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Police use snake to interrogate Papuan, apologise for ‘racist’ torture

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A still from a video showing Indonesian police interrogating a man suspected of theft in Wamena, Papua. -Youtube

Papua, Jubi – Indonesian police have apologised for wrapping a snake around an indigenous Papuan they suspected of theft, reports The Jakarta Post.

A video of the incident, which took place while the police were interrogating the suspect, has been circulating on social media.

The officers involved in the incident are currently being investigated for ethical violations, said police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal.

“We apologise for that incident,” he said in a statement on Friday quoted by kompas.com.

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Jannus P. Siregar, who heads the Papua Police’s internal affairs division (Propam), said the officers were using the snake to intimidate the suspect so that he would confess to the crime.

The incident reportedly took place in Wamena, Jayawijaya.

Jayawijaya Police chief Adjutant Senior Commander Tonny Ananda Swadaya promised that his men would work professionally.

Netizen criticism

“We have taken action against the officers who did the misconduct. We are moving them to other places,” he said.

The video has sparked criticism from netizens.

Human rights lawyer Veronika Koman wrote on her Twitter account @VeronikaKoman that the suspect should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise and should not be tortured to force an admission to a crime, regardless of whether the charges leveled against him were true.

“Given the context of the persecution in Papua, this torture has features of racism,” she wrote.

Some locals, however, appeared to support the police’s actions.

Hengki Heselo, a leader in Jayawijaya regency, said the community supported the police’s stern measures to curb crime, including the use of snakes to threaten suspected criminals.

“We have felt the effects of recent police actions. The number of drunk people who carry machetes is decreasing,” he said quoted by kompas.com. (*)

 

Source: pmc.aut.ac.nz

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Papuans need Government to solve problems, not an offer in cabinet

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Illustration of indigenous Papuans. – Jubi/Arjuna

Jayapura, Jubi – Laurenzus Kadepa, Papua parliament member from Politics, Legal and Human Rights Division, said Papuan peoples do not need an offer in the presidential cabinet of Joko Widodo for the period of 2019-2024. What they urgently need at the moment, he further said, is the state’s attention to solve problems in Papua (Jayapura, 16/10/2019).

Moreover, he points out that although during the last few periods of the central administration, Papuans had always “allotted” the ministerial position, problems and difficulties in Papua has never resolved. He takes a series of examples of human rights violations cases that continuously occurred in Papua.

“It seems a demand of Papuan peoples for the State paying attention to many problems in Papua would divert by the granting of ministerial position to some Papuans,” said Kadepa.

According to him, in the first period of his administration, President Widodo had mentioned his intention to solve various issues in Papua, including some cases of human rights violations. But, up to now, none of these cases is settled.

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“It seems there is no effort to settle these cases,” he said.

Furthermore, he highlights the statement of President Widodo, claiming his readiness to have a dialogue with a Papuan pro-independence group, but he believes it was not a thing.

“If the central government seriously pay attention to this issue, it should be done for a long time ago. But it has never been materialised. It seems the statement for dialogue (by the president) only at a certain moment. For instance, during a conflict in Papua or the political year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Weinan Watori from the Papua Customary Council said people in Papua would like to be treated fairly and equally rather than offering a position of a minister.

“If we want to build peace, peoples in Jakarta should build a peaceful mind among them first instead of asking Papuans to do that,” said Watori.

According to him, if talking about peace, the central government must consistently conduct every mandate of the Law No. 21 of 2001 about the Special Autonomy for Papua. He said people in Papua has tried to exercise this mandated law, but the central government always declared the implementation of the law is against other legislations.

“So, please stick to this law (Special Autonomy Law) first. For instance, to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR). We should consistently execute the law and regulation we made. It says that we are the state of law, so why don’t we execute it for that reason?” questioned him. (*)

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Individuals might take advantage of current situation in Papua for own interests to meet President Widodo

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Papua parliament member from the Democratic fraction, Emus Gwijangge. – Jubi/Arjuna

Jayapura, Jubi – Emus Gwijangge, Papua parliament member from the Democratic fraction, appeals to any individuals or groups to not exploit the current situation in Papua for their personal or group interests.

