Statement by the LP3BH on President Jokowi’s forecoming visit to the USA
Statement by the Executive-Director of the LP3BH
President Joko Widodo, the head of state of the Republic of
Indonesia, will be visiting the USA later this month. According to his
schedule, he will pay a visit to President Barack Obama in Washington
on 26th October.
As has been happening here in Indonesia, particularly in the Land
of Papua for the past fifty ears, the POLRI, (Indonesian Police Force)
and the TNI, (Army of Indonesia) continue to resort to violence,
committing grave human rights violations as specified in Articles 7, 8
and 9 of Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. Such operations are most
frequently directed against the Papuan people (OAP).
Recently, POLRI directed their operations against six monks of the
Catholic Church, which included aiming their weapons at a journalist
from Media Online Suara Papua, Abraham Youw, who was intending to
record this visit.
Such acts of violence will be a serious challenge for President
Barack Obama when he welcomes the President of Indonesia in
According to the plan of the visit, the two heads of state will
discuss the issue of human rights. This is according to an
announcement by Keith Harper, the US ambassador to Indonesia, at a
session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on Tuesday
13th October. According to the agenda of the visit, the two heads of
state will discuss the most appropriate actions that need to be taken
in compliance with the principle of basic human rights.
It is very likely that media representatives will focus their
attention on the fact that President Joko Widodo spent several years
as a child in Jakarta.
It is widely expected that special attention will be paid to the
issue of human rights and why it is that so many operations that
violate human rights are organised against Papuan people whenever they
take part in peaceful demonstrations.
As a lawyer and Defender of Human Rights in the Land of Papua, I
am convinced that during the discussions between the two heads of
state, attention will be drawn to the fact that grave human rights
violations have been occurring in the Land of Papua for the past fifty
years. We should bear in mind the fact that this issue has drawn the
attention of regional and international meetings that have been held
in the past few months by President Barack Obama.
As the Executive-Director of the LP3BH (Institute of Research,
Analysing and Development of Human Rights), I urge the President of
the Republic of Indonesia to do everything he possibly can as the head
of state of the Republic of Indonesia, to ensure that the security
forces of Indonesia put an end to acts of repression in the Land of
The security forces in the Land of Papua should not be allowed to
continue to engage in repressive operations whenever the Papuan people
hold peaceful demonstrations.
In my opinion, the security forces in the Land of Papua need to be
thoroughly overhauled so as to ensure that they comply fully with the
principles of peace and human rights. This must involve all the
stakeholders in the Land of Papua, including those groups which are
always being referred to as separatists.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.