Monthly Archives: September 2010

FALEOMAVAEGA HOLDS FIRST EVER HEARING REGARDING INDONESIA’S DELIBERATE AND SYSTEMATIC ABUSES IN WEST PAPUA

Washington, D.C.

On September 22, 2010, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-AS), held a hearing entitled “Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia’s Military Be Held Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua?”

This was the first hearing ever held in the U.S. Congress on the issue of West Papua. Indonesia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Dino Patti Djalal, said he was “not concerned by the hearing because it was only attended by three Congress people, and that the U.S. government should not change its stance.”

“Ambassador Djalal is new to the U.S. and has failed to realize the importance of Wednesday’s hearing,” Faleomavaega said.

“Little does Ambassador Djalal know but as a result of the attention this hearing was given, Papuan leaders met with officials at the National Security Council, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, and other Members of Congress whose schedules did not permit them to attend the hearing.”

“Regrettably, Ambassador Djalal’s attitude is typical of Indonesian indifference to the serious concerns raised at the hearing. More than 50 Members of the U.S. Congress are so concerned by Indonesia’s failure to implement Special Autonomy that they joined with Chairman Donald Payne of the Subcommittee on Africa and myself to urge President Obama to make the issue of West Papua one of his highest priorities when he visits Indonesia.”

“The Members of Congress who signed this letter are mostly Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Ambassador Djalal’s remarks are really an affront to every person of conscience and color who is committed to ending the abuse and resolving the conflict in West Papua.”

“The people of West Papua have suffered long enough at the hands of Indonesia’s brutal military and police forces, and many experts suggest that West Papuans have been subjected to genocide. Whether or not genocide has taken place, one thing is clear. Indonesia’s military has committed indisputable crimes against humanity through the murder, torture and rape of more than 100,000 West Papuans.”

“While President SBY inherited a very difficult situation, I am disappointed that he has not been able to get his military under control and prevent further abuses in West Papua. I am also disappointed that he has not implemented Special Autonomy as promised. While Ambassador Djalal implies that the UN has already determined the status of West Papua, nothing could be further from the truth.”

“This is no issue of territorial integrity. West Papua was a former Dutch colony for some 100 years just as East Timor was a former Portuguese colony just as Indonesia was a former colony of the Netherlands. Because of its status as a former colony, East Timor achieved its independence from Indonesia in 2002 through a referendum sanctioned by the United Nations (UN), despite Indonesia’s serious objections over East Timor’s right to self-determination.”

“In contrast, in 1962 the United States pressured the Dutch to turn over control of West Papua to the United Nations. Under the U.S.-brokered deal, Indonesia was to ‘make arrangements with the assistance and participation of the United Nations’ to give Papuans an opportunity to determine whether they wished to become part of Indonesia or not.”

“In what became known as the Act of No Choice carried out in 1969, 1025 West Papua elders under heavy military surveillance were selected to vote on behalf of 809,327 West Papuans regarding the territory’s political status. In spite of serious violations of the UN Charter and no broad-based referendum, West Papua was forced to become a part of Indonesia by the barrel of a gun.”

“According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), ‘declassified documents released in July 2004 indicate that the United States supported Indonesia’s take-over of Papua in the lead up to the 1969 Act of Free Choice even as it was understood that such a move was likely unpopular with Papuans. The documents reportedly indicate that the United States estimated that between 85% and 90% of Papuans were opposed to Indonesian rule and that as a result the Indonesians were incapable of winning an open referendum at the time of Papua’s transition from Dutch colonial rule. Such steps were evidently considered necessary to maintain the support of Suharto’s Indonesia during the Cold War.’”

“Today, the U.S. provides millions of dollars in aid to Indonesia and its military but Indonesia will not allow Members of the U.S. Congress to visit Jayapura in West Papua. This is wrong and should not be tolerated by the U.S.”

“Indonesia should get serious about West Papua, and I will do everything I can to keep this issue in the spotlight, especially given that many Samoans served as missionaries to West Papua and brought Christianity to the islands. Some of my Samoan relatives are buried in West Papua and their service and sacrifice compels me to do what I can for the people they loved.”

