Government claims that UN report on intimidation against Papua activists is bias

CNN Indonesia – September 29, 2021
President Joko Widodo addressing United Nations General Assembly – Undated (AP)

Jakarta – The Presidential Staff Office (KSP) has criticised the United Nations over a report on intimidation and violence against human rights activists in Papua.

Presidential Staff Office Deputy V Jaleswari Pramodhawardani questioned whether the UN report was balanced saying that the UN did not first check the validity of the reports on violence against activists with the Indonesian government.

"The accusations which have surfaced did not first go through an appropriate clarification stage with the country concerned so it cannot be said that the perspective in ideal terms is balanced", Pramodhawardani told CNN Indonesia through an SMS message on Wednesday September 29.

Nevertheless, the government will not ignore the situation in Papua with Pramodhawardani saying that the government is managing the security situation in Papua and West Papua provinces in accordance with Indonesian law.

"The government is emphatic that the management of the security situation in Papua and West Papua provinces is being conducted in the framework of law enforcement which is measured and in accordance with Indonesian national legal stipulations", he said.

Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres listed 45 countries which have committed intimidation and violence against human rights activists. Indonesia was one of the countries in included in the list.

In the report, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) highlighted the criminalisation and intimidation of human rights activists in Papua and West Papua. The report focused on alleged intimidation against filmmaker Wensislaus Fatubun, an activist who has assisted the UN.

The UN also reported alleged intimidation and violence against human rights activists from the Me Yones Douw ethnic group, journalist Victor Mambor, human rights activists and lawyer Veronica Koman and West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson Victor Yeimo, who is currently being detained on charges of treason. (dhf/DAL)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "PBB Sentil Kekerasan di Papua, KSP Sebut Laporan Tak Ideal".]