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Komnas HAM finds evidence of serious rights violations in Puncak Jaya

Detik.com-January 4, 2011

Adi Nugroho, Jakarta Ė The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has concluded that serious human rights violations were committed by the Indonesian military (TNI) against people in Puncak Jaya, Papua. Komnas HAM has also submitted its recommendations on the results of an investigation it has been conducting since November 11 last year to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY).

"From the findings and data gathered, we concluded that serious human rights violations occurred. The team will submit the recommendations to several parties, [but] first the president", said Komnas HAM chairperson Ifdhal Kasim during a press conference at the Komnas HAM offices on Jl. Latuharhari in Central Jakarta on Tuesday January 4.

According to Kasim, the violence and monitoring team in Puncak Jaya will urge Yudhoyono to immediately conduct a comprehensive evaluation into the approach used by security forces in Papua. In addition to the president, the team will also be making recommendations to the commander-in-chief of the TNI, the Papuan chief of police, the Cendrawasih regional military commander as well as the Puncak Jaya regent and regional House of Representatives.

Kasim added that the team found evidence of human rights violations such as torture, harsh and inhuman treatment and the lost of the right to a sense of security.

Although Komnas HAM concluded that serious human rights violations occurred, it did not find evidence of systematic violence or murder in the sense of policies intended to murder the Papuans as a people. Because of this, the team has decided not to establish an ad hoc team.

"Because it does not fulfill the material or formal conditions, at the Komnas HAM's plenary meeting it was decided not to form a pro-judicial or pro-ad hoc team", said Kasim.

Earlier on Friday December 31, TNI chief Admiral Agus Suhartono claimed that sentences have been handed down against TNI members from the Cendrawasih XVII Regional Military Command AVT/NABIRE 753 unit, who were seen on a video recording committing violence against Puncak Jaya residents. Suhartono stated however that these actions were not gross human rights violations.

"What must be understood is that the situation there is tense, it's not like Jakarta. There were no orders from a superior to torture people. It cannot be called a gross human rights violation. It was simply a case of exceeding the authority given to them by their officers", said Suhartono. (nik/fay)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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