He said this to pointing some recent group meetings with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. The first group, he mentioned, met the president and then proposed some requests, while another group claimed Papuan youth representatives met some state officials. And the most recently some officials of the Indonesian community group in Papua met President Widodo and asked the president to divide the region of Papua into seven indigenous territories in both Papua and Papua Barat provinces.

“Everyone has a right to meet the president. But please do not act on behalf of indigenous Papuans while requesting something to the president,” Gwijangge told Jubi on Wednesday (16/10/2019).

According to him, indigenous Papuans never ask for a title, new regional split or anything else. What they want is the central government sit together with them in a forum facilitated by the third parties addressing some issues that occurred in Papua.

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“What indigenous peoples want is a historical correction as well as the settlement of many cases of human rights violations in Papua. Therefore, the Melanesian race no needs to continue our contention against the central government. We shouldn’t go to Jakarta for asking so many random requests,” he said.

Moreover, he hopes President Widodo and other state officials should carefully accept the proposed meeting by any groups from Papua who claimed to represent indigenous peoples.

He said if the president and state officials want to meet indigenous Papuans, they must invite the indigenous representatives. Also, the provincial government officials, local parliament and Papua’s People Assembly members and religious leaders are there to consider.

“The sort of this representation would guarantee that the aspirations delivered to the president are coming from the indigenous Papuans. It would contribute to the future of our grandchildren for they would not be engaged in the same problems and continuously become victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Taufan Damanik, the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, said Komnas HAM has repeatedly advised President Jokowi to come to Papua for a dialogue. The president is suggested meeting people and any relevant stakeholders to solve problems in Papua.

However, he said, the president has contrary invited other groups, who claimed themselves as Papuan leaders, to Jakarta.

“Inviting a group of people from Papua to Jakarta is not what we meant, but the president himself needs to come to Papua,” said Ahmad Taufan. (*)

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Discrimination handling refugees hurts Papuans

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Papuan students studying in Java Island in a protest demanding justice for committed violence by the Indonesian military against civilians in Ndugama, Papua – Jubi/AMP Documentation

Jayapura, Jubi – The way government handling the humanitarian conflict in Papua has become a spotlight. Many people think the government are being discriminative in handling Nduga refugees compared to refugees from Wamena.

A native Ndugama Resina Lokbere said that she is discouraged seeing how the government differently treated refugees from both areas. “I see a huge difference approach here. Although the government always declare our national motto ‘unity in diversity’, but I have not seen this applied in Papua. A conflict in Nduga has occurred since 1 December 2018. Since then, Nduga residents must leave their villages and flee to other regions and the jungle to avoid a military operation,” she said.

Moreover, she said if the government are a concern in settling the humanitarian conflict in Papua, they should treat people fairly. The government should treat people equally, regardless of indigenous Papuans or non-Papuans.

“Thousands of youth and children drop out of school, and now they are living under poor health condition. There is economic loses as well. Who knows whether they will be survived or dead after a few months of suffering without enough food and water? I don’t know. Only God is the witness of their suffering,” said Resina whose relatives refuge from Nduga.

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In her view, the way the government handling the issue of refugees can create a barrier in society. She thinks the government has indirectly built a wall between one community to others.

“The government should not perceive conflicts in Nduga and Wamena merely from a political view but also a humanitarian aspect. They are all your people. They need you. They need your action, not your promises on the public stage,” she said.

Meanwhile, a local parliament member Laurenzus Kadepa also think the government has shown different response in handling refugees due to conflicts occurred in Nduga and Wamena.

According to him, he observed that the victims of conflict in Wamena were promptly evacuated or accommodated with adequate facilities. They had enough food and other basic needs during the evacuation. It was opposite to what had happened to Nduga residents. They had to walk for days from their villages to Wamena and other regions.

“While there was a lack of access to food aid distribution for Nduga residents, it didn’t happen for Wamena refugees. They had planes to transport them, shelter and enough food,” he said.

Seeing what has been happening lately in Papua, the relevant stakeholders in Papua and the central government should immediately think a solution to end this current complicated situation. (*)

Reporter: Agus Pabika

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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