Thursday, May 19, 2016

Match words with action on Papua abuses

Andreas Harsono

Theo Hesegem of Wamena is a Papuan human rights campaigner who helped the Indonesian government to resolve past human rights abuses in the area.

The detention of more than 1,500 Papuan independence supporters on May 2 for “lacking a permit to hold a rally” speaks volumes of the government’s stubbornly problematic approach to dealing with dissent in the restive territory of Papua. This approach has for decades provided impunity for security forces, despite their abuses against Papuans and turned dozens of those exercising their universal rights to freedom of expression and association into political prisoners.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has promised Papuans a change, beginning with “an open dialogue for a better Papua”. But aside from the release of a few political prisoners, there has been barely any signs of meaningful change on the ground in Papua.

Jokowi’s December 2014 pledge to thoroughly investigate and punish security forces implicated in the death of five peaceful protesters in the Papuan town of Enarotali that month has remained unfulfilled. And the Indonesian bureaucracy continues to obstruct international media from freely reporting in Papua despite the President’s May 2015 declaration to lift the decades-old restrictions.

Last month the government announced a new approach to Papua’s long history of serious rights abuses and lack of accountability: It was going to try to resolve them.

On April 20 chief security minister Luhut Pandjaitan opened a one-week meeting in Jakarta, which was attended by more than 20 human rights activists and ethnic Papuan officials from Papua and West Papua, along with officials from the National Police, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and various ministries.

The meeting followed increasing international scrutiny of Indonesia’s human rights record in Papua, including a September 2015 proposal by the Pacific Islands Forum, a political grouping of 16 Pacific nation states, for a possible human rights “fact finding mission” in Papua.

The meeting aimed to develop a roadmap to investigation and resolution of a number of the region’s most serious human rights abuses. The initiative was a follow-up to Jokowi’s commitment in December 2014 to seek an end to human rights violations in Papua.

The government has compiled a 17-page report detailing 11 high-priority human rights cases in Papua that it aims to solve. They include the Biak massacre in July 1998, when security forces opened fire on participants of a peaceful flag-raising ceremony on the island, the military crackdown on Papuans in Wasior in 2001 and Wamena in 2003 that left dozens killed and thousands displaced and the forced disbandment of the Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011 that left three people dead and hundreds injured.

The government has also prioritized individual cases such as the disappearance of Aristoteles Masoka, the driver of murdered Papuan leader Theys Eluay in November 2001. Although Eluay’s body was found inside his car, and seven Army Special Forces soldiers were convicted in 2003 for the murder, Masoka has never turned up.

The list is an encouraging sign that the government recognizes the role of the security forces in human rights abuses in Papua and the need for accountability. However, mass killings that took place between the 1960s and 1970s, including a military operation in 1977-1978 against Free Papua Movement (OPM) insurgents that allegedly involved indiscriminate aerial bombings and strafing, have been deliberately omitted.

Papuan activists have also called for investigations into the killing of anthropologist-cum-musician Arnold Ap in April 1984 and rights abuses linked to the Indonesian security forces in the lead-up to the July 1969 UN-sponsored referendum that resulted in a much-contested unanimous vote for continued integration with Indonesia.

The government’s plan to resolve these cases involves deploying agencies including the National Police, the AGO, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the military police to investigate. The plan specifies the need for compensation for survivors and victims’ families for incidents in which the evidence clearly indicates the culpability of government officials and security forces.

Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, the Papua Police chief, has promised to prosecute individuals implicated in those abuses. The government has yet to publicly disclose a timeline for these investigations.

Papua’s troubled history and ongoing serious human rights abuses demand a meaningful government response to both address the crimes of the past and to enact measures to prevent future abuses. The ongoing low-level conflict with the small and disorganized OPM obligates the government to ensure security for the population.

Security forces repeatedly fail to distinguish between violent acts and peaceful expression of political views. The government has denounced flag-raisings and other peaceful expressions of pro-independence sentiment in Papua as treasonous. Heavy-handed responses to peaceful activities have resulted in numerous human rights violations.

In the past eight years, Human Rights Watch has documented dozens of cases in which police, military, intelligence officers, and prison guards have used unnecessary or excessive force when dealing with Papuans exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and association.

The government also frequently arrests and prosecutes Papuan protesters for peacefully advocating independence or other political change. More than 35 Papuan activists are in prison on treason charges.

Human Rights Watch takes no position on Papuan claims to self-determination, but opposes imprisonment of people who peacefully express support for self-determination.

Papuans are likely to be skeptical of Luhut’s plan to resolve past human rights abuses unless the positive rhetoric is matched by meaningful investigations and prosecutions for those crimes.
_________________________________

The writer is a researcher for the Human Rights Watch.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Ziarah ke Makam Abdurrahman Wahid


Kami sekeluarga ziarah ke makam Abdurrahman Wahid atau Gus Dur di pesantren Tebuireng, Jombang. Saya kenal Gus Dur sejak 1980an lewat dosen saya, Arief Budiman di Salatiga, yang juga kawan Gus Dur.

Ketika pindah ke Jakarta pada 1991, mulai bekerja sebagai reporter, saya lebih sering bertemu Gus Dur, termasuk ketika beliau sakit, namun sembuh, dan sesudah kejatuhan Presiden Soeharto, lantas sebentar di bawah Presiden B.J. Habibie, Gus Dur jadi presiden selama 22 bulan.

Saya pergi mengenang seorang kawan. Kami berangkat naik mobil sewaan dari Surabaya, sekitar tiga jam, mencapai gerbang Kawasan Makam Gus Dur.

Ada museum peradaban Islam dalam kawasan ini. Ia masih dalam tahan persiapan. Gedung museum sudah dibangun. Saya duga koleksi masih diatur. Ia belum dibuka buat umum.

