Haris Azhar : Situation in Papua is of growing concern

by Oktovianus POGAU at SuaraPapua.com

May 17, 2013

Jakarta – The Coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Haris Azhar views the situation in Papua as more and more alarming, with people’s welfare becoming increasingly unequal, including freedom of expression increasingly repressed.

“I think the government and the security forces have to think, that nowadays the Papuans  are in the limelight of the world,” Haris said , when contacted by suarapapua.com  via email on 15th of May.

According to Haris,  the political position of Indonesia in the eyes of the outside community and domestically is increasingly unpopular. “Then why should repressive manner and failed economic policies for Papua be maintained?,” He asked.

Haris said, the government should initiate a new approach of peaceful means in day-to-day activities of the people of Papua. “Like the argument about Papuan independence, that’s not an issue that should be feared.  Each region that is disappointed also asks for freedom. This phenomenon also exists in America, one of the countries that claim to be champions of democracy, “he said.

Instead, Haris continued, the Government must demonstrate maturity; shouting, action (demonstrations) or hoisting the flag should have  measured response from law enforcement.

“Is political activity in Papua really  life-threatening? Does the flag-raising activity in Papua automatically raise a state? It is not. I fear repression and impoverishment in Papua have just become a show case for the outside world while the country is still there and strong, “he said.

While, Haris said, psychologically Papua  has become a banal discharge of violent desires always living below the consciousness of the security forces, after Aceh, Timor and others are not conflict areas anymore.

“I want to ask the Government of Indonesia to start building a new awareness towards Papua.  Political openness and agreement on the formulation of flexible actions and activities. This maturity will build confidence of Papuans in the Jakarta Government , “he concluded.

Previously, as informed by the media, violence of the security forces again occurred in the past two months in Sorong, Timika, Jayapura, Wamena and Biak.

On 30 April 2013, Sorong Resort Police shoot two civilians, 3 others were wounded, one recent injured, mother Salomina Klaibin (37) also died from her injuries. In the operation, officers arrested seven people, including one action leader, Isak Klaibin.

In Timika, May 1, 2013 authorities arrested 15 people who were raising the Morning Star flag  in a peaceful mass action, seven people were named as suspects. In Biak, one person was shot dead by security forces, and two were arrested.

In Jayapura, a KNPB activist was arrested by the security forces while giving speeches.  Then, May 13, 2013, actions that ware held in solidarity of victims of human rights violations in Papua were forcibly dispersed by police. Four activists, including Chairman KNPB, Victor F Yeimo, were also arrested by police.

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