Wamena, Jubi – Yap Thiem Award 2009 winner Father John Djonga warned that Jayawijaya Regency is facing a humanitarian emergency following a demonstration by midwives and other health workers in Wamena on Friday (13/5/2016).
The protestors urged the Jayawijaya Government and Police to immediately provide a security guarantee for health workers because they are vulnerable to sexual harassment and rape.
Father Djonga asked both Local Government and Police to respond this situation immediately.
“I respect and support what they (midwives) have done,” he told Jubi in Wamena, Jayapura on Monday (16/5/2016).
He said at least there are 37 cases of sexual harassment and violence towards the medical staffs working at the villages. The Police, Customary Community and the Church decided to be silenced towards this issue. “Currently the situation in Jayawijaya is on alert. The humanitarian workers such as nurses, midwives or teachers and others feel being threatened,” he said. According to him the threat of rape or murder towards medical staffs indicated the authority has failed to protect their people.
“If the midwife was not there, the mortality rate of mothers and children might be even higher. It means the population of Papuans is threatened. So, I hope the Customary Community, the local figures to protect the medical staffs, teachers and other humanitarian activists,” he said.
He said if the government wants to eliminate the mortality rate of mothers and children, they should protect the medical workers as well as the teachers. “Stop the bad behaviors to pretend drunk or threat to do violence or even to kill,” he said.
Jayawijaya Police Deputy Chief Commissionaire Fransiskus Elosak said the Police have invited the district chiefs related to the attempted rape against a midwife at Libarek, Pisugi and Witawaya sub-districts. They were asked to help the Police in revealing the case by reporting the perpetrators to the Police. “If they couldn’t take the perpetrators to the Police, they must provide information to us. We are ready to arrest the perpetrators,” said the deputy chief.
He said the number of Police personnel at Jayawijaya Police is limited although there is ‘One Police One Village’ Program of the Indonesian Police to ensure the security. Therefore he expected the replacement of medical staffs to be reviewed and coordinated with the sub-district chiefs, village chiefs and community leaders to obtain protection and security assurance from the local community. (Islami Adisubrata/rom)