Statement On Human Rights in Papau
A Statement from the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
INDONESIA: Website launch www.papuansbehindbars.org
Jayapura, Tuesday 16 April 2013
Today the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua, working together with a number of human rights NGOs in Jakarta and internationally will formally launch the Papuans Behind Bars websitewww.papuansbehindbars.org, or in Indonesian, 'Orang Papua Dibalik Jeruji.' The website is intended to support advocacy for the rights of the political prisoners who are currently languishing in jails across Papua. Based on the data collected by the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua, at the end of March 2013 there were at least 40 political detainees being held in Papuan jails.
This website shows the existence of political prisoners today and the history of Papuan political prisoners who have been subjected to torture, denied access to lawyers, forced to confess and suffered all manner of other human rights violations. The existence of political prisoners cannot be denied despite statements to the contrary by Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto, that those in custody in Papua are criminals who are undergoing rehabilitation. The website will also provide updates on the situation in the prisons.
It's important to respect the rights of detainees in police detention when they are being detained or interrogated on suspicion of treason, as well as those who are serving sentences having been found guilty of treason. This is because there have been a number of stories of human rights violations such as torture which begin from the moment of arrest and interrogation and continue while people are serving sentences.
Despite the fact that Indonesia has already ratified the International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights via Law 12/2005 and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment via Law 5/1998, treason cases tried in the Papua state courts continue to be tried under politically-motivated charges of Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Emergency Law 12/1951. Treason suspects and convicts are treated like any other criminals such as thieves and rapists. So it's unsurprising that with the brutal attitude of the security forces at the moment of arrest, detention and even while serving their sentences, they experience human rights violations which should not be allowed to take place.
With the www.papuansbehindbars.org website, the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua will work together with various other human rights groups in monitoring those political prisoners who continue to languish behind bars, both those under interrogation and those who are serving sentences in Papuan jails, in order to ensure that their human rights are protected.
Taking into account Indonesia's ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by Law Number 12 of 2005,and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment through Law 5 of 1998, we make following recommendations to the Government of INDONESIA:
1. Release all political prisoners in Papuan prisons in Papua and immediately begin a peace dialogue with the Papuan people.
2. Guarantee the rights of political prisoners, including access to health care and legal services.
3. Especially the Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs, to meet with political prisoners who are languishing in various Papuan jails to get fact for their situation and existence.
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.