West Papua Report August 2010

West Papua Report
August 2010

This is the 74th 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. Beginning with this edition the West Papua Report will include a Bahasa Indonesia translation of the summary and subject titles. 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 edmcw@msn.com.

Fifty members of the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of House Foreign Affairs sub-committee chairs Faleomavaega and
Payne, have written to President Obama to express their deep concern about West Papua, noting indications of Indonesian
“slow-motion genocide” against Papuans. The Representatives strongly urged President Obama to give West Papua a high
priority in U.S. policy towards Indonesia and also called on him to meet with Papuans in his scheduled November visit to
Indonesia. The Obama Administration has announced it will open contact with the infamous Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus), notwithstanding a decade old Congressional consensus against ties with that group unless and until that unit undergoes fundamental reforms. Papuan Political Prisoner Filep Karma told international media that U.S. support for Kopassus would only increase that units capacity to repress Papuans. An International Court of Justice opinion granting Kosovo the right to declare its independence would appear to have implications for Papuans pursuit of self-determination. Indonesian analysts assess that Indonesian central government unwillingness to dialogue with Papuans inevitably leads Jakarta to resort to its repressive “security approach.” Reports of abuse of Papuan prisoners in Indonesian prisons by their Indonesian guards continue. The Indonesian Seafarers Association has revealed Navy and Fisheries Ministry collusion with foreign fishing vessels illegally fishing in Papuan waters. The report also notes the role of foreign fishermen in the transmission of HIV/AIDS in Papuan ports of call.


• Fifty Members of U.S. Congress Write to President Obama over “Strong Indications” of Indonesian Genocide in West Papua

• U.S. Government Resumes Collaboration with Military Unit Long Associated with Human Rights Abuse in West Papua

• International Court of Justice Ruling of Kosovo Independence May Have Relevance for West Papua

• Jakarta’s Unwillingness to Dialogue with Papuans Endangers Peaceful Resolution of Papuan Claims

• More Reports of Prisoner Abuse in West Papua

• Indonesian Navy and Fisheries Ministry Collude with Illegal Foreign Fishing Vessels

Fifty Members of U.S. Congress Write to President Obama over “Strong Indications” of Indonesian Genocide in West Papua

The Chairs of the U.S. Congressional Subcommittees on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, and Chairman Donald M. Payne of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health have spearheaded an effort in Congress calling upon President Obama to “make West Papua one of the highest priorities of the Administration.”

As a result of their efforts, 50 members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to the President stating that there is strong
indication that the Indonesian government is committing genocide against Papuans. Many of those who signed the letter are members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The signatories include men and women who fought for civil rights in America in the 1960s. In addition to the Congressional Black Caucus, many others who are long-time advocates of human rights joined this request to the President of the United States, including members of the Hispanic Caucus. The last remaining member of the Kennedy family in Congress, Rep. Patrick Kennedy from Rhode Island, also joined the letter to President Obama.

An August 1 press release from Representative Faleomavaega’s office notes that the letter to the President “suggests that slow motion genocide has been taking place in West Papua and reviews findings by human rights organizations and scholars who have conducted extensive research about crimes against humanity and genocide by Indonesian security forces.”

The press release also observes that “according to international agreements, other nations are legally obligated to intervene
when a genocide is in process and Members of Congress remain hopeful that President Obama and the U.S. State Department will hold Indonesia accountable.”

Members concluded their letter by encouraging the President to meet with the Team of 100 from West Papua during his upcoming visit, noting that President Obama has the opportunity to bring lasting change to this part of the world. While Papuan leaders have repeatedly tried to engage in dialogue with the Indonesian government, dialogues have failed to produce concrete results and Papuan leaders are now calling for an International Dialogue. In this context, signatories of the letter have asked President Obama to meet with the people of West Papua during his upcoming trip to Indonesia in November.

