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Just Don’t Demonstrate about Anything that is in Opposition

PRESS RELEASE

Just Don’t Demonstrate about Anything that is in Opposition to Jakarta.

Jayapura, Papuan Province, Indonesia – 6 December, 2013

“You can demonstrate but the demonstration must not be about something that is in opposition to the Republic of Indonesia or about independence for Papua” were the words of the Head of the Indonesian Police in the province of Papua (source : Suluh Papua, Thursday 5 December 2013).

This statement by the Head of Provincial Police is both highly provocative and unconstitutional. He needs to learn more about the provisions of the Indonesian law which as written allows citizens freedom of expression of opinion in public. The peaceful expression of opinion in public is expressly guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia as made quite clear by the specific article concerning the Expression of Opinion in Public. That right is also guaranteed by international law.

The Head of Police in Papua needs to also study about democracy so that his very narrow thinking and level of insight might be broadened. As it is such that has led to the countless victims of violence and brutality of the armed forces in Papua until this time. The reality is that throughout the period that Tito Karnavian has been the Head of Papuan Provincial Police, freedom of expression in Papua has been absolutely stifled.

The Head of Police’s provocative statement has also been published in the daily newspaper Cenderawasih Post, causing Rev Socrates Yoman (from the Baptist Church in Papua) to respond as follows:

“....(To) the Head of Papuan Provincial Police, the Deputy Head of Papuan Provincial Police and all those ranks under your command within the Police Forces in the land of Papua. I wish to ask you with this sms, were the arms that were pictured in the Cenderawasih Post (on Thursday 5 December 2013) in truth that of the OPM or KNPB? (referring to a photo of weapons on 5 Dec 2013 supposedly confiscated from the office of the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB).) I ask that you stop lying and making out things that are simply not true! ............................ Are you trying to make out to the public in Papua, in Indonesia and the world that the struggle of the community and nation of Papua is being carried out (by the Papuans) using violence? Who is the real source of all violence and humanitarian evil in Papua? Who is it that has been killing the children of Papua for 50 years in the name of national security? ............................................. It’s like you are allowing any method whatsoever to be used.”

In the name of guarding the sovereignty of Indonesia, so many indigenous Papuans have become victims of Indonesia’s brutal and inhumane ways. The dignity of humanity needs to be valued, respected and protected by all persons. It simply cannot be justified under any circumstances to take away the life of human beings in the interests of so called guarding the sovereignty of the Indonesian Republic.

ENDS

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