Komnas HAM urges Jokowi to hold dialog in Papua

Komnas HAM urges Jokowi to hold dialog in Papua

Head of the National Human Rights Commission Ahmad Taufan Damanik held a press conference in Jakarta on Sept 12, 2019 (ANTARA/Syaiful Hakim/rn)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Human Rights National Commission (Komnas HAM) has urged President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to hold a dialog with all Papuan communities in Papua Province to solve problems in the upshot of the recent Surabaya incident.

"The Rights Commission has, in fact, suggested President Joko Widodo to visit Papua and hold a dialog directly with all communities, so that all problems can be solved," Head of the Rights Commission Ahmad Taufan Damanik stated.

Conversing with journalists after receiving a visit of John Gobai, a member of Papua's House of Representatives (DPRP), in Jakarta on Thursday, he noted that the Papuan community members were keen on holding a dialog with the incumbent president though he lauded Jokowi for inviting several Papuan figures for a meeting at the State Palace.

"Please do not just meet with certain groups but with all community groups in Papua," he stated, adding that the government's security approach to solve Papua’s problems will fail to promote a comprehensive solution to the problems.

On the contrary, the security approach will pressure community members and security personnel. Hence, a dialog is deemed necessary to solve the Papua problems.

In the meantime, Gobai affirmed that he had visited the rights commission to appeal to the commissioners to help release several Papuans still in police custody.

"They may have been involved in the recent rioting due to racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya. For us, it is just a form of expression of the Papuan community members," he stated, adding that some six thousand security personnel deployed to Papua had also made the locals uncomfortable.

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On a separate occasion, National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo noted that the police will direct its attention on handling armed criminals targeting civilian attacks after potential protests and anarchic acts in Papua could have been considerably curtailed.

"The threats have become minor now, but we are striving to focus on issues concerning armed criminals. They assault people. This is what we must take optimal precautionary measures against," he told newsmen on the sidelines of the Setara Institute's discussion forum in Jakarta.

Security measures against armed criminals were aimed at maintaining law and order in the easternmost province.

Despite Papua's current situation having been conducive, some three thousand police personnel were still deployed in the province until December 2019. Several thousand policemen are also assigned to secure West Papua Province.

The police personnel would not be withdrawn over the likelihood of certain parties intending to create security disturbances in the provinces until the end of this year.

The recent violent protests that erupted in several cities in Papua and West Papua held in opposition to the alleged racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16 might have also been related to the High Commissioner for Human Rights' meeting on Sept 9. By having so, the Papua riots could be adopted into this commissioner’s report.

At the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept 23-26, the representatives of all member nations will express their views and standpoints, he stated.

"To this end, we optimally mitigate to ensure that Papua's condition is really conducive," he noted. Related news: Police chase down 12 persons wanted in West Papua unrest
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