U.S. Government Resumes Collaboration with Military Unit Long Associated with Human Rights Abuse in West Papua

The U.S. government announced that it is resuming contact withthe Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus). U.S. Secretary of
Gates, visiting Jakarta July 22, announced the decision with
caveats, noting that the resumption of contact would proceed “in
accordance with U.S. law, only on the basis of future reforms
within Kopassus.” Specifically, Gates told media that the U.S.
would undertake a “gradual, limited program of security
cooperation activities,” conditioned on “continued reform” (sic)
within Kopassus and the TNI. According to Gates, the engagement
“may be initially limited to including Kopassus officials in
“conferences and events involving non-lethal subjects like rule
of law, human rights and the military decision-making process.”

According to the 2001 Leahy Law, the the U.S. Administration can
not proceed beyond contact/consultations to actually resuming
training and weapons funding for Kopassus absent Indonesian
government action to ensure justice in any cases of “gross
violations of human rights” involving Kopassus personnel (past,
current or future). In the language of the law, “If the
Secretary of State has credible evidence that such unit has
committed gross violations” the U.S. Government is disallowed
from expending funds unless “the Secretary determines and
reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the government
of such country is taking effective measures to bring the
responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.”

Sign the petition opposing U.S. cooperation with Kopassus

The career fates of a number of prominent and not so prominent
Kopassus officers with credible claims of human rights
violations in their records have been and continue to be the
focus of much debate in Washington regarding U.S. aid to
Kopassus. In recent months the U.S. has quietly pressed for the
Indonesian government to scrub abusive officers from Kopassus’s

One of the Kopassus officers upon the policy debate has focused
is Lt. Col, Tri Hartomo who was convicted in 2003 of the
“torture murder” of Papuan political leader Theys Eluay. Hartomo
was sentenced to 42 months in prison. That sentence, and even
shorter sentences handed down against the other six Kopassus
personnel convicted in the case, pale beside those handed out to
Papuans for nonviolent crimes such as displaying the Papuan
“morningstar flag.” Moreover, Hartomo upon release returned to
Kopassus ranks. General Sjafried Sjamsuddin, appointed deputy
Defense Minister earlier this year, is a Kopassus officer
similarly charged with egregious human rights abuses, notably in
East Timor. The U.S. administration’s casual claim that the
general was “only implicated’ and not “convicted” of numerous
human rights abuses begs the broader reality that Sjamsuddin,
like so many other senior Kopassus and TNI officers, has managed
to evade any trial for his behavior in Indonesia’s flawed
justice system. The U.S. administration’s willingness to look
the other way regarding Sjamsuddin contrasts with its decision
in September 2009 to deny Sjamsuddin a visa to visit the U.S.

The U.S. Administration’s decision to move forward to resume
ties to Kopassus notwithstanding its insubstantial reforms has
particular relevance for West Papua. Twenty percent of
Kopassus’s 5,000 personnel are stationed in West Papua. Human
Rights Watch, in a June 2009 report, documented continued
Kopassus human rights abuse targeting Papuans in the Merauke
area. Political Prisoner Filep Karma, convicted of non-violent
protest in 2001 and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, told
media in late July that U.S. assistance to Kopassus would simply
increase the capacity of that unit to torture and kill Papuans.


• ETAN Condemns U.S. Plan to Get Back in Bed with Indonesia’s
Kopassus Killers

• WPAT: Statement Regarding the U.S. Government’s Decision to
Resume Cooperation with Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus)

International Court of Justice Ruling of Kosovo Independence May
Have Relevance for West Papua

The International Court of Justice ruled, July 22, 2010, that
the Kosovo 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia did not
violate international law. The decision flowed from the
submission of a question by the government of Serbia to the ICJ
which won the support of 77 members of the UN General Assembly
(including Indonesia). That initiative sought (unsuccessfully)
to secure an ICJ ruling that the Kosovo declaration was illegal
under international law.

The ICJ decision has drawn broad international comment, much of
it arising from the prospect that other cases involving
secessionist movements might be advanced by this “Kosovo
precedent.” The Kosovo case was the first case of unilateral
secession to be brought before the ICJ.

