missions to Timor-Leste, Commissioner of the Timor-Leste Judicial Commission, three years as Principal Legal Counsel to the Timor-Leste Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR), and five years as Asia Director for the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ).
Patrick was Team Leader for CARE Australia’s program in the Zairean refugee camps immediately following the genocide in Rwanda, and led complex humanitarian emergency programs in DRC, Uganda, Yemen, and Indonesia. He has worked on peace and post-conflict programs in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi. He was a member of the UN Panel of Experts responsible for drafting the UN Model Criminal Code and the recent UN Model Law on Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems. Patrick has been responsible for creating highly popular ‘rights-based drama’ edutainment TV series in Myanmar and Timor-Leste viewed by over 8 million people. He is a recognised international expert and trainer on post-conflict issues, transitional justice, prevention of violent extremism, legal aid, and human rights.
Galuh Wandita, Director
Galuh Wandita began working on peace and conflict issues in 1996. Together with a group of East Timorese, she founded a women’s organization, Fokupers in Dili. She was a humanitarian worker with Oxfam during the 1999 referendum in East Timor, and later on joined the UN’s Human Rights Unit. In 2002-2005 she was appointed Deputy Director of Timor-Leste’s truth commission (CAVR.) Together with CAVR’s executive director and senior staff, she designed and managed the fieldwork conducted by the CAVR district teams, and supervised the commission’s work on truth-seeking and victim support. Later on, she drafted key chapters in Timor-Leste’s truth commission report, “Chega!” (2005). She returned to Indonesia, as a Senior Associate for the International Center for Transitional Justice, working on accountability in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. In 2012, she co-founded Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and continues to lead the organization as its Director. In 2014, she was a co-convener and member of a “citizens’ council” working with a coalition of 50 NGOs across Indonesia in a civil society-led truth-seeking process.
Jose Luis de Oliveira, Director, Timor-Leste
A senior civil society leader, Jose Luis was a founding member of two key human rights organizations, HAK Association and (1996) and Fokupers (1997) during the turbulent years leading to East Timor’s referendum in 1999. He coordinated the humanitarian response to provide emergency assistance to internally displaced communities in 1999. Jose Luis held key positions during the transition towards independence, including as a member of the Working Group for Voters’ Education and the Steering Committee on Civic Education. He was appointed as a member of the National Election Commission (2004-2005) supervising the village head elections, and the National Board for Broadcasting (2008-2010.) In 2011, Jose Luis was elected as executive secretary for the National Victims’ Association. He also served as an advisor to the International Center for Transitional Justice’s program in Timor-Leste.
Laetitia Bonnet, Adviser, Myanmar
Laetitia is an international human rights lawyer specialised on victims’ rights. She has worked with victims of mass atrocities for almost 10 years, including under the International Justice program of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). In her previous position at the International Criminal Court (ICC), she worked as a Legal Officer in the Victims’ Participation and Reparation Section (VPRS), where she was in charge of the situations in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR). She spent 2 years in Bangui, CAR, engaging with victims of past conflicts to assist them in obtaining legal representation at the ICC and submit requests for reparation. After leaving the ICC, Laetitia spent time in Colombia providing technical support and learning from a civil society-led Women’s Truth Commission, organised by La Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres.
Dodi Yuniar, Program Manager, Indonesia
Dodi Yuniar is a communications specialist and community educator. He has focused in conducting participatory action research at grass-root level and producing community-based media to voicing social justice, including in promoting the rights to truth for victims of human rights violations. He was the head of the community-media unit in the Foundation for Peoples Education (YPRI), Editor-in-Chief for the Indonesian Society for Social Transformation (INSIST) publications, and public information specialist for the International Center of Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in Indonesia, He has produce manuals, short films, and child-friendly publications for East Timor’s truth commission report (Chega!) and the women submission to the Solomon Island’s truth commission.
Atikah Nuraini, Institutional Learning
A human rights educator and practitioner with more than 13 years at the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Atikah is skilled in training design and evaluation using participatory approach. She has facilitated various human rights training for lawyers, NGO activists, government officials, school teachers, grassroots communities and religious leaders in Indonesia and overseas. Atikah’s expertise include documentation of human rights violations using database applications. She graduated from the Masters Program of Library, Archives, and Information Science at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia (1999), and holds a Graduate Diploma on Information Studies at McGill University, Canada (2000), and B.A on Historical Studies from University of Indonesia (1995) with specialty on History of Social Economy.
Indria Fernida Alphasonny, Regional Program Coordinator
She is a human rights lawyer who works as the Regional Program Coordinator of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR). An advocate for human rights and state accountability in Indonesia and Asia for more than 15 years, her professional human rights skills include issues of international human rights law, transitional justice and security sector reform. She was Deputy Coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), an Indonesian NGO, from 2006-2012, joining the organization since 1999. She obtained a B.A in Law from the University of Parahyangan, Indonesia and further graduated as Master of Philosophy in Theory and Practice of Human Rights at the University of Oslo, Norway. She received a Chevening Fellowship from the UK FCO on Reforming Security Sector in Countries Emerging from Conflict at the University of Bradford and Fellowship from Department of State, USA as International Visitor Leadership Program of ASEAN Human Rights Monitoring and Protection, East Asia and Pacific Regional Project.