Govt Vows to Settle Papua Rights Abuses by End of 2016

The Indonesian government is optimistic about settling at least 12 cases of human rights abuses in the far eastern province of Papua by the end of this year, a senior minister said on Wednesday (18/05). (JG Photo/Rezza Estily)

By : Alin Almanar | on 6:11 PM May 19, 2016
Category : News, Featured, Human Rights

Jakarta. The Indonesian government is optimistic about settling at least 12 cases of human rights abuses in the far eastern province of Papua by the end of this year, a senior minister said on Wednesday (18/05).

The long-awaited resolution means members of the police and military will likely be implicated, but Chief Security Minister Luhut Panjaitan vowed that it would be conducted in a transparent manner.

"It doesn't matter who the perpetrators were. We'll reveal everything," Luhut said on Wednesday, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara. "If they are proven to have committed any wrongdoing, they'll be prosecuted."

Four of the cases will be settled by the Papua Police, while the rest will be resolved by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the Attorney General's Office.

Komnas HAM commissioner M. Imdadun Rahman said he hopes the resolution could be followed up by a long-term commitment to uphold human rights in Papua.

"It should also be able to ensure that abuses will not occur again," Imdadun said.

Meanwhile, Adriana Elisabeth of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) warned that it would take a long time before this commitment to become a reality.

"The government and Papuans should first seek agreement on what constitutes a dialog," Adriana told Jakarta Globe. "Only after that, they may work together on human rights issues."

Independence activists in Papua have been involved in a low-level insurgency for decades. They accuse the central government of neglecting  the resource-rich region with regard to human and infrastructure development since it became part of Indonesia in 1969.

The government has been using military force to suppress dissent in the restive province, leading to rampant human rights abuses.

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