Contact: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668; mobile: +1-917-690-4391, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed McWilliams, +1-575-648-2078, email@example.com
March 30, 2012 – Ninety organizations today urged the U.S. government and Congress not to provide deadly attack helicopters to Indonesia. Indonesia has announced that it plans to buy eight AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the United States.
The groups warned that the helicopters will escalate conflicts in Indonesia, especially in the rebellious region of West Papua: “Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians.”
The Indonesian military (TNI) regularly conducts “sweep operations,” involving attacks on villages where innocent villagers are forced from their homes. The groups write that “Papuan civilians either flee the attacks to neighboring villages or into the surrounding forests where many die or face starvation, cut off from access to their gardens, shelter, and medical care.” Sweep operations are now underway in the Central Highlands region of West Papua.
The letter was organized by the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and the West Papua Advocacy Team and signed by human rights, religious, indigenous rights, disarmament and other organizations based in 14 countries.
Signers include: Faith-based Network on West Papua, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Peace Action, International Lawyers for West Papua, Land Is Life, KontrS (Indonesia), and Pax Christi Australia. A complete list of signers can be found here: http://www.etan.org/news/2012/03helicop.htm
The AH-64 is designed for air to ground attack. It can operate day or night and is armed with high caliber chain guns and equipped to fire missiles.
ETAN was formed in 1991. It celebrated its 20th anniversary this December 10, advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia. See ETAN’s web site: http://www.etan.org
As organizations concerned about human rights in Indonesia and West Papua, we are writing to urge the U.S. government and Congress not to allow the sale of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the Indonesian military (TNI). Providing these helicopters would pose a direct threat to Papuan civilians, who have been the target of deadly TNI assaults for many years.
The sale of this weapons system to the TNI — notwithstanding its long record of disregard for civilian casualties, corruption, human rights violations and impunity in East Timor, Aceh and elsewhere — would only increase the suffering of the Papuan population.
Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Defense Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin told the Antara news agency, that Indonesia intends to buy eight AH-64 Apache helicopter from the United States.
The heavily-armed AH-64 is a highly lethal weapon which can be used to escalate conflict within Indonesia and in West Papua. These aircraft will substantially augment the TNI’s capacity to prosecute its “sweep operations” in West Papua and thereby, almost certainly lead to increased suffering among the civilian populations long victimized by such operations.
TNI “sweep operations,” including several now underway in the Central Highlands region of West Papua, involve attacks on villages. Homes are destroyed, along with churches and public buildings. These assaults, purportedly to eliminate the poorly armed Papuan armed resistance, force innocent villagers from their homes. Papuan civilians either flee the attacks to neighboring villages or into the surrounding forests where many die or face starvation, cut off from access to their gardens, shelter, and medical care.
The AH-64 is designed for air to ground attack. It can operate day or night and is armed with high caliber chain guns . It is also equipped to fire missiles.
Congress must be notified of major weapons sales. We urge Congress to oppose the sale of these helicopters.
- Detachment 88 and counter-terrorism in Indonesia: The Wire (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report March 2012 (westpapuamedia.info)
- Structural discrimination against Papuans in many districts of Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Sambom: ‘Imprisonment will never silence Papuans’ (westpapuamedia.info)
- DPRP member: ‘Journalists important for the Papuan people (westpapuamedia.info)
also: JP: Reject Calls for Papua Referendum: Lawmaker
The Associated Press
August 4, 2011
Military Vows Crackdown in Papua Province
Indonesia’s army chief vowed Thursday to hunt down separatist rebels
after a swell in violence in the restive province of Papua killed two
soldiers and three civilians in less than a week.
They will be “chased down” and “cleaned up” by local military units,
said Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo, a day after gunmen shot a military
helicopter in the hilly district of Puncak Jaya, a rebel stronghold
and longtime hotbed of separatist violence.
The chopper had flown into the remote region to evacuate Fana Hadi, an
army private who was wounded during an attack on his post Tuesday
Gunmen opened fire as it passed a hill, killing Hadi with a shot to
his left rib, local military officials said.
That shooting followed the killings of one soldier and three civilians
Monday, shot and hacked to death during an ambush on their minibus and
taxi near the provincial capital of Jayapura.
Five other people were injured.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the uptick in violence.
Papua is a former Dutch colony on the western part of New Guinea. It
was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a U.N.-sponsored ballot.
A small, poorly armed separatist group known as the Free Papua Movement has battled for independence ever since.
Nineteen people were killed in clashes between supporters of rival
political candidates in a seemingly unrelated violence Sunday. Because
of the violence, elections for district chief scheduled for Nov. 9
will be delayed, local media reported Thursday.
The Jakarta Post [web site]
August 4, 2011
Reject Calls for Papua Referendum: Lawmaker
by Mariel Grazella
The chairman of the Papua and Aceh special autonomy supervisory team,
Priyo Budi Santoso, urged the government to send the military to Papua
if the referendum movement escalated to a mass rebellion.
Thousands of Papuans across the province have demonstrated to call for
a referendum on independence.
The demonstrations coincided with a series of attacks on police and
military posts in Puncak Jaya that have been blamed on the Free Papua
“I urge law enforcers not to hesitate in taking firm action,” he said.
He added that if the situation escalated to rebellion, the “military
should be sent in if necessary”.
“We should remain persuasive but if the situation leads to [demands
for] a referendum; [we] should not hesitate in sending in the
military,” he said, adding that special autonomy was the “best formula
in addressing the problems of Papua”.”Therefore, I urge the government to firmly reject [the calls for a
referendum] because Papua is part of Indonesia and that is final,” he
- People’s Liberation Party slams activist’s arrest at Papuan independence demo (westpapuamedia.info)
- Photo Report: Mass ralllies show Papuans refuse to accept Indonesian Occupation (westpapuamedia.info)
- JG: Low-Ranking Soldiers Indicted Over Torture, Killing in Papua’s Puncak Jaya (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua – Indon Security Forces Fail in Attempt to Block Access for Demonstrations Across Papua, Militias on Streets in Jayapura (westpapuamedia.info)
This is the 88th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to email@example.com.
Summary: Thousands of Papuans peacefully took to the streets August 2 to support calls for a referendum on West Papua’s political future. The demonstrations proceeded despite the presence of armed security forces intended to block the demonstrations and the presence of Jakarta-backed militia provocateurs. Violence erupted near Jayapura and in Puncak District on the eve of the demonstrations. Over 50 international organizations publicly called for the Indonesian government to respond positively to appeals by Papuan NGOs and churches for justice, an end to human rights violations in West Papua, and protection of human rights advocates and journalists. WPAT called on Secretary Clinton to raise with Indonesian officials the ongoing military sweep operations in Puncak Jaya, West Papua. These operations have had devastating affects on innocent Papuan civilians. Secretary Clinton called for dialogue to settle disputes over West Papua. Her repetition of US Government support for “special autonomy” made clear that the Obama administration is deaf to the voice of Papuans who have rejected “special autonomy” repeatedly. Efforts by Indonesian security forces to cover-up the human cost of their military sweep operations in Puncak Jaya have failed. Komnas Ham has proposed a dialogue about violence in Puncak Jaya. A peace conference which convened in West Papua has explored the possibility of advancing dialogue with the Indonesian government. Renowned international academics, lawyers and Papuan activists will convene in Oxford to discuss the continuing denial of the right of self-determination to Papuans. The military commander in West Papua has apologized to the Papuan Kingmi church over intimidating language he employed against the church.
- Thousands of Demonstrators in West Papua Demand Referendum
- Deadly New Violence in West Papua
- International Community Support for Papuan NGOs’ Appeals for Justice
- Letter Urges Secretary Clinton to Raise with Indonesia Brutal Military Sweep Operation in Puncak Jaya
- Secretary Clinton Supports Dialogue to Resolve Papuan Issues, but Persists in Support of “Special Autonomy”
- Security Forces Try Unsuccessfully to Block Coverage of Continuing Military Sweep Operation in Puncak Jaya
- A Dialogue about Violence in Puncak Jaya?
- Peace Conference Convenes in West Papua, Urges Dialogue with Jakarta
- “Road to Freedom” Conference Convenes in UK
- Military Commander in West Papua Apologizes for Threatening Papua Kingmi Church
|August 2 demonstration in Wamena. (KNPB)|
Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in West Papua centers including the capital, Jayapura, to demand a referendum on West Papua’s political future. The August 2 demonstrations were planned to coincide with a conference in Oxford, England, which addressed the fraudulent 1969 “Act of Free Choice” which facilitated Jakarta’s annexation of West Papua. (see below)
The demonstrations in Jayapura have taken place despite the heavy presence of armed security forces deployed to deter demonstrators. Similar efforts by armed security forces to block demonstrations have been reported in Manokwari and other major towns such as Wamena, Biak, Nabire, Paniai, and Timika. The protests were organized by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).
WestPapuaMedia, which has a network of reporters inside West Papua, reported that members of two pro-Indonesian militias — Besar Merah Putih and Aswain (Eurico Guterres) — have been deployed widely across the Jayapura area in conjunction with security forces. Guterres is the notorious leader of pro-Indonesia militias which worked in conjunction with Indonesian security forces to commit atrocities in East Timor in the run-up to that nation’s pro-independence referendum in 1999.
WestPapuaMedia sources also report that members of Kopassus special forces in plain clothes may also be on the streets. There are suspicions among observers inside West Papua that these forces, including both Kopassus and the militias, may be behind a spate of violent incidents that have transpired in recent days. (See following article on this violence.) This violence may have been organized as an attempt to spread fear, panic and division in order to prevent the protests going ahead.
WestPapuaMedia notes that with tensions extremely high after the violence, the organizers of the August 2 rallies across Papua have banned even symbolic traditional weapons from the gatherings. They also have worked with the Dewan Adat Papua (Papuan Customary Council) to deploy hundreds of peacekeepers from the uniformed Community Security Force of Petapa, or “The Guardians of the Land of Papua.”
|Jayapura||Sorong||Timika (photos via KNPB)|
Deadly New Violence in West Papua
As this edition of the West Papua Report was being finalized, there were reports of significant violence in two locations. The seemingly unrelated incidents transpired in Abepura District near the capital Jayapura and in the more remote Puncak District.
In Abepura, unidentified personnel armed with firearms, machetes and axes attacked a transport vehicle on August 1 killing four and wounding 15. All the victims in the pre-dawn attack were migrants and one was a low ranking soldier. Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam Setiawan accused the Free Papua Movement (TPN-OPM) for the attack in which unidentified assailants sprayed a small bus with bullets as it passed through Nafri village. However, a New York Times report quoted Colonel Wachyono, a spokesperson for the Provincial police, as stating “We can’t yet conclude that it was the TPN-OPM or not.”
Fokorous Yoboisembut chairperson of the Dewan Adat Papua (Papuan Customary Council), told media that in the past such violence has been orchestrated on the eve of popular demonstrations such as those held August 2.
In the Puncak District initial reports indicated Papuans backing rival local political leaders came to blows in July 30. A total of 19 were killed according to police. Markus Haluk, the secretary general of the Central Highlands Papuan Student Association, told media that according to witnesses, police fired into the crowd killing three. The rioting rival groups reportedly accounted for additional deaths.
Organizations based in more than a dozen countries issued a statement of support for West Papuan NGO’s and churches calling for justice and human rights. The Papuan organizations have “decried the failure of the Indonesian government to ensure justice for or protect Papuans who have been the victims of security force brutality, including extra-judicial killing, torture, abduction and imprisonment,” the statement said. The statement noted in particular that human rights advocates and journalists attempting to cover abuses have been targeted.
The international organizations expressed their “support for these courageous appeals” by the Papuan organizations and pledged “to pressure our individual governments and international organizations to press the Indonesian government to act positively and immediately on these demands for justice and the protection of human rights defenders.”
The international statement added that the “continuing violation of human rights starkly demonstrates the limits of ‘democratization’ in Indonesia.”
We urge you to use the opportunity of your visit to Indonesia to call on the Indonesian President to halt all military operations in West Papua and return all military personal to their barracks as a way of easing tension and saving lives. We also urge you to raise with senior Indonesians, the plight of dozens of Papuan prisoners of conscience who were jailed as result of peaceful dissent.
On July 20, the U.S.-based West Papua Advocacy Team wrote to Secretary Clinton on the eve of her visit to Indonesia to urge her to raise with senior Indonesians the Indonesian military’s ongoing military operation in Puncak Jaya, West Papua. The letter noted the history of such operations which have repeatedly entailed grave harm to Papuans who have been driven from their villages. Many Papuans have died due to these operations.
The letter to Secretary Clinton noted that Papuan civil society leaders, non-governmental organizations, churches as well as ordinary civilians have long called for transformation of Papua into a “Land of Peace,” a concept that would demilitarize West Papua and end the Indonesian government’s reliance on a “security approach” to address peaceful, political dissent. The letter also reminded the Secretary that many Papuans are incarcerated in prisons due to their peaceful exercise of freedoms of speech and assembly which are denied them by the Indonesian government.
The letter concluded:
We urge you to use the opportunity of your visit to Indonesia to call on the Indonesian President to halt all military operations in West Papua and return all military personal to their barracks as a way of easing tension and saving lives. We also urge you to raise with senior Indonesians, the plight of dozens of Papuan prisoners of conscience who were jailed as result of peaceful dissent and who now face health and even life-threatening conditions in Indonesian notorious prisons.
As is unfortunately common practice, the U.S. State Department failed to acknowledge the letter in any way. Secretary Clinton however, was pressed on human rights abuse by security forces in West Papua during a press conference with the Indonesian Foreign Minister in Bali (see following item).
see also ETAN Urges Secretary Clinton to Condition Security Assistance to Indonesia on Rights
Secretary Clinton Supports Dialogue To Resolve Papuan Issues, but Persists in Support of “Special Autonomy”
|Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, right, and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at joint press conference , Bali, Indonesia. AP/Saul Loeb, Pool)|
During her late July visit to Indonesia to attend a regional foreign ministers’ summit in Bali, Secretary of State Clinton was questioned about repression of Papuans in West Papua. The questioning followed calls by U.S. NGO’s for her to raise Indonesian security force actions against civilians in West Papua.
Responding to a question regarding this repression Secretary Clinton stated that the United States supports “open dialogue” between the Indonesian government and Papuan representatives to address regional grievances. Secretary Clinton added: “This is a matter for the Indonesian government and they are addressing it and we hope to see full implementation of the special autonomy law for Papua, which is a commitment on the part of the Indonesian government to address many of the concerns that have been expressed.” Clinton also reiterated United States support for the territorial integrity of Indonesia.
Like previous U.S. administrations, President Obama and his foreign policy team are neglecting burgeoning problems of human rights abuse and unaccountable security/intelligence forces in Indonesia.
For his part, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa claimed that the Indonesian government was addressing human rights concerns and that “doesn’t take an external party” to point out the country’s problems.
