President Jokowi seen as lying to Papuan people over human rights

Suara Papua – December 11, 2021
Rally marking 23rd International Human Rights Day in Sorong, West Papua – December 10, 2021 (SP)

Reiner Brabar, Jayapura – Throughout the leadership of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, the agenda of upholding human rights has not seen any change. One of the indicators of this is the failure to resolve cases of past gross human rights violations in Papua.

Pius Hiluka, the coordinator of a rally commemorating the 73rd International Human Rights Day at the Sorong City park in Sorong, West Papua, on December 10, said that during the 2014 presidential elections Widodo made a commitment to resolve cases of past gross human rights violations and this commitment was included in his vision and mission, as well as his nine point action program known as Nawa Cita.

"It is very important to note President Joko Widodo's commitment to resolve cases of human rights violations which have occurred in Papua. But as of this day there are no signs of this [being realised]", said Hiluka in a press release sent to Suara Papua on Saturday December 11.

Specifically in the case of past gross human rights violations, he said, the Indonesian government under Widodo's leadership has not resolved a single case.

"To this day there has not been one case of past human rights violations which has been dealt with. Never mind human rights violations which have occurred more recently, such as those in Nduga, Intan Jaya, Maybrat and other areas", he said.

Based on these facts, Hiluka has concluded that the Indonesian government has no commitment to resolve the Papua problem.

"There are many dynamics and problems which are clearly being pursued by the state through its accomplices, but to this day they have never been resolved. The Papuan people's suffering is worsening. How long will we have to live under a situation like this", said Hiluka.

Petrus Yadanfle, the rally stage coordinator, said that the Widodo regime's direction in resolving past cases of human rights violations is becoming increasingly murky and unclear.

"The concept of resolving past human rights violations tends to strengthen political interests. It is as if President Jokowi doesn't understand and is hesitant in giving clear instructions on realising the promises of Nawa Cita", he said.

Several protest actions have conveyed their wishes over President Widodo's promises, who gives the impression of lying to the Papuan people.

Betty, one of the protesters, said that since President Widodo made his public promise to resolve past human rights cases there has been no signs of this in Papua, including the bloody Paniai case.

"The president once promised to do this when he attended Christmas celebrations in Jayapura, but it has not been realised. When will they be resolved? Cases of human rights violations in the land of Papua continue to occur and are increasing with every passing moment", said Betty.

Before ending the peaceful action, the action spokesperson read out 11 demands of the Papuan people in Greater Sorong:

  • Fully investigate cases of human rights violations in Indonesia and throughout Papua.
  • Stop muzzling the Papuan people's democratic space and provide freedom of association, expression and organisations.
  • Reject the extension of the special autonomy law.
  • Open access for national and international journalists and for the United Nations Human Rights Council to come to Papua to conduct an investigation into human rights violations.
  • Withdrawal all organic and non-organic military troops from West Papua, and in particular from Nduga, Intan Jaya, Puncak, Maybrat, Kiwirok district the Bintang Mountains, Suru-Suru Yahukimo district and other areas in the land of Papua.
  • End all forms of discrimination and intimidation against West Papua students in Indonesia.
  • Unconditionally release Victor Yeimo and all West Papua political prisoners.
  • Reject new autonomous regions being established anywhere in West Papua.
  • Close down PT Freeport, BP, LNG Tangguh and reject exploration in the Wabu Block.
  • Return the lands belonging to the Marafenfen traditional community in Aru Islands regency.
  • Provide the right of self-determination as a democratic solution for the West Papuan nation.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Presiden Joko Widodo Dianggap Bohongi Rakyat Papua".]