Thus far, there has been no systematic attempt to apply the ICJ
decision to the case of West Papua. Nevertheless, several
principles established within the ICJ decision may apply to the
call by some Papuan organizations and individuals for a Papuan
“right to self-determination.” These include the ICJ’s
acceptance of the presumption in international law that civil
and human rights, including the rights of minorities, should be
protected. A Dutch government submission to the ICJ in the
Kosovo case, for example, would appear to be relevant to the
West Papua circumstance: “The people of Kosovo had the right to
self-determination and secession from Serbia because the
Belgrade authorities systematically violated civil and human
rights of Albanians for years. International law thus allows the
proclamation of Kosovo’s independence.” The violation of Papuan
civil and human rights is well-established including by reports
of UN special rapporteurs, various governments (including annual
reports by the U.S. State Department) and respected
international NGOs and journalists.

A second principle established by the July 22 ICJ ruling of
possible relevance to West Papua addresses the “right to
self-determination” itself which the ICJ earlier found in the
case of East Timor to be jus cogens, a fundamental principle of
law accepted by the international community, and that this right
extends to all peoples, not only those emerging from a colonial
context. The right is also enshrined in Article 1 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Indonesian is a party to both covenants.

Jakarta’s Unwillingness to Dialogue with Papuans Endangers
Peaceful Resolution of Papuan Claims

The Jakarta media in July reported on the deteriorating
prospects for peaceful settlement of a rising tide of Papuan
discontent over the failure of “special autonomy” in West Papua.
The July 29 Jakarta Post carried a report by Max Sijabat which
emphasized that efforts to address “long-standing problems” were
in “limbo” due to an absence of dialogue. Analysts cited in the
report drew special attention to the June 9-10 consultation in
Jayapura among 450 leading Papuans (see July 2010 West Papua
Report ) who urged among other things, formal rejection of
“Special Autonomy.” The report cited leading Papuan civil
society figure Benny Giay as noting that the consultation that
Special Autonomy funds “only enriched local elites, while most
indigenous people have been marginalized by immigrants or remain
isolated in the jungle.”

Statistics revealed by consultation participants underscored the
extent to which Papuans remain marginalized in their own lands:
Poverty among Papuans stands at over 81 percent while 70 percent
of residents with HIV/AIDS In West Papua are indigenous Papuans.
Underscoring Giay’s point regarding failure of special autonomy
to address Papuan needs, the consultation revealed that 95
percent of local budget funds “are spent outside Papua.”

According to the Jakarta Post, Agus Alua, spokesman for the
Papuan Peoples Consul (MRP), noted that Jakarta has declined to
draft regulations that would allow the Papuan MRP and the
provincial legislature to issue regulations, including
affirmative action for indigenous people and the settlement of
human rights abuses.

Muridan S. Widjojo of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences
(LIPI), who was assigned by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
in 2005 to identify the most serious problems in Papua, spoke
candidly about the current situation. He told the Jakarta Post
that the Indonesian Government “should learn from now
independent Timor-Leste and the peace talks ending the war with
separatists in Aceh. In Timor Leste, he said, “we relied too
much on the Indonesian Military and the National Intelligence

As in the Suharto era, Jakarta has relied heavily on the
“security approach” to address Papuan discontent and, also as in
the Suharto era, has sought to hide the resultant suffering of
the Papuans behind a a curtain of restrictions that impede or
bar journalists and others from covering developments in West

A July 27 Jakarta Post article, authored by prominent Papuan
religious leader Father Neles Tebay, argued that the symbolic
action of handing back the Special Autonomy law would complicate
an already difficult situation for the government, specifically
in its diplomatic efforts to convince the international
community that the autonomy law is fully implemented and has
improved Papuan prosperity.

More Reports of Prisoner Abuse in West Papua

The Jakarta Globe on July 12 carried a detailed report of a July
11 prisoner “riot” in Abepura prison. The violence reportedly
erupted after prison guards beat another inmate and stole his

The report comments that “Abepura Penitentiary has a wretched
security record, with mass breakouts occurring regularly at the
facility. In May, 18 inmates escaped during a protest by
correctional guards over the sacking of then chief warden
Antonius Ayorbaba.

In June, 26 prisoners broke out by scaling down a prison wall
using a rope strung together with bed sheets. Only two inmates
have been recaptured.

