Bambang Widjojanto

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Bambang Widjojanto
Born (1959-08-18) 18 August 1959 (age 58)
Nationality Indonesian
Known for Human rights work

Bambang Widjojanto (born 18 October 1959) is an Indonesian human rights activist. He is the co-founder of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation and a "leading advocate for the rights of the indigenous peoples of West Papua".[1] According to the New York Times, his work for indigenous peoples made him "the target of repeated threats and detentions by the Indonesian government".[2]

Early life[edit]

Bambang was born in Jakarta on 18 October 1959. He did his undergraduate degree at Jayabaya University, then became a lawyer. By 1986 he was active with legal aid foundations throughout the country. Together with Munir Said Thalib he helped establish the human rights organisation KontraS; Wijojanto was also involved with the establishment of the Consortium for National Law Reform and the Indonesian Corruption Watch.[3]

Human rights work[edit]

In 1993, he won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Following the award, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights formed a team of legal experts to assist Bambang in his work.[1]

In 1996, he succeeded Adnan Buyung Nasution as the head of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum), a "central organisation within the pro-democracy movement". Bambang's replacement of Nasution caused a schism within the group, and several activists left to form the rival Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association.[4] The following year, he defended Muchtar Pakpahan, a labour union leader arrested by the government of President Suharto. The government then attempted to pressure Bambang to testify against his client.[5]

Bambang received a master's degree in law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In 2005 he graduated from Padjadjaran University in Bandung with a master's degree in business law; this was followed by a doctorate from the same university in 2009. During this period he was on several special commissions, working with the Supreme Court of Indonesia and the prosecutor general's office.[3]

Corruption Eradication Commission candidacies[edit]

In 2010, Bambang was one of two finalists to head Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), along with Muhammad Busyro Muqoddas.[6] Busyro was eventually selected for the position, though President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono offered Bambang a "consolation post" heading the Attorney General's Office Commission to reform the National Police as well as the Attorney General's Office.[7] Bambang ran again for the office the following year;[8] he was one of eight candidates for the position. Bambang argued that corruption in the country would most easily be eradicated through preemptive efforts, including not allowing the state or its employees to do cash transactions over Rp 10 million.[9]

Though Bambang was considered the favourite, the House of Representatives ultimately selected Abraham Samad over both Bambang and the incumbent Busyro. Anti-corruption activists expressed disappointment in the decision, stating that Abraham had been selected to please political parties rather than to combat graft.[10] Bambang was still appointed to the Commission, however, and made its Deputy Chief.[11]


  1. ^ a b "1993: Bambang Widjojanto, Indonesia". Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Arthur Higbee (8 October 1993). "Asian Topics : Around Asia". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Bambang Widjojanto" (in Indonesian). Corruption Eradication Commission. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Uhlin, Anders (1997). Indonesia and the "Third Wave of Democratization": The Indonesian Pro-Democracy Movement in a Changing World. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 100. ISBN 978-0312173838. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Indonesia's Cynical Crackdown". The New York Times. 21 January 1997. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Peter Alford (28 August 2010). "Two left in race for anti-graft job". The Australian. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "SBY offers consolation post to Bambang Widjojanto". The Jakarta Post. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Jakarta Post (20 June 2011). "Noted activist gives KPK chair a second shot". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Liu, Hindra (24 October 2011). "Ini Resep Basmi Korupsi Ala Bambang Widjojanto" [This is Bambang Widjojanto's Recipe for Eradicating Corruption]. Kompas (in Indonesian). Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "House's KPK picks 'politically motivated'". The Jakarta Post. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "KPK to assist AGO's investigation in alleged Chevron graft case". The Jakarta Post. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.