Rights commission calls in Jokowi's promise to solve bloody Paniai tragedy

Kompas.com – May 6, 2021
High-school student Yulian, one of the victims of the December 8 Paniai tragedy – December 8, 2015 (jujurlahblog)

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has called in a commitment by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who once pledged to resolve the human rights violations in Paniai, Papua.

Komnas HAM Commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara said the Widodo once made a promise to solve the case when he attended Christmas celebrations in Papua provincial capital of Jayapura in 2014.

"So I think that it's important to note the President's commitment to resolve the Paniai case. To this day however there is yet to be any signs that it will be resolved", said Hapsara during a virtual discussion titled Waiting for Peace in Papua: The Urgency of Ending the Violence on Thursday May 6.

Hapsara said that since Widodo made the public promise and up until today, there has yet to be any signs of progress in the case. Moreover no progress in the case has been apparent since Komnas HAM declared that Paniai case to be a gross human rights violation.

"Moreover since Komnas HAM declared it to be a gross human rights violation there has yet to be any signs of where the resolution is going", said Hapsara.

The Paniai case was a clash involving security personnel from the Indonesian military (TNI) and Indonesian police with civilians in the Paniai regency on December 7-8, 2014. As a consequence of the clash, four civilians were killed and 21 others injured.

The case then grabbed the attention of Komnas HAM which then conducted a study, collected data and sought information from various parties.

During the investigation, Komnas HAM concluded that there were indications that the Paniai incident was a gross human rights violation.


On December 8, 2014, barely two months after Widodo was sworn in as president for his first term, five high-school students were killed and 17 others seriously injured when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency. Shortly after the incident, while attending Christmas celebrations in Jayapura on December 28, Widodo personally pledged to resolve the case but seven years into his presidency no one has been held accountable for the shootings.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Komnas HAM Tagih Janji Jokowi Tuntaskan Pelanggaran HAM Paniai".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/05/06/16440121/komnas-ham-tagih-janji-jokowi-tuntaskan-pelanggaran-ham-paniai