Djoko Suyanto Discusses Papua with Amnesty Int’l Reps

The Jakarta Post [web site]

December 6, 2011


by Bagus BT Saragih, Jakarta Post

Leaders of the London-based human rights nongovernmental organization (NGO) Amnesty International met with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto on Tuesday to discuss human rights issues in Papua.

Sam Zarifi, Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific Programme Director, said that Djoko expressed the government’s commitment to ensuring accountability for human rights violations allegedly committed by security forces.

“But Amnesty criticized the use of lenient administrative penalties or closed-door trials in response to human rights violations involving members of the security forces,” Zarifi said in a statement.

The NGO had previously slammed the National Police for handing out light punishments to police officers involved in the bloody Papuan People’s Congress in Abepura, Papua, in October, calling it a “failure of human rights accountability”.

Tension has escalated in Papua since the incident, with numerous unidentified gunmen shooting civilians. Dozens have been killed in the past two months, including four police officers.

The meeting was initiated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who had assigned Djoko to talk to Amnesty following reports of Papuans’ demands that the Indonesian government free all prisoners who were detained after violence broke out between police and participants of the Congress.

In the meeting, the NGO also urged the government to free all those who were detained in Papua and Maluku for peacefully expressing their views, including through raising pro-independence flags.

At least 90 people are currently detained in prison in Papua and Maluku for peaceful, pro-independence activities, according to Amnesty.

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