“Several correctional guards refuse to cooperate with the new
warden, leading to gross derelictions of duty that have left
security at the penitentiary in an appalling state,” Nazaruddin
said after the June breakout.

Separate reporting of prisoner beatings, failure to provide
adequate medical care are common. A UN Special Rapporteur in
2007 detailed systematic abuse of prisoners. More recent
reporting by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and
others have reconfirmed those findings.

A resolution addressing the detention of Papuan political
prisoners is currently gaining co-sponsors in the U.S. Congress.

Indonesian Navy and Fisheries Ministry Collude with Illegal
Foreign Fishing Vessels

Papuans and foreign observers have long been critical of the
Indonesian government for failing to protect Papuan forest
resources which have been exploited, often illegally, with no
attempt by security forces to protect those resources. There are
many well documented reports of security force collaboration
with those involved in the illegal exploitation.

Recent studies by the Indonesian Seafarers Association (KPI),
reported in the July 28 Jakarta Post, document security force
failure to protect Papuan sea resources as well. The KPI study
revealed that although the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Ministry had stopped issuing permits to foreign fishing vessels,
thousands were still freely operating. The foreign vessels,
mostly from the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand, fish
illegally with impunity due to the failure of the Indonesian
Navy and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry ships to
protect Indonesian waters. Instead, “many Navy and Ministry
ships regularly patrol the waters – not to catch illegal fishing
vessels but to extort money from them,” according to KPI
chairman Hanafi Rustandi.

The Seafarers study also revealed that the government’s failure
to control the operation of foreign fishing vessels, contributed
to an increase in cases of HIV/AIDS in the country’s eastern
regions of Papua and Maluku. The KPI study revealed that the
highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases are in two fishing ports in
Maluku and in and Papua’s coastal regencies, including Merauke,
Mimika and Fakfak.

KPI Chairman Rustandi noted that foreign ships cost Indonesia
dearly in terms of fish, and have caused incalculable damage in
terms of facilitating the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region.

Socrates Yoman rejects police summons; Alleged OPM attack on civilian in Mulia

Bintang Papua, 8 August 2010
Translated by TAPOL

Yoman Socrates: Church is not subordinate to government or security forces

JAYAPURA: A summons from the police in Papua dated 7 August to Sofyan Yoman , in connection with a statement he made regarding actions of the army and police in Puncak Jaya will be ignored, he said.

Duma Socrates said no one should run away with the idea that the security forces, namely the TNI/Polri, are purveyors of the truth.This is the old way of thinking that has no relevance in the present era.

‘I will never respond to a summons to give clarifications to the police in Papua, as demanded in their summons of 7 August 2010.’ said the chairman of the Central Board of the United Baptist Churches in Papua.

Duma Socrates said that the statement he made, as reported in the media last Friday regarding the involvement of the security forces in the never-ending problem in the district of Puncak Jaya, along with data about their involvement is accurate.

‘What I was reported to have said is not rubbish. There is good reason for us to have made that statement, we have the data and we have the experience. The government and the security forces misrepresent the situation and they fail to understand us. We are not an ignorant people who are deaf, dumb and blind,’ he said.

The church, he said, is not subordinate to the government and the security forces. The Baptist Church is independent and autonomous. In the interest of the sacred spirit, the church will at all times voice the fate of its people who are voiceless and oppressed.

‘We continue to be amazed that the acts of violence that have been happening since 2004 in Puncak Jaya have continued to this day . Why have the security forces with all their intelligence agencies not been able to detect the people alleged to be from the OPM who are causing all this disruption?’

‘What we hope for is that the security forces should end this game that is going on in the Land of Papua, in particular by the police for its groundless summons to me, bearing in mind that I am part owner of this country and one of its legatees.’

He said that the police should stop summoning indigenous Papua. Let’s live together, side by side, as equals, respecting each other.’ Dont treat the creatures of the Lord like hunted animals, stigmatised, trivialising the people of God,’ he said.

He said that the time had come for this game-playing to end, in the interest of justice, peace and human rights.


