TEMPO/Amston Probel

Honour for Indonesian Military Chief lack of accountability for Australian aid

Amnesty International Australia and Amnesty International Indonesia have criticised the awarding of an Order of Australia – the highest Government honour – to the chief of the Indonesian Military (TNI), General Andika Perkasa.

“Indonesia’s armed forces have been accused of unlawful killings and violent repression of peaceful protesters in West Papua,” Amnesty International Australia campaigner Veronica Koman said.

“To award the General in charge of the same military accused of these grave human rights violations is a slap in the face to all the internally displaced people, civilians killed in the armed conflict and all the other victims of human rights abuses that have not been investigated.”

The United Nations estimates between 60,000 and 100,000 Papuans are displaced due to the independence struggle which the Indonesian armed forces continue to oppose with lethal force.

“The Australian government should hang its head in shame for rewarding someone presiding over an unaccountable military – particularly when it is the recipient of so much Australian aid,” Koman said.

“This is an insult to the victims and families of the gross human rights violations in Paniai where only one soldier is being prosecuted in what victims have rejected as a show trial,” Amnesty International Indonesia researcher Ari Pramuditya said.

“No soldiers have taken any responsibility to the torture of seven Papuan children leaving one dead in Sinak in February. Soldiers who mutilated four Papuan civilians in Timika in August have not gone to trial,” he added.

“If Australia is truly committed to human rights then its bilateral relationships should also reflect that commitment and ask Indonesia to allow Australia to access and deliver aid to all those displaced on their own land.”