Anti racism protest in West Papua
Anti racism protest in West Papua - Jubi

Papuan activist to report 5 Indonesian top figures for alleged racism


West Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi


Jayapura, Jubi – Human rights activist Ambrosius Mulait plans to report five powerful politicians to the police for alleged racism in their statements. The five are: Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud M.D., former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Hendropriyono and Malang Deputy Mayor Sofyan Edi Jarwoko.


“We’re preparing the document. We represent Papuan people to report racially charged statements from this nation’s figures who currently sit in power,” said Mulait in a press release made available on Jan. 30.



Mulait is a former political prisoner for antiracism rallies and the secretary general for Association of Students from Papua’s Pegunungan Tengah in Indonesia.


Mulait’s plan was prompted by the latest alleged racism case involving politician and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s supporter, Ambroncius Nababan, who has been named suspect by the National Police on Jan. 26 and detained the following day.


Read also: [OPINION] Will racism against Natalius Pigai impact Papuans-Indonesians relationship?


Activists and scholars, however, argued that Nababan’s behavior was not an isolated case. It happened repeatedly both in Papua Land or in other parts of Indonesia.


Mulait said racially charged statements from the figures were a criminal violation because it was motivated by racial prejudice to hurt Papuans feelings.


“We want Jokowi administration to act fairly in enforcing the law because (the statements) Papuan people,” he said.


He said he expected the National Police to investigate racism allegations fairly and bring them to fair and honest court to prevent horizontal conflicts in Papua Land.


Read also: Racism against Papuans: National Police investigate reports on attacks against Natalius Pigai


Mulait said the five people he planned to report to the police made the statements in mass media.


Sri Sultan and separatism allegation


In 2016, during the siege of Kamasan Papuan Student Dorm in Yogyakarta from July 14-16, the governor who is also the sultan said that the students were separatists and separatists had no place in Yogyakarta.


His accusation was a response to the students’ plan to rally in support of a self determination referendum of Papuan people on July 15. A day before the planned rally, the police besieged the dorm.


The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) regretted the governor’s statement because it singled out one ethnic group, which was Papuan. Natalius Pigai, at that time one of the commissioners, said that the governor did not say clearly who were the separatists among the students, thus generalizing as if all Papuans were separatists and insinuating that the governor want the students to leave Yogyakarta.


Sultan had stated that he found nothing wrong in his statement.


Luhut tells Papuans to join Melanesian countries


Mulait said he would report Luhut for his statement on Feb. 19, 2016 that insinuated he wanted Papuans to leave Indonesia and join Melanesian countries. He made the statement in response to the statement from free Papua activist Benny Wenda that said his organization, United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) got support from Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).


Read also: When Persipura fights racism on the field


“Go, go join MSG. Don’t live in Indonesia anymore,” Luhut said as quoted by CNN Indonesia in 2016.


Mulait said, 45 years ago, national figure Ali Murtopo said Papuans who wanted to be free, go to Melanesian countries. Decades later, Luhut repeated the old statement that he found “insulting”.


As quoted in, Ali Murtopo said in front of Papuan Meeting Council in Jayapura that Jakarta did not want Papuan people but only wanted the land. A pastor named Hokojoku said he heard Murtopo made the statement in sneer.


“If Papuans want to be independent,” said Ali according to Hokojoku, “they better ask God to give Papuans an island in the Pacific for them to emigrate.”


Hendropriyono wants to separate Papuans from PNG


Mulait said Hendropriyono, former spy chief, had said that he once wanted to move 2  million Papuans to Manado in North Sulawesi, and Manadonese to Papua Land.


In a 57-minute video from on Jan. 6, Hendropriyono was recorded saying: “When I was still a major in Army Command School, all Irian only had about 2 million population. So I said, can I make a suggestion? Why don’t we send the 2 million in transmigration program, where? To Manado. And we send Manadonese there (Papua),” he said. The part where he said the statement had an additional text that put the statement in context: he made the suggestion so Papuans won’t “racially mixed” with the population of Papua New Guinea.


Mahfud MD: ‘Probably just trash’


Mulait got Coordinating minister Mahfud M.D. on the list for his statement about documents on the victims of human rights violations, which he called “probably just trash”. Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman said she handed over the documents to Jokowi during his visit to Australia.


“[The President] has received many such letters. People came up to him to shake his hands in admiration, while at the same time handing over folders and letters to him. We don’t know which ones were submitted by [Veronica] Koman,” Mahfud said.


“Regular citizens also send letters to the President. If [Veronica] indeed [handed over documents], they end up as trash,” Mahfud said.


Read also: Papuan human right lawyer confirm data on political prisoners by Veronica is valid


The documents contained details on 57 political prisoners and 243 civilians who had been killed in Nduga, Papua since December 2018.


“His statement hurt Papuan people’s feelings,” Mulait said.


Mahfud MD clarified his statement, as quoted by CNN Indonesia, and said that he did not refer to the documents but referred to Veronica Koman’s statement that she handed over the document to Jokowi.


Malang deputy mayor: Send Papuan students home


The fifth in the list is Malang Deputy Mayor Sofyan Edi Jarwoko, who said on Aug. 15, 2019 that Papuan students in Malang should go home to Papua.


He stated this after a rally by Papuan Students Alliance and Indonesian People Front (FRI), which demanded a referendum in Papua.


Sofyan denied that his statement was racially charged because he had ordered non-Papuan students to leave Malang too, for violating public order, he said.


Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Zely Ariane, Evi Mariani

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