Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) is questioning the Indonesian police's logic related to accusations that non-government organisations (NGOs) and human rights activists are inflaming the situation in Papua.
YLBHI Chairperson Asfinawati says that NGOs raise human rights violations in Papua in accordance with the facts. She refuted the police's accusation that NGOs only expose cases of human rights violations to make the situation more difficult in Papua.
"The basis of this thinking is not right. If you don't want NGOs to raise human rights violations, yes well don't commit human rights violations", Asfinawati said in an SMS message to CNN Indonesia on Tuesday May 11.
Asfinawati asserted that the Indonesian Constitution protects everyone's right to participate in development and gives a mandate to the state to protect the human rights of all citizens.
"[You] need to read the Constitution and Law Number 39/1999 [on Human Rights], our loyalty is to the state of the Republic of Indonesia and the indicator of this is obedience to the Constitution, the 1945 Constitution and its amendments, as well as the law. How can a government official make comments like this?", she said accusingly.
According to Asfinawati, NGOs are pursuing these two constitutional mandates and she believes that the presence of NGOs is important in order to provide warnings about rights violations by the state.
"If there were no actions or warnings given to government officials like this, Indonesia as a constitutional state would truly be soon be in ruins", she said.
Earlier, Indonesian police Security and Intelligence Chief (Kabaintelkam) Commissioner General Paulus Waterpauw said that NGOs and activists as non-state actors are promoting separatism in Papua.
"I want to talk about these non-state actors, most are involved in NGOs, or LSMs [Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat] that are present here, they're contributing to inflaming the situation in Papua", said Waterpauw during a discussion in Jakarta on Monday May 10. (dhf/kid)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "LSM Dituding Buat Papua Panas, YLBHI Minta Polri Baca Lagi UU".]