PPHAM holds meeting without involving the families of victims of past gross human rights violations

The Indonesian government has been addressing past human rights violations, including the Wamena case from 4 April 2003, through non-judicial means, but without engaging with the victims’ families. On 13 November 2023, the Non-Judicial Settlement Team for Past Gross Human Rights Violations (PPHAM) held its fourth meeting in Wamena. However, this meeting did not involve the victims’ families or the coordinator of human rights violations in Wamena.

The Papuan human rights defender, Theo Hesegem, noted that the victims’ families had not seen any changes in the government’s attitude towards their four demands, and they had received no answers or clarifications. The meeting on 13 November 2023, was seen as informal and lacked the participation of the victims’ families.

The government, through the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, had failed to respond to the victims’ families’ demands. The PPHAM team under the Coordinating Ministry had been trying to offer compensation and assistance, but the victims’ families in Wamena remained resolute in their rejection of such offers.

In previous meetings, the victims’ families’ statements had gone unanswered, and they felt pressured by the central government to accept compensation. Linus Hiluka, the coordinator of the victims of the Wamena case, and Pastor Hosea Murib were not involved in the 13 November meeting. They rejected both judicial and non-judicial settlements, suspecting that the government was struggling to respond to their demands.

Linus Hiluka emphasized that the government should not force the victims and their families to accept its terms, suggesting an element of coercion through the Human Rights Violations Settlement Team. He questioned the legitimacy of other victims’ families who may have accepted compensation.

Pastor Hosea Murib also expressed confusion over the government’s stance and questioned why their responses were not openly communicated. He suggested resolving the issue through international channels, as pressure from the international community was involved.

In summary, the Indonesian government continues to address past human rights violations through non-judicial means but has not engaged with the victims’ families in the Wamena case. The victims’ families remain steadfast in their rejection of compensation and demand clarity from the government. There are concerns about coercion and a lack of transparency in the government’s approach, leading to calls for international involvement in resolving the issue.