WPAT Comment: Secretary Clinton’s support for “open dialogue” between Jakarta and Papuans to address “regional grievances” was positive but her contention that “repression,” which was the question posed to her, was a “matter for the Indonesian government” was jarring. Was the Secretary unaware of or simply not briefed about ongoing military operations in West Papua that are harming civilians and driving many from their homes? Was she unaware of or not briefed regarding growing demands for justice and accountability in the face of decades of abuse of Papuans by military, police and intelligence forces? And was she unaware or not briefed that the “special autonomy” she touted has been broadly and publicly rejected by Papuan people, NGOs and religious leaders? Like previous U.S. administrations, President Obama and his foreign policy team are neglecting burgeoning problems of human rights abuse and unaccountable security/intelligence forces in Indonesia.
Security Forces Try Unsuccessfully to Block Coverage of Continuing Military Sweep Operation in Puncak Jaya
Police and military intimidation of journalists and organizers of a press conference forced cancellation of the event. The conference was to have provided an update on an ongoing military sweep operation in the Puncak Jaya region.
Security force efforts to block coverage of its sweep operation in the Puncak Jaya region have not been completely successful. WestPapuaMedia reported an early July incident in which the Indonesian military shot three children and a mother. All survived the July 12 attack. Ny Dekimira, 50, was hit on the right foot, and the three children, Jitoban Wenda 4, and their neighbors Dekimin Wenda, 3, and Dimison Wenda, 8, all had bullets hit their left legs after Indonesian troops fired indiscriminately into the honai (huts) just before dawn on July 14, according to local witnesses. WestPapuaMedia, which has earned a reputation for accurately reporting major developments notes further that:
Credible reports about the scale of the offensive are beginning to filter through from the remote and inaccessible area about the scale of the offensive The Indonesian government has closed off access to the Tingginambut district to both Indonesian and foreign human rights and media observers, and local activists have had to march for days across rugged terrain to get out verified information. Local human rights observers and Papuan activists have independently reported to West Papua Media that TNI headquarters staff have threatened their safety if they alert journalists to abuses carried out by Indonesian security forces against West Papuan people.
Matius Murib, deputy head of the Papua branch of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), confirmed the account of the four civilian victims. He added that hundreds of residents of Kalome village had fled their homes in the wake of this shooting, because they feared becoming victims of the violence.
Having failed to block coverage of developments the military has sought to deny emerging reports. Maj. Gen. Erfi Triassunu, head of the Cendrawasih Military Command, which oversees operations across Papua, said that reports of these or other civilian casualties was unlikely. “You seriously believe that in a remote and isolated area like that, with such hostile terrain, there would be people living there? Much less kids running around playing?” he said. “Honestly, I’m lost for words. This is the first time I’ve heard of this.” “We would be very surprised if there were any civilian casualties, because what would anyone be doing in such an area?”
WPAT Comment: General Triassunu’s comments would be laughable if they were not so inciting. The general, who has responsibility for the ongoing sweep operation, would appear not to know that there are civilians in the area of the operation. He also appears fundamentally unaware of the circumstances of the assault on the civilians: the wounded children were not “playing around” as the general speculates: rather, they were shot inside their homes in the pre-dawn attack by troops the general supervises.
A Dialogue about Violence in Puncak Jaya?
The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) (a state institution) plans to pursue dialogue with armed Papuan groups in a bid to end violence in the Puncak Jaya region of West Papua. The region is the scene of an ongoing military sweep operation that has already caused civilian casualties.
The Commission intent to pursue dialogue with armed elements and others was announced by commission deputy chairman Nurkholis who spoke to the media on July 15 following his meeting with the Cendrawasih/XVII Military Regional Commander Maj. Gen. Erfi Triassunu. Nurkholis, added that the Commission would coordinate the dialogue initiative with the Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Ministry and that the initiative would also engage all local leaders in Puncak Jaya in order to “determine the root of the armed conflict and why it continues to occur and claim victims from both the military and civilian sides.” The role of the military in the dialogue was left unclear.
If the initiative proceeds it could offer a window into the repression and human rights abuse that military sweep operations such as the one currently underway have brought about in the Puncak Jaya in recent decades. Any serious dialogue about violence in Puncak Jaya would require access to the area and to the victims of violence, something that the Indonesian military in the past has always sought to prevent.
Peace Conference Convenes in West Papua – Urges Dialogue with Jakarta
A range of Papuan organizations including religious, customary, women’s, youth, academic, student and resistance groups convened in a “conference for peace” at in Abepura at Cenderawasih University, 5-7 July, 2011.
The conferees issued a statement which emphasized that conflicts should be resolved through peaceful means and identified the following principles:
- We declare that dialogue is the best way to finding the solution to the conflict between the Papuan people and the Indonesian Government,
- We determine to find the solution to political, security, legal, human rights, economic, environmental and social-cultural issues in Papua by means of dialogue between the Papuan people and the Indonesian Government, mediated by a neutral third party,
- We welcome the initiative of the central government in support of the preparatory processes for a Jakarta-Papua dialogue
The conferees also agreed on the qualities of those who should be chosen to represent Papuans in the dialogue with Jakarta and identified a list of five prominent Papuans to play that role.
Those making presentations at the conference on the theme of “Let us together make Papua a ‘Land of Peace’ included:
Djoko Sujanto, Minister-Coordinator for Politics and Law of the Republic of Indonesia
Barnabas Suebu, Governor of the Province of Papua
Bekto Suprapto, Chief of Police of Papua
General Erfi Triassunu, Commander of the Military Command XVII/Cenderawasih
Leo Laba Ladjar, Bishop of the Diocese of Jayapura
Tony Wanggai, Chairman of the Papuan Provincial Branch of NU and representative of the Papua Muslim Council
Sokrates Sofyan Yoman, Chairman of the Synod of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua
Forkorus Yaboisembut, Chairman of the Papuan Customary Council
(WPAT Comment: Support for dialogue between Papuans and the Jakarta administration continues to grow. The formula proposed by this conference resembles the dialogue process which brought an end to most fighting in Aceh province, although with Aceh international mediators were key. It is important to keep in mind while that process yielded important agreements, Jakarta has failed to implement some of them, such as a truth commission and a human rights court. The Aceh negotiations offer both positive and negative lessons for a similar process focused on West Papua.)
“Road to Freedom” Conference Convenes
In an historic gesture of international support for Papuans right to self-determination, international lawyers and human rights activists are joining Papuans at Oxford in the UK to discuss Papuans’ political future. The meeting, convening on August 2 will be chaired by UK Member of Parliament Andrew Smith, and will include renowned academics as well as academics. Among those scheduled to speak were:
Jennifer Robinson – International human rights lawyer
Powes Parkop – Governor of Port Moresby and the National Capital District, PNG
Benny Wenda – West Papua independence leader in exile (and a leading organizer of the conference)
Frances Raday – expert Member of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
John Saltford – historian and expert on the 1969 Act of Free Choice
Clement Ronawery – Witness to the 1969 Act of Free Choice
Ralph Regenvanu – Vanuatu Justice Minister
Charles Foster – co-founder of the International Lawyers for West Papua
The Mayor of Oxford has agreed to fly the Morning Star flag above Oxford Town Hall on the day of the conference to signal support for the conference and in solidarity with the Papuan peoples struggle.
WPAT will have more on the conference next issue.
Military Commander in West Papua Apologizes for Threatening Papua Kingmi Church
In a remarkable turnabout, the chief of the Indonesian military in West Papua has issued an apology to West Papua’s Kingmi Church in the wake of the leak of a letter which was widely seen as constituting a threat to the Papuan church and its leaders. In a July 18 media statement, West Papua Army commander Major-General Erfi Triassunu, issued a public apology to the leadership and congregation of the Kingmi Papua Church. The General wrote “if I caused any offence to the Kingmi Papua Church I am sorry.”
In the originally “secret” April 30, 2011 letter Triassunu repeats claims made by representatives of Kingmi Indonesia, an Indonesian-wide church, that Kingmi Papua is a separatist organization. Kingmi Papua and Kingmi Indonesia have long been at odds. The general acknowledged in his recent letter that he had weighed into an internal church conflict. In words widely recognized as threatening, Triassunu originally wrote of taking “assertive action.” Triassunu indicated that such action would be forthcoming if Kingmi Papua continued to pursue an independent course from Kingmi Indonesia.
Reverend Benny Giay, a leader of the Kingmi Papua church, said that in the past such aggressive talk by senior military figures often served to signal to nationalist militias to take matters into their own hands.
WPAT Comment: Such military involvement in internal church matters affecting Batak Christians in Sumatra often led to violence. More to the point, Kingmi Papua’s pastors have been killed at the hands of the Indonesian military or their militias.
Jayapura: With the help of an NGO in the USA and the European Union, ELSHAM-Papua has drawn up a comprehensive report of cases of human rights violations that have occurred in West Papua during the period since it became part of the Republic of Indonesia.
ELSHAM co-ordinator in Papua, Ferdinand Marisan S.Sos told Bintang Papua that they had already completed their collection of data.
‘We have collected data about human rights violations in Papua from the year 1969 up to 2010,’ he said. He said that they had been doing the work since February this year and had completed it in April.
They are now going through the process of putting all the data together in a book. ‘We plan to produce the data in a book which we hope to publish in October this year.’
He said that the compilation had been done together with the ICTJ, the International Center of Transitional Justice, a body that has the support of the European Union.
brutality, genocide, human rights, Impunity, indonesia, Indonesian State Violence, Kopassus, Kostrad, Puncak Jaya, Tingginambut, TNI, torture video, village burnings, Wamena, Indonesian National Armed Forces, Papua, Free Papua Movement, YouTube, farcical trial
- WPAT: Letter to Secretary of State Clinton on West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Komnas HAM meets army commander to discuss rights violations (westpapuamedia.info)
- Decisions of Peace Conference still awaiting the OPM, says Tebay (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesian Army shoot mother and 3 children in “crossfire” in Kalome, West Papua, as offensive escalates (westpapuamedia.info)
Address Military Impunity, Freedom of Religion and Expression
July 19, 2011
(New York) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should raise military accountability for abuses, freedom of expression, and the rights of religious minorities during her visit to Indonesia on July 21 to 24, 2011, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Secretary Clinton released today.
Clinton is to arrive in Bali a year after Robert Gates, the US defense secretary at that time, formally announced the resumption of US military relations with Indonesia’s special forces, Kopassus, which removed the last significant barrier to full-fledged US-Indonesian military ties.
“Closer US military ties with Indonesia were a reward for better behavior by Indonesian soldiers, yet one year later atrocities by the military still go unpunished,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “This is an important opportunity for Clinton to speak publicly about the need for genuine military reform.”
On July 22, 2010, Secretary Gates announced that the Indonesian Defense Ministry “publicly pledged to protect human rights and advance human rights accountability and committed to suspend from active duty military officials credibly accused of human rights abuses, remove from military service any member convicted of such abuses, and cooperate with the prosecution of any members of the military who have violated human rights.”
However, the Indonesian military has failed to live up to its pledges to the US government to improve accountability, Human Rights Watch said. In one example, in January, three soldiers received light 8-to-10 month sentences for “disobeying orders” in the May 2010 torture of two farmers in Papua. None were charged with torture despite video evidence showing the soldiers kicking the victims, threatening one with a knife to his face, and repeatedly jabbing the second in the genitals with burning wood. Yet, a US Defense Department official characterized the prosecution of this case as “a success.”
Human Rights Watch also urged Clinton to raise concerns about several laws that criminalize the peaceful expression of political, religious, and other views. Clinton should call on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to release immediately the more than 100 activists currently behind bars in Indonesia for peaceful acts of free expression, Human Rights Watch said.
Longstanding impunity for violence against religious minorities in Indonesia has fostered larger and more brutal attacks by Islamist militants. Since President Yudhoyono issued a decree restricting activity by the Ahmadiyah religious community in 2008, more than 180 attacks against Ahmadiyah mosques and other properties have been recorded. The Ahmadiyah, who consider themselves Muslims, have long been the targets of violence and persecution in Indonesia because some Muslims view them as heretics. Clinton should urge Yudhoyono to withdraw the 2008 anti-Ahmadiyah decree and take other actions to protect religious freedom in the country, Human Rights Watch said.
“Laws stifling dissent are used against peaceful critics, and violent attacks on religious minorities are getting worse,” Pearson said. “If the US really wants to support Indonesia as a rights-respecting democracy, then Clinton should not shy away from stressing the importance of rolling back practices that undermine freedom of religion and speech.”
© Copyright 2010, Human Rights Watch
- AHRC: PAPUA – the military ignores agreed settlement with an assault victim (westpapuamedia.info)
- AHRC: INDONESIA: Torture Report – A heinous act which is not seriously addressed (westpapuamedia.info)
- Freeport employees want human rights violator sacked (westpapuamedia.info)
- Global support for human rights and human rights defenders in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2011
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission on the Occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, June 26, 2011
INDONESIA: Delayed Criminal Code reform prolongs institutional use of torture
Has the video showing military torture in Indonesia in October last year created any serious concern for torture in that country? In the video, members of the Indonesian military tortured two indigenous Papuans to obtain information about alleged separatist activities. While some of the perpetrators got a few months of imprisonment for disobeying the orders of their superior, nobody was punished for the torture committed, nor did the victims receive any compensation or medical treatment. The extreme practices shown in the video shocked the public even though numerous cases of torture had been documented by NGOs and the National Human Rights Commission for years.
Torture is frequently used by the Police and the Military to force confessions, intimidate or to obtain information. The infliction of severe pain by public officials for the above and certain other purposes is prohibited in the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (full text in English, Bahasa Indonesia). This definition of torture and its prohibition also applies to Indonesia. Experts in and outside the country have repeatedly pointed out the neglect for institutional reform that the government has shown so far to effectively end this medieval practice.
Indonesia decided to ratify the Convention in 1998 and make it thus fully applicable into its legal and institutional system. While this may have appeared as a dedicated choice towards human rights, this promise from 1998 has never been kept. After 13 years, the government and parliament have failed to take even the basic key steps to end torture. As a result, torture continues to be applied.
What are the next steps to end torture? To make torture a crime! Amending the Criminal Code to make an act as defined in the international Convention punishable by law is a minimum requirement. Instead of fulfilling this requirement the government makes reference to maltreatment articles that actually only cover some parts of the problem as well as conduct guidelines for the police, which are neither promoted nor effectively enforced within the service.
Torture can be a convenient methodology for unprofessional members of the police force or the national military to “get things done”. Obtaining confessions, intimidating protesters, threatening minorities, producing quick case reports or to increase the income through bribes. Many dedicated staff in the national police, the national police commission and other related bodies have made considerable efforts to end this practice in their institutions but to support their efforts, more needs to be done.
