TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) on Thursday spoke up about the latest incident regarding authorities using excessive force in Merauke, Papua, where two air force (TNI AU) personnel forcefully tackled a civilian on the ground. This unfortunate incident was recorded by a bystander and went viral on Tuesday, July 27.
KontraS legal affairs coordinator Andi Rezaldy argues that authorities’ approach of using violence is not a solution to tackle issues of violence in Indonesia's easternmost province.
“The string of violences happening in Papua proves that the mobilization of security forces and using violence will not solve the root problem,” he said to Tempo on July 29. “The country should be able to read into the situation in Papua and see the substance of the problem.”
From the policy perspective, there is no accountability and transparency in the security mobilization through the Armed Forces (TNI) personnel even though Law No.34/2004 on Indonesian National Soldiers mandates mobilization of forces must be under the President’s orders.
“However, the President never announced it and there are no documents that can be accessed in public corroborating that,” said Rezaldy.
He recalled KontraS requesting information transparency on the TNI and National Police mobilization to Papua but has yet received any response.
The watchdog recorded 16 cases of violence from January this year alone; with 17 people injured, 73 were arrested, and 10 deaths. The victims were dominated by activists with 25 people, followed by non-job civilians with (15), and students (5).