Bintang Papua 8 August 2010

On the same day as the above report, BPapua reported that a ‘separatist armed group of the OPM shot a civilian named Atril Wahid in Puncak Jaya on 4 August. Fortunately the man was only hit in the leg and survived the attack. The man is now being treated in Mulia Hospital.

A spokesman for the police said that the perpetrator was equipped with a rifle. When the victim of the incident approached him to ask why he was coming to their kampung armed with a rifle, the person responded angrily and shot him from behind in the right leg.

Following the incident, the armed man disappeared into the forest while the victim, assisted by other villagers, was taken to the hospital.

The local police arrived on the scene to examine the site of the crime and are hunting for the perpetrator.

Maluku: Densus 88 continues repression of peaceful protestors

News Item from verified sources in Maluku

As Indonesian security forces continue to brutalise indigenous Melanesians peacefully and legitimately expressive their democratic rights in West Papua, Maluku is out of sight and out of mind. Yet the Australian armed and trained Detachment 88 counter terrorism paramilitary police are being deployed with increasing brutality against peaceful flagraisers in Maluku (ambon) as well as Papua. Please read the following received from Malukan human rights monitors:

(Slightly abridged in translation)

The Banda Sailing event from Australia to Moluccas this year and the past few years before are used as a valuable moment. In this event the original Ethnic (people) are used as a mask to benefit the Indonesian government.
But actually the case is: The Ethnic Moluccans are oppressed Violently and without Humanity.

The Moluccans are suffering ill treatment from the Indonesian army, due to their assertion and introduction of the Original Culture of the Moluccas; The Moluccas people are separate from Indonesia, the Moluccas People had Proclaimed the Independence of the Republic Of South Moluccas since April 25,1950.
However the right of having a Nation and a Fatherland were carried away by the tyrannical Colonial Java who called themselves
Indonesia in November 3,1950.

By the Existence of Banda Sailing event,the Moluccas People are trying to Expose these happenings by raising up the flag of the Republic Of South Moluccas, but unfortunately this act has caused many Victims. The Indonesias army have captured our flagraisers ,and while you all read this report, those arrested are being tortured by the Indonesian army.

This following are the data collection of the Victims that are currently being tortured until this evening August 4 -2010.
There were eight (8) Moluccan captured and arrested by the NKRI armies (DENSUS 88).
Victims names:

1). Benny.Sinay
2). Izak.Sapulette
3). Andy.Maruanaya
4). Edwin.Maruanaya
5). Marven.Bremer
6). Steven.Siahaya
8). Ony.Siahaya

Through this data collection of proof;

We the Moluccas People with the humbleness of our heart asking the Intervention of the Australian Government,UN,USA and the Amnesty International:
PLEASE S’O’S to observe the Conditions which are now happening in Moluccas. Indonesia has transgressed THE LAW OF HUMAN RIGHT and because of this we urgently need Intervention to prevent the Indonesia program to eliminate the Moluccas people in our own land.


We the Moluccas People express Our thanks to all parties that we deeply hope to response this report,MAY GOD BLESS US ALL.


WEST PAPUA NATIONAL CONSENSUS: We are ready, and cannot afford to wait any longer

We are ready, and cannot afford to wait any longer

The West Papua National Consensus requests the pacific Island Forum to adopt
measures that will further the initiatives taken the Vanuatu government in

The bill sponsored by Prime Minister Eduard Natapei and Opposition leader
Maxime Carlot Korman on 19 June 2010 cleared passage for the government to
sponsor West Papua into the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the Pacific Island
Forum and the Africa Caribbean Group.

Wantok blong yumi Bill, calls for the UN General Assembly to seek the opinion
of the International Count of Justice about the New York Agreement, by which
West Papua was ceded from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the republic of
Indonesia in 1962 and removed from UN Decolonization List in 1969.

August, 2010

Jacob Rumbiak
Foreign Affairs, West Papua National Authority

ROGUE TRADERS The murky business of merbau smuggling in Indonesia


EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency)
05 August 2010

ROGUE TRADERS The murky business of merbau smuggling in Indonesia

A detailed expose of some of the key players behind Indonesia’s illegal timber trade.

Rogue Traders

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