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Statement by Executive Director of the LP3BH

December 12, 2013

It is now the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights but there have been continual violations of human rights in West Papua ever since 1 May 1963, that is to say during the past fifty years, all the time from then until now.

Their basic political rights have been violated in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The political situation following the Second World War and the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union resulted in the people of West Papua losing their right to self-determination. This is a matter that requires proper study and analysis which would lead to a much better relationship between the Indonesian Government and the Papuan people.

Ever since 1963 and indeed even before then, in 1961 and 1962, many acts of violence were perpetrated in the Land of Papua. This situation led to the adoption of Law No 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights and Law No 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.

Here are some examples of grave violations: The summary execution of 53 Papuan civilians who were killed without any legal process on 28 July 1969 at the headquarters of Infantry Brigade 752 Arfai-Manokwari , an incident that was never investigated by the National Human Rights Commission – KOMNAS HAM, into the role of the Indonesian Army (TNI) in this incident.

Another case of summary executions by the TNI occurred when the bodies of thirty Papuan civilians were buried at a location near SP XI Manokwari , also allegedly the work of the TNI. This case too was never investigated by KOMNAS HAM.

A large number of violations were perpetrated by forces of the TNI and the Indonesian police on 6 July 1998 near the Water Tower at Burokub in Biak , as well as other killings which could be considered as being genocidal which occurred in 1978 in the Highlands of Papua as well as forced disappearances in 1978. None of these incidents were investigated by KOMNAS HAM, the body set up to deal with such matters.

There were many killings, rapes, summary executions and forced disappearances in July and August 1969 and in a number of cities such as Merauke, Wamena, Nabire, Fakfak, Sorong, Manokwari, Biak and Jayapura, in the months leading up to the Act of Free Choice in 1969, all of which involved either the TNI or the Indonesian police who were on active service in Papua during those months.

It is highly regrettable that until this day, neither the Indonesian Government nor the security forces have acknowledged these incidents or apologised for the human rights violations that have been occurring during the past fifty years in the Land of Papua, which have resulted in so many victims among the civilian population.

The LP3BH calls on the Indonesian Government now led by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to set up a Commission for Human Rights as provided for in Article 45 of Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua as amended by Law 35/2008 to deal comprehensively with all the human rights that have been perpetrated during the past fifty years in the Land of Papua.

Moreover, the structural abuse of the rights of the Papuan people is under way with the intention to set up governments of the provinces of Papua and West Papua in violation of articles 77 and 78 of the Special Autonomy Law , disregarding the rights of the indigenous Papuan people as citizens of the Republic of Indonesia.


Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of the LP3BH

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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