Moreover, many see the use of torture as a legitimate and necessary mean to deal effectively with any wrongs ranging from petty crimes like theft up to organised terrorism. “Tough crimes need tough responses”, some may respond while forgetting that punishment is not part of the role of the police and military. Punishment for crimes is to be applied after a judicial process has established the guilt of the perpetrator and may then include imprisonment or other forms of non-violent punishments. But leaving an entire justice process in the hands of a police officer cannot be further away from fair trial and a just society.
Sunday June 26, 2011 is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Indonesia has thousands of victims, probably more. Many of them have not committed any crime and the majority of them is poor or from marginalised groups. Persons undergoing serious torture often suffer from the post traumatic stress disorder syndrome, cannot sleep well, relate personally to society and are violated and broken in their heart and soul. Decades of medical research have shown how tremendous and long lasting the impact of torture for the body and mind are for the victims and often also for the perpetrator.
Justice does not need torture as the eradication of the practice proofs in other countries. In fact as long as torture continues in a society, violence prevails. This practice can end if the use of torture is effectively punished and fully prohibited. To fulfil the promise Indonesia made in 1998 to the Indonesian people the Criminal Code needs to be reformed immediately. The victims of torture need our support.
# # #
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
- West Papua – Violence against indigenous women (westpapuamedia.info)
JUBI, 19 June 2011
AMPTPI. the Association of Students from the Central Highlands, has
urged the DPRP to summon the police chief in Papua to ask him about how
the investigation into shooting in Moanemani , the district of
Dogiyai is proceeding.
‘The chief of police should inform the public about whether any progress
has been made in this case, said Andreas Gobay, chairman of the
association in Eastern Indonesia.
The association has the impression that the case which involved
shootings and the destruction of resources belonging to the people has
stagnated. It even seems to be the case that nothing is being done to
secure justice in this case.
‘What we want to know is how the case is being processed and the
possibility of compensation for the victims.. We may be wrong but what
we have seen so far is that those who were responsible for the shooting
are enjoying the protection of the forces of law and order,’ said Andy.
He pointed out that the Moanemani tragedy occurred three months ago but
nothing is as yet known about any legal processes. This is in spite of
the fact that it is generally understood that the police force in
Moanemani were involved. ‘This means that the DPRP should summoned the
chief of police in Papua about the case.’
There were at least four casualties in the case. Apart from Dominikus
Auwa, 24, and Aloysius Waine 24, who died, three other sustained serious
injuries, Otniel Yobee, 26, Agus Pigai, 24 and Wilibrodus Iyai. At the
same time, the local community also suffered losses, the destruction of
six homes with all the furniture, the loss of three pigs, two motorbikes
and 6 genzet (?) units.
Andreas also said that this case of human rights violations of civilians
in Dogiyai was the work of the security forces. The association along
with members of the families of the victims have also held discussions
about the case with the leaders of the DPRP.
- Front Pepera PB: “Stop the Joint Indonesian Military/Police Operation against civilians in Dogiyai Regency” (westpapuamedia.info)
- The Indonesian State is responsible for the shooting of three civilians in Dogiyai (westpapuamedia.info)
- Two people shot dead in Dogiyai but no action has been taken to solve the case (westpapuamedia.info)
- Papuan students in Jakarta call for end to murders of Papuan people (westpapuamedia.info)
- Front Pepera: “Military and Police called upon to immediately restore sense of security to the people of Kamuu Valley” (westpapuamedia.info)
Bintang Papua, 14 June 2011
Jayapura: On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Wasior
incident, which was described by Komnas HAM – the National Human Rights
Commission – as a gross violation of basic human rights, two leading
human rights organisations in West Papua, BUK – United for Truth – and
KontraS-Papua – Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of
Violence, held a press conference in Jayapura.
They said that there has been a failure to show any serious concern
about the violation of basic human rights in Papua. In view of this,
they said that they now intend to bring these cases up before an
international mechanism. ‘There has as yet been no international move
to take action on these cases, but we intend to raise these issues by
waging a campaign in the hope that this will bring pressure to bear on
the Indonesian government to resolve these cases,’ said Selpius Bobii,
the BUK co-ordinator. who was accompanied as the press conference by
the co-ordinator of KontraS-Papua, Olga Hamadi.
He also said that they would make formal approaches by letter to a
number of government institutions as well as NGOs.
‘Immediately after this press conference, we will be sending letters to
Komnas HAM, to the attorney-general’s office, to Amnesty International ,
to the media in Papua as well as to NGOs in Germany and elsewhere.’
The organisations felt that such action was now called for as a way of
exerting pressure so as to ensure that these cases are recognised as
gross human rights violations and are brought before a court of law.
‘It seems that it is necessary to bring pressure to bear on the various
NGOs and on the government to persuade them to be more serious about
resolving a number of human rights cases in Papua,’ they said.
According to data that has been collected by BUK, these cases resulted
in the deaths of six people at the time of the incidents, while seven
others died subsequently as a result being subjected to torture. Seven
people are reported to have disappeared, while no fewer than 305 others
were subjected to sweeping operations known as ‘Tuntas Matoa’.
‘There has also been discrimination against the families of the victims
because their parents have been branded as separatists. This is apparent
from the way that /respect /funds have been distributed, bearing in mind
the fact that the families have been treated differently than others in
With regard to the human rights violations that have been perpetrated in
Papua at the hands of members of the Indonesian army (TNI) and the
Indonesian police (POLRI), in all these cases, it has been virtually
impossible to bring them before a court of law. ‘In the case of those
incidents that were actually taken to court, nothing was done to side
with the victims; the perpetrators were protected with the argument that
whatever had been done was in the interest of the security of the state.
An example of this was the Abepura case where those who were found
guilty are no longer behind bars.
The Wasior incident occurred on 13 June 2001. It was triggered when a
person demanded compensation for the theft of his traditional land
rights but this failed to solicit any response. On the contrary, the
people concerned were accused of disrupting security and were arrested,
tortured, and in many cases killed or made to disappear.
‘Cases that have been identified by Komnas HAM as gross violations of
human rights have reached a stalemate.after disputes between Komnas HAM
and the attorney-general’s office, with the latter using formalistic
They went on to say that the Wasior case as well as the Wamena case (the
fatal shooting of Opinus Tabuni in August 2010) had been acknowledged by
Komnas HAM as gross violations of human rights but it had been virtually
impossible to deal with such cases because the administrations of the
provinces of Papua and West Papua which came into being following the
special autonomy law (OTSUS) had also failed to respond.
In view of all this, the representative of BUK made the following demands:
1. The president of Indonesia should immediately resolve the Wasior and
Wamena cases and in doing so recognise the fact that Papuans are
citizens of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia, NKRI which means that
their standing and dignity within the state is in keeping with the
values of the Papuan people as citizens of Indonesia.
2. The attorney-general’s office should end its machinations with regard
to the Wasior and Wamena cases and co-ordinate with other state
institutions so as stop their activities which have resulted in
reinforcing the cycle of impunity.
3. The administration of the province of Papua, along with the DPRP,
Komnas HAM-Papua and the MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua ) should act together
as quickly as possible to ensure that the Wasior and Wamena incidents
are brought before a human rights court in the Land of Papua.
4. A Papuan Human Rights court should be set up immediately.
5. If the government fails to deal seriously with the Wasior and Wamena
cases, we as representives of all the victims of human rights
violations in the Land of Papua will bring these matters before an
international court of law.
- Komnas HAM on Lack of commitment to solve human rights issues in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Indonesia must end criminalization of peaceful political protests in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Komnas HAM member warns of potential conflicts in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report June 2011 (westpapuamedia.info)
West Papua Report
This is the 86th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to email@example.com.
The daughter of prominent Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma has written about the failure of justice in West Papua. In spite of democratic progress in much of Indonesia, she notes that “the old regime dies hard in West Papua.” Amnesty International‘s annual report on human rights trends in Indonesia documents continued human rights abuse, notably in West Papua, where AI cites the poor performance of security forces. The failure of the Indonesian government to afford justice in a number of outstanding cases of security force abuse in West Papua is exemplified in a recent case in which a civilian was killed by security forces who deny responsibility. The Indonesian government’s intervention to prevent an elected member of the Papuan Peoples Council from taking her seat is only the latest example of discrimination against Papuan women. The Indonesian military appears to be reassuming a major role in providing security for the Freeport mining complex. HIV/AIDS infections in West Papua continue to rise dramatically with the Freeport mine complex town of Mimika recording the largest increase. Observers continue to comment on the failure of “special autonomy” in West Papua.
- Daughter of A Papuan Political Prisoner Calls for Justice
- Amnesty International Draws Attention to Continuing Violations of Rights in Indonesia
- Failure of Justice in West Papua: A Continuing Saga
- Indonesian State Interferes in Papuan Woman Leader’s Election to the MRP, Underscores Discrimination Against Women
- Indonesian Military to Provide Security for Papua’s Freeport Mine
- HIV/AIDS Infections Rise Sharply in Papua, Area Near Freeport Leads the Trend
- More Observers Comment on The Failure of Special Autonomy
Audryne Karma, daughter of Filep Karma, one of West Papua’s most prominent political prisoners, published a May 23 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
Ms .Karma, while praising the democratic advances under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono throughout much of Indonesia, observed that for West Papuans “the old regime dies hard. Indonesia has yet to realize the promise of democracy and human rights for all of its citizens,” she writes. After ten years of failed “special autonomy” policies, Ms. Karma writes that West Papuans were “systematically persecuted” as they sought to call attention to special autonomy’s “broken promises.”
The piece by Ms. Karma, boldly and articulately explains that in West Papua, those members of the security forces who commit torture targeting innocent Papuan civilians receive the lightest of sentences (if prosecuted at all) while Papuans who engage in peaceful protest demanding their human rights are locked up for years.
She persuasively describes the case of her own father, Filep Karma, who is serving a 15 year sentence for his peaceful protest. She describes how a notoriously biased judge sentenced her father to three times the sentence recommended by prosecutors and that his Christian faith was openly mocked in the courtroom. During his imprisonment he has suffered repeatedly at the hands of his jailers, denied urgent medical care and punished for his efforts to mediate a dispute within the prison where he is incarcerated.
Ms. Karma notes that her father is one of at least 130 political prisoners who suffer torture and other abuses within a penal system strongly criticized by UN and other international observers.
In a an affront to justice, Ms. Karma writes that in 2007, Indonesia’s Supreme Court struck down the sedition provisions of the Indonesian Criminal Code under which her father and many other political prisoners were prosecuted. None of the political prisoners convicted under these overturned provisions has been released.
Recalling President Obama’s November 2010 visit to Indonesia and his appeal that “every child born in this country be treated equally, whether they come from Java or Aceh; Bali or Papua,” Ms. Karma hopes that the international community would hold President Yudhoyono to this standard. “The Indonesian government cannot be an exemplar of democracy, human rights and the rule of law while it persecutes those who peacefully insist that it live up to those very aspirations.”
(Note: also see Pacific Scoop’s May 5, 2011, “Jailed Leader Filep Karma And The Fight For Papua’s Future.” a detailed and compelling analysis by renowned scholar Dr. Richard Chauvel of Victoria University in Australia.)
In its annual report for 2011, released in May, Amnesty International issued a broad condemnation regarding the performance of Indonesian security forces and of the Indonesian judicial system, singling out for particular criticism their role in West Papua and Maluku:
“The security forces tortured and otherwise ill-treated detainees, and used excessive force against protesters, sometimes leading to death. No adequate accountability mechanisms were in place to ensure justice or act as an effective deterrent against police abuses. The criminal justice system remained unable to address ongoing impunity for current and past human rights violations. Restrictions on freedom of expression were severe in areas such as Papua and Maluku.”
Security forces “tortured and otherwise ill-treated detainees, particularly criminal suspects from poor and marginalized communities, and those suspected of pro-independence activities in Papua and Maluku provinces.”
Two videos which emerged during 2010 revealed “members of the police and military torturing and otherwise ill-treating Papuan men. The first video
showed Yawan Wayeni, a Papuan political activist, just before his death in August 2009.” Amnesty International observed that despite severe abdominal injuries, Wayeni “was denied medical assistance by the police.” The second video “showed Papuans being kicked and otherwise physically abused by members of the Indonesian military, and two Papuan men being tortured during interrogation.” The AI report noted also that “Indonesian officials confirmed the authenticity of both videos.”
The AI writes that “freedom of expression continued to be suppressed.” For example, Ardiansyah Matra, a journalist covering corruption and illegal logging in Papua, was found dead in the province in July. “At least 100 political activists were in prison for peacefully expressing their views in areas seeking independence such as Maluku and Papua.” AI calls attention also the case of Filep Karma (see above).
AI reports that “Impunity for past gross human rights violations in Aceh, Papua, Timor-Leste and elsewhere continued… Most past human rights violations against human rights defenders, including torture, murder and enforced disappearances, remained unsolved and those responsible were not brought to justice.“
The Papuan Customary Council, DAP, expressed its disappointment with the rule of law in West Papua, including the number of cases in Papua that have not been solved, according to a May 14 report in Jubi, translated by Tapol.
DAP’s Forkorus Yaboisembut expressed disappointment that “the shooting of Opinus Tabuni on August 9, 2009 on International Indigenous People’s Day in Wamena has not yet been solved.’
Yaboisembut explained that “incidents like this result in the marginalization of the Papuans. They are being exterminated in their own homeland.’
The same Jubi article reports that Markus Haluk, the secretary-general of the Association of Students of the Central Highlands, complained that “a huge number of cases in Papua have remained unsolved. He mentions the Wasior case (2001), the Biak case (1998) and the Abepura case (2000).
These complaints about fractured justice in West Papua were made as yet another case of a Papuan killed by security forces was surfacing. According to a May 18 Jakarta Post report, a dispute involving members of the Indonesian military (TNI) allegedly led to the death of Papuan Derek Adii, 26, from Manokwari regency.
The article cites a news release by the synod of the Papuan KINGMI church which “said the incident erupted as a passenger ferry was about to leave the Samubase Port in Nabire.”
The synod report claimed that Adii called on soldiers blocking access to the ferry to make way after some children had reportedly fallen and been trampled by other passengers. The offended soldiers, who were part of the Nabire Military Command, then assaulted him. “One of the soldiers, Chief Sergeant Hans Aru, drew his bayonet and stabbed Derek in the eye and he died. His body was later thrown overboard,” according to the synod.
When asked for confirmation, the Jakarta Post wrote that Nabire Military commander Lt. Col. Tatang Suyatna denied the reports. “It’s slander,” Tatang said, who claimed that the soldiers were securing the ferry while it was docking when the incident took place. He alledged that the victim was fighting with other passengers who had accused him of stealing and the victim turned on the soldiers as they separated the fight and fell to the sea by accident. The commander did allow that the victim “could have been injured when he was falling overboard.”
A conflicting military account alleged that the victim was drunk.
WPAT Comment: The failure of Indonesian authorities to pursue justice in instances when Indonesian security forces kill or maim Papuans is common place as noted by Yaboisembut and Haluk. The May 18 incident offers an illustrative example of security force impunity in matters where death and injury to Papuans transpires.
