INDONESIA: President must fulfill promise to solve the Paniai case, and investigating team must commence work

A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Papua itu Kita, LBH Jakarta, SKP-HAM Sulawesi Tengah, SETARA Institute, IKOHI, AJAR, LBH Pers, LBH Semarang, LBH Bandung, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Imparsial, SIMPONI (Sindikat Musik Penghuni Bumi), CEDAW Working Group Indonesia (CWGI), Yayasan Satu Keadilan, Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI), Purple Code Collective, KASBI, KPRI, IBC, Indonesia untuk Kemanusiaan (IKa), Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), Kiprah Perempuan, ICJR, KontraS, Human Rights Watch, Sekertariat Nasional APIK, AJI Indonesia, RPuK Aceh, Arus Pelangi, Solidaritas Perempuan, Perkumpulan Jubi, Yayasan Pusaka, Belantara Papua, FIM Papua, Garda Papua, LBH Pers Padang, Green Movement Indonesia, Center of Human Rights Law Studies (HRLS) Fakultas Hukum UNAIR, Serikat Jurnalis untuk Keberagaman (SEJUK), FSEDAR, Aliansi Buruh Kontrak Menggugat, Pusat Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia (PPRI), Islam Bergerak, Solidaritas Net, Politik Rakyat, Perempuan Mahardika, Norma Rae – Palu, KontraS Aceh, LBH Keadilan Bogor Raya, LBH Keadilan Sukabumi Raya, HaRI (Hutan Rakyat Institute).

On 8 December 2014, four indigenous Papuan children were shot to dead, two adults seriously injured, and 17 others injured as a result of brutal attack allegedly committed by the security forces at Karel Gobay Field, Paniai, Papua Province (for further information see AHRC-UAC-089-2015).

Until today, no one has been prosecuted. It is important to note that on 28 December 2014, while giving a speech in front of thousands of indigenous Papuans during Christmas celebrations at the Fields Mandala Jayapura, Papua Province, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated, “I want this case [Paniai case] resolved as quickly as possible, so it does not reoccur in the future”.

President Widodo has expressed his commitment; therefore, victims and their families are waiting for the government to fulfil its promises. However to date the President has yet to follow through on his words. As of now, his statement has not made any impact, in terms of justice for victims and victim’s families.

In contrast, the victims and their families have had to wait for 448 days for the National Commission on Human Rights to finally use its legal authority to create an ad hoc investigation team to investigate human rights violations that occurred in Paniai. On 1 March 2016, the Commission established the Ad hoc investigation team for Paniai, in the decision letter of the Chair of the National Commission on Human Rights, Number 009 / Komnas HAM / III / 2016.

The Ad hoc team is mandated to finish the investigation process within 184 days, between 1 March 2016 and August 31. During this period the team is expected to collect preliminary information and data related to the Paniai case, as well as investigate the alleged involvement of the State apparatus.

Moreover, the team has to produce a final report that will be submitted to the Attorney General, and subsequently will be used as a legal basis for the next investigation and prosecution at the ad hoc human rights court as regulated by the Law No. 26 of 2000.

However, at the time of issuing this joint statement, the Ad hoc team has yet to even begin the investigation process. At this time, 80 days out of the stipulated 184 days have already passed, without any effort made by the National Commission on Human Rights to collect information and conduct the investigation through this Ad hoc team. This indicates delay and denial justice for victims and their families, who have been demanding investigation, prosecution, and resolution of this case.

President Joko Widodo has an obligation to ensure that the National Commission on Human Rights immediately conducts investigation into the Paniai case without fear or favour.

Therefore, based on above mentioned data and information, we urge the Indonesian government to:

1. Ensure and instruct the National Commission on Human Rights, in particular the Ad hoc team formed by the Commission, to immediately carry out investigation into allegation of gross violations of human rights in Paniai, and, if necessary, to extend the time period of the Ad hoc team, in case 104 days are inadequate for conducting a comprehensive investigation.

2. To instruct relevant ministries and State institutions, such as the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Ombudsman, and the National Police Commission, to support the work of the ad hoc investigation team, both in terms of financing and in terms of cooperating to provide the required information and data.

Additional information:

Besides being endorsed and supported by national human rights NGOs, this statement is also endorsed by the following local and national human rights defenders:

Nancy Sunarno, Zico Mulia, Ayu Wahyuningroem, Frida Gultom, Dhyta Caturani, Lilik H.S., Mugiyanto, Muhamad Daud Bereuh, Estu Fanani, Veronica Iswinahyu, Lini Zurlia, Whisnu Yonar, Bilven, Syahar Banu, Andreas Iswinarto, Agnes Gurning, Sinnal Blegur, Ibeth Koesrini, Wahyu Susilo, Frenia Nababan, Achmad Fanani Rosyidi, Olin Monteiro, Donna Swita, Cut Marini D.C., Sa’duddin Sabilurrasad, Bhagavad Sambadha, Dolorosa Sinaga, Irina Dayasih, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, Leila Juari, Yuli Rustinawati, Irine Gayatri, Damar Juniarto, Roni Saputra, Norma Susanti RM, Rosnida Sari, Ratna Sary, Khairil, Taro Lay, Reza Muharam, Yunantyo Adi, Harry Wibowo, Yayak Yatmaka, Uchico San, Tantowi Anwari, Indraswari Agnes, Syamsul Alam Agus, Miryam Nainggolan, and Wina Khairina.

For further information, contact:

Mr. Tommy, Human Rights Lawyer with Jakarta Legal Aid) +62 81315554447 or Mr. Bernard, Human Rights Defender with Papua itu kita, +62 81398979566