September 29, 2020, 08.03 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.comAmnesty International Indonesia lamented Indonesia’s statement in response to the allegations made by Vanuatu on human rights abuses at the United Nations General Assembly.

“We deeply regret the statement made by the Indonesian government at the United Nations forum, which tends to express resistance to the voices of small countries such as Vanuatu,” said Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director Usman Hamid in a virtual press conference on September 28.

Indonesia should answer the accusations more elegantly, showing Indonesia’s commitment to upholding law and human rights, he argued. It is because Indonesia is a state based on the rule of law, and thus should investigate the violation cases.

Also read: You are No Representation of Papuans: Indonesia Tells Vanuatu at UN

“A state based on the rule of law means there must be an effective punishment for those who commit serious crimes. In the context of serious crimes, crimes can never be forgiven, they cannot be forgiven,” he said.

In response to a statement by Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman, Indonesia lashed out at Vanuatu over its accusation of human rights abuses in Papua.

“You are no representation of the people of Papua and stop fantasizing of being one,” said Silvany Austin Pasaribu, second secretary of Indonesia’s permanent mission at the United Nations September 26.

In the official United Nations video footage, Silvany said Vanuatu had an excessive and unhealthy obsession with how Indonesia should govern itself.

Also read: Armed Group Attacks Government Office, Public Market in Indonesia’s Papua

Vanuatu has been raising the issue of alleged human rights violations faced by the Papuans almost every year during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Indonesian government considers this accusation as Vanuatu’s advocacy for separatism.

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