Indonesian State Interference in Papuan Woman Leader’s Election to the MRP Underscores Discrimination Against Women
A May 23 Bintang Papua report, translated by TAPOL, notes that representatives of number of women’s organizations in Papua demonstrated peacefully to protest Indonesian government blocking of the swearing in of Hana Hikoyabi to her seat in the Papuan Peoples Council, the Majelis Rakyat Papua (MRP).
The women complained that no legal justification for Hikoyabi’s suspension had been given. They demanded transparency regarding the government’s action and insisted that the selection of the chairperson of the new MRP should not take place until there were clarity about the membership of all its 75 members. The demonstrator met with the acting-chair of the MRP, Joram Wambrauw, who said that he lacked the power to take a decision on this matter but promised to pass the women’s concerns to the governor of Papua.
Separately, in a May 10 interview with the Jakarta Post, Papua Human Rights Working Network coordinator Fien Yarangga observed that the barring of Hikoyabi from the MRP was an example of Jakarta’s intimidation targeting Papuans. The Indonesian government “frequently intimidates Papua in the name of the unity and integrity of the Republic of Indonesia, even though such a stance creates a culture of fear among Papuan officials with strategic positions in regional administrations,” she says.
Fien made the remarks at a press conference in connection with the government’s rejection of Hikoyabi as a member of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) for the 2011-2016 term. Fien added that “a culture of intimidation has curtailed the development of democratization in Papua.” Fien cited the Home Minister’s refusal to accept Hikoyabi as a member of the MRP after she was declared not loyal to the state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, even though Hana had met all the requirements for the position. “There was no legal basis for this. It is more political intimidation and character assassination against Hana and even against all the Papuan people who selected Hana,” she said. Fien added that “the way taken by the Home Minister was also aimed at curbing critical Papuan women in defending their own people.
“This places me in the difficult position of having been responsible for an act of treason – makar - whereas at the time that I nominated myself for member of the MRP from 2011 – 2016, I received an official confirmation from the local police and from the local court of law that I am well-behaved and have never been found guilty of anything or convicted of anything.”
In a May 13 report published by national daily Republika, TNI Commander Suhartono told reporters that security at the massive Freeport copper and gold mine in West Papua would become a collaborative effort involving the military and police. He told the media that “TNI continues to support Polri in providing security at the vital installation, PT Freeport Indonesia.” Suhartono comments came following a meeting between TNI and police personnel in Timika, the major town in West Papua nearest the mining complex.
A separate report by Antara says that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked the Indonesian military and police to give security guarantee to businesses and investments in Papua as part of efforts to accelerate economic development. A presidential spokesman said that the President had listened to the views of PT Freeport Indonesia regarding security, suggesting that PT Freeport welcomed and may have sought the joint TNI-police security arrangement.
The expanded military role in securing Freeport comes in the wake of repeated violence. Freeport security personnel Daniel Mansawan and Hari Siregar were killed on the key mountain road to the mine site in early April. That attack followed by only a few days an unsuccessful attack on Freeport personnel and a January 2010 attack on a convoy that injured nine. Local authorities report no progress in apprehending the perpetrators.
The killing of Mansawan in particular has raised concerns among Papuans. Mansawan was one of the few Papuans to reach a senior position on Freeport’s staff. The failure of security forces and Freeport to pursue his killers aggressively has been the source of protest by local Papuans.
WPAT Comment: In the recent past, the Indonesian police had been assigned the role of protecting PT Freeport with the option of seeking TNI assistance as conditions warranted. This new arrangement, which comes on the heels of renewed violence targeting Freeport personnel in the past two months would appear to restore the TNI security role of previous years when the TNI had come under strong criticism over what many saw as extortion of PT Freeport with cash flowing from Freeport to senior TNI personnel.
A May 6 report in Banjir Ambarita says that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Papua and West Papua has risen more than 30 percent to over 17,000 in just four months as compared to 13,000 in August of 2010.
Kostan Karma, head of the Papua AIDS Prevention Commission (KPA), told the media “that the spike in infections was very worrying, and blamed it on the prevalence of unprotected sex.” He said that if the number of people living with the virus rose to one percent of the population of both provinces — which the 2010 census put at 2.8 million — the KPA would begin imposing mandatory testing for all new mothers in the region. He explained that this would at least help identify infected newborns, who could then get early treatment.
Kostan said that Mimika, adjacent to the PT Freeport copper and gold mining complex had shown the highest increase and overall number of infections.
The Papua AIDS Prevention Commission blamed the proliferation of new districts over the past 10 years as a factor for the spread of the virus.
“What’s happened is that there’s been more money spreading around, which encourages people to break with the traditional way of life and adopt a more modern lifestyle, including sexual promiscuity,” Kostan said. “What we’re trying to do is get churches to spread the message to get people to stop having casual sex, or if they must, to at least use a condom.”
WPAT Comment: Single male workers recruited by Freeport from outside West Papua to work at the mining complex have long fueled prostitution, gambling and alcohol and drug abuse in Mimika. This illicit activity operates under the protection of security forces in the area.
More Observers Comment on The Failure of Special Autonomy
An article in the May 15 issue of Jubi underscores the continuing unhappiness of Papuans with the “special autonomy” law (OTSUS). Olga Helena Hamadi, Director of the Commission for Disappearances and the Victims of Violence (KontraS) told the media that since the enactment of special autonomy, West Papua has been beset with problems. She noted that many buildings have been constructed that are of no benefit to the indigenous population, for example, the construction of commercial premises. ‘These buildings are for other people,’ (i.e., migrants) she said.
“As for the demands for permanent premises for Papuan businessmen, they are still struggling for this to happen. Their future is still very much in the air. The kind of premises they have been calling for have not been built by the government. The premises that have been built do not last long even though they have been calling for this since 2004, she said.”
OTSUS makes provision for a Commission of Truth and Reconciliation to be set up but all that has happened since OTSUS, she says, has been the creation of a National Human Rights Commission which “means that human rights violations, acts of violence and shootings are only dealt with by the Komnas HAM. The result is that many cases have got stuck, some of which got no farther than a court hearing. There has been no follow-up.”
Also, there has been no proper accounting for OTSUS funds. “There is no accountability because no procedures have been put in place,” she added,
All of this point to the failure of OTSUS.
For its part, the May 14 Jakarta Post carried a report by Nethy Dharma Somba that focused on problems with the special autonomy law. The article notes that the chairman of the special autonomy evaluation committee at the Papuan legislative council, Weynand Watori, told a forum in Jayapura that an evaluation on special autonomy implementation was needed to avoid both the failure of special autonomy and to address the continued poverty suffered by most Papuans.
He noted that special autonomy was designed to help improve education, health, economy and infrastructure for indigenous Papuans. In August 2005, Papuans held a rally at which they asserted that special had failed to bring prosperity to the people. Rallies were also held in July 2010 where protesters called on the legislative council to revoke special autonomy.
The forum agreed that an evaluation of the implementation of special autonomy was needed by involving all stakeholders with the council’s special committee as facilitator. Cenderawasih University in Jayapura and the Papua University in Manokwari, should be entrusted to prepare the right evaluation method.
- West Papua Report April 2011: VP rejects dialogue, MSG, more (westpapuamedia.info)
- Photo News: Thousands of people of West Papua Rally to Demand Referendum (westpapuamedia.info)
- Urgent need for Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Human Rights Court in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- DAP – Straighten history of annexation of West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- KNPB: Action Appeals to DEMAND REFERENDUM IN WEST PAPUA (westpapuamedia.info)
Dessy Sagita | April 11, 2011
Indonesian activists on Sunday criticized the US government for praising Indonesia’s progress on human rights, saying that the barometer used for the report could be misleading.
“I’m a bit concerned with the diplomatic statements made by some countries regarding Indonesia’s progress on human rights, because it could give people the wrong perception about what’s really happening,” Haris Azhar, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), told the Jakarta Globe.
As in previous editions, the US State Department’s annual survey on human rights pointed to concerns in Indonesia, this year including accounts of unlawful killings in violence-torn Papua along with violations of freedom of religion.
But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while presenting on Friday the mammoth, 7,000-page global report, pointed to Indonesia as a success story.
“Indonesia boasts a vibrant free media and a flourishing civil society at the same time as it faces up to challenges in preventing abuses by its security forces and acting against religious intolerance,” she was quoted by foreign wire agencies as saying.
The survey covers the period before Islamic fanatics brutally killed three members of the Ahmadiyah sect in early February, raising questions over Indonesia’s commitment to safeguard minority rights.
The concern over Papua is primarily a reference to the torture of two civilians there last year by soldiers. They were subsequently court-martialed in January but given sentences of less than a year, a punishment slammed by the influential group Human Rights Watch as far too lenient to send a message that abuse was unacceptable.
Kontras’s Haris said both indicators presented by the US government — that Indonesia has been progressing in terms of media independence and better access for civil societies to voice their concern — were also incorrect.
“Freedom of journalism? I don’t think so. It’s still fresh in our minds that several journalists have been brutally attacked because of their reporting, some were even murdered,” he said.
“And in terms of flourishing civil societies, it’s true, non-government organizations are mushrooming, but what’s the point if human rights defenders and anticorruption activists are assaulted?” he added.
According to Kontras, in 2010 alone more than 100 human rights activists here were victimized and many of the perpetrators remain free.
And according to Reporters Without Borders, when it comes to press freedom, Indonesia ranks very low, much worse than it did several years ago when Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid was the president.
The US report in some ways echoes progress noted by New York-based Human Rights Watch in its own annual review of human rights practices around the globe, released in January. Then it noted that while serious human rights concerns remained, Indonesia had over the past 12 years made great strides in becoming a stable, democratic country with a strong civil society and independent media.
But Andreas Harsono, from Human Rights Watch, said it was perplexing that the US government would compliment Indonesia’s progress on rights.
“It’s a big joke,” he said. “Attacks against Ahmadiyah have been happening since 2008, after the joint ministerial decree was issued, and attacks against churches during SBY’s six-year tenure are even more prevalent than during the five decades in which Sukarno and Suharto ruled,” he said.
Additional reporting by AP, AFP
- West Papua Report April 2011: VP rejects dialogue, MSG, more (westpapuamedia.info)
- The Indonesian Government: closing window for peace in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- USGOV: 2010 Human Rights Report: Indonesia (westpapuamedia.info)
April 8, 2011
Indonesia is a multiparty democracy with a population of approximately 237 million. In July 2009 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was reelected president in free and fair elections. Domestic and international observers judged the April 2009 legislative elections generally free and fair as well. Security forces reported to civilian authorities, although the fact the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) continued to be partly self-financed had the potential to weaken this control.
Human rights problems during the year included: occasional incidents, primarily in Papua and West Papua Provinces, of arbitrary and unlawful killings by security forces; vigilantism; sometimes harsh prison conditions; impunity for some officials; official corruption, including in the judicial system; some narrow and specific limitations on freedom of expression; societal abuse against religious groups and interference with freedom of religion sometimes with the complicity of local officials; trafficking in persons; child labor; and failure to enforce labor standards and worker rights.
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- West Papua Report April 2011: VP rejects dialogue, MSG, more (westpapuamedia.info)
- Unions call on Indonesia to release arrested nurses (westpapuamedia.info)
Indonesian parliament with the government plans to ratify the State Intelligence Bill draft to become the Law of Intelligence in 2011. Through a series of discussions that have been done by the parliament and government, Intelligence draft has undergone several changes.
From the beginning we give full support to the parliament and the government’s plan which will regulate intelligence institution through the establishment of the Intelligence Bill. However, discussion and ratification of the Intelligence Bill should become integral part of intelligence reform. In that context, the basic principles of democratic state should have been an inherent part of the Intelligence Bill.
We assessed that the draft of State Intelligence Bill that is being discussed parliament is not fully accommodate the principles of democratic countries and it raises serious issues against the values of democratic life of the country itself, including:
1. Intelligence definition
Article 1 point (2) states intelligence as a state government agency. Basically, the intelligence agencies are not government agencies but the instrument of the state. The definition has put intelligence position as tool of the ruler that works for the interests of rulers and not the instrument of the state which work for the benefit of its people. It’s very concerning since it is very likely intelligence can be used to spy on people in the interest of the ruler alone and not to the real enemy as Indonesia had experienced in the New Order era.
The existence of refusal of court authorization requirement before conducting interception as mentioned in the explanation of Article 31 is not only potentially threaten citizens’ rights but also vulnerable to abuse (abuse of power) for the sake of economic and political power. Intelligence do need the authority to conduct tapping/interception, however, it must be done through a standardized and rigid mechanism and must have a clear prerequisite, such as the importance of getting court approval for conducting interception.
Referring to the decisions of the Constitutional Court No. 006/PPU-1/2003; No. 012-016-019/PUU-IV/2006; No. 5/PUU-VIII/2010, the Court believes it is necessary to establish specific regulation about interception on the level of State Law/Bill to prevent the possibility of abuse of authority for wiretapping and recording. Thus it is only appropriate that the discussion of the Intelligence bill conducted in parallel with the discussion of the bill on Interception in the interest of coordinating arrangements for intelligence ability to intercepts.
3. Secret Intelligence Information
Setting intelligence secret referred in Article 24 jo Article 39 of the Intelligence Bill draft still raises multiple interpretations and are vague. The multiple interpretations are threatening the freedom of information, freedom of the press and democracy itself.
4. Arrest (List of Revision given by Government)
Granting authority for the intelligence to arrest threatens human rights and damage criminal justice system mechanism. To grant the authority is tantamount to legalizing kidnapping using Intelligence Bill considering intelligence work is closed/covert and secret. It is important to remember that the state intelligence agency is part of the non-judicial agencies that are not included as part of law enforcement officers, such as police and prosecutors, therefore granting authority to arrest is wrong and can not be justified. In a country that respect rule of law, authority to arrest and detain is only obtained by law enforcement officials.
5. State Intelligence Coordinating Institution (Lembaga Koordinasi Intelijen Negara – LKIN)
State Intelligence Coordinating Institution (LKIN) as the new institution provided by this bill will be the agency that replaces the position of the State Intelligence Agency (Badan Intelijen Negara – BIN) that has very broad authorityy. In that case, LKIN should not have the operational authority and functions, such as making communication interception, checking flow of funds, and such. Implementation of operational functions should be handed over to existing intelligence agencies which have operational authority.
Oversight mechanism in the National Intelligence Bill draft is only made in the form of parliamentary oversight by the House of Representatives held by the completeness of the House of Representatives in charge of intelligence oversight. There are no regulations governing internal controls, executive oversight, and legal supervision. At this point, the oversight conducted by the parliament should be performed by a separate intelligence committees within the parliament, namely by forming a new special commission overseeing the intelligence.
7. Organization and Role
From an organizational standpoint, the Bill draft did not adopt the State Intelligence structural differentiation and specialization of functions. State Intelligence Bill draft does not strictly divide the working area of foreign intelligence, domestic intelligence, military intelligence, and law enforcement intelligence.