Makam Gus Dur terletak jauh di dalam kawasan ini. Ia terletak bersama makam-makam lain keluarga besar pesantren Tebuireng. Ada papan nama, terbuat dari beton, mencantumkan nama-nama orang dalam pemakaman keluarga ini, termasuk kakek Gus Dur, Hasyim Asy'ari, salah satu pendiri Nahdlatul Ulama pada 1926.

Menariknya, ada puluhan kios dalam kawasan ini. Mereka menjual banyak kaos bergambar Gus Dur, serta berbagai gelar kepadanya. "Bapak Pluralisme" adalah gelar paling sering saya jumpai di berbagai kios ini. Saya heran dengan keinginan banyak orang menjadikan Gus Dur sebagai "pahlawan nasional." Kaos ini menunjukkan bahwa Gus Dur sudah jadi pahlawan rakyat. Dia tak perlu dimasukkan ranah negara.

Pahlawan adalah ranah rakyat. Ia tak perlu dimasukkan ke ranah negara karena justru akan timbul percekcokan. Soekarno termasuk "pahlawan nasional" tapi banyak orang tak suka Soekarno. Saya ragu misalnya apakah Soekarno dihormati di Papua? Saya percaya Gus Dur dihormati di Papua karena dia tak pernah melukai hati orang Papua. Ranah rakyat inilah yang harus diperjuangkan buat para pahlawan.

Menurut Pusaka Nasional, Indonesia kini memiliki 163 "pahlawan nasional" dari Tan Malaka sampai Mohammad Mangoendiprojo. Kalau nama mereka dijadikan nama jalan praktis orang tak mengenalnya kecuali beberapa tokoh yang memang terkenal.

Tan Malaka dan Alimin, dua tokoh komunis Indonesia, masuk dalam daftar "pahlawan nasional" zaman Presiden Soekarno. Rezim Orde Baru tak suka dengan keberadaan dua nama tersebut dalam daftar. Ini salah satu sisi buruk dari pahlawan dimasukkan ke ranah negara. Bila pemerintah tak suka dengan mereka maka jejaknya dihapus. Pahlawan seharusnya hak rakyat, hak swasta, tak perlu diatur oleh negara.

"Gitu saja kok repot" ucapan khas Gus Dur.

Saya praktis membaca hampir semua karya tulis Gus Dur. Kolomnya buat majalah Tempo pada 1982, "Tuhan Tidak Perlu Dibela," mungkin karyanya paling populer. Tak perlu diragukan bahwa Gus Dur adalah orang yang membaca banyak, pengetahuan luas, elok dalam argumentasi.

"Gitu saja kok repot" menunjukkan ketidaksabaran, sekaligus keluasan pengetahuan, Gus Dur, disampaikan dengan humor. Layak sekali bila ia dijadikan kaos.

Pemakaman ini buka 24x7. Artinya, ia selalu ramai dikunjungi orang. Beberapa pemilik kios mengatakan mereka juga buka 24 jam. Hari ramai adalah akhir pekan, Sabtu dan Minggu, serta hari libur.

Saya kaget melihat betapa banyak orang datang ziarah ke tempat ini. Lahan parkir mungkin cukup buat 100 buah bus. Kalau satu bus rata-rata 50 penumpang, lapangan parkir ini cukup buat 5,000 orang. Sebuah kunjungan tentu tak sepanjang hari. Jadi jumlah pengunjung bisa lebih dari 5,000 pada hari libur.

Makam Gus Dur terletak dekat pagar pembatas. Persis di sudut. Ia tak diberi batu nisan. Saya diberitahu penjaga bahwa ini makam Gus Dur. Banyak orang mendekati makam, berdoa atau sekedar diam.

Ada banyak bunga diletakkan di atas makam Gus Dur. Banyaknya orang yang mendatangi makam Gus Dur, apapun motivasi mereka, menunjukkan bahwa Gus Dur memang orang luar biasa. Dia banyak berpikir soal Islam, Indonesia, demokrasi, hak asasi manusia, terutama minoritas, serta kemajuan umat manusia. Dia salah satu cendekiawan Muslim terbesar abad XX.

Kaos ini bicara soal kuburan dan kesunyian namun makam Gus Dur jauh dari kesunyian.

Kaos Gus Dur juga dijual bersama kaos Hasyim Asy'ari, kakeknya yang ikut mendirikan Nahdlatul Ulama. Juga ada kaos khas anak muda termasuk band rock.

Ia dijual dalam berbagai ukuran, warna serta harga. Pemakaman ini akhirnya juga jadi sumber penghasilan buat cukup banyak orang di sekitar Jombang. Hitungan kasar saja, dari perdagangan kaos sampai makanan, setidaknya Rp 500 juta keluar di sini. Ia belum termasuk ongkos perjalanan. Saya bersyukur bisa mengenang Gus Dur dalam perjalanan ini.


Gus Dur memang hanya menjadi Presiden Indonesia antara Oktober 1999 dan Juli 2001, tak sampai dua tahun. Dia dipecat oleh Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat karena berbeda pendapat dengan berbagai kalangan elite di Jakarta, termasuk dengan militer serta beberapa partai politik.

Namun Gus Dur memainkan peran yang jauh lebih besar pada era dimana kepercayaan dunia internasional kepada Indonesia pasca-Soeharto pada titik yang sangat rendah dengan berbagai kekerasan, dari Aceh sampai Timor Timur, dari Ambon sampai Papua. Masa yang sangat sulit namun kekuatan moral Gus Dur membuat kekerasan tersebut tak membuat Indonesia ke dalam kesulitan lebih besar lagi.