Lawyer calls for 'inventory of all human rights abuses in Papua

Bintang Papua


The fact that many human rights violations which, according to the indigenous Papuan people, have occurred but have never been resolved, has drawn a comment from Budi Setyanto, a lawyer who is the director of the Institute for Civil Strengthening.

Describing this as a very serious matter, Setyanto said this was an extremely serious matter for the central and local governments and it should engage the government's earnest attention while the results should be made public.

What was needed, he said, was an inventory of all the cases that had occurred, those which had been solved through the courts and how they had been solved, as well as those that had not been resolved. And regarding those that had been solved, it should be clear which had been solved through the courts and those that had been solved by negotiation.

He said that according to the Papuan people, there were many cases that had never been properly solved.

'This matter needs to be resolved by the government which should make an inventory of all the cases that have occurred so that the general public is aware of the many cases that have not be resolved.'

In a statement to Bintang Papua, Setyanto said that this would show people just how many human rights violations had occurred.'

He said in addition that producing an inventory of all the cases would certainly find a response from the general public and a willingness to provide further information to the government, and more specifically to Komnas HAM (the national and well as the local Komnas HAM).

He also said that the Papuan provincial governors and their deputies as well as the provincial administrations should also be drawn into the work, and should set up a special team to draw up a comprehensive list of all the violations that have occurred. 'This is a matter, he said, 'that needs the full attention of the government and should not be dealt with in a half-hearted way.'

'If these human rights violations are not resolved comprehensively,' he said, 'the general public will consider this as being a very serious matter and will result in this problem triggering many demands from the people.. What is needed,' he said, 'is close collaboration between the government and the institutions responsible for the rule of law, as well as Komnas HAM.' so as to assure people that these matters are being taken seriously by the government.'

'At present, all we can say is that there have been many human rights abuses in Papua but we need reliable data about how many violations have occurred and the category of the abuses so that people can know what human rights restrictions exist, how the abuses have been handled and how they have been resolved.'

Translated by TAPOL]

[COMMENT by Tapol: We should remember that Komnas HAM has just spent four years doing a similar inventory of the massive human rights abuses perpetrated against alleged PKI members and sympathisers during the more than thirty years that Suharto was in power.That was a daunting and as yet unfinished task, and to do a similar 'inventory' in West Papua would be equally crucial as well as daunting.]