8. Structure and Position
State Intelligence Bill draft also has not been able to separate accountability between the structures that is responsible for policy making with the structure responsible for operational in implementation of the policy. Ideally all security actors who serve as executors of the policy are under or become part of ministries/ministerial-level the structure, intelligence agencies are no exception.
9. Personnel and Recruitment
Associated with members of the intelligence, the State Intelligence Bill regulates vaguely of intelligence personnel. It is not regulated whether recruitment mechanism is either open or closed.
10. Code of Conduct and Prohibition
In addition, the State Intelligence Bill draft does not contain regulation or codes of ethic for intelligence that includes obligations, rights and restrictions for all activities and aspects of intelligence.
11. Making Intelligence a Civil Institution
This Bill draft has not incorporated the agenda of making intelligence as civil institution. Ideally in the era of democracy, all intelligence agencies are civilian and not active military, except for military intelligence. Until now, the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) is still filled by active military personnel despite the head of intelligence is civilian.
12. Rights of victims
State Intelligence Bill draft has not included the rights of victims, particularly those related to complaints of victims if there are intelligence actions that are deviate and caused serious problems for the implementation of the rights of people.
We urge the parliament and the Indonesian government not to rush in passing the State Intelligence Bill and provide space for the community to provide input and views on the efforts to improve the State Intelligence Bill draft, as provided in Law No. 10 Year 2004 on Procedures for Making Laws and Regulations.
We fully appreciate members of Parliament who rejected the plan on granting intelligence the authority to arrest in the Intelligence Bill. Ideally the formulation of the Intelligence Bill is to maintain a balance between the need for countries to guarantee and protect the freedom of civil society and human rights on one hand; and to guard and protect national security on the other.
Jakarta, March 28, 2011
Advocacy Coalition on Indonesia Intelligence Bill
Imparsial, Kontras, IDSPS, Elsam, the Ridep Institute, Lesperssi, Setara Institute, LBH Masyarakat, ICW, YLBHI, LBH Jakarta, HRWG, Praxis, Infid, Yayasan SET, KRHN, Leip, Ikohi, Foker Papua, PSHK, MAPI, dan Media Link
Bambang Widodo Umar
We hope international network can help monitor and push Indonesian government to create Intelligence Bill that is accountable and respect the value of democracy.
We welcome every feedback and support from your organization around the world.
Have a nice day,
Mufti Makaarim al-Ahlaq
Institute for Defense Security and Peace Studies
- Indonesia sees technology as a threat, Internet surveillance looms (thenextweb.com)
- Intel: Indonesia’s intelligence agency reborn (baliblog.com)
Assault on arms dump in Wamena was a manipulation, says Komnas HAM member
The deputy chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Papua branch Matius Murib, has told the press that the solution to the assault on the arms dump of the Wamena district military command on 4 April 2003 now depends on the state and the attorney-general’s office.
‘The Komnas HAM, as a state institution, has completed its task of conducting a pro justicia investigation and has delivered its evidence and associated data to the attorney-general. But the attorney-general has responded, saying that the evidence is not strong enough,’ he said. ‘Our job is finished and we cant do anything more on the matter,’ he told JUBI.
The pro justicia report recorded that nine people were murdered, 38 people from 25 kampungs were forcibly evicted, 42 people died from starvation and fifteen others were treated unjustly.
With the Konmas HAM having done its work, it now depends on the goodwill of the state and the attorney-general’s office to solve the case. In his opinion, this would mean bringing the case before the judiciary, and in this case, this would mean submitting it to the human rights court because, he said, ‘ this was a case of gross violation of human rights which must be heard before the human rights court.’
He went on to explain that this was not a case involving any bloodshed. It should be regarded as something that was deliberately manipulated. ‘I was at the location at the time,’ he said. ‘Just imagine, the arms dump is in the centre of town, yet even so an assault took place. This can only have been a deliberate manipulation,’ he said.
He also referred to the Wamena Tragedy of 6 October 2000 which resulted in many casualties and much spilling of blood. ‘Many ordinary (people) were tortured. This was also a case of serious human rights violations,’ he said.
- Students want firmer action by Komnas HAM in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- JUBI on deplorable human rights situation in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
West Papua Report
This is the 84th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to email@example.com.
Indonesia’s Vice President Boediono has begun implementation of a Presidential decree calling for the establishment of an inter-governmental agency to examine problems in West Papua. The initiative falls far short of widespread Papuan calls for a senior-level, internationally mediated dialogue between Indonesian officials and Papuans. A senior Papuan civil society leader has spoken out against this continued failure of Jakarta to engage in serious dialogue. Papuan church leaders have charged the Indonesian government with “genocide” in West Papua. The Melanesian Spearhead Group again failed to invite representatives from West Papua to its annual summit, instead inviting the Indonesian government to send observers. Indonesian officials violated the labor rights of Papuans by jailing nurses who called a peaceful, legal strike. A leading Papuan NGO chief has called for elimination of provisions in the Indonesian criminal code that violate Indonesia’s obligations under international conventions to which it is party.
- The Indonesia Government Continues to Ignore Papuan Calls for Dialogue
- Senior Papuan Faults Government Failure to Pursue Dialogue
- Papuan Church Leaders Charge Indonesian with “Genocide”
- Melanesian Spearhead Group Invites Indonesia as Observer, Continues to Bar Papuan Participation
- Nurses Jailed in Labor Dispute
- Demand for Elimination of Repressive Provisions in Indonesia’s Criminal Code
The Government of Indonesia Continues to Ignore Papuan Calls for Dialogue
The Jakarta Post reported that Indonesian Vice President Boediono planned to convene a meeting on West Papua on March 28 in Jakarta. The meeting was to be the initial step in formulating a draft of a presidential decree to address issues regarding Papua. The regulation also aims to establish a special unit to accelerate development in Papua. According to the decree, the government will form a “delivery unit,” the Unit Percepatan Pembangunan Papua dan Papua Barat (UP4B/ Special Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua). Significant aspects of the draft include the promotion of a cluster-based approach to development, and an increased integration of the activities of the central and regional administrations. The planned regulation follows a presentation made by Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu and West Papua Governor Abraham Ocktavianus Atnuri to the national Cabinet in January.
The late March meeting was to have included Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa and Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo, as well as unnamed Papuan representatives.
A March 9 interview by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Tom Allard revealed the Vice President’s intentions. Boediono told Allard that he rejected a bilateral dialogue, as called for by many Papuans, contending instead that his agency would assist multiparty communications. Boediono said he would welcome international donor aid money for West Papua but rejected any possible mediation role such as occurred in Aceh in 2005 when a peace accord mediated by internationally ended years of central government abuses carried out by security forces. Boediono told Allard that his new effort would aim at better communications, affirmative action for indigenous Papuans, and “more openness.” (The Jakarta government has long placed severe restrictions on journalists, UN and foreign government or NGO personnel seeking to visit West Papua.) Boediono offered no assurances that he would press for allowing Papuans the right to fly the Morning Star flag or that the heavy military presence in West Papua might be reduced.
Vice President Boediono made clear that this undertaking would not constitute a “dialogue.” There is no indication that this new body will address outstanding issue of human rights violations, impunity for those committing those abuses, notably in the military and police. This body will almost certainly not consider the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, especially the right of self determination.
WPAT Comment: Boediono’s “agency” falls far short of persistent appeals by Papuan officials, civil society leaders as well as Papuan, Indonesian and international NGOs for a senior level, internationally-mediated dialogue between the Indonesian government and Papuan leaders. Indeed, Boediono, in his Sydney Morning Herald interview, made clear that this undertaking would not constitute a “dialogue.” There is no indication that this new body will address outstanding issue of human rights violations, impunity for those committing those abuses, notably in the military and police. This body will almost certainly not consider the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, especially the right of self determination, which the central government has long denied Papuans.
Senior Papuan Faults Government Failure to Pursue Dialogue
Participation of Papuan provincial level officials in Vice Boediono’s meeting regarding West Papua (see report above) reflects the unwillingness of Papuan government officials to support the widespread call of their Papuan constituents for an internationally-mediated dialogue with the Jakarta government. Pastor Neles Tebay, coordinator of the Papua Peace Network – JDP discussed this failure of Papuan leadership candidly in a March 25 interview with JUBI.
Tebay noted frankly that neither of the provincial governments (Papua and West Papua) have reached agreement about the agenda of such a dialogue. Nor have either of the Papuan administrations issued statements officially supporting Jakarta-Papua dialogue. Tebay candidly assessed that the Papuan officials’ failure to endorse the popular calls for dialogue was because dialogue “is seen as being a separatist move and in opposition to what the Indonesian state is working for.” “Any individual who works for the government who expresses support for the idea of a Jakarta-Papua dialogue is in danger of losing his job because he is likely to be seen as a separatist. Anyone working for the government who expresses support for a dialogue places himself in danger and could lose his job,’ he said.
For his part, Father Tebay continues to pursue dialogue as a means of finding solutions to problems besetting Papuans. Tebay stressed that dialogue was not in itself a solution but rather would bring together the Papuan people and the Indonesian government to discuss the problems. The aim would be to discuss the problems and agree to the best possible solution.
Pastor Tebay said that so far, he has visited twelve districts in Papua to hold consultations. The districts he has visited so far include Merauke, Biak Enarotali, Timika, Wamena and Sorong.
He has also visited some other countries to discuss the question of dialogue including PNG, Vanuatu and Australia where he met Papuans in a number of cities. Everywhere he went, he encountered enthusiasm for the idea of finding a peaceful solution by means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.
Papuan Church leaders in late March issued a “Theological Declaration of Churches in Papua.” The declaration includes one of the most forthright Papuan statements regarding genocide targeting Papuans. The statement which was forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (see full document at A Statement from a Group of Papuan Church Leaders) contends:
Transmigration policy and unrelenting military operations are, in our view well-planned programs to eventually annihilate indigenous Papuans. Papuans are positioned as “the other” and as such warrant surveillance, control, and civilization. Papuans are not equal citizens of Indonesia. Some observers in Jakarta view this as an internal colonialism or disguised slavery against Papuans.
- Papuans have undergone a ‘silent history of suffering’ or memmoria passsionis leading to genocide. … The term genocide perhaps does not meet the criteria set forth by the UN, or other nations, or by Indonesia. But from our own view as victims, genocide is indeed taking place through the conditioning staged by Jakarta in the forms of ideology and development policies that are against the indigenous Papuans. Transmigration policy and unrelenting military operations are, in our view well-planned programs to eventually annihilate indigenous Papuans. Papuans are positioned as “the other” and as such warrant surveillance, control, and civilization. Papuans are not equal citizens of Indonesia. Some observers in Jakarta view this as an internal colonialism or disguised slavery against Papuans.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), comprising Vanuatu, the Solomon Island, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Kanaky peoples of New Caledonia, invited Indonesia (and Timor-Leste) to join their annual meeting. MSG leaders met March 31 in Suva, Fiji, for the annual summit which followed a meeting of foreign ministers March 29. The MSG did not invite any representation from West Papua.
A conference of solidarity groups supporting West Papua that convened in Sydney in February had called on the MSG not to offer observer status to Indonesia and instead to offer that status to representatives of the Papuan people of West Papua.
For its part, the Australian West Papua Association (AWPA) welcomed a statement from the Chairman of the MSG meeting, Ratu Inoke Kubuabol who said that “The Melanesia Spearhead Group feels for their brothers and sisters in West Papua.” Joe Collins of AWPA said “we urge the MSG to grant West Papua membership at the leaders summit. They would have the support of the Melanesian people across the region in granting West Papua membership.”
Collins noted that 42% included West Papua as part of the Melanesian family in the first ever telephone poll conducted by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy (PiPP) across Melanesia.. An overwhelming majority (75.4%) of respondents said yes to the question “Do you support independence for West Papua.” PiPP in a press release reported that when asked who they considered part of the Melanesian family, clear majorities included the established members (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia) while 42% also included West Papua, 17.1% included Australia, 14.9% included Indonesia and 14.1% included Timor-Leste. PiPP also reported that when asked “Do you support independence for West Papua?” there was very high support in PNG (89.3%) and Vanuatu (88.2%).
Collins underscored that these numbers suggest a “disconnect between popular support and the position taken by governments in the region, except Vanuatu, which has long championed the West Papuan cause at the political level. He concluded, “we see that in the poll only 14.9% of respondents considered Indonesia to be part of the Melanesian family yet Indonesia has observer status but not West Papua. For the sake of the long term stability of the region we hope West Papua will be discussed at the leaders meeting.”
The meeting in Suva was controversial because Fiji is currently under military dictatorship.
WPAT Comment: West Papua is the largest Melanesian populated entity not represented within the MSG and the second largest Melanesian entity, after Papua New Guinea. Its continued exclusion from the MSG calls into question the legitimacy of the organization. Moreover, the MSG’s failure address the plight of Papuans, including ethnic cleansing under the rubric of “transmigration” and charges of “genocide” by credible organizations (see statement by Papuan church leaders above) exposes the lack of commitment among Melanesian leaders to the rights and welfare of Melanesian peoples. Vanuatu’s repeated and public expressions of concern about the plight of Papuans is a singular but noteworthy exception in this regard.
Mounting public pressure, including from members of the Papuan Provincial Assembly (DPRP), compelled the police to announce they would release eight nurses who had been jailed on charges of incitement (article 335 of the criminal code). However, purportedly because of the absence of a key police official required to sign the release order, it appears the nurses had not yet been released at the end of March.
These West Papuan nurses were pursuing their legitimate rights and it is obscene to think they are languishing in jail.
The eight had been jailed over their call for a strike by nurses at the DokII General Hospital. That strike, a peaceful, lawful labor action, was over promised but unpaid compensation. Letters have been sent to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as well as to Vice-President Boediono protesting the arrest of five nurses and midwives who work at the general hospital for organizing a strike.
The detention of the nurses violates their rights notably as set forth in International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize), which was ratified by Indonesia in June 1998.
The issue of the unpaid compensation remains unresolved. The local daily Bintang Papua reported on March 23 that nurses and midwives had taken the issue to the DPRD and the provincial governor where hundreds demonstrated. They charged that the provincial secretary Constan Karmadi had deceived the public when he promised in December 2010 that incentives would be paid.
The medical staff are planning to make a formal complaint against the provincial secretary to the Administrative Court, pointing out that Instruction 125/2010 has been issued for the payment of the incentives, only to be cancelled by a later instruction that withdrew any such payments.
There is growing international attention to the arrests and the failure of the Indonesian government to meet is contract obligations to the nurses. Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Ged Kearney has described the detention of the nurses as “outrageous” and called for their immediate release. She noted as well that “the arrests of the nurses, including two officials of the National Union of Indonesian nurses, was a heavy handed response to nurses pursuing a legitimate industrial campaign in support of their contracted entitlements. “
“These West Papuan nurses were pursuing their legitimate rights and it is obscene to think they are languishing in jail,” added Kearney.
