After 23 years Simpang KKA victims still wait for justice – Past serious human rights violations remain unsolved

The Communication Forum for Victims and Families of Victims of the Simpang KKA Tragedy (FK3T-SP.KKA), supported by Persatuan Pemuda Simpang KAA (the Simpang KKA Youth Association) and Lembaga El Mansur Peduli (the El Mansur Care Institute) commemorated the 23rd anniversary of the Simpang KKA (Junction KKA) Tragedy in Dewantara District, North Aceh Regency, Aceh Province on 3 May 2022. In addition to the grave pilgrimage of the martyrs of the Simpang KKA tragedy, they stood in silence at the Simpang KKA monument. A joint prayer was also held at the Ta’lim Assembly Hall in Simpang KKA Hamlet, Paloh Lada.

FK3T-SP.KKA’s Coordinator, Murtala, said this commemoration is essential to remind the public about the continued failure to fulfil justice for victims and families of victims. He said this condition left deep traumatic wounds on the victims and further strengthened the victims’ distrust of the government.

On 3 May 1999, dozens were killed when military personnel opened fire at a crossroads near the Kertas Kraft Aceh (KKA) pulp and paper mill, known widely as Simpang KKA, at Cot Morong village in Dewantara district in North Aceh. The incident was one of the worst killings during the brutal and decades-long Aceh conflict between the Indonesian government and the armed pro-independence movement, the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM). According to the North Aceh Human Rights Victims Community (K2HAU), 21 people were killed, while 156 were injured during the attack. Although the incident was recommended for prosecution by the 1999 Independent Commission for the Investigation on Violence in Aceh set up by former President Habibie, no one has been charged with the crimes.

Attorney General’s Office ignores Komnas HAM recommendations 

Until now, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has not formed an investigation team to follow up on Komnas HAM’s report to resolve cases of gross human rights violations under Law No. 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. In contrast, Komnas HAM completed its pro justisia investigation on 26 June 2016. Komnas HAM stated that there were allegations of gross human rights violations. Komnas HAM concluded that the bloody tragedy at the PT Kertas Kraft Aceh (KKA) intersection in 1999 was a human rights violation and asked the AGO to investigate further.

Komnas HAM’s conclusion

The Simpang KKA case occurred in Dewantara, North Aceh, on 3 May 1999. At that time, there was a demonstration by residents related to the persecution previously committed by the TNI on 30 April 1999. The Ad Hoc Komnas HAM team stated that crimes against humanity had occurred in the incident, namely:

a. Murder

Civilians who became victims of murder due to the actions of TNI officers at Simpang KKA were at least twenty-three people as a result of the shooting.

b. Persecution (Persecution)

Civilians who became victims of persecution due to actions taken by state apparatus that occurred at KKA Junction were recorded as at least thirty people.

Komnas HAM details the individuals/military commanders who can be held accountable, namely:

A.1 Policy-making commander

a. TNI at the time of the 1999 Simpang KKA incident

b. Pangdam I/Bukit Barisan at the time of the 1999 Simpang KKA incident.

A.2. Commanders who can control effectively (duty of control) over their subordinates

a. Danrem 011/Lilawangsa at the time of the 1999 Simpang KKA incident.

b. Dandim 0103 / North Aceh at the time of the 1999 Simpang KKA incident.

c. Commander of Infantry Battalion 113/JS at the time of the 1999 KKA Junction Incident.

d. Commander of Missile Arhanud Detachment 001/Pulo Rungkom at the time of the 1999 KKA Junction Incident.

e. Danramil Dewantara Kodim 0103/Aceh Utara

B. Individuals/Commanders/Members of Units Who Can Be Held Accountable as Field Actors

a. Members of Missile Arhanud Detachment 001/Pulo Rungkom

b. Members of Yonif 113/JS at the time of the incident.

The fate of victims after 23 years

Although the shooting tragedy of Simpang KKA residents has passed 23 years now, several victims of the heartbreaking tragedy claim not to have received any compensation, be it early reparations or other victims’ rights from the state. This was revealed by the Coordinator of the Communication Forum for Victims and Families of Victims of the Simpang KKA Tragedy (FK3T-SP KKA), Murtala, on 4 May 2022. Murtala is one of the victims of the KKA junction. At that time, he was unconscious for three days after being injured in the tragedy. Murtala hopes that President Jokowi can realise the resolution of cases of past gross human rights violations.

Until now, Murtala and other victims have not been able to forget the incident and are still traumatised. For this reason, he hopes the government will pay special attention to the victims. “While waiting for legal decisions, the government should have made early reparations to the victims. For example, mothers or families of victims whose economic status is below average can be assisted by the government through economic empowerment programs. Don’t wait until the witnesses and victims die,” said Murtala.

The Director of the El Mansur Peduli Institute said that the KKA Junction Tragedy cannot be forgotten. He hopes this incident will receive special attention from the Regency, Provincial and Central Governments. The Chairman of the Simpang KKA Youth Association, Saiful Ramadhan, said that as part of a young generation thirsty for truth, he strongly supports activities to commemorate the tragedy.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Simpang KKA (5.189842203153158, 96.95164096214543)
administrative region: Indonesia, Aceh Province, North Aceh Regency, Dewantara District
total number of victims: 21
period of incident: 03.05.1999
perpetrator: other security forces
perpetrator details: Yonif 113/Jaya Sakti
Issues: extra-judicial killings, ill-treatment, freedom of expression
Sources:$TKDGTY.pdf Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolation
1Karimuddin bin Yahyamaleunknownunknownexecution
1Wardani binti Tgk Ben Putehmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Sudirman bin M. Badruddinmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Yuni Afrita binti Abdullahfemaleunknownunknownexecution
1Yustina binti Abdul Muthalebfemaleunknownunknownexecution
1Murdani bin Jafarmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Nurmaniah binti Tgk Usmanfemaleunknownunknownexecution
1Saddam Husein bin Razali,maleunknownunknownexecution
1M. Nasir bin Tgk Buketmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Jamaluddin bin M. Adammaleunknownunknownexecution
1Muchlis bin Muslemmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Heri bin Ruslimaleunknownunknownexecution
1Ramli bin Zakariamaleunknownunknownexecution
1Zainal bin Yakubmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Hasanuddin bin Abdul Ganimaleunknownunknownexecution
1Mulyadi bin Rajabmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Murthala bin Tgk Ben Cutmaleunknownunknownexecution
1A. Majid bin Umarmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Khalid bin Syama’unmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Razali bin Hanafiahmaleunknownunknownexecution
1Yuni bin Daudfemaleunknownunknownexecution