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Govt shrugs off Komnas HAMâ??s reports of alleged Papua abuses

Sumber: THEJAKARTAPOST.COM | Tgl terbit: Rabu, 09 November 2011

The government is playing down reports made by the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) that the police and the military may have committed human rights violations when they dispersed a Papuan congress last month, allegedly leading to the deaths of at least three Papuans.

President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono was aware of the commissionâ??s finding but had yet to issue a formal statement on it, presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

â??In principle, we have dealt with the Papua issue properly,â? he said, adding that the police were justified in forcibly dispersing the Third Papuan Peopleâ??s Congress in Abepura when it found that it was an act of treason.

Speaking at the State Palace on Tuesday, Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto slammed Komnas HAM and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) for blaming the state and overlooking the fact that police and military officers have also been killed in Papua.

â??Where were Komnas HAM and Kontras when TNI and police [officers] were being shot [in Papua]? The [report] should be balanced,â? the minister said.

Komnas HAM deputy chairman Ridha Saleh told the Post he objected to Djokoâ??s statement, calling it â??subjectiveâ? and â??out of contextâ?.

He argued that the commission was assigned by law to monitor violence perpetrated by the state against civilians, not the other way around. â??Pak Djoko should not make such comments,â? he said.

The commission said that the security forces might have violated the rights to life, freedom from torture and sense of security of the Papuans participating in the congress. The violations included the extra-judicial killing of three Papuans who were found dead after the congress and the alleged torture of 96 congress participants in detention after they were arrested.

Damage to cars, motorcycles and mobile phones has been deemed a violations of the right to be free from deprivation, Ridha told the Post.

The commission said it would submit its findings to the President, Minister Djoko, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo and TNI chief Adm. Agus Suhartono.

â??Weâ??re asking the President to quickly open dialogue with the people of Papua, and also to evaluate its security and military approaches and troop deployment policy,â? Ridha said.

Indonesia has long been under international scrutiny for how it handled the problems in Papua â?? one of the poorest regions in the country despite being the worldâ??s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine.

Amnesty International has called on the Indonesian authorities to initiate an independent, thorough and effective investigation into the commissionâ??s findings.

â??If the investigations find that the security forces committed unlawful killings or torture or other kinds of ill-treatment, then those responsible â?? including persons with command responsibility â?? must be prosecuted in proceedings that meet international standards of fairness, and victims should be provided with reparations,â? it said in a statement. (rpt)

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