Human Rights Watch (HRW) is one of the most influential human rights defender in the world. However, it is clear that 2008 HRW report on Indonesia was made by too simple and too fast in jumping into conclusion. For example: about threats and intimidation against human rights defenders that HRW said significantly increased in Papua and West Papua was not clear and the evidents were not convincing. I am afraid that the HRW monitoring team in Indonesia consists of amateurs who do not understand the problem in Papua and West Papua.
The most significant problem in Papua and West Papua Province is the limited war between Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM – Free Papua Organization) and Indonesian Military. Papuan people are in disagreement with both side because all we want is simply a peaceful economic development, so we can see the brightness of our future. However, the separatist OPM guerilla always intimidating us, and the military sometimes wrongly accused us as part of the OPM. For example, the OPM always try to trick or trap us into their propaganda such as the distribution of OPM symbol, etc. Furthermore, the OPM keep telling Papuan people about problem, problem and problem. In reality there is no problem at all in our daily life.
While, Indonesian Military and Police Brigade are not sensitive enough to reach the essence of the problem. They can not differentiate OPM from peaceful Papuan, that is why the OPM tactics successfully put Indonesian Military or Police in jeopardy. At that point, the 2008 HRW report catch the point.
I would be more appreciate to the HRW report if they can objectivelly tell the world about the OPM criminal conviction that really frightening us. All we see inside the HRW report is further worsening the situation in Papua and West Papua Province. In one side, the report will give negative impact into Indonesian Military and Police that eventually the Military and Police will react in a negative manner. On the other side, the OPM will feel happy and get more confident to continue their terror act against Papuan people because the world is blinded by HRW report.
Please help us ordinary Papuan to push further Indonesian Military and Police reform.
Please help us ordinary Papuan to get free from the OPM terrors.
Unfortunatelly, most of Western analysts or watchers do not care about the reality, they only care how to boost their report or article to the world and get as much attention as possible. Here is one of the example of the typical article that cannot see human rights problem in an objective way.
Rights report slams RI over threats in Papua, idle reforms
Tony Hotland, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Threats and intimidation against rights defenders increased in Papua and West Papua provinces in 2007 while efforts at military reform stalled, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday in its global report on human rights.
It praised the revocation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the criminalizing of public expressions of hatred toward the government, as well as efforts toward accountability for the murder of rights icon Munir Said Thalib.
“Some progress was made in addressing the human rights crimes of the (former president) Soeharto era,” said the HRW’s World Report 2008.
It considered the revocation of the Truth Commission a move ahead in abolishing impunity since the commission would have been able to grant amnesty to those responsible for past crimes.
National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) chairman Ifdhal Kasim said the report underlined Jakarta’s half-hearted human rights protection despite various legally binding instruments.
“The fact that we still talk about the unresolved cases of the (1989) Talangsari incident, the military operations in Papua and Aceh or the 1965 coup shows we have been running to a standstill.
“Many rights cases that the commission has brought to the prosecutor’s office are gathering dust in their office,” he said.
The report also says that peaceful political activists in Papua and West Papua continued to be classified as separatists, facing arrest and criminal conviction, while excessive and often brutal force was still used by the government against civilians.
Ifdhal said the current government was still clinging to the ways of past administrations to isolate the eastern-most, resource-rich Papua region.
Foreign journalists need approval to enter the region, while international rights officials have been denied entry.
The report cited a May 2007 incident in East Java when 13 Marines shot and killed four civilians over a land dispute. It said this incident exemplified continuing human rights violations associated with the involvement of security forces in private business.
Freedom of religion, meanwhile, was rated low with the report referring to incidents of radical elements forcibly closing minority places of worship with little response from local authorities.
On child domestic and migrant workers, the report said poorly monitored labor recruiters often deceived workers about their jobs abroad and returning migrant workers were diverted to a separate terminal and subjected to extortion.
A current draft law that would mandate an eight-hour work day, a weekly day of rest and an annual holiday, it added, carried no sanctions against employers or recruiting agencies that violate its provisions.
The annual report is the 18th compiled by the group, founded in 1978 as Helsinki Watch’s Europe and Central Asia divisions. It summarizes the human rights situation in more than 75 countries.