“According to CRS, ‘migration by non-Melanesian Indonesians from elsewhere in the nation appears to be a critical part of the mounting tensions. By some accounts Melanesian Papuans will be in the minority in their homeland by 2015.’”

“We cannot allow this to happen. While there is so much more I want to say about the commercial exploitation of West Papua’s renowned mineral wealth which includes vast reserves of gold, copper, nickel, oil and gas and Freeport USA’s own shameful role in this exploitation, for now I want to commend the West Papuans who testified at last week’s hearing.”

“Mr. Octovianus Mote, Founder of the West Papua Action Network and President of the Papua Resource Center; Mr. Henkie Rumbewas, ; Mr. Salamon Maurits Yumame, Head of FORDEM (The Democratic Forum); S. Eben Kirksey, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of The Graduate Center, The City University of New York testified in support of and on behalf of the people of West Papua, making it plain to the U.S. Congress that Indonesia has failed to implement the Special Autonomy law which was passed in 2001. Consequently, they urged that a new dialogue should take place to determine a way forward.”

“Sophie Richardson, Ph.D., Asia Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch addressed the issue of ongoing human rights abuses. Pieter Drooglever, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Institute of Netherlands History, provided an historical background of events which have led to division and discord.”

“Mr. Nicholas Simeone Messet, a West Papuan who has lived in Sweden for the past 38 years or so, said that West Papuans are ‘lazy’ and should accept some of the blame for the failure of Special Autonomy. In my opinion is it is wrong to blame the oppressed.”

“In his statement before the UN against Apartheid, Nelson Mandela said, ‘It will forever remain an accusation and challenge to all men and women of conscience that it took so long as it has before all of us stood up to say enough is enough.’ This is how I feel about West Papua. Others feel the same, despite Ambassador Djalal’s objectionable remarks which implied that no one really cares since Indonesia has more friends than critics in the U.S. Congress.”

“For the Ambassador’s information, 50 Members of the U.S. Congress as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan and more than 174 parliamentarians and 80 nongovernmental agencies from around the world have joined together to call upon Indonesia to end the violence and resolve the problems in West Papua. Simply put, this issue is not going away until Indonesia is held accountable, and I have every confidence that President Obama will, in fact, seek dialogue.”

“Until then, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of West Papua who only want what we all want – the right to live in peace and pursue happiness. In response to the hearing, I have received word that the families of some of our West Papuan witnesses have been visited by Indonesia police forces. I hope this is not the case but, for precautionary purposes, I am asking our U.S. Embassy in Jakarta to look into this disturbing report.”

“As a matter of record, I am also including the full text of my remarks which provide a detailed accounting of the purpose of this hearing,” Faleomavaega concluded. –end–

Opening Statement of Chairman Eni Faleomavaega at West Papua hearing

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515

SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA, THE PACIFIC AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA (D-AS)
CHAIRMAN

STATEMENT OF
THE HONORABLE ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTE

“Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia’s Military Be Held
Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua?”

September 22, 2010

To my knowledge, today’s hearing is historic.  This hearing is the
first hearing ever held in the U.S. Congress that gives voice to the
people of West Papua.

Since 1969, the people of West Papua have been deliberately and
systematically subjected to slow-motion genocide by Indonesian
military forces yet Indonesia declares that the issue is an internal
matter while the U.S. Department of State “recognizes and respects the
territorial integrity of Indonesia.”  The truth is, this is no issue
of territorial integrity or an internal matter, and the record is
clear on this point.

West Papua was a former Dutch colony for some 100 years just as East
Timor was a former Portuguese colony just as Indonesia was a former
colony of the Netherlands.  Because of its status as a former colony,
East Timor achieved its independence from Indonesia in 2002 through a
referendum sanctioned by the United Nations (UN), despite Indonesia’s
serious objections over East Timor’s right to self-determination.

In contrast, in 1962 the United States pressured the Dutch to turn
over control of West Papua to the United Nations.  Under the
U.S.-brokered deal, Indonesia was to “make arrangements with the
assistance and participation of the United Nations” to give Papuans an
opportunity to determine whether they wished to become part of
Indonesia or not.