The Papuan publication JUBI published an appeal on March 31 by the executive director of the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid (LP3BH) Yan Christian Warinussy to the Dewan Adat Papua (DAP, Papuan Customary Council) to submit articles 106 and 107 of the criminal code on subversion and incitement (the ‘makar’ or subversion articles) of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) to the Constitutional Court for a judicial review.
“I call on DAP together with the Papuan people to seek a judicial review of the makar article before the Constitutional Court because it is no longer appropriate for such a law to remain in force in a democratic country like Indonesia. Other democratic states around the world don’t have such a law,” he said.
Many international organizations, including WPAT and ETAN have long called for the removal of these provisions from the Indonesian criminal code. The provisions date to the colonial era and were frequently used during the Suharto dictatorship to repress peaceful opposition. Indonesian officials continue to employ them to repress popular, peaceful dissent, particularly in West Papua where Suharto era practices, including unjust prosecution, persist.
The provisions violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights to which Indonesia is signatory.
West Papua Report
This is the 83rd in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to email@example.com.
Newly obtained video footage reveals Indonesian security forces, including U.S. and Australian-backed Detachment 88 personnel, brutality in operations in West Papua’s Central Highlands. Indonesian NGOs and prominent Papuans have faulted President Yudhoyono’s newly announced approach to dialogue with Papuans with criticism of Jakarta’s failure to end human rights violations and impunity by security forces as a basis for dialogue. Papuans criticized Jakarta’s selection of a limited range of Papuans as dialogue partners and have urged a role for international mediators. A prominent West African leader has announced support for West Papua’s self-determination. The chair of the Papuan Peoples Council (DAP) denounced the Indonesian government’s policy of transmigration. The Asian Legal Resource Center has appealed to the UN Human Rights Council to address continued security force abuse of human rights in West Papua. A Papuan political prisoner who is gong blind as a result of an attack by a prison warder needs urgent care. A report from within West Papua details land grabs by the Indonesian military and “developers” which have targeted Papuans in the Sorong area. Hamish McDonald considers Papuans’ struggle for self-determination in the light of recent similar successful examples within the international community.
- New Video Footage Reveals Indonesian Military Brutality
- Government’s “Dialogue” Approach with Papuans Faulted
- West African Leader Supports Papuan Self Determination
- Chair of the Papuan People’s Council Condemns Transmigration As Harmful To Local People
- Human Rights Council Hears Urgent Appeal Regarding Human Rights Abuse in West Papua
- Journalist Organization Chief Calls for Reporting on Human Rights in West Papua
- Another Papuan Political Prisoner Denied Adequate Medical Treatment
- Military and Military-Backed “Developers” Seize Papuan Lands
- Analysis Considers Papuan Self-Determination Struggle in Context of Similar Recent Successful Efforts
New Video Footage Reveals Indonesian Military Brutality
Video footage released in early February reveals previously unseen Indonesian military brutality against Papuan civilians in Kapeso in 2009. The footage was released by West Papua Media and can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD0eFA4scTo
The video shows the late May 2009 raid on the Kapeso airstrip in the village of Kampung Bagusa in Mamberamo regency by troops from Indonesia’s elite police counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 as well as other security personnel from BRIMOB and other units. Detachment 88 was created at behest of the U.S. government and receives significant U.S. and Australian Government funding and training assistance.
The footage, filmed by a Detachment 88 officer on his mobile phone, shows the immediate aftermath of a raid to retake the airfield which had been occupied for several weeks by a small armed group and a large number of villagers. The bodies of at least five dead are visible on the ground and sporadic gunfire is clearly heard. It appears that the footage was taken well after the killing took place. Footage depicting security personnel taking cover behind desks appears to have been staged to suggest the conflict was continuing.
Disturbing scenes at the end of the footage appear to show two Papuan children tied up and being forced at gunpoint to crawl along the floor by the Indonesian military. The footage continues to show them in apparent pain while the soldiers taunt them. In another scene troops are shown firing at civilians cowering in adjacent brush.
Indonesian authorities have not investigated events surrounding the Kapeso occupation and shooting of civilians by security forces.
West Papua media commented that such footage of brutal Indonesian security force actions, amounting to ‘trophy footage,’ is rampant among troops operating in the region.
For all media enquiries please contact Nick Chesterfield at West Papua Media on firstname.lastname@example.org or +61409268978
In September 2010, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) called for suspension of U.S. aid to Detachment 88 “pending review of charges leveled against the unit for systemic human rights violations, including use of torture.”
The “Alliance for Papua” on February 25 issued a press statement that critiqued a government plan for dialogue with Papuans. The statement called on the government to better synchronize its plans for the dialogue with the reality of politics in Papua. (See below for composition of this NGO alliance.)
The initial government approach calls for two presidential assistants to engage in dialogue with Papuans who would be represented by the Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the Papuan People’s Council (MRP), and the churches. The two presidential assistants are Bambang Darmono and Farid Husein.
The Alliance for Papua urged that the government to create appropriate conditions for dialogue by undertaking to “consistently protect and comply with the basic rights of the Papua people by ensuring that there is no repetition of violations of Papuan human rights.” The alliance also urged that the government review the presence of the TNI security forces and the undercover security operations “that continue to occur.”
According to the alliance, the government also should not proceed with the election of members of the MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua, Papuan People’s Council). The MRP is an institution that was mandated by Papua’s special autonomy law (OTSUS). The vast majority of the Papuan people have declared that OTSUS has failed “because it has not taken sides with, given protection to, empowered and fulfilled the basic rights of the indigenous Papuan people.”
The alliance points out that the government has nevertheless pressed ahead with the election of a second-term MRP in 15 districts of Papua. The second-term MRP is due to be sworn into office soon. The alliance objects to proceeding with the seating of the MRP because the election of MRP members “has not been transparent and has failed to comply with the [mandated] electoral stages.” The alliance also contends that the counting of the votes has been deeply fraudulent.
The alliance argues that seating the fraudulently elected MRP members “will only reinforce the Papuan people’s sense of disappointment towards a government that lacks any understanding and has shown no respect for local Papuan feelings.”
For his part, the outgoing chairperson of the MRP, Forkorus Yoboisembut criticized the government approach to dialogue by arguing that those Papuan groups that the government has announced as dialogue partners are not representative of the people because they don’t fully understand the Papuan problem. He contended that the government approach to dialogue would amount to the government talking to itself ” because they are all within the same system, and this would solve nothing.” He urged instead that the dialogue be with DAP (Dewan Adat Papua, Papuan Traditional Council) , the Papuan resistance (OPM), the Papuan parliament, and other Papuan groups.
Separately, the executive director of LP3BH,Yan Christian Warinussy said a neutral party should mediate the Jakarta-Papua talks, He suggested an international group such as the Henri Dunant Centre or a foreign country with experience in handling conflict resolution, including Aceh.
WPAT Note: The Alliance for Papua in Jakarta was set up as an expression of solidarity with humanitarianism, in support of fellow human beings in their struggle for justice and truth. The Alliance includes KontraS, ANBTI, IKOHI, Imparsial, Foker LSM Papua, Setara Institute, HRWG, Komnas Perempuan, FNMPP, IPPMAUS, Forum Papua Kalimantan, PGI, Walhi, JIRA, LBH Pers.
WestPan, Canada’s West Papua Action Network, reports that the President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade has become the first African leader to publicly back West Papua’s bid for self determination, stating that “West Papua is now an issue for all black Africans.”
His comments came in late January during a conference in Senegal’s capital Dakar, attended by Benny Wenda, a West Papuan activist who was granted political asylum by the British Government in 2003. Benny Wenda addressed the audience, telling them about the situation in his homeland. Following his address Wenda presented the President with a Papuan headdress, and was warmly embraced by him. The President then addressed the audience, urging all African nations to take attention to the West Papua issue and do whatever they can to help.
In 1969, when Indonesia, with the backing of the United States, sought UN approval for its annexation of West Papua through the fraudulent “Act of Free Choice,” it encountered significant resistance in West Africa where the memories of colonialism were still strong.
Papuan People’s Council Condemns Transmigration as Harmful to Local People
Responding to a report that the government plans to send more transmigrants to Papua, the chair of Dewan Adat Papua (Papuan People’s Council) Forkorus Yoboisembut https://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/reg.westpapua/2011-02/msg00051.html asserted that continuation of transmigration would transform the Papuan people into a minority in their own lands and trigger conflicts. “‘As the representative of the adat (traditional) people in Papua, I reject the transmigration program which fails to safeguard the position of the local people,” he said.
Forkorus’s statement came after media reports that the central government has allocated Rp 600 billion to pay for the transmigration of people from Indonesia to a number of so-called “under-populated” places in the Indonesian archipelago, including Papua. https://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/reg.westpapua/2011-02/msg00068.html
“I hope the central government will consider this matter carefully because the transmigration program to Papua has already resulted in the marginalization of the indigenous people in the context of (so-called) development work,” Forkorus stated.
Forkorus said that the location of transmigrants in many places in Papua has made it difficult for the local communities to preserve their own culture and lifestyles. Development of more luxurious migrant lifestyles, he explained, intensifies the marginalization of the local people.
In addition, because the government has lavished attention on the transmigrants, feelings of envy emerge.
Forkorus also noted that Papuans’ marginalization in their own homeland is evidenced by the cat that vast majority of those now running the economy are non-Papuans. Forkorus added that Papuans are not yet able to compete with the newcomers in economic affairs.
(WPAT Comment: Papuans rank at the bottom in Indonesia in terms of central government provision of health care, education services and employment creation. In the province of West Kalimantan, decades of central government driven “transmigration” has transformed the indigenous Dayak into a minority in their homeland and led to conflicts, particularly with Madurese transmigrants, along the lines of Forkorus’s concerns. The policy, abandoned during the Suharto dictatorship due to international condemnation, has been resumed under the Yudhoyono administration despite criticism that it is tantamount to ethnic cleansing.)
Human Rights Council Hears Urgent Appeal Regarding Human Rights Abuse in West Papua
On February 22, the Human Rights Council heard an urgent plea from the Asian Legal Resource Center (ALRC) regarding worsening human rights abuse in West Papua and the impunity accorded perpetrators of that abuse. The statement said in part:
- The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) is seriously concerned by ongoing, widespread human rights violations and violent acts being committed by the Indonesian security forces in the Papuan highlands in Indonesia. Impunity typically accompanies even the most serious abuses, as shown by the lack of effective remedies in a case of severe torture that the ALRC has documented recently. Despite institutional reforms in Indonesia, effective accountability for human rights violations in Papua is lacking, resulting in impunity that then engenders further atrocities.
- Impunity and the sense of injustice that it engenders in society are having a strong impact on social stability and cohesion in Papua. Repression, discrimination and human rights violations by the Indonesian security forces are adding to tensions. Papuans reportedly feel like second-class citizens in Indonesia, even within Papua itself, and face discrimination, poverty and injustice as a result. The military arbitrarily suspect Papuans of being linked with rebel groups and stigmatize them, subjecting them to abuse.
The ALRC statement recounts two of the more flagrant examples of abuse and impunity where military personnel were videoed beating and torturing Papuan civilians (see West Papua Report December 2010). Those prosecuted for this received minimal sentences. The ALRC statement comments:
- The government of Indonesia continues to deny the widespread use of violence by the Indonesian military in Papua, and alleges that these violations are rare and isolated, individual cases. However, the ALRC continues to receive further cases of violence against indigenous Papuans, including killings by the police and military, arbitrary arrests, the burning of houses and killing of livestock, which point to a widespread pattern of the use of violence, as well as a policy of intimidation by the Indonesian military.
The statement underscores the inadequacy of the Indonesian military and civilian court systems for addressing the continuing abuses:
- Human rights violations and other crimes committed against civilians by members of the military are still only tried by military courts, which lack independence, transparency, a comprehensive penal code incorporating human rights norms, and a system of punishments that are proportional to the severity of the crimes committed. A military tribunal is not able to hold perpetrators of torture accountable in line with international law standards. Such tribunals cannot invoke any military regulations that prohibit the use of torture. Therefore, perpetrators cannot be tried for committing torture and no remedies can therefore be provided to victims.
- Furthermore, the country’s penal code does not include torture as a crime. This means that members of the police that commit torture remain immune from criminal prosecution. Indonesia is therefore failing to comply with its obligations under the Convention Against Torture. Indonesia ratified the Convention against Torture in 1998, but the use of torture is still widespread and systematic…
The ALRC urgently calls for remedial action by the Indonesian government:
- Jakarta must ensure that the security forces halt the use of excessive force and violence-based strategies in dealing with security-related issues in Papua. Allegations of human rights violations must be investigated and any lacuna in legislation and due process must be addressed. For example, torture must be criminalized in line with Indonesia’s international obligations under the Convention Against Torture. Military personnel who are alleged to be responsible for human rights violations against civilians must be tried in civilian courts.
The ALRC also recommended that the Indonesian government undertake steps to reduce tensions and address outstanding injustice:
- …the ALRC urges the Indonesian government to heed the call for dialogue made by the Papuan indigenous community and avoid a
- further deterioration of the conflict in Papua. Finally, the ALRC calls on the Indonesian government to release all Papuan political prisoners,
- in order to show its commitment to a new path towards peace, security and human rights in Papua.
The ALRC underscored the role and responsibility of the international community in addressing the ongoing abuses and impunity:
- The ALRC invites the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers to recommend institutional reforms to the government of Indonesia to ensure that members of the military are held accountable by independent courts that uphold human rights and constitutional values and ensure that these are made available to legislators in Indonesia.
- The ALRC also requests that the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment follow up with the Indonesian government to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations made to Indonesia during the UPR review regarding the review of the penal code and the full criminalisation of torture.
Note: The Asian Legal Resource Centre is an independent regional non-governmental organization holding general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is the sister organization of the Asian Human Rights Commission. The Hong Kong-based group seeks to strengthen and encourage positive action on legal and human rights issues at the local and national levels throughout Asia.
The chair of the the Papua chapter Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) speaking in Jayapura, urged the press in Papua to regularly monitor cases of human rights violations in Papua, according to a report published in February 11 JUBI and translated by TAPOL.
AJI’s Victor Mambor emphasized the importance of the media reporting the human rights situation in Papua saying this can help reduce acts of repression against the civilian population.
He added that many reports about human rights in Papua were only available from NGOs active in the field, and these were frequently quoted in reports that appear in the media. He stressed the importance in ensuring that these reports are accurate and credible. Journalists should provide the appropriate references to make it easier for others to investigate the violations that occur.
WPAT Comment: Reporting on human rights violations in West Papua, particularly in instances where the TNI or police were involved, pose risks for journalists. Manokwari area reporter Ardiansyah Matra was murdered in July 2010 following his investigative reporting regarding police and military coercion targeting civilians in the development of the MIFEE plantation project in Manokwari. AJI has been active in following up on this case. Government restrictions placed on foreign journalists and NGO personnel impede their access to West Papua and reporting on human rights in the region.
