Call to avoid any provocative move echoed in Papua’s Mimika

Please stay calm. Do not get provoked. In its place, we allow law enforcement agencies to handle the case properly. The suspect has also been detained

Timika, Papua (ANTARA) – Deputy District Head of Mimika, Johannes Rettob, joined peaceful calls for native Papuan communities in Papua Province to steer clear from any provocative move over Ambroncius Nababan’s alleged racist remarks against Natalius Pigai.

 

“Please stay calm. Do not get provoked. In its place, we allow law enforcement agencies to handle the case properly. The suspect has also been detained,” Rettob told local journalists in Timika, the capital of Mimika District, on Saturday.

 

Rettob urged native Papuan communities in his district to monitor the National Police’s probe into the alleged racism case to ensure transparent and fair handling.

 

The deputy district head of Mimika also urged his people to take a lesson from the unrest that broke out in Timika and several other cities in Papua and West Papua in 2019 owing to the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya and Malang, East Java.

 

In August and September of 2019, a spate of violence had engulfed several parts of the two provinces.

 

On August 28, 2019, violence had erupted in Deiyai District, located some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.

 

The indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura had again held protests on August 29, 2019, venting ire over the alleged racist behavior, but their rally had later taken a violent turn.

 

On September 23, 2019, a deadly riot had erupted in Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, resulting in the deaths of 33 civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served native Papuans for 15 years.

 

“May such similar incidents of unrest not recur in Papua Province, including Mimika District,” he remarked, adding that any form of racism is categorically prohibited, so he supports the law enforcement agencies to crackdown on those committing acts of racism.

 

In response to the case, the Papuan Customary Council had earlier appealed to native Papuan communities in the province to not be provoked by Nababan’s alleged racist remarks against Pigai, former commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

 

The council has also urged the country’s law enforcement agencies to punish those found guilty of racism-related criminal offences to deter others.

 

“We hope the severe punishment will have a deterrent effect, so that no other people will dare to post racist remarks on social media platforms,” the council’s Secretary II, John Gobay, stated.

 

Gobay noted that the Papuan Customary Council’s representatives had visited the Papua Police’s Criminal Investigation Directorate in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, on January 26, 2021.

 

They represented Pigai’s family to offer them and the Papuan communities a sense of justice over the case, he remarked.

 

The National Police is handling the case of Nababan, a People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) politician, who has been accused of posting racist remarks against Pigai on his Facebook account.

 

Nababan has been in detention since January 27, 2021, following police interrogation.

 

Source: Antara News

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