In what became known as the Act of No Choice carried out in 1969, 1025
West Papua elders under heavy military surveillance were selected to
vote on behalf of 809,327 West Papuans regarding the territory’s
political status.  In spite of serious violations of the UN Charter
and no broad-based referendum, West Papua was forced to become a part
of Indonesia by the barrel of a gun.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “declassified
documents released in July 2004 indicate that the United States
supported Indonesia’s take-over of Papua in the lead up to the 1969
Act of Free Choice even as it was understood that such a move was
likely unpopular with Papuans. The documents reportedly indicate that
the United States estimated that between 85% and 90% of Papuans were
opposed to Indonesian rule and that as a result the Indonesians were
incapable of winning an open referendum at the time of Papua’s
transition from Dutch colonial rule. Such steps were evidently
considered necessary to maintain the support of Suharto’s Indonesia
during the Cold War.”

Bluntly put, in exchange for Suharto’s anti-communist stance, the
United States expended the hopes and dreams and lives of some 100,000
Papuans who consequently died as a result of Indonesian military rule.
 Although some challenge this estimate it is an indisputable fact that
Indonesia has deliberately and systematically committed crimes against
humanity and has yet to be held accountable.

While I have expressed my concern that there is strong indication that
the Indonesian government has committed genocide against the Papuans,
I am disappointed that the U.S. Department of State requested that I
omit the word ‘genocide’ in the initial title I put forward for this
hearing.  The State Department requested a change in title based on
the assertion that ‘genocide’ is a legal term.

Article 2 of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) defines genocide as "any
of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in
part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group: killing members
of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the
group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life
calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in
part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

This definition of genocide under international law accurately
describes the crimes against humanity perpetrated by Indonesia’s
military, whether the U.S. State Department agrees or not.  But given
U.S. complicity, it is little wonder that every Administration wishes
to distance itself from this ugliness.

As Joseph Conrad wrote in his book The Heart of Darkness, “The
conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from
those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than
ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.”

When you look into it too much, nothing about Indonesia’s ruthless
brutality or U.S. complicity is a pretty thing.  In 2007, I led a
Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Indonesia on the personal promise
of President SBY and Vice President Kalla that I would be granted 5
days to visit Biak, Manokwari, and, most importantly, Jayapura, in
support of efforts to implement special autonomy that was approved by
the government of Indonesia since 2001.

However, while enroute to Jakarta, I received word that the Indonesian
government would only grant 3 days for my visit.  Upon my arrival on
November 25, 2007, I was informed that I would be granted only 1 day
and that I would not be allowed to visit Jayapura.  As it played out,
I was granted 2 hours in Biak and 10 minutes in Manokwari.

In Biak, I met with Governor Suebu, and other traditional, religious
and local leaders hand-selected by the government.  Other Papuans,
like Chief Tom Beanal and Mr. Willie Mandowen were detained by the
military until my office interceded.  U.S. Ambassador Cameron Hume and
I also had to make our way through a military barricade because
Indonesia military forces (TNI) had blocked Papuans from meeting with
me.  For the record, I am submitting photos showing the excessive
presence of military force.

       In Manokwari, the military presence was even worse.  Prior to my
arrival in Manokwari, I was told that I would be meeting with the
Governor only to learn upon my arrival that he was in China and had
been there for the past 5 days.  Ten minutes later, I was put on a
plane while the TNI, in full riot gear, forcefully kept the Papuans
from meaningful dialogue.  At this time, I would like to share with my
colleagues some video tape of my visit in 2007.

       After this experience and upon my return to Washington, I wrote to
President SBY expressing my disappointment but Jakarta never responded
to my letter of December 12, 2007.  On March 5, 2008, Chairman Donald
Payne of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa joined with me in
sending another letter to President SBY which expressed our deep
concern about Indonesia’s misuse of military force.  We included
photographs and a DVD of my experience while in Biak and Manokwari.
Again, Jakarta did not bother to reply.

