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21 years since Wasior Tragedy, Jokowi urged to form Human Rights Court in Papua

June 17, 2022

21 years since Wasior Tragedy, Jokowi urged to form Human Rights Court
in Papua – June 13, 2022

Chandra Iswinarno — Marking 21 years since the still unresolved Wasior
Tragedy in Wasior district, Papua, in 2001, the Commission for Missing
Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) notes that incidents of
violence in Papua continue to increase.

The Wasior incident was triggered by the killing of five Mobile Brigade
(Brimob) para-military police officers and a civilian at the CV Vatika
Papuana Perkasa company base camp in Wondiboi village, Wasior district,
on June 13, 2001.

The aftermath of this was that police were deployed to hunt down the
perpetrators who had also taken six firearms from the Brimob officers
that were killed.

Referring to records by the Papua Ad Hoc Team, this ended with four
people being killed, 39 others being tortured, one person being raped
and five people forcibly disappeared.

"Twenty-one years have passed, but the fate of the victims has been left
hanging in the air without any kind of legal certainty", said Kontras
Deputy Coordinator Rivanlee Anandar in a press release on Monday June

Anandar said that in 2002 the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas
HAM) finished its investigation into the Wasior incident and handed the
results over the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

At the time however, the AGO stuck to its often repeated argument that
the Komnas HAM investigation was incomplete or it lacks the formal or
material requirements for a case to be raised to a criminal

Referring to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Session
in Geneva on May 3, 2018, Anandar noted that the Indonesian government
said that the AGO was currently preparing for a trial process at the
Human Rights Court in Makassar, South Sulawesi, to process the Wasior
and Wamena cases.

"Only a few months remain before the UPR hearing at the end of 2022 but
the Wasior-Wamena cases are still stagnating and no progress at all can
be seen in these cases being taken before a Human Rights Court in
accordance with the mandate of Law Number 26/2000 a Human Rights Court
or under the Special Autonomy Law for Papua", he explained.

Kontras believes that the Indonesian government has failed to fulfill
the mandate of the Special Autonomy Law (Otsus) on Papua. It has been
dozens of years since the Otsus Law came into force but only one mandate
has been realised, namely the establishment of a National Human Rights
Commission (Komnas HAM) representative office in Papua.

Anandar said that a Papua Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) has
yet to be formed, and likewise, a Human Rights Court in Papua has also
not been realised.

Anandar said that this problem shows the government’s lack of
seriousness, which ends up as just political promises, yet the
government uses the resolution of gross human rights violations in Papua
as a diplomatic tool to counter international attention on the situation

Out of the cases of gross human rights violations in Papua which have
been investigated by Komnas HAM, namely the Abepura cases (2000), the
Wasior-Wamena cases (2001 and 2003) and the Paniai case (2014), only one
case was tried in 2004 — and that took place at the Human Rights Court
in Makassar.

"This is despite the fact that the mandate of the Human Rights Court in
Papua was ordered in 2001. Likewise with the discourse on the formation
of a Human Rights Court for the 2014 Paniai case which will be tried in
Makassar, not in Papua", he said.

In the midst of deep rooted impunity and repeated human rights
violations, continued Anandar, civil society, survivors and the families
of victims of gross human rights violations in Papua are left to live
with the trauma. Moreover the injustices of these bloody incidents are
never resolved by the state.

"Meanwhile the central government, for the sake of political and
economic interests, and with a spirit of ultra-nationalism, continues to
push through the creation of new autonomous regions in Papua", he said.

Anandar explained that the creation of new provinces in Papua has the
potential to add to the long list of human rights violations in Papua.
This is because when new autonomous regions are created, there is an
increase in regional military and police commands which tend towards a
security approach being used against the Papuan people.

Based on Kontras’ monitoring results over the period January-May, there
were 23 incidents of violence committed by the Polri (Indonesian police)
and the TNI (Indonesian military). This was dominated by shootings,
mistreatment and arbitrary arrest.

The scores of incidents document by Kontras resulted in around 67 people
being injured, killed or arrested.

In relation to the momentum of 21 years since the Wasior Tragedy,
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence is urging
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to:

– Order the Attorney General to form an ad hoc investigation team to
follow up on the investigation dossiers on the Wasior incident along
with other gross human rights violations which have already been
investigated by Komnas HAM in accordance with the mandate of Article 21
Paragraph 3 of Law Number 28/2000 on Human Rights Courts.

– Establish a Human Rights Court in Papua

– End the discourse on the creation of new provinces in Papua, halt all
military operations and reevaluate the security approach in Papua as an
initial step towards building dialogue and resolving the conflict in
Papua peacefully.

– Guarantee human rights for indigenous Papuans, including the right to
life, the right to freedom of express and the right to gather

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Catatan 21 Tahun Tragedi Wasior, KontraS Desak Pemerintah Bentuk
Pengadilan HAM di Papua dan Hentikan Praktik Impunitas".]


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