By Budi Hernawan
The recent fatal shootings in Papua by the Indonesian authorities are not novel. Rather, they are the latest in an ongoing pattern of human rights abuse. The gravity of the crackdown in the context of which the shootings occurred has been emphasised not only by local human rights groups but also by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. In a public statement released just two days after the shootings, she said she was disappointed to see ‘violence and abuses continuing in Papua’, and she described the latest incidents as ‘unfortunate examples of the ongoing suppression of freedom of expression and excessive use of force in Papua.’ Such a prompt response from the highest UN official dealing with human rights sends a clear signal that the violence in Papua is by no means a low priority on the UN’s human rights agenda.
In claiming that ‘[i]nternational human rights law requires the Government of Indonesia to conduct thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into the incidents of killings and torture and [to] bring the perpetrators to justice’, Pillay invokes the fundamental responsibility of all states to protect their own citizens. Continue Reading →