       On March 5, 2008, Chairman Payne and I also wrote to U.S. Secretary
of Defense Robert Gates and included a copy of our letter to President
SBY as well as the DVD and photographs.  Despite the serious concerns
we raised about Indonesia’s failure to live up to its promises to
allow Members of Congress access to Jayapura and our request to
restrict funding to train Indonesia’s military forces, his reply of
April 2, 2008 was trite and indifferent, as if West Papua is of no
consequence.  He concluded his letter by erroneously stating, “TNI
performance on human rights has improved dramatically.”  Copies of
these letters as well as the photographs and DVD are included for the
record.

Copies of our materials which we sent on March 6, 2008 to the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on State
and Foreign Operations, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Defense, and the Congressional Black Caucus are also included.

       In March 2005, Chairman Payne and I wrote to Secretary General Kofi
Annan asking for a review of the United Nations’ conduct in West
Papua.  35 other Members of Congress from the Congressional Black
Caucus signed the joint letter and I am also submitting this letter
for the record.

       This year, Chairman Payne and I once more spearheaded an effort
calling upon President Obama to deal fairly with the people of West
Papua and to meet with the Team of 100 indigenous Papuan leaders
during his upcoming visit to Indonesia.  Although our letter of June
9, 2010 was signed by 50 Members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S.
Department of State could not be bothered to send us a thoughtful
reply.  Instead, we received a dismissive letter of August 11, 2010
signed by the Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs rather than
the U.S. Secretary of State which sends a clear signal that this
Administration may not be any different than any other in its response
to addressing our grave concerns about West Papua.  As a matter of
record, I am including these letters.

Also, I am including a video that due to its sensitive subject matter
I cannot and will not show.  The video depicts the violent murder of a
Papuan who was killed and gutted by the Indonesian Special Police
Corp, or Brigade Mobil (BRIMOB), while the victim was still alive and
pleading for someone to kill him in order to put him out of his
misery.  This isn’t the only murder.  The late Papuan leader Theys
Hiyo Eluay was also savagely murdered, and the list of lost lives goes
on and on.

As Chairman of this Subcommittee, I have been very, very patient.
Yes, I realize the importance of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship.
Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world and
the U.S. has a strong interest in reaching out to the Islamic world.
But our own struggle against Islamist militancy should not come at the
expense of the pain and killing and suffering of the people of West
Papua.  This is not the America I know.

       We can and must do better.  In his statement before the UN against
Apartheid, Nelson Mandela said, “It will forever remain an accusation
and challenge to all men and women of conscience that it took so long
as it has before all of us stood up to say enough is enough.”  This is
how I feel about West Papua.

It is my sincere hope that today’s hearing will help us find a way
forward.  So far, Indonesia has failed miserably to implement Special
Autonomy and, as a result, there is a sense of growing frustration
among the Papuans, and rightfully so.  According to CRS, “migration by
non-Melanesian Indonesians from elsewhere in the nation appears to be
a critical part of the mounting tensions.  By some accounts Melanesian
Papuans will be in the minority in their homeland by 2015.”

       While there is so much more I want to say about the commercial
exploitation of West Papua’s renowned mineral wealth which includes
vast reserves of gold, copper, nickel, oil and gas and Freeport USA’s
own shameful role in this exploitation, I will address these issues in
my questioning of our witnesses.

       In conclusion, I want to thank Edmund McWilliams, a retired U.S.
Senior Foreign Service Officer, who has been a long-time advocate for
the people of West Papua.  Mr. McWilliams was unable to be with us
today but he has submitted testimony for the record which will be
included.

       I also want to welcome our Papuan leaders who have flown at
considerable expense to testify before this Subcommittee.  I presume
none flew at the expense of the Indonesian government but we will find
out during these proceedings.  Most of the Papuan leaders who are with
us today have lived the struggle.  Others have only recently returned
after living in Sweden for some 38 years.  They have since returned
home and reclaimed Indonesian citizenship but I am unclear as to their
role in a struggle they have given up or never fully lived.  I hope we
will be provided an explanation.

       For now, I recognize my good friend, the Ranking Member, for any
opening statement he may wish to make.

Testimonies at US Congress hearings on West Papua

September 22, 2010

Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia’s Military Be Held Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua?

Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment

Statements available for download are hyperlinked:

Mr. Joseph Y. Yun Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs U.S. Department of State

Mr. Robert Scher Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Asian and Pacific Security Affairs U.S. Department of Defense 

Pieter Drooglever, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Institute of Netherlands History

Mr. Octovianus Mote Founder, West Papua Action Network President, Papua Resource Center

Mr. Henkie Rumbewas

Mr. Nicholas Simeone Messet West Papua, Independent Group Supporting Special Autonomy as Part of the Republic of Indonesia

Mr. Salamon Maurits Yumame Head of FORDEM (The Democratic Forum)

S. Eben Kirksey, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor The Graduate Center The City University of New York

Sophie Richardson, Ph.D. Asia Advocacy Director Human Rights Watch

US CONGRESS: The Status of Papua, Statement by US STATE Dep

LIVE

watch hearing at http://www.hcfa.house.gov/

http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/rm/2010/09/147551.htm

September 22, 2010

Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia’s Military Be Held Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua? US CONGRESS Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment

Joe Yun
Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment
Washington, DC
September 22, 2010

Chairman Faleomavaega, Mr. Manzullo, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify today on the situation in Papua.

U.S. Policy

Developments affecting Papua, which includes the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, are closely followed by the Department of State and represent an important aspect of our overall relations with Indonesia. The United States recognizes and respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia within its current borders and does not support or condone separatism in Papua, or in any other part of the country. At the same time, we strongly support respect for universal human rights within Indonesia, including the right of peaceful assembly, free expression of political views, and the fair and non-discriminatory treatment of ethnic Papuans within Indonesia.
Within this context, we have consistently encouraged the Indonesian government to work with the indigenous Papuan population to address their grievances, resolve conflicts peacefully, and support development and good governance in the Papuan provinces. The Administration believes the full implementation of the 2001 Special Autonomy Law for Papua, which emerged as part of Indonesia’s democratic transition, would help resolve long-standing grievances. We continue to encourage the Indonesian government to work with Papuan authorities to discuss ways to empower Papuans and further implement the Special Autonomy provisions, which grant greater authority to Papuans to administer their own affairs.
Human Rights

Advancing human rights is one of our primary foreign policy objectives not only in Indonesia, but also throughout the world. We believe that respect for human rights helps to strengthen democracy. We want to see the right of peaceful, free expression of political views and freedom of association observed throughout the world, including in Papua.

We monitor allegations of human rights violations in Papua and West Papua, and we report on them in the annual Country Report on Human Rights. With the growth of democracy over the past decade in Indonesia, there has been substantial improvement in respect for human rights, although there remain credible concerns about human rights violations. The improvement includes Papua, although, as our annual reporting has documented, there continues to be some credible allegations of abuse. We regularly engage the Government of Indonesia on the importance of respect for human rights by security forces, and we continue to emphasize our strong support for an open and transparent legal system to look into any claims of excessive use of force. We also urge them to increase accountability for past human rights abuses. We deplore violence committed by armed groups, including in Papua, against civilians and government security forces.

It is critical that independent and objective observers have unrestricted access to Papua in order to monitor developments. At present, Indonesian journalists, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and Indonesian citizens may travel freely to Papua and West Papua. However, the Indonesian government requires that foreign journalists, NGOs, diplomats, and parliamentarians obtain permission to visit Papua. We continue to encourage the Indonesian government to give these groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, full and unfettered access to Papua and West Papua.

Papuans are Indonesian citizens and are free to travel to other parts of Indonesia.

Demographic Shifts

Migration from other parts of Indonesia has increased the number of non-Papuan residents to about 40 percent of the current population in Papua and West Papua. The total population of both provinces is 2.4 million, of which 900,000 are migrants. Past government-sponsored transmigration programs, which moved households from more densely populated areas to less populated regions, account for part of the influx. The majority of the population shift has resulted from natural migration trends from Indonesia’s large population centers to Papua where there is relatively low population density. Some Papuans have voiced concerns that the migrants have interfered with their traditional ways of life, land usage, and economic opportunities.

