TNI puts money on coffin disrespectful and demeaning OAP: Theo Hesegem

TNI members placed Rp 200 million on the coffins of Bruno Anonymous Kimko and Yohanes Kanggum in Mappi - Ist

Enarotali, Jubi – Executive Director of the Papuan Justice and Human Integrity Foundation Theo Hesegem is outraged at the treatment of the Indonesian Military (TNI) deemed to have exchanged the dignity of indigenous Papuans (OAP) for money.

This was related to the persecution case that led to the death of an indigenous Papuan in Mappi Regency by the Army, who later expressed their “regrets” by giving money.

“From what I’ve seen so far, it’s as if the lives of Papuans can be replaced with money. Money has become a standard for TNI soldiers to solve the problems they cause through the mechanism of customary law agreements,” Theo Hesegem told Jubi on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

Hesegem said that killing and torture is an unlawful acts that must be punished according to the law. On August 30, 2022, two civilians in Mappi named Bruno Amenim Kimko and Yohanes Kanggun were tortured by military personnel from the Yonif Raider 600 Modang Infantry Unit on duty in Mappi.

This torture resulted in the death of Bruno Amenim Kimko. During the funeral ceremony, a representative of the Army, Maj. Stevy G. Titiheru paid compensation money of Rp 200 million to the relatives.

“In my opinion, the TNI placing money on the coffin and then taking photos together were very disrespectful and demeaned the dignity of indigenous Papuans. That was very cheap. It is not surprising that killings and torture of indigenous Papuans continue to occur in this land,” he said.

According to Hesegem, because paying compensation money for every Papuan killed is considered a common thing for the authorities in Papua, it is easy for the TNI to eliminate the lives of the indigenous Papuan people.

“The victim’s family often asks the government to punish the perpetrators according to the law but usually the legal process is hampered when money has been involved, and suddenly the case is closed,” he continued.

Hesegem hoped that TNI Commander Andika Perkasa and the TNI Chief of Staff would pay attention to the Mappi incident. “And please explain it to us indigenous Papuans, why does TNI think money can solve the problem? Are members of TNI obliged or taught to put money on the coffin?” he said.

He added that Indonesia currently had Law No. 5/1998 on the ratification of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. “The act of putting money on top of the coffin has brought down the authority and dignity of the TNI institution in the eyes of the local, national and international public. I hope the TNI Commander must take firm action regarding this so that his members do not commit inhumane acts no more,” he said. (*)

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