Jayapura, Jubi – The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) criticized President Joko Widodo’s decision to name Ryamizard Ryacudu as Minister of Defense.
“The assignment of such authoritarian person like Ryamizard Ryacudu showed the President Widodo is not serious about promoting human rights or concerned about Papua,” ETAN Coordinator, John M. Miller said Monday (27/10).
Miller further said Ryacudu is the historical legacy of the human rights violations by the military and his assignment could be a threat to human rights defenders and firmly confirm military intervention in civilian affairs.
“Although eradicating corruption is a priority for his administration, President Widodo clearly has not considered Ryacudu’s background and track record on human rights issues in Indonesia,” he added.
Prior to the Presidential Election, the Indonesian human rights defenders group urged the new administrative after the election to disconnect with the past. An Indonesian human rights activist said Ryacudu’s assignment is likely inheriting the impunity on the human rights violations in the past.
“It would reveal the lack of accountability in solving the human rights violation in the past, as well as in the present. It also a threat to the expansion of human rights enforcement, especially in Papua,” Papuan young activist Robert Jitmau said.
Ryamizard Ryacudu is known as the military general who often condemned the human rights defenders. He had doubt about the ability of civilian to rule this country. At the end of 2003, Ryacudu stated those who opposed the military’s policy should be considered as anti-government; therefore they could be removed. He also offended Papuan people by saying the members of Kopassus (Military Special Force) who killed the Great Papuan Leader Theys Hiyo Eluay as heroes.
“People said they were guilty, they broke the law. What was it? Yes, this is a State of Law. But for me, they are the heroes because they killed the leader of the rebels,” said Ryacudu at that time. (Victor Mambor)