Source: The Jakarta Post
The United States Ambassador to Indonesia Scot A. Marciel said lax law enforcement was responsible for cases of violence against minority groups in the country.
Commenting on fatal shootings in Papua and continuing abuses against minority groups, which included church closures and attacks on Ahmadiyah followers, Marciel said that rule of law was key to address human rights abuse and cases of religious intolerance and strict implementation could prevent reoccurrence of these violations in the future.
“Overall, Indonesia, as well as the US, are very tolerant countries where the people respect others’ views. But I hear from Indonesian friends growing concerns about intolerant groups,”
Marciel said during a discussion with Indonesian journalists over the weekend.
Marciel said that he was aware of the alleged involvement of security officials in the fatal shootings in Papua.
According to him, the Indonesian government must be able to apply rule of law to address both intolerant acts and alleged violence committed by members of the security forces.
“In the case of human rights violation that appear to have been carried out by government forces or security forces, we consistently talk of the importance of full and credible investigations with appropriate discipline or punishment if necessary,”
“It is almost impossible to avoid some incidents [in cases like those in Papua] but it is really important and essential to democracy to have accountability for those violations,”
Meanwhile, Donald Steinberg, the deputy administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said his organization supported many programs to address the issue.
“Our goal is not to substitute the US as a judge or jury of human rights practices but to enhance capacity of government institutions and civil society elements in promoting human rights principles,”
The USAID has spent US$157.35 million between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012 to finance numerous projects throughout the country. Good governance and democracy were among the agency’s top issue areas of focus.