Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) assessed that labeling the armed criminal groups in Papua terrorists is an attempt to silence voices that demand justice.
"The label is nothing more than an attempt to silence voices demanding justice in Papua. This will certainly worsen conditions in Papua," KontraS deputy coordinator Rivanlee Anandar told Tempo on Thursday, April 29.
He opined that it will have implications for the legitimacy of huge military deployment to the region, the power of security forces in responding to the situation in Papua, and the stigmatization of indigenous Papuans (OAP) who voice their rights. "There is also a potential to cause civilian casualties," he added.
According to Rivanlee, the state should widen its views in responding to the situation in the easternmost province. It is not about the armed conflict that must be responded with a security approach, he argued. "But it is about gaps, access, and welfare in fulfilling basic rights, compared to areas outside Papua".
The KontraS deputy coordinator assessed that the state is ignoring those problems by narrowing the view only from the security sector, let alone labeling KKB as terrorists.
The Indonesian government has today officially labeled the KKB in Papua as terrorists. Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud Md said the labeling was due to the emergence of several acts of terror in the region since early April 2021.