Indonesia criticizes UN Human Rights body for lack of coordination over Papua visit
By Dian Septiari The Jakarta Post Thu June 21, 2018
Papuan women of Enggros village in Jayapura, Papua, swim in a mangrove forest, which locals call “tonotwiyat” (female forest), to collect clams in this file photo. Men are not allowed to enter the forest when women are collecting clams. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia has blamed staff members of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regional office in Bangkok for lack of coordination over the planned visit to Papua and West Papua.
“It is deeply regrettable that the staff members of his regional office in Bangkok, instead of coordinating the planned visit with Indonesian authorities, have unilaterally set the dates and areas to visit in Papua and West Papua, while demanding immediate access,” Hasan Kleib, Indonesian Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Hasan was responding to a remark by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council on Monday.
“In Indonesia, I am concerned that despite positive engagement by the authorities in many respects, the government’s invitation to my office to visit Papua — which was made during my visit in February — has still not been honored,” Zeid said.
Zeid was meeting government officials, during which he expressed concern over the excessive use of force by Indonesian security forces, harassment, arbitrary arrests and detentions in Papua.
Hasan said the Indonesian government did invite Zeid to personally visit Papua and West Papua. Zeid responded that he would be represented by the regional office in Bangkok.
The staff members, Hasan said, “has misleadingly acted as if there are already mutually agreed visits scheduled and that the government of Indonesia has not yet given them the access”.
Hasan said such a misunderstanding did not give the government enough time to coordinate with local governments and also obstructed coordination between the government and the regional office in Bangkok. (dmr)