LBH Papua launches crisis center addressing violence and criminalization

LBH Papua
Director of LBH Papua, Emanuel Gobay (white shirt) explains the purpose of opening a complaint post for violence and criminalization of civil society in Papua. - Jubi/Theo Kelen

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), under the leadership of Director Emanuel Gobay, inaugurated a crisis center to handle grievances regarding the mistreatment and unjust legal actions against the people in Papua. Gobay highlighted a surge in cases where they provided assistance and support, prompting the establishment of this post.

He pointed out ongoing instances of violence directed at various segments of society in Papua, encompassing women, children, and even cases involving security forces like the Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police. Despite their involvement in assisting these cases, justice remains hard to find, with no redress through ethical hearings or military courts.

“Beyond the physical violence, there is widespread criminalization, like the mistreatment of palm oil workers in Keerom as well as Indigenous Papuans,” said Gobay.

He further criticized the non-inclusive process of issuing environmental permits, indicating potential corruption and a disregard for good governance principles. Ultimately, this chaotic system leads to the erosion of indigenous rights.

Gobay a;sp shed light on the consistent criminalization of activists advocating for human rights in Papua, extending to students facing charges under treason articles. He highlighted the prevalence of this issue across various sectors in 2023, with some cases going unaddressed.

LBH Papua invites the public to report instances of violence and criminalization, offering both online and offline avenues for complaints. Gobay’s aspiration is for this initiative to empower victims to stand up for their rights and seek justice. The aim is to gather complaints from across Papua, recognizing the ongoing challenges and striving to support those affected by these injustices.

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