BIN accused of trying to discredit NGOs in West Papua

Source – March 22, 2006
National Intelligence Agency chief Syamsir Siregar (Antara)
National Intelligence Agency chief Syamsir Siregar (Antara)

Iqbal Fadil, Jakarta – The accusations by Syamsir Siregar, the head of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), that local West Papuan non-government organisations (NGOs) in Papua sponsored the Abepura incident are intended to discredit NGOs in Papua as a whole. The accusations must be clarified immediately in order that it not be seen as slander and in itself provoke the impression that the situation in Papua is unsafe.

“There is a certain political intent behind the accusations. This kind of mind set is a method from the past that is still used for certain goals that endanger peace in Papua”, said the executive director of the Institute for the Strengthening of Papuan Civil Society (LPMSP), Budi Setyanto, in a press release received by on Wednesday March 22.

If BIN has concrete and valid data it must be immediately handed over to the national police to be followed up though the legal mechanisms that are in force. BIN doesn’t need to issue statements that are unclear and have a strong tendency to upset the public, in particular NGO activists.

“It must be understood that there are quite a lot of NGO in Papua. Not all NGOs have a clear vision and mission. Many parties call themselves NGOs for the interests of [certain] individuals and groups”, explained Setyanto.

In principle the LPMSP does not agree with expressing aspirations though means of violence or by disruption the public interest because this conflicts with democracy. LPMSP is therefore calling on Siregar to immediately clarify his statement and if he has accurate data to immediately report it so that the legal steps can be taken against the perpetrators of the riot. (bal)

[Translated by James Balowski.]