New concerns have been raised about the inadequate medical treatment afforded Papuan prisoners of conscience Ferdinand Pakage. He is going blind following a beating by prison authorities in 2010.
Peneas Lokbere, chair of SKPHP HAM Papua (Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violations in Papua), told JUBI that his organization is continuing to press for medical treatment for Ferdinand Pakage. “We will continue to fight for treatment after he was struck in the eye by an official of the Abepura Prison. This caused his eye to bleed and he is now not able to see any more with this eye” said Lokbere.
SKPHP is working with Pakage’s family to press the prison authorities to speed up medical attention to his condition. Lokbere explained that his organization has been demanding treatment for Pakage since last year, when they sought permission for him to go to Jakarta where treatment is available. However, according to Lokbere, Prison Director Liberti Sitinjak refused permission for any transfer of Pakage out of West Papua. Lokbere noted that in 2010, Pakage was told by a doctor at the West Papua General Hospital in Dok II say that he needed to have an operation in Jakarta. The doctor said that his eye was badly damaged and that even if he does get medication in Jakarta, he will continue to be blind.
Pakage was assaulted by prison warders Alberth Toam, Victor Apono and Gustaf Rumaikewi while in detention in Abepura. Toam struck the blow that injured Pakage’s eye. None of the warders has been held responsible for this assault. Pakage is now held in custody with common criminals, including those convicted of violent crimes.
A Sorong-area leader has illegally transferred Papuan tribal lands to the Indonesian military (TNI) and to non-Papuans. The transferred land is vitally important, affording resources that are key to Papuan survival. Victims include Papuans belonging to various clans and tribes including the Osok, Mambringofok Idik and Fadan peoples in Klamono and Semugu and Kalaibin among others. The TNI has employed terror and intimidation targeting local Papuans to enforce the land transfers. The land sites are located along the Sorong to Klamono road at kilometer markers 16, 38 and 49 in the western end of the territory.
The military and non-Papuan developers will exploit the land for military base construction and oil palm plantation development. Specifically, local District Chief (Regent) Stefanus Malak provided land to the navy at km 16 and to the army at Km 38 to build a bases (the latter land belongs to the Semugu clan). Land was also transferred to the TNI, without tribal consent, at Km 49. This site will be used by the TNI to develop a palm oil plantation.
Seizure of land by the TNI, especially through use of force, violates various international obligations undertaken by Indonesia including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Article 30:
- “1. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed to or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.
- “2. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities.”
The Sydney Morning Herald on February 26 published an analysis comparing Papua’s struggle for self-determination with some recent anti-colonial struggles. “A Worm Inside the New Indonesia” by veteran journalist Hamish McDonald draws on the experiences of south Sudan and Kosovo, two emerging nation states as potential models for West Papua. McDonald, former Foreign Editor of the Herald with extensive experience in Indonesia, concludes that these developments have had the effect of rendering “respect for the territorial integrity of states and post-colonial boundaries somewhat tattered.”
Indonesia has long insisted that the international community affirmatively express public recognition of its “territorial integrity” in the context of West Papua. Similarly, Indonesia once demanded international recognition of its territorial integrity to include its annexation of East Timor, though with less success.
McDonald cites Akihisa Matsuno of Osaka University as suggesting that between Kosovo and southern Sudan, the later would appear to offer a more applicable precedent for West Papua. Sudan became independent in 1956 from British rule, but has been in civil war most of the time since. A 2005 peace agreement finally conceded a referendum on independence by the south. This suggests to Matsuno that a lack of integration between territories ruled by the same colonial power can justify a separate state. McDonald writes that ”this means that colonial boundaries are not as absolute as usually assumed.”
There is a broad international consensus that the 1969 Indonesian annexation of West Papua was in violation of its UN mandate to administer the territory and entailed a transparently fraudulent referendum, the “Act of Free Choice.” McDonald writes that Richard Chauvel, an Indonesia scholar at Melbourne’s Victoria University, described West Papua as Indonesia’s ”Achilles’ heel” and the conference. Chauvel argued that, notwithstanding Indonesia’s democratic progress since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship, West Papua remains “Indonesia’s last and most intractable regional conflict.” As such, Chauvel contends, ”Papua has become a battleground between a ‘new’ and an ‘old’ Indonesia. The ‘old’ Indonesia considers that its soldiers torturing fellow Indonesians in a most barbaric manner is an ‘incident’. The ‘new’ Indonesia aspires to the ideals of its founders in working towards becoming a progressive, outward-looking, cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic and multi-faith society.”
McDonald concludes that, as demonstrated by the ongoing developments in the Middle East, “the new media make it harder and harder to draw a veil over suppression. In the Indonesia that is opening up, the exception of West Papua will become more glaring.”
Report of the arrest of John Magai Yogi and two of his colleagues at Polres Nabire
Jhon Magai Yogi is the son of General Thadius Magai Yogi, the Comander of the TPN – OPM Dev II Makodam Pemka IV Paniai with its headquarters in Eduda, was arrested yesterday 26 Feb 2011 by security forces TNI/Police after being sent from Enarotoli on an Aviastar aircraft. At this time he is being held in detention in Kores (Police HQ) Nabire together with two of his colleagues who until now are unidentified.
The reason for their arrest are not yet known. The Me Tribe ltraditional leaders Mr Yakobus Muyapa and Mr Daud Kadepa have also reported today to the Nabire police station. They have asked the authorities to immediately release those arrested at the police post because Nabire and Paniai are designated calm areas in comparison to other areas in Indonesia.
While there is a Papuan independependence struggle in Nabire and Paniai, especially in Eduda Mabes TPN/OPM Paniai, there is an ongoing commitment to peaceful non-violent struggle, a struggle that is proper and valued by the entire West Papuan community in our land. These two leaders will again approach the Police head in Nabire on Monday 28 Feb. for further consultation said Daud Kadepa via mobile phone on 27 Feb at 2.31pm.
After I heard the report of the arrest John Magai Yogi’s phone was not yet able to be answered as it had been confiscated by the arresting authorities.
For John Magai Yogi’s Mobile Phone number while in detention at the Police Station in Nabire, please contact: +62 821 981 48668
- Prisoners’s lawyer concerned about health of her client in Nabire Prison (westpapuamedia.info)
- INDONESIA: Widespread impunity in Papua aggravating tensions (westpapuamedia.info)
- Coalition of United Papuan People for Truth (krpbk) Calls for Disbandment of the Mrp (westpapuamedia.info)
- Seven Papuan activists are now in jail of POLRES Manokwari for conducting peaceful demonstration and unfurling 14-star flag (westpapuamedia.info)
Bintang Papua, 16 February 2011
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION REPORTED TO US DIPLOMAT
Biak: The traditional Papuan community in Biak reported the current
social and political situation in Papua to the first secretary for
political affairs at the US embassy, Melanie Higgins, when she visited
the office of DAP (Dewan Adat Papua) in Biak. Their representatives drew attention in particular to the human rights situation and the
deteriorating welfare since the enactment of the Special Autonomy Law (OTSUS) which had led to the failure of OTSUS.
The issue that came to the fore was that for the Papuan people the
solution was merdeka – independence. ‘This poured forth from the hearts of the indigenous people during their meeting with the US diplomat on Wednesday. They said that this would be the best solution for the accumulation of problems in Papua,’ said Yan Pieter Yarangga, chairman of DAP in Biak-Supiori, following his meeting with Higgins.
He said that the visit by Melanie Higgins was consistence with the US
decision to evaluate OTSUS in Papua. She was able to hear how OTSUS had been implemented in the ten years since its enactment.
Besides talking about the failure of OTSUS, they raised some specific
cases, such as the beating of a civilian by a member of the security
forces (TNI) over a land dispute regarding land being held by the Air
They also talked about such matters as history, the development process and the growing number of poor Papuans. Women who were present spoke about the growing number of HIV/AIDS victims in Biak and everywhere in Papua.
‘We talked about many serious problems which were an indication of
genocide. ‘But we very much regret the fact that according to the US
there is no genocide in Papua,’ said the chairman of the local DAP.
He said that the indigenous people of Papua nevertheless warmly
appreciated the visit by Melanie Higgins and the present position of the US, and understood their US support for NKRI (Unitary State of the
Republic of Indonesia.).
‘But they should realise that we will not retreat and will continue to
struggle until we reach a solution for the political status for the
people of Papua and hope that Melanie Higgins will pass on the views of the indigenous Papuan people to the US government, in so that they would be passed on to the central government in Jakarta for them to take steps in favour of a comprehensive solution of the Papuan problem.’
‘Actually, there were many problems to raise with her but time was
short, so we came to the conclusion that we should raise a number of
basic indicators about problems of a very substantial nature.’
- Bintang Papua: Rejection of OTSUS intensifies DPRP should convene plenary session (westpapuamedia.info)
- Selection of MRP members should stop, say church leaders (westpapuamedia.info)
- Press Release issued by the Papuan People’s Coalition for Truth (KRPBK) (westpapuamedia.info)
- Civil Society Coalition: Reflections on Human Rights in the Papuan Special Autonomy era (westpapuamedia.info)
WARNING: This video contains disturbing images of extreme brutality and will be disturbing to most viewers. Please complain to the Indonesian security forces if you do not wish to see this.
Indonesian military brutality and torture of West Papuan civilians is revealed in a video released today exclusively by West Papua Media.
The footage shows troops from Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88, who receive Australian and US military training, engaged in a raid in late May 2009 on the Papuan village of Kampung Bagusa, at Kapeso airstrip in Mamberamo regency.
The footage, filmed by a Detachment 88 officer on his mobile phone, shows the immediate aftermath of the raid. The bodies of at least five dead villagers are visible on the ground and there is sporadic gunfire clearly heard.
The incident occurred at the end of a month long occupation of the remote airstrip by an local religious group, and was transformed into a demonstration of widespread pro-independence sentiment by an off-shoot of the TPN or National Liberation Army. Local military and police commanders sent troops to clear the airstrip, including the elite Detachment 88 force. Negotiations between local people and security forces broke down in confused circumstances, and security forces attacked all present. The aftermath of this operation is depicted in the video.
The footage shows Detachment 88 troops urgently taking cover behind desks in a pendopo (traditional ceremonial shelter) whilst under alleged attack. Curiously, whilst troops are allegedly being shot at by unknown shooters off camera, the solider continues to narrate calmly and film proceedings whilst he is standing up, exposed to alleged fire. This does raise the possibility that the entire proceedings are staged for the benefit of the camera.
Disturbing scenes at the end of the footage appear to show two Papuan children tied up and being forced at gunpoint to crawl along the floor by the Indonesian military. The footage continues to show them in apparent pain while the soldiers taunt them.
To date, no satisfactory transparent investigation has occurred of the events surrounding the Kapeso occupation and subsequent shooting of civilians by security forces. West Papua is routinely closed by the Indonesian government to International Media and Human Rights Observers.
Regardless of the circumstances of alleged armed provocations, Indonesian security forces are again displaying excessive force to civilians and non-combatants and in particular to children. Indonesia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but has so far refused to ratify the Convention’s Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
The footage is sure to raise further questions about the activities of the Indonesian military in West Papua, as well the involvement of the Australian military in training and arming those seen in this footage. The video was passed to West Papua Media via a member of the Indonesian security forces who stated that the circulation of this form of ‘trophy footage’ is rampant amongst troops operating in the region.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a translation error in the subtitles in this footage which is quite critical. At approximately 00:54 (seconds), where soldiers are pursuing West Papuan people, the dialogue is incorrect.
From a correspondent:
“”jangan dibunuh” is translated as “don’t get killed” but should be “don’t kill them”. It’s common to issue orders in passive register like that. It is followed by “diborgol” ie “handcuff them”. It’s a big difference, since it is suggestive of how often extra-judicial killings do take place – the soldiers on scene have to be reminded to NOT kill the prisoners. “
The video can be viewed at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD0eFA4scTo
or watching below:
For all media enquiries please contact Nick Chesterfield at West Papua Media on email@example.com or +61409268978
An Indonesian BRIMOB source today (Feb 9) sent West Papua Media these images of personnel from the Pelopor taskforce depicted in the footage above on their way via speedboat to conduct the operation to retake the airfield. The individual officer in the foreground of the upper image has been identified as the cameraman and narrator of the footage.
West Papua Media apologises for the low-quality of the footage due to it being filmed on mobile phone in low resolution
A higher quality version of the footage is available to media upon application under strict conditions; unfortunately YouTube automatically loses quality during upload. Please contact West Papua Media for arrangements
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (AFP) — The United States on Tuesday
slammed as too lenient an Indonesian court martial for jailing three
soldiers for up to 10 months for abuse and insubordination after
they were shown torturing civilians.
The sentences “do not reflect the seriousness of the abuses of
two Papuan men depicted in 2010 video,” State Department
spokesman Philip Crowley said on the microblogging website
“Indonesia must hold its armed forces accountable for violations
of human rights. We are concerned and will continue to follow
this case,” Crowley added.
The relatively light sentences prompted anger among campaigners,
who accuse the Indonesian military of acting with impunity
against the indigenous Melanesian majority in the far-eastern
province of Papua.
The military tribunal found the trio guilty of abuse and
disobeying orders, and sentenced Second Sergeant Irwan
Rizkiyanto to 10 months in jail, First Private Yakson Agu to
nine months, and First Private Tamrin Mahan Giri to eight months.
In footage posted on YouTube last year, the soldiers were seen
applying a burning stick to the genitals of an unarmed man and
threatening another with a knife as they interrogated them about
the location of a weapons cache.
WPAT/ETAN: Light Sentences for Rights Violators Spark Calls for Suspension of Aid to Abusive and Unaccountable Indonesian Military
Light Sentences for Rights Violators Spark Calls for Suspension of Aid to Abusive and Unaccountable Indonesian Military
Contact: Ed McWilliams (WPAT), +1-575-648-2078
Paul Barber (TAPOL) +44 1420 80153 or +44 774 730 1739
John M. Miller (ETAN) +1-917-690-4391
The West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT), East and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and TAPOL condemn the Indonesian government’s failure to hold Indonesian military personnel responsible for the grave crime of torture of two Papuans. The torture was revealed in a video posted online in October 2010 shocked the international community ( http://www.etan.org/news/2010/10video.htm). Rather than try the perpetrators before a civilian court the Indonesian government allowed the Indonesian military to try the soldiers in a military court. On January 24, the Military Court in Papua sentenced three soldiers to minimal sentences of eight to 10 months imprisonment for the minor procedural offense of disobeying orders.
The Indonesian Government’s refusal to prosecute the perpetrators in a civilian court and the failure to charge them with serious criminal offences commensurate with the violence inflicted on the victims reflect a longstanding pattern where security force personnel who commit heinous crimes against Papuans are not inadequately punished, if they are punished at all. For example, the special forces (Kopassus) personnel convicted by a military court for the torture-murder of the leading Papuan political figure, Theys Eluay, in 2001 similarly received sentences not commensurate with the crime. They were lauded publicly by a leading Indonesian military figure as “heroes.”
