Daily Archives: July 24, 2010

Victor Yeimo, KNPB Sentenced to 1 year for "provocation"

Victor Yeimo has received a sentence of one year in prison for ‘provocation’ from the Abepura district court. This includes the time he has already spent inside.

The public prosecutor plans to appeal to a higher court. If that fails, he will be out in October 2010. Yeimo was on trial for makar or rebellion for leading a peaceful demonstration on March 10, 2009.

More info as it comes to hand

US Congress: Feingold Statement on Lifting the Ban on Indonesian Special Forces Unit

Feingold Statement on Lifting the Ban on Indonesian Special Forces Unit

Thursday, July 22, 2010

“I am disappointed by Secretary Gates’s announcement today about planned US cooperation with the Indonesian Army Special Forces, Kopassus, which is premature.

“A strong and effective US-Indonesia partnership is an important part of our national security strategy, but so is supporting human rights and the rule of law. Although the Indonesian Ministry of Defense has taken some positive steps, numerous problems remain, including allegations of recent abuses. Further actions are needed before we can be reasonably satisfied that Kopassus, and the Indonesian armed forces more broadly, have become a reformed institution accountable to international human rights standards and the rule of law. The ‘gradual, limited program of security cooperation activities’ described by Secretary Gates should certainly not be seen as wiping the slate clean for Kopassus – that is something that only a full accounting of the past can do.

“The US must continue to call on the Indonesian government, consistently and at all levels, to commit its armed forces, including Kopassus, to establish the primacy of human rights, civilian control and the rule of law, to take the sometimes difficult steps necessary for true reform and to address past human rights abuses – including through the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal on the student “disappearances” of the late 1990s. Any limited interaction with Kopassus should not become broader engagement without further specific and demonstrable reforms. I will continue to follow this issue closely and I strongly urge the administration to do the same.”

Senator Feingold is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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GEORGE TELEK "WEST PAPUA" (MERDEKA REMIX) – MUSIC VIDEO 2010

The film clip for George Telek’s West Papua (merdeka mix) featuring Ngairie Produced by Airi Ingram
The song is released of Teleks new albums Akave (in Australia and International) (Wantok/Planet) and Pairap Gen (in PNG and Pacific).(CHM).
mixed by Tim Cole

As West Papua says “mi laikim Freedom”, enjoy this inspiring remix of a powerful tune by legendary PNG singer George Telek. This upbeat remix has been released on Teleks new albums, and also featured on the new documentary on West Papua, Strange Birds in Paradise.

Please spread widely.

OPM pledge to increase attacks against Indonesian forces

Please note: this is a repost of a Indonesian press report. West Papua Media Alerts makes no assertion as to its accuracy.

The separatist Free Papua Movement, which has been engaged in a low-profile armed resistance against the Indonesian presence in the province since the 1960s, on Thursday threatened to step up attacks against the government until Papuan independence was granted.

“We, the people of Papua, remain steadfast in our initial stand to safeguard the dignity of the Papuan nation by gaining independence,” Anton Tabuni, secretary general of the group, known as the OPM, said in a video released to journalists in Papua.

“The people of Papua will continue to struggle to secede from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” continued Tabuni, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of OPM commander Goliat Tabuni .

The video was released a day after armed men believed to be from the OPM ambushed and burned a convoy of three trucks carrying diesel oil and food in Pagargom, in the Tingginambut area of Puncak Jaya district.

“Whether civilians, plainclothes or uniformed security members, we will rid Papua of them,” Tabuni said.

The video also showed an OPM gathering in Tingginambut, believed to be a congress held by the organization on June 31. The meeting ended in a renewed resolve to fight for independence.

Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wahyono declined to comment, saying police had yet to see the video. “We have not watched the video, so we cannot comment on it,” Wahyono said. “But we are going to investigate it.”

Adrianna Elizabeth, a researcher of conflict areas at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said the government should not dismiss the threat, even though the OPM was not a heavily armed organization.

“Even if the social and economic conditions of Papuans improve, the OPM will always be there because it wants its political demands to be met,” Adrianna said, adding that OPM’s vast network had spread throughout urban and rural areas in the territory.

“Human rights are not being upheld in the province and we should also realize that the Papuan autonomy law has not been well implemented,” she said, citing possible reasons for the persistence of separatist aspirations in the province .

In a report released in March, the global think tank International Crisis Group warned that some elements of OPM were becoming increasingly militant.

It also said OPM and the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) — a group with its roots in the student movement — were likely behind the deadly attacks last year on workers near a mine run by a unit of Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold.

The ICG recommended broadening talks between Jakarta and Papuan leaders to address political, historical and economic grievances.

Meanwhile, police in pursuit of the perpetrators of Wednesday’s attack in Pagargom are concentrating on Tingginambut, known to be home to OPM’s central headquarters.

“Since [Thursday] morning, our officers have been hunting them, especially in the Tingginambut area,” Wahyono said, adding that a thick fog and the mountainous, thickly forested terrain were hindering the operation.

Wahyono said there were no plans yet to send reinforcements since the force already in Puncak Jaya was considered to be adequate. Papua Police have already deployed about 100 members of the elite Mobile Brigade (Brimob) to Tingginambut .

Amnesty International Disappointed by U.S. Government Decision to Train Suspected Human Rights Violators in Indonesian Military

Amnesty International today expressed disappointment in the announcement from the Department of Defense that the United States will provide training to the Indonesian Special Forces unit, Kopassus, which is known for grave human rights violations. The following statement can be attributed to T. Kumar, AIUSA’s director for international advocacy.

“Amnesty International is disappointed by the decision that U.S. forces will train the Kopassus unit. It sends the wrong message in a country where mass and severe human rights violations have taken place in an atmosphere of impunity. U.S. support to this unit undercuts the recent efforts advocating reform within the Indonesian military.  Amnesty International calls upon the U.S. administration to make public what commitments they received from the Indonesian authorities about bringing Kopassus military leaders to justice and also calls upon President Obama, in his upcoming visit to Indonesia, to speak publicly about human rights abuses in Indonesia and to meet the families of those killed by the Kopassus.

The Kopassus unit has been linked to serious human rights violations in Indonesia including killings and torture in East Timor, Papua, Aceh and elsewhere. Amnesty International calls for all crimes allegedly perpetrated by Kopassus members and others in the Indonesian military to be brought to court in proceedings that meet fair trail standards and victims should receive reparations.

While the Secretary of Defense offered assurances that all training will be conducted within the confines of U.S. law and that the collaboration does not weaken U.S. support of human rights, Amnesty International recommends that background screenings be conducted prior to any Indonesian military official suspected of involvement in human rights abuses, before receiving  U.S.-backed training.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

For more information, please visit: http://www.amnestyusa.org