Arnold Belau, Jayapura – On November 15 the Papua Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua) sent an open letter to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo expressing concerns about the current situation in the land of Papua.
The armed conflict between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and the TNI (Indonesian military) and Indonesian police (Polri) has yet to show any signs of ending.
ELSHAM Papua noted that the presence of non-organic troops in Papua and West Papua providences has resulted in many civilian victims as well as members of the TNI, Polri and the TPNPB.
Each time an armed conflict occurs the first casualties are mothers and children along with the elderly who are forced to seek shelter and are suffering.
What is happening at the moment, once again shows that the state has been negligent in protecting its citizens. It should be the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens as mandated by the preamble to the 1945 Constitution, namely that the state is obliged to protect everyone regardless of their birthplace in Indonesia.
In the open letter sent to President Widodo, ELSHAM asked the government to withdraw all non-organic troops from Papua, for the TNI, Polri and TPNPB troops to restrain themselves and for both warring parties to prioritise respect for humanity.
Likewise with regard to allegations of the involvement of security forces in the security business. It was conveyed that the security forces should not become the accomplices of business interests and companies in Indonesia, just because of the political and economic interests of a handful of people in this country, but instead be the protectors of the ordinary people and good law enforcement officials.
The open letter by ELSHAM Papua, which is supported by 24 civil society organisations who work in the field of human rights, justice and the environment, conveyed that the accusations and labeling by the government, TNI and Polri, as well as any other parties, will no not diminish our struggle to call for justice, truth and human rights in Papua and Indonesia.
- The full text of the open letter to President Widodo in PDF format can be read here: https://ewr1.vultrobjects.com/suarapapuaweb/2021/11/Surat-Terbuka-buat-Presiden-RI-Joko-Widodo-15-Nov-2021-1.pdf
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Surat Terbuka: Meminta Presiden Jokowi Menarik Pasukan Non Organik dari Papua".]