Komnas HAM accused of being indecisive, wishy-washy over Papua torture case

Kompas – January 8, 2011
Imparsial Executive Director Poengky Indarti (Antara)
Imparsial Executive Director Poengky Indarti (Antara)

Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission’s (Komnas HAM) recommendations on the torture of Papuans by Indonesian military (TNI) personnel is indecisive and wishy-washy.

“Komnas HAM is being permissive, wishy-washy and indecisive in the handling of the torture cases in Papua”, said Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) Executive Director Poengky Indarti. Imparsial is also asking the chief of the TNI not to take a permissive stand, let alone protect the perpetrators of violence that involve military personnel.

This was conveyed by Imparsial at a press conference on Friday January 7. Imparsial is calling on Komnas HAM to follow up on the results of its investigation. Komnas HAM must be more active and serious so that cases such as this are not repeated.

Several days earlier, Komnas HAM announced its results of its findings on human rights violations, including the murder of Reverend Kinderman Gire, in the interrogation and torture [of Papuans] as shown in the video uploaded on the YouTube website. Komnas HAM’s recommendations revolved around an evaluation and improvement of the professionalism of TNI members, coordination and a plea to uphold the law.

“There were no clear recommendations”, said Al Araf from Imparsial. According to Araf, there should be a clear follow up such as an additional investigation into whether or not there were gross human rights violations or not, submitting the results of the investigation to police or the formation of a Human Right Violations Investigation Commission.

“If there is no resoluteness on Komnas HAM’s part, new [cases] of violence will emerge because there is no deterrent effect”, he said.

Poengky meanwhile highlighted that the Komnas HAM investigation should look into the systematic nature of the violence taking place in Papua.

Imparsial human rights research director Bhatara Ibnu Reza questioned Komnas HAM’s interpretation the torture cases that have occurred in Papua, which concluded that there were no gross human rights violations. According to Bhatara, the extensive and systematic nature of these cases is a parameter indicating that gross violations have taken place. (EDN)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the report was Papua Case – Komnas HAM seen as indecisive.]