Papuan students abroad plead for Governor Enembe to get treatment

A Papuan student protesting in Perth
Papuan students in Australia held a silent demonstration in front of the Consulate-General in Perth to protest against the "harassment" of Papua Governor Lukas Enembe. Image: Frans Biniluk/Jubi

Jubi/West Papua Daily

Papuan students studying in Russia and Australia have appealed to the Indonesian government to respect the health rights of Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, who was recently been named a graft suspect for allegedly receiving Rp 1 billion (about NZ $100,000) in gratuities.

The students hoped Lukas Enembe would be allowed to seek medical treatment abroad.

Student president of the Association of Papuan Students in Russia Yosep Iyai said that access to health services was a fundamental right of citizens, including the governor.

He emphasised that Enembe needed his regular medical check-ups at the hospital that had been treating him in Singapore.

Iyai said the treatment would be different if handled by a new doctor.

“We already know that when Papuan officials seek treatment in the country, they are mostly not safe,” he said.

“There is a kind of suspicion that when Indigenous Papuans seek treatment in hospitals in Indonesia, on average they do not survive. This fear is an accumulation of a series of past experiences,” Iyai told Jubi via messaging.

‘Confusing’ information
Iyai also said that the government must stop all forms of discrimination against the Governor. According to Iyai, the graft allegation against Lukas Enembe must be proven with accurate data.

Governor Lukas Enembe
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe … facing Indonesian accusations. Image: West Papua Today

“It is still in the investigation stage but the data conveyed to the public is confusing. The government also mentions different amounts of the Special Autonomy Fund suspected of being corrupted by officials in Papua.

“We think that the central government does not want to disclose the matter clearly. They only give piecemeal information which is not backed by accurate data and evidence. It seems that they are still looking for data to strengthen the statement,” he said.

Iyai emphasised that the government must be able to account for all kinds of accusations against Lukas Enembe by providing actual, accurate, and balanced data to the public. He said this was important to avoid an uproar.

Iyai said he hoped that the naming of Enembe as a graft suspect would not disrupt the scholarship programme funded by the Papua Special Autonomy Fund and hamper the disbursement of scholarship funds for Papuan students in Russia and other countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

Australian protest
In Australia, a number of Papuan students protested in front of the Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia in Perth last Wednesday. The students carried posters in English asking the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to not criminalise Lukas Enembe, and to allow Enembe to seek treatment abroad.

The students held a silent protest for four and a half hours.

“We did not use speakers or make speeches. We only brought posters, stood in front of the Consulate General in Perth, with the aim that the Consulate-General would hear our demands and follow it up,” said one of the students, Frans Binilukm when contacted by Jubi.

The Papuan students in Australia asked the government to stop all forms of discrimination against the Papua Governor.

“The KPK is exposing issues without clear facts. We see it as very damaging to the reputation of Governor Lukas Enembe who is also a Papuan figure. We also feel that the media coverage on this matter is lacking solid evidence,” Biniluk said.

Republished with permission.

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