Papuan students protest at Komnas HAM, demand action over rights abuses

CNN Indonesia – March 7, 2022
Banner reads 'Rest in peace Indoneisan human rights' – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – Scores of Papuan students held a protest action at the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) building in Jakarta on Monday March 7 urging the commission to immediately resolve cases of human rights violations in Papua.

"Today we are giving a yellow card to Komnas HAM. Tomorrow we will give them a red card. We'll burn Komnas HAM, we will burn them with our aspirations which are still accommodated in this space", said one of the speakers in front of the Komnas HAM building on Monday.

The Papuan students, who came from the group Pro-Democracy Solidarity and the Papua Student Alliance (AMP), said that it has been a long time since Komnas HAM has produced any concrete results.

It is because of this that they are urging Komnas HAM to immediately investigate all of the cases which have occurred in Papua calculated from the start of military operations there.

In addition to this, they are also asking Komnas HAM to be proactive in responding to the reported mistreatment of a primary school student in Papua which resulted in the child's death.

"We want to report it to Komnas HAM so they are proactive in dealing with this case of mistreatment of an underage child", said a speaker.

"This is not the first time that an Incident such as this has happened in Papua, but each time it happens, Komnas HAM has never conducted an investigation", they said.

They also hope that by holding the action Komnas HAM can immediately investigate the child mistreatment case by for example, forming an independent investigation team.

"We hope that with this report Komnas HAM [can] form an investigation team to conduct an investigation into the mistreatment of seven underage children", he asserted.

On Sunday February 20, a class 4 primary school student with the initials MT died after being allegedly mistreated by security personnel in the Sinak sub-district of Puncak regency, Papua.

The incident began when MT and six other children were arrested for allegedly stealing a firearm belonging to a TNI (Indonesian military) member in Sinak.

"Based on local media reports on February 26, two youth allegedly took a firearm belonging to a TNI member in the vicinity of the Tapulinik Sinak Airport, Puncak regency, Papua, on the evening of February 20", read a tweet on the Twitter account @amnestyindo on Monday February 28. (blq/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahasiswa Papua: Komnas HAM akan Kami Bakar dengan Aspirasi".]