‘I am shocked’: UN Human Rights Commissioner addresses Papua mutilations

West Papua Protestor

United Nations Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif has expressed ‘shock’ over reports of West Papua mutilations at the 51st session of the Human Rights Council.

“In the Papua region (Papua and West Papua Provinces) of Indonesia, we have reports of intensified violence, including clashes between the Indonesian security forces and armed groups resulting in unknown numbers of civilian casualties and fatalities and internal displacement. 

“I am shocked by recent reports of the dismembered bodies of four indigenous Papuan civilians found outside Timika in West Papua Province on August 22.

“I note the Government’s initial efforts to investigate, including the arrest of at least six military personnel, and urge a thorough, impartial, and independent investigation, holding those responsible to account,” Al- Nashif said during her global update on human rights.

She said the coming months are a critical test to political will.

“When galvanised through multilateral and concerted action, by building bridges rather than sowing division, political commitment that is grounded in international human rights standards can propel us forward towards more just and equal societies.

“The call to action for Human Rights and Our Common Agenda set out the framework for these shifts to take place, recognising that States can and should use the full gamut of human rights as problem-solving measures, including for inclusive participation and stronger institutions. Fuller use should be made of the international human rights mechanisms. The treaty bodies, UPR and the special procedures are pillars of the international human rights machinery, providing critical oversight and guidance to assist States in moving forward on human rights protection and promotion.

“The pursuit of peace, stability and justice unites us all. It lies at the core of the mission of this Council – to fulfil it is therefore, to uphold our collective commitment to the enduring principle that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” she said.