Answer from the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning our letter about the Papua “torture video”

Answer from the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning our letter about the Papua “torture video”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asia and Oceania Department
Postbus 20061
2500 EB Den Haag
The Netherlands

Contact: D.C. van den Nieuwenhof

our ref. : DAO-438/10
date: 2 November 2010

Concerning: Your letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding human rights violations in Papua

Dear mister De Jager,

Many thanks for your letter from last October 21st to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It has been presented to the Asia and Oceania Department in order to answer it properly.

In your letter you express your concern about the recent video footage, in which the torture of Papuans by the Indonesian military can be seen. You request the Minister to discuss this matter with the Indonesian authorities.

The Dutch government has taken notice of the video footage with great concern. The Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marty Natalegawa, has already indicated that an immediate investigation will be conducted to the images shown. According to the preliminary results there is indeed a question of torture by the military of the Indonesian army. The Minister has acknowledged that the soldiers involved will be punished and that impunity is out of the question. Promises were made to share the final results of the investigation with The Netherlands.

The Netherlands will continue to stay in close contact with the Indonesian authorities. If new and relevant information is revealed, I will inform you about this.

With kind regards,

Mr. K.J. Hartogh
Managing Director Asia and Oceania

To: The Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dr. U. Rosenthal
Postbus 20061


Open letter
Concerns Foreign policy Indonesia

Dear Mr. Rosenthal

Recently the world took notice of the cruel video* exposures in which Papuan People were tortured by Indonesian security forces.

This video, shown on YouTube, has been removed by the provider, according to a message in The Jakarta Post because of its "shocking and disgusting content."

In this connection we refer to a recording of the torture of Yawen Wayeni from Yapen. The Dutch dailies “Nederlands Dagblad” and “NRC-Handelsblad” made reports about that incident on August 4th this year.

Up till now “Human Rights” has been a spearhead of our foreign policy. Since the new Government has been installed recently, with you as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, we hope that we can take it for granted that there will be a continuation of that policy.

Many times your Ministry gave us the warranty that we could be assured that the Netherlands “would follow the situation in Papua very carefully and that the Netherlands would like to stay in dialogue with the Indonesian authorities on these matters at all times”.

Looking at the seriousness of these, structural human rights abuses we have come to the conclusion that “following the situation carefully” no longer suffices.

Looking at the flagrant human rights abuses as shown on the video recordings, we would like to ask you to urge the Indonesian authorities for an independent research into those events. We would also like you to ask severe punishment for those responsible for the torture of these men.

We would very much appreciate it when you could inform us if, and in what way, you are willing to act in this matter towards the Indonesian authorities.

With kind regards.
Foundation Pro Papua
Koen J. de Jager