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Indonesia questions logic of statement by UN rights commissioner on Papuan visit

CNN Indonesia - June 19, 2018

Hanna Azarya Samosir, Jakarta – The Indonesian government says that the statement by the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, on the government's invitation to visit Papua is illogical and excessive.

"It's quite irregular, the [Indonesian] government as the party which invited [him] is said to have not 'honoured' the invitation. I think the statement is illogical and excessive", Indonesian Foreign Affairs Department Human Rights Director Achsanul Habib told CNN Indonesia on Tuesday June 19.

Habib was referring to a statement by Hussein at the opening of a UN Human Rights Council meeting on Monday June 18 in which he raised questions about the Indonesian government's invitation to visit Papua which has still not been realised.

"In Indonesia, I worry that although there is a positive relationship with the authorities, the government's invitation for my office to visit Papua, which was given when I visited in February, has not yet been fulfilled", said Hussein as quoted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) official website on Monday June 18

At the time however, Hussein was unable to set out a detailed plan for the visit because it had to be discussed further with other UN bodies and the Indonesian government.

Habib explained that since then, the government has been coordinating directly with the Human Rights High Commission (KTHAM) for Asia representative office in Bangkok, Thailand.

"It is very disappointing however that before this was completed, the KTHAM through the regional representative office in Bangkok unliterary set out its own timetable, locations for the visit, and aims for the visit, which was then followed by a request that they immediately be given visas for two staff members from Bangkok", said Habib.

Furthermore Habib said, "We have already reminded [the UN], that on the matter of the visit to Indonesia, as a sovereign country, it needs to be done according to the normal rules, and of course the arrangements for the visit should be made by the inviting party, namely the government and not the party being invited".

Indonesia's permanent representative to the UN, Hasan Kleib, also said he regretted that Hussein's staff had reported to the UN High Commission on Human Rights that access for the Papua visit had yet to be arranged.

Kleib confirmed that the matter would be straightened out this morning local time during one the sessions at the UN headquarters in Geneva. (has/asa)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Kemlu RI: Pernyataan Komisioner HAM PBB soal Papua Tak Logis.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20180619113901-134-307201/kemlu-ri-pernyataan-komisioner-ham-pbb-soal-papua-tak-logis.

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