"We also appreciate the Papua police chief who has initiated to hold a meeting with customary, religious, and community figures, and appealed to them to care for their respective communities," chairman of the KKSS-Papua chapter, Mansyur, said here on Wednesday.
The preventive measures the government and police have taken to deal with Nababan's alleged racist remarks against noted Papuan human rights defender Natalius Pigai are highly appreciated, he remarked.
In August and September, 2019, a spate of violence had engulfed several parts of Papua and West Papua provinces. The violence had been triggered by the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, East Java.
On August 28, 2019, violence had erupted in Deiyai district, located about 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.
The indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura had again held protests on August 29, 2019, venting ire over the alleged racist behavior, but their rally and later taken a violent turn.
On September 23, 2019, a deadly riot had erupted in Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya district, Papua province. It led to the deaths of 33 civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served native Papuans for 15 years.
To prevent a recurrence of sectarian violence, a prompt handling of the recent ‘racism’ case was indispensable, Mansyur said, adding that those committing racism-related criminal offences in Indonesia need to be punished severely.
Meanwhile, in response to the case, the Papuan Customary Council has appealed to native Papuan communities in the province to not be provoked by Nababan's alleged racist remarks.
The council has also urged the country's law enforcement agencies to punish those found guilty of racism-related criminal offences to deter others.
"We hope the severe punishment will have a deterrent effect so that there will be no more people who dare to post racist remarks on social media platforms," the council’s Secretary II, John Gobay, said.
Gobay said the Papuan Customary Council's representatives visited the Papua Police's Criminal Investigation Directorate in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, on January 26, 2021.
They represented Natalius Pigai's family to give them and Papuan communities a sense of justice regarding the case, he remarked.
The National Police is handling the case of Nababan, a People's Conscience Party (Hanura) politician who has been accused of posting racist remarks against Pigai on his Facebook account.
Nababan has been in detention since January 27, 2021 following a police interrogation. (INE)
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