Indonesian military respects human rights in Papua

Indonesian military respects human rights in Papua

Photo document of Papua children. (ANTARA/Anang Budiono)

"We keep being procedural in carrying out our duties anywhere including in Papua."
Jinan, China (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian military (TNI) has always respected and implemented human rights principles in carrying out its main duties in Papua.

"TNI is not careless, and we keep being procedural in carrying out our duties anywhere including in Papua," army commander`s operations assistant Major General Dedi Kusnadi Thamim said to ANTARA here on Sunday.

Met after attending the closing of a joint exercise between the Indonesian army`s special force Kopassus and China`s People`s Liberation Army special force he said TNI has always respected human rights principles in Papua.

"We will never act cruelly on civilians. But we also will never stay idle if an armed group attacks us. We cannot stay idle towards them. Can we just stay idle if they shoot us?," he said.

According to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) 22 violent cases has so far been recorded to have happened in the eastern region leaving several deaths.

"The government must seriously settle the problem to provide a sense of peace for the people. The big number of violent cases that has happened has made the performance and professionalism of security forces being scrutinized," Komnas commissioner Ridha Saleh said in Jakarta.

Without peace, he said, it would be impossible for the government to carry out development programs in Papua and therefore Komnas HAM has asked the government to show its seriousness to immediately hold a dialog involving all parties concerned in the central administration and Papua.

"The government must really be present to give a sense of peace before they carry out the agenda for change in Papua. If the government cannot protect or maintain security it will be impossible for it to be able to carry out development efforts in Papua," he said.

Ridha expressed concern over violent and shooting incidents that have happened in Papua and in view of that Komnas HAM had urged the security forces to investigate the cases thoroughly.

A Komnas HAM representative in Papua, Frits Ramandey meanwhile has said that the death of Sawiyatami village head Yohanes Janufrom or Yanafrom (30) on July 1 could be categorized as a human rights violation.

"It is categorized as a human rights violation because a life has been taken. Whether he has been shot by an OPM (separatist group) member or a TNI member the case must be investigated to find its truth," he said.