31 Jul 2008

Researcher questions capacity of Indonesian Human Rights body to probe Papua abuses

7:17 pm on 31 July 2008

A researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences has questioned whether the National Human Rights Commission is capable of properly investigating historical human rights violations in Papua.

Muridan Widjojo says the Commission faces a big challenge after deciding to launch an investigation into alleged human rights violations in Papua between 1963 and 2002.

Mr Widjojo says that the Commission must investigate the role of non-state parties, including separatist rebel groups and foreign institutions, in alleged rights abuses.

He says this has previously been overlooked, resulting in biased and unbalanced reports, often based on invalid data.

The researcher says the question is whether the investigators have the capacity to adequately assess these cases:

"In Papua from the 60s to the year 2000, there are hundreds of cases - both the small cases and the big cases - and you really need a very good team to investigate all this research. I think the National Commission will have a problem with the capacity of the team and the funding."

Muridan Widjojo