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OPM terrorist label may hamper Indonesia's diplomacy, says expert

Tempo - May 7, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Former commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Yoseph Stanley Adi Prasetyo in a Friday virtual discussion gave his opinion about the government's recently labelling armed separatists in Papua as terrorists.

He said this could be detrimental to Indonesia's future diplomacy on the global stage as the renowned local separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM), fell under the government's terrorist classification.

The separatist group itself has representative offices across pacific countries and European countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

"If this group is deemed a terrorist group, questions will soon emerge from many countries that accommodate OPM representative offices," said Prasetyo on Friday, May 7. "It will also pose some issues in the international diplomacies Indonesia intends to do."

Prasetyo said that labelling the OPM and other Papua armed separatists as terrorists was too much, and that the legal violations committed by the armed groups were criminal acts and did not need to be identified as terror acts.

He said the labelling instead implied the government was overwhelmed by the social conflicts in Papua, and that he feared a massive security operation was imminent in the name of counterterrorism.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1460316/opm-terrorist-label-may-hamper-indonesias-diplomacy-says-exper