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The right to Freedom of Expression is getting worse in W Papua

April 9, 2014

Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of LP3BH: 31 March 2014

The Institute for the Investigation, Study and Development of Human
Rights LP3BH-Manokwari wishes to declare its support for the statement
made by the Commission Against Violence and for the Disappeared that
the government of the Republic of Indonesia has for the last ten years
(2005 – 2014) been clamping down on the right to freedom of
expression in the Land of Papua.

There has also been an increase in the number of political
prisoners (tapol). There are now more than seventy tapols spread
across West Papua who are incarcerated in prisons in Jayapura, Biak,
Wamena, Merauke and Nabire.

This is despite the fact that the Indonesian government should
abide by Indonesian laws such as the law on human rights Law 39/1999
and the law on human rights courts Law 26/2000.

Moreover, Indonesia has also ratified several UN conventions
regarding human rights. Yet even so, there has been no end to the
violation of human rights in West Papua, a situation that has
continued to intensify in 2014.

It is more than ever important for President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono to commit himself to improving the human rights situation in
West Papua.

In my opinion, however, commitment alone it not enough. The
President should also instruct his personnel across West Papua to
take action to improve the human rights situation in the Land of Papua
by conducting investigations of grave human rights violations and
crimes against humanity which are occurring everywhere in West Papua.
These investigations should be undertaken by Komnas HAM, the National
Human Rights Commission.

In my opinion, this should involve civil society organisations
which uphold the principle of the rule of law such as Kontras,
Imparsial and Elsham.

There has been growing international concern regarding these
matters, as is evident by the speech delivered on 4 March this year by
the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Caracasses Kalosil at the session
of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. In my opinion, the
government led by President of Indonesia should respond to all this
wisely and realistically.

This would greatly enhance the reputation of Indonesia in the
opinion of the international community and also ensure that the Papuan
people, in particular the indigenous Papua people, would have greater
confidence in the integrity of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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