[ETAN-key] Human Rights Watchdogs Say SBY Soft on Violations
fbp at igc.org
Sat Jan 22 08:40:03 EST 2011
also Kontras: Human rights violations in Papua still high
Human Rights Watchdogs Say SBY Soft on Violations
January 22, 2011
Human rights activists criticized President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for playing down human
rights violations in the country, saying it was counterproductive to reform.
Speaking before more than 500 military and police
officers at a joint leadership meeting in Jakarta
on Friday, Yudhoyono claimed there had not been
any gross violations to rights since he assumed the presidency in October 2004.
This is historic a new chapter for Indonesia, he said.
He said this record was tarnished by the torture
of two Papuans by soldiers, an incident recorded
in a grisly YouTube video posted in October last
year. However, the president said lapses like
this could happen in the military of any country.
It was just one incident amid a wave of change
in our country over the past few years, he said,
adding that the soldiers in the torture would be punished.
Rights advocates disputed the presidents claim,
saying there were numerous rights abuse cases recorded throughout his term.
Indria Fernida, deputy chairwoman of the
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of
Violence (Kontras), said the presidents
statement was counterproductive toward reforms in the military and police.
I think the president must look at the fact that
there are hundreds of cases of torture,
extrajudicial killings, inhumane treatment and
excessive use of force over the years, she said.
These cases show that there is hardly any
accountability or fulfillment of victims rights
on violence perpetrated by law enforcers and
military, Indria added. The president has
pledged that past cases of abuse would be
resolved and create greater transparency. We see
very clearly that these pledges have not been fulfilled.
The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial)
said there had been at least 135 cases of
excessive use of force by police officers since 2005.
Last week, Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers in
Jambi, a province on Sumatra Island, shot unarmed
farmers they thought were attempting to steal palm oil from a plantation.
The National Police had issued a regulation last
year allowing its officers to use live bullets to
control anarchic situations, particularly in rowdy demonstrations.
Human rights activists said the decree violated
the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of
Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials,
which Indonesia ratified in 1990 but left unimplemented.
Indonesia has also adopted the UN Convention
Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, but the
National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM)
recorded more than 150 cases of the maltreatment
of prisoners or suspects last year.
Sophie Richardson, advocacy director for Human
Rights Watchs Asia division, expressed concern
over the numerous cases of impunity in Indonesia.
It is hard to get real justice in Indonesia if
you are a victim of violence perpetrated by the
military, she said by phone from New York.
The international human rights organization has
urged the US government to review its renewed
ties with the Kopassus special forces, accused of
killings in East Timor and Papua, among other rights violations.
The US imposed a training ban in 1999 against
Kopassus for its alleged abuses, but it lifted it in July last year.
Although the perpetrators in the [Papua] video
were from Kostrad [the armys Strategic Reserve
Command], part of the reason the ties were
restored was because Indonesia assured the US
that they have reformed, Richardson said.
And we see time and time again that this is
hardly the case at all. If the video had not
received international condemnation, would there
be any trial at all? These are some of the
indications that there had not been any changes
inside the military. Armando Siahaan & Nivell Rayda
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I N D O L E F T - News service > >
Kontras: Human rights violations in Papua still high
Detik.com - January 21, 2011
Kontras: Pelanggaran HAM di Papua Masih Tinggi
Andi Saputra, Jakarta -- The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of
Violence (Kontras) says that human rights violations in Papua are still high.
These violations represent a threat to civil freedoms and discriminate against
the Papuan people's identity.
The high level of human rights violations have been aggravated by unclear
regulations and a failure to provide a sense of justice to the public.
"There is still a great deal of violence and threats against civil liberties",
said Kontras Papua coordinator Olga Hamadi during a press conference at the
Kontras' offices on Jl. Borobudur in Jakarta on Friday January 21.
This was revealed after Kontras held its third congress in Jakarta yesterday.
According to Olga, what has been taking place in Papua is an increase in
horizontal violence, both structural as well as mysterious. This has been
aggravated by the lack of any legal resolution
that satisfies the public's sense
"Is this in fact being setup to increase the number of security personnel in
Papua?", asked Olga. "In the case of the legal
process, the verdicts are always
light. Five or six month's jail. This harms the public's sense of justice", he
In addition to uncovering human rights violations
in Papua, Kontras also exposed
the human rights violations taking place in other
regions such as Sulawesi, Nusa
Tenggara and East Java.
"In Sulawesi, most human rights violations were in the agrarian sector and the
criminalisation of human rights workers. This is
because there is no commitment
on the part of the regional government to
strengthen human rights enforcement",
said Kontras Jakarta coordinator Haris Azhar during the same press conference.
[Translated by James Balowski.]
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