Indonesia Calls Issue of West Papuan Human Rights Violations at UN Human Rights Council wasn’t Sold Out

The Indonesian government has denied all exposure to human rights violations expressed by representatives of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Victor Yeimo and Veronika Koman, at the United Nations Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday (3/13) yesterday. They stated that the issues brought by the KNPB did not sell well and were inferior to other issues discussed. 

The Indonesian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Hasan Kleib, stated that Victor’s exposure to the issue of West Papua was inferior to the latest human rights issues. Namely like the LGBT problem, the persecution of Uighurs in Xinjiang, China, the conflict in Kashmir to Western Sahara because it is supported by more NGOs. 

“Given the many NGOs (NGOs) that talk about human rights issues in other countries (around 130-150an NGOs registered to speak) at the 4th DHAM program, the statements of Veronika Koman and Victor Yeimo were very poor listeners and attention,” said Hasan when confirmed by via instant message on Thursday (3/14). 

According to Hasan, the government continues to pay attention to the development and promotion of human rights promotion in Papua and West Papua. According to him, the government also encouraged democratic practices and relations between the government and non-governmental organizations.

Hasan confirmed that the West Papua issue was raised in one of the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council session yesterday in Geneva. The issue is called enough attention not by the state, but by three NGOs on behalf of Franciscans International (FI), Vivat International (VI) and Geneva for Human Rights (GHR). “But it is very unfortunate, the government is faced with NGOs that have low credibility. This NGO actually sharpens the differences and pursues publicity by cornering the government,” Hasan said.

“Even when countries like Indonesia are committed to upholding democracy and have tried their best to improve the human rights situation in the field,” Hasan continued.

In the trial, Victor Yeimo who was the Chair of the KNPB and Veronika Koman described the fate of West Papuans who had become a minority in their ancestral lands since 1969. This was after the Dwikora military operation, which they considered a form of colonialism by the Indonesian government.

Victor also mentioned the repressive actions of the Indonesian security forces to the West Papuan people in the trial, including the conflict in Nduga some time ago.

Hasan said Victor could speak at the forum in the name of GHR. He stressed Victor did not have an organization in Geneva so he did not have the capacity to speak as a person or group.

Hasan said that in the trial Victor could only speak by borrowing the name of an NGO that already had accreditation in Ecosoc consultative status.

Even so, Hasan stressed that Indonesia continued to present a defense of Victor’s statement in the trial.

Hasan explained in February a number of international NGOs, including the FI and the World Church Council, had visited West Papua. However, he stated that the KNPB did not mention the matter and instead manipulated information for its own benefit.


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