Papuans want government to put end to violence

Papuans want government to put end to violence

Human Rights Working Group, 27 October 2010


Papua lawmakers insisted Tuesday that government take stern action against security personnel involved in a controversial video of alleged torture of Papuans by members of the Indonesian Military.

Papua legislative councilors Yan Mandenas and Ruben Magai said that Papuans fervently hope that the perpetrators be punished for their actions, and the matter not being treated lightly, to ensure violence against Papuans should be stopped.
Yan Mandenas said violence committed by security personnel against civilians in Papua had taken place too frequently due to light punishments given to perpetrators, sending the message that taking the life of a civilian could be a normal matter.

In the past two months, four civilians in Papua and West Papua have been shot and killed in clashes with security personnel. They included Naftali Kwan and Septinus Kwan, who were shot and killed by Police Mobile Brigade personnel in Manokwari on Sept. 16; Ismail Lokobal, who was also shot and killed by Mobile Brigade personnel in a clash in Wamena on Oct. 4; and Timika resident Frans Jeuyanan, who was shot and killed in a clash with TNI personnel on Oct. 18.

Yan said violence by security personnel, which was prevalent, should have made TNI and police leaders evaluate personnel more carefully.

“Their presence in Papua has not curbed violence but they have become the perpetrators instead,” said Yan.

Videos showing two Papuan men being tortured by two men wearing camouflage military uniforms have been circulating on the Internet.

According to the sound track of video transcripts, the incident occurred in Puncak Jaya regency.

The footage has drawn international attention and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered a “thorough investigation” into the video, which a senior minister confirmed was a genuine record of events taking place in Papua.

Ruben Magai said violence committed by TNI and police members in Papua has hurt the feelings of Papuans and fomented hatred against the Indonesia, confirming some antipathy by local people.

Since Papua’s integration with the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia, cases of human rights violation have continued to increase and none of them has been legally resolved, he said.

“If the cases are stacked high, they might reach the sky, but they have never been settled but have been overlooked instead,” said Magai.