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Jakarta Post

Komnas HAM finds human rights violations in Tolikara incident

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 11, 2015   /  02:21 pm

The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) announced on Monday that it had found four human rights violations during a clash instigated by a Christian group affiliated with the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) in Tolikara, Papua, last month.

Komnas HAM commissioner Maneger Nasution said the commission had found violations of the right to worship according to people'€™s beliefs during the confrontation.

'€œBased on our investigation, we found four human rights violations, one of which was the violation of the people'€™s right to worship based on their beliefs,'€ Maneger told reporters in Jakarta on Monday.

He added that the Tolikara Regent Usman Wanimbo had confirmed to the commission the existence of a local bylaw that limits the practice of certain religions.

'€œTolikara Regent Usman Wanimbo confirmed that he had signed the regulation together with two political party factions of the Tolikara Legislative Council in 2013,'€ Maneger said.

However, the commission said that it had not received the documents on the regulation.

The suspected discriminative bylaw has also been reported to the Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo by the regent, but he had also failed to show the documents to the minister.

Komnas HAM chairman Nur Kholis said the commission could not investigate the bylaw further since there were no documents that could support the regent'€™s statements. '€œWe didn'€™t have the documents to carry on with this investigation,'€ Nur told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Komnas HAM also found that the confrontation had resulted in a violation of a person'€™s right to life.

During the confrontation, 12 Tolikara residents were injured by police gunfire while a teenager was shot dead.

'€œThe clash resulted in the taking of one resident'€™s life,'€ Maneger said.

He added that the incident had left the Tolikara community in great fear.

'€œWe discovered that more than 400 residents, including children were traumatized by the incident,'€ he said, adding that it had therefore resulted in a violation of people'€™s right to security.

Furthermore, Maneger explained that many Tolikara residents'€™ homes had been destroyed in the incident.

'€œDozens of houses and a small mosque were burnt down during the incident,'€ Maneger said.

Based on these findings, Komnas HAM has sent a recommendation letter to the central government and local administrations, hoping that similar incidents would not occur in other regions in the future.

On July 24, Papua Police arrested two people, identified only as JW and AK, for instigating the riot.

A group of nationally known Muslim figures had urged the National Police to investigate the case and arrest Tolikara GIDI board members Nayus Wenda and Marthen Jinggawho who signed a letter that urged the Muslim community in Tolikara to stop their Idul Fitri prayers.

The letter, dated July 13, called for the prohibition of Muslims in Tolikara carrying out their Idul Fitri prayers, and also banned the wearing of the hijab in Tolikara.

The letter was later disowned and annulled by the central committee of the GIDI but this was not well-disseminated to their members in the region.

Both groups have since reconciled and the situation in the region has returned to normal.

The government is funding the reconstruction of the burned buildings and has taken care of the injured. (ind)

Komnas HAM has sent a recommendation to the government, hoping that similar incidents would not occur in other regions.

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