Unfortunately, Indonesia President’s Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in pre-sentencing public remarks described the torture, which included the burning of the genitals of a Papuan man with a stick pulled from the fire, as “only a minor incident.” This dismissal of the seriousness of the crime reinforces a pattern of impunity for security personnel.
WPAT, ETAN and TAPOL remain concerned that Indonesia has refused to make torture a specific offence under Indonesian criminal law, notwithstanding Indonesia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Torture which it signed in 1985 and ratified in 1998. We urge Indonesia to do so.
Indonesian military personnel, especially those operating in West Papua, which has seen the worst security forces abuse over the past decade, continue to perpetrate torture, rape, extrajudicial killings and other well documented abuses in part because they are aware they will never be effectively prosecuted for these crimes. By refusing to prosecute military offenders to the full extend of the law in civilian courts the Indonesian government is complicit in the military’s continuing abuses.
The impunity long enjoyed by Indonesian security personnel for their criminal behavior stands in stark contrast to the severe sentences meted out to Papuans who assemble peacefully to protest decades of Indonesian government repression and the denial of essential services to the Papuan people. Dozens of Papuans have been imprisoned for years where, as described by UN reports, these peaceful dissenters endure health and life threatening treatment and conditions. Amnesty International and other reputable human rights organizations have identified many as “prisoners of conscience.”
Government restrictions on travel to and within West Papua have long impeded the ability of the international community to monitor human rights and other developments. Indonesian security and intelligence forces within West Papua routinely shadow and obstruct the movement of the few international journalists and even diplomats who do manage to enter West Papua. Papuans who speak to these observers are often threatened and harassed.
The U.S. and other governments should act in a substantive way to end the continued abuses by Indonesian security forces against Papuans. The U.S., in particular, should exercise its significant leverage by suspending its extensive and expanding military assistance programs for Indonesia pending real reform of the Indonesian military. This reform should, at minimum, include an end to human rights violations by Indonesian military personnel, as well as effective prosecution in civilian courts of military personnel who perpetrate abuses and with sentencing commensurate with the crimes. The U.S. should also make any resumption of military-to-military cooperation contingent on an end to Indonesian government restrictions on access to West Papua by independent journalists and other observers, as well as an end to Indonesian security and intelligence force intimidation of those Papuans peacefully advocating for their political and other human rights.
More generally, WPAT, ETAN and TAPOL appeal to the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom and the European Union to promptly and publicly register with the Indonesian government their deep concern over what is only this latest example of decades of failed justice in West Papua.
see also West Papua Report
- Wikileaks – US Government blames Jakarta for unrest in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Press Release issued by the Papuan People’s Coalition for Truth (KRPBK) (westpapuamedia.info)
- British Deputy Prime Minister raised ‘grave concerns’ over human rights and restricted press access to West Papua during meeting with Indonesian Government officials (westpapuamedia.info)
- AWPA: West Papua 2010 Chronology of events (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesia: Respect Rights of Papuan Prisoners Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesian Military Trial Angers Activists (nytimes.com)
- Jail for Papua abuse video troops (bbc.co.uk)
Amnesty Urges Torture Charges On Indonesia Soldiers
Jan 14 (AFP) — Indonesian soldiers on trial for the alleged brutal
abuse of two Papuans should be charged with torture rather than the
minor offence of disobeying orders, Amnesty International said
The three soldiers appeared Thursday before a military tribunal, after
the online broadcast of a video showing the torture of unarmed men
sparked an outcry.
But they were charged with disobedience to orders rather than more
serious crimes such as illegal detention and abuse.
In the video, posted on YouTube last year, soldiers place a burning
stick to the genitals of an unarmed man and threaten another with a
knife as part of an interrogation about the location of weapons.
“Amnesty International urges the Indonesian authorities to ensure that
the three soldiers… (are) tried in full criminal procedures for
torture or similar crimes,” Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director
Donna Guest said.
Military prosecutors have said they lacked evidence of torture because
the victims would not testify, despite the existence of a CD of the
video and detailed statements given by the victims to human rights
According to the National Human Rights Commission, the victims would
like to testify but were terrified of military reprisals, and had not
received adequate safety guarantees.
“Amnesty International believes that the civilian courts are much more
likely to ensure both prosecution for the crimes involving human
rights violations and protection for witnesses than the military
system,” Guest said in a statement received by AFP.
Indonesia had pledged to rein in military abuses in regions such as
Papua and the Maluku islands in return for renewed US military
exchanges. The soldiers face a maximum sentence of two and half years
- AP: 3 Indonesian Soldiers Seen In Video Torturing 2 Papuan Men On Trial Just For Disobeying Orders (westpapuamedia.info)
- SMH: Soldiers Stand Trial Over Papua Abuse (westpapuamedia.info)
- US Gov: State Dept spokesperson on TNI (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesia under fire over ‘farcical’ abuse trial (thehimalayantimes.com)
Media Info only
3 Indonesian Soldiers Seen In Video Torturing 2 Papuan Men On Trial
Just For Disobeying Orders
By IRWAN FIRDAUS
JAKARTA, Indonesia, Jan 14 (AP) – Three Indonesian soldiers accused of
torturing two men from the restive eastern region of Papua have gone
on trial for the relatively minor charges of disobeying orders,
prosecutors said Friday.
A video circulated widely on the Internet late last year showed
security forces burning the genitals of one suspected separatist and
running a knife across the neck of another, sparking an international
In a rare acknowledgment of military abuses, the Indonesian government
issued a statement soon after, promising justice would be served.
But in a military tribunal that started Thursday in the Papuan capital
of Jayapura, the three soldiers captured on video were slapped with
the relatively minor charge of disobeying orders, which carries a
maximum penalty of 30 months in prison.
Prosecutors said the men escaped more serious charges because — aside
from the video — there was no physical evidence of wrongdoing and the
two Papuan victims refused to submit statements to the court.
Human rights activists called the tribunal a sham, while the United
States urged the Indonesian government to honor its commitment to
investigate and prosecute abuses by its troops.
Haris Azhar, chairman of the Jakarta-based Commission for Missing
Persons and Victims of Violence, said it showed that allegations of
military abuse were once again being whitewashed.
“How is this fair?” he asked. “As far as we can tell, there wasn’t
even an investigation.”
“This process will serve no justice at all for the victims,” Azhar
said, adding that the victims were afraid to testify because there was
no guarantee they would be protected.
The tribunal was adjourned Thursday until next week.
Indonesia, a nation of more than 237 million people, has made
tremendous strides toward democracy since former dictator Suharto was
ousted just over a decade ago, but it remains highly sensitive to
ongoing separatist struggles in Papua and the Molucca islands.
Security forces are accused of abusing both civilians and suspected
The United States, which last year lifted a decade-old ban on military
assistance to a notoriously violent Indonesian commando unit, promised
Thursday to closely monitor the trials.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said it would hold
Indonesia to its commitments to investigate rights abuses and take
Indonesia took over Papua from the Dutch in 1963 and formalized its
sovereignty six years later through a stage-managed vote by about
1,000 community leaders.
Human rights groups say more than 100,000 people — a fifth of the
impoverished province’s population — have died as result of military
The Australia West Papua Association has produced a very useful chronology of all key events that occurred in West Papua in 2010. The full document can be accessed here: West Papua 2010 Chronology of events,
The introduction is reprinted below:
Human rights situation in West Papua
The human rights situation in West Papua continued to deteriorate in 2010. One incident in particular highlighted the worsening human rights situation and that was the shocking video footage of West Papuans being tortured by Indonesian soldiers. The video showed several men in military fatigues torturing two Papuans. The soldiers in the video threaten the two men with sharp weapons and pressed a burning bamboo stick against one of the men’s genitals. The torture of the men prompted a wave of international criticism with human rights organisations around the world condemning the actions of the Indonesian military. This incident was not an isolated incident and in further evidence of human rights abuses another report accused the police of burning down the village of Bigiragi in the Puncak Jaya district. The report said that 16 Mobile Brigade officers had burned the village to the ground on October 11. The report said that at least 29 homes were destroyed in the incident leaving at least 150 people homeless
Military operations in Puncak Jaya
A number of military operation took place in the Puncak Jaya region in 2010 and in fact security operations have been ongoing in the Puncak Jaya region for years . Security forces conduct regular sweeps (military operations) in the area to pursue members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM). Many reports have pointed out the the security forces have great difficulty distinguishing between what the term separatists and the general public. These operations leave the local people traumatised and in fear for their lives. In a report in Bintang Papua (29 June) The local chief of police admitted that “the OPM are all over the place including in the town of Mulia, mingling with the community. He said that because the features of the mountain people are almost the same as other people in the area, ‘it is making it very difficult for us to differentiate between who is OPM and who is just an ordinary member of the community”. This statement raises great concerns that civilians are in danger of being targeted as members of the OPM. During these military operations villages have been destroyed as well as gardens and livestock. In September the House of Representatives (DPR) Law Commission deputy chairman, Tjatur Sapto Edy lamented the military operations in the Puncak Jaya Regency following a report by the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM). Tjatur said there should be no more military operations and such approaches are no longer suitable in a democracy. A report by Komnas HAM’s Papua chapter revealed 29 cases of rights abuses occurred in Puncak Jaya regency from 2004-2010, including the torture and rape of villagers in March 2010 by law enforcers.
In September an article in the the SMH alleged that Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, brutalised a group of separatists, repeatedly beating them in detention. Australia helps fund Detachment 88. The report also said the Australian Government had sent an official to the Indonesian province of Maluku to investigate the claims but an Australian embassy official denied there was an investigation going on although an embassy officer had visited Maluku as part of a regular program of provincial visits.
Leaked Kopassus report
In November investigative journalist Alan Nairn released a secret report by a Kopassus task force which shows a list of West Papuans engaged in human rights work are a target of the Indonesian Special Force Group, Kopassus. The list includes members of civil society organisations, church groups , activists, students and members of the MRP. The report can be found on his blog at
In December cables released by WikiLeaks in relation to West Papuan human rights confirmed what NGOs have been telling their governments for years, that it is the Indonesian military that are one of the main problems in West Papua.
The cables revealed that US diplomats blame the government in Jakarta for unrest in West Papua due to neglect, corruption and human rights abuses. That Indonesian military commanders have been accused of illegal logging operations and drug smuggling from West Papua into Papua New Guinea, and also that a lifting of the US ban on training with Kopassus was made a condition of Obama’s visit to Jakarta.
Also in December the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), a major Indonesian human rights group accused the National Police of being the state institution guilty of committing the highest number of acts of violence against the public in 2010. In the Jakarta Post (7/12/10) , the Papua chapter of the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) reported a 70 percent increase in the number of cases of violence in Papua, most of which were allegedly committed by security officers. The Jakarta-based Legal Aid Foundation in another report said Indonesian law enforcers routinely torture suspects and convicts to extract confessions or obtain information. The groups report found beatings, intimidation and rape are so commonplace they are considered the norm. It also found that few victims believe they have the right to lodge complaints.
West Papua suffered from a number of natural disasters in 2010 including a 7.1magnitude earthquake that occurred of the northern coast of Papua in June, destroying a number of villages with loss of life on Yapen island. In October the town of Wasior was hit by flash floods causing severe damage leaving over 158 people dead, 145 persons missing and thousands left homeless. There was some debate if the cause of the floods was due to deforestation in the surrounding areas or was due to unusually heavy rainfall
It is difficult to known the exact number of political prisoners who are in jail in West Papua because of the difficulty of access and restrictions on the gathering of information in the territory. In Amnesty’s International Report for 2010, it states
“At least 114 people were detained for peacefully expressing their views. The overwhelming majority were peaceful political activists who were sentenced to terms of imprisonment for raising prohibited pro independence flags in Maluku or Papua”.
And in an extract from Human Rights Watch World Report for 2010, in relation to West Papua. “Indonesian authorities have responded to a longstanding, low-level armed separatist insurgency in the provinces of Papua and West Papua with a strong troop presence and often harsh and disproportionate responses to non-violent dissent or criticism. Human Rights Watch has long expressed concerns over anti-separatist sweeps by the police, which often result in individuals who peacefully express support for independence being arrested and detained on charges of treason or rebellion (makar).
West Papua -one of our nearest neighbours
West Papua is one of our nearest neighbours and the West Papuan people face great challenges including ongoing human rights abuses, the exploitation of their natural resources with little or no benefit to themselves, the danger of becoming a minority in their own land as the result of migrants arriving daily and a HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The Australian Government has always been concerned about instability in the region to our north but as events in 2010 have shown, it is the Indonesian military which are causing the instability in West Papua. The recent reports of the torture of West Papuans by the Indonesian security forces and the information from the WikiLeaks cables about US concerns at the activities of the TNI in relation to West Papua, aptly show this.
The Australian West Papua Association (Sydney)
urges the Australian Government to re- think its policy of ties with the Indonesian military until such time that Indonesian military personnel involved in past human rights abuses are brought to justice and the culture of the Indonesian military becomes of an acceptable standard to both the Australian people and Australian military. In the short term we urge the Government to put a moratorium on the training, funding and any ties between the Australian military, Detachment 88 and the special forces unit Kopassus, until a full inquiry is held into the activities of these units in relation to human rights abuses in the archipelago.
urges the Australian Government to sent a fact finding mission to West Papua to not only investigate the human rights situation in the territory but to see how Australia can help the West Papuan people in capacity building in the fields of health and education. We thank the Australian Government for the funding it has already given to aid projects in West Papua but urge more aid-funding to support health programs and medical organizations (local and international) working on the ground in West Papua and in the long term to support the training of the West Papuan people themselves as health professionals.
There are a number of Indigenous human rights NGOs in West Papua and the Australian Government can strengthen the human rights situation in West Papua by supporting these organisations with financial aid, capacity building and education.
We recommended that human rights defenders working in human rights organisations in West Papua be funded to attend human rights courses in Australia and the region.. There are a number of programs in Australia which can advance human rights and empower civil society in West Papua through education, training and capacity building. These programs are suitable for individual human rights defenders and community advocates.
We also call on the Australian Government to urge the Indonesian President to release all West Papuan political prisoners as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people.
The problems in West Papua won’t be solved by Jakarta deploying more troops to the region or conducting more military operations. What the West Papuans are asking for is dialogue between Jakarta and West Papuan representatives. AWPA calls on the Australian Government to urge the Indonesian Government to dialogue with representatives of the West Papuan people to solve the issues of concern held by the West Papuan people.
 AWPA (Sydney) uses the name “West Papua” to refer to the whole of the western half of the Island of New Guinea. However, “West Papua” at this time is divided into two provinces, Papua and West Papua.
- Australia must make a stand for West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- KNPB Congress: “West Papua must unite for Referendum” (westpapuamedia.info)