Billy Wibisono,, Monday 5 December 2011 19.00 GMT
We want to bring Benny Wenda to justice and promote dialogue in Papua
You describe the Interpol red notice issued against Benny Wenda of the UK-based Free West Papua campaign as “triggering allegations of political abuse of the international police alert system” (Interpol criticised over effort to have separatist arrested in UK, 25 November).
You don’t mention that Wenda is wanted in Indonesia for his alleged involvement in the murder of six people, including two police officers, attacking peaceful civilians and arson of several buildings during the Abepura attack of 7 December 2000. Wenda subsequently escaped from prison in between trial sessions and managed to leave the country. These are the reasons why the Indonesian authorities have requested Interpol to issue the red notice on Wenda.
Indonesia has long considered using other legal means such as extradition to bring Wenda back to face trial in Indonesia. His status as an asylum-seeker in the UK, granted in 2003, has complicated matters. The Interpol red notice is simply a way to bring him to justice with the assistance and co-operation of other Interpol member states. Wenda should be brave enough to face these charges, and also the family of the victims such as the wife and children of First Sergeant Petrus Epa, who died in the Abepura attack, in a free, open and independent court in Indonesia.
Contrary to Wenda’s claim that the red notice has been “trumped up in order to silence him”, there are many people in Papua and abroad who are involved in political activities for the betterment of Papua. Some separatist leaders previously living abroad, such as Nicholas Jouwe and Franzalbert Joku, have returned to Indonesia to participate in building a better Papua in the frame of the Republic of Indonesia.
The recent appointment of Dr Farid Husein, a former negotiator in the Aceh peace process, to lead the dialogue in Papua, underscores President Yudhoyono‘s commitment to settle the problems in Papua peacefully. President Yudhoyono has also established a special unit headed by Bambang Darmono, a former member of the Aceh Monitoring Mission, to implement programmes for acceleration of development in Papua and West Papua provinces.
The World Bank conducted comprehensive research in Papua in 2009 and outlined four recommendations to increase the use of resources wisely: planning, bottom-up participation, reporting and transparency. In recognition, President Yudhoyono issued instructions for all relevant technical ministries to co-ordinate their programmes with the governors of both provinces, and guidelines on the acceleration of development in the two provinces, including on human rights issues.
The Indonesian government has opted for dialogue and peaceful means in addressing the matters of Papua. What the international community and the UK in particular could contribute is to support the steps taken for the betterment of the people in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.
Sourse: The Guardian