Message from the Head of Education Service in Papua to KKB (Armed Group): The Teacher You Killed, Wanted to Save Your Children…

The world of education in Papua Province is grieving after an elementary school teacher of Inpres Beoga, Oktovianus Rayo, and a mathematics teacher at Beoga 1 Public Middle School (SMPN) 1, Yonatan Randen, were shot dead by an armed criminal group (KKB). The two teachers were shot by KKB in Beoga District, Puncak Regency, Papua Province. The shooting drew criticism from a number of parties. Head of the Education, Library, and Archives Service of Papua Province, Christian Sohilait strongly condemned the KKB’s actions. He also left a message to the shooters. “The teachers you killed, wanted to save your children (from ignorance),” said Sohilait in Jayapura, Monday (11/4/2021).

Oktovianus and Jonathan were shot at different times. Oktovianus on Thursday (8/4/2021) and Jonathan on Friday (9/4/2021). Sohilait also spoke up about the KKB’s accusation that Oktovianus was a spy for the security forces. He called the accusations heinous.

He also added that the geographic location and minimal infrastructure facilities in Beoga meant that not many teachers were willing to be placed in that location. Beoga is at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level. “They are both honorary teachers. There is no way my teachers in such a situation would risk their life by carrying a weapon. I believe that accusation is false. For KKB, do not try to divert the public’s opinion, you have killed people,” said Sohilait. He also said that there were still seven teachers at Beoga. “Yesterday (10/4/2021) three teachers and two families had already been evacuated. There are still seven teachers in Beoga, but based on their own consideration, they are measuring whether they want to be evacuated or remain in Beoga,” said Sohilait.

KKB shot Oktovianus Rayo who was watching over a kiosk at his house in Julugoma Village on Thursday, at around 09.30 WIT. He died after suffering two gunshot wounds to the right rib. Meanwhile, Yonathan was the victim of a shooting on Friday afternoon. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Yonathan was rushed by the community to Beoga Health Center, but he did not survive. The two bodies were evacuated to Mimika on Saturday (10/4/2021). The evacuation was finally possible after the Puncak Regency Government paid a ransom to the KKB to let the plane enter Beoga Airport.

Source: Kompas

National Human Rights Commission Disagrees to Military Withdrawal and Says OPM is Perpetrator of Violence

The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komisi Nasional HAM/Komnas HAM) acknowledges that some acts of violence that occur in Papua are perpetrated by the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka/OPM).

Komnas HAM chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik considered that these acts of violence are very brutal.

“Sometimes they are very brutal, like the incidents in Wamena and other cities where demonstrations occurred following the case of racial discrimination in Surabaya. We have noted that there have been many brutal acts of violence by the OPM,” said Ahmad in his presentation at the Indonesian Military and National Police (TNI-Polri) Leaders Meeting on Monday, February 15, 2021.

Ahmad asked the government to allow Komnas HAM to have a dialogue with certain parties or local figures. This measure is to prevent more violent incidents from occurring.

“We are proposing leniency, a little more flexibility for Komnas HAM to initiate dialogues with certain parties,” said Ahmad.

For three days, on 15-17 February 2021, TNI-Polri held the 2021 Leaders Meeting. On the first day, the two agencies discussed a number of issues including economic growth, Covid-19 handling, and strategies in handling human rights issues. Komnas HAM was invited to provide input.

In addition, the Head of Komnas HAM also said that he does not agree to any proposals that are aimed at weakening the strength of the TNI and Polri in protecting the sovereignty of the Indonesian nation, including the withdrawal of military and police personnel assigned to Papua.

“In various speeches and seminars, I always say that our country’s democracy is developing. In its development, there are extraordinary dynamics, where sometimes it would go awry. I usually call these situations a turbulence,” said Ahmad.

The reason why the National Military and National Police must remain in Papua, Ahmad said, is that the they are the guardians of the democratic principles, so long human rights norms are maintained. He stated that the proposed withdrawal of military and police force from Papua was not approved by his institution, because it would weaken the two institutions in the region.

“If withdrawn, the region will get more dangerous. Thus, whenever someone came to us with such proposal, Komnas HAM has never agreed. How can they be withdrawn if there are still many problems there,” he said.

“Because we want discipline and operations to be carried out. Therefore, the reduction of military forces and other similar things, in my opinion, are absurd,” he added.

According to him, Indonesia is a sovereign country, and it is the duty of the TNI-Polri to resolve any disturbances to the sovereignty in accordance with human rights principles. Ahmad emphasized that, as two institutions that protect human rights, the TNI and Polri must be strengthened, as many people were attacked by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in Papua.

“Two of the protectors of human rights in Indonesia are the TNI and Polri. Without them, our society will certainly become victims of various acts of violent persecution,” he added.

Source:

Tempo

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