Economic Development

Although the region is rich in natural resources, including gold, copper, natural gas, and timber, Papua lags behind other parts of Indonesia in some key development indicators. Poverty is widespread in Papua and Papua has the lowest level of adult literacy in Indonesia at 74 percent. The region also has a disproportionately high number of HIV/AIDS cases compared with the rest of Indonesia and high rates of infant and maternal mortality.

According to the World Bank, the two greatest challenges to economic development are Papua’s topography and climate—great distances between towns, steep mountains, swampy lowlands, fragile soils, and heavy seasonal rainfall—and its social structure—low population density and cultural fragmentation.

Special Autonomy

Indonesia’s parliament in 2001 granted Special Autonomy to Papua, which, along with Aceh, was one of the two areas in Indonesia that harbored high-profile separatist movements. This law devolved to provincial and local authorities all government functions outside of five national competencies; defense, foreign affairs, religious affairs, justice, and monetary/fiscal policy.

The Special Autonomy Law has not been fully implemented in Papua. Implementation has been delayed due to lack of implementing regulations. In addition, the provincial governments have lacked the capacity to take on certain key responsibilities and some central government ministries have yet to cede their authorities. Although full implementation of Special Autonomy has not yet been realized, Indonesian government officials point to increased funding to Papua, which has totaled Rp 27 trillion or approximately US$3 billion in the past nine years, higher per capita than any other area in Indonesia. The Special Autonomy Law created the Papuan People’s Council (MRP) to protect Papuan culture. Recently, the MRP rejected Special Autonomy, symbolically handing Special Autonomy back to Indonesian authorities. This action had no practical legal effect, but it did highlight the need for increased dialogue between Papua and Jakarta to resolve the region’s outstanding differences.

We continue to encourage the Indonesian government and the provincial governments of Papua and West Papua to fully implement the Special Autonomy Law. This would include the promulgation of implementing regulations for all provisions of the law, central government action to ensure that provincial or local laws take precedence in areas of delegated authority, and actions to increase the capacity for development and good governance. We believe that full implementation would help to address Papuans’ grievances against the central government. Dialogue between central authorities and the indigenous Papuan population could facilitate full implementation of Special Autonomy, and result in actions that would support development and boost good governance in Papua.

U.S. Assistance

The United States is working in partnership with the government of Indonesia and the provincial governments of Papua and West Papua to find ways to address the key developmental challenges of Papua, including increasing good governance, access to quality healthcare and education, and protecting the environment. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) implements programs in Papua to foster improvements in these sectors with activities that total $­­­­11.6 million, or 7 percent of USAID’s budget for Indonesia for fiscal year 2010.

In addition to USAID programs, the Department of State also brings Papuans to the United States for thematic engagement on issues such as resource distribution. Our Fulbright programs have had over 22 grantees from Papua. We also partner with the private sector to leverage resources. For example, in a public-private partnership, the Fulbright-Freeport Scholarship Program has funded 18 individuals from Papua for study in the United States.

Embassy Jakarta maintains a vigorous schedule of engagement with Papua and West Papua. U.S. Mission officers routinely travel to the provinces. Ambassador Marciel, who arrived at post in mid-August, plans to travel to Papua soon after he presents his credentials to the Indonesian government. Officers maintain a wide base of contacts concerning Papua, including central and provincial government officials, human rights activists, military and police personnel, traditional and religious leaders, and NGO staff. In addition to official meetings, Embassy officers conduct regular public outreach in Papua and West Papua.

Conclusion

In closing, I would like to emphasize that Papua plays an important role in our sustained engagement with the Government of Indonesia. While Indonesia’s overall human rights situation has improved along with the country’s rapid democratic development, we are concerned by allegations of human rights violations in Papua and continuously monitor the situation there. We urge increased dialogue between the central government and Papuan leaders and the full implementation of the Special Autonomy Law. We will continue to provide assistance to build a strong economic and social foundation in Papua.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify before you today. I am pleased to answer your questions.

KNPB Wamena activists arrested for distributing rally material

westpapuamedia.info

Information received from sources in Wamena

Today (Wednesday 22 September) at 17:00 in Wamena (Papua time), there were arrests of KNPB Wamena area activists by  Jayawijaya police, who were distributing the call to action for a mass peaceful rally tomorrow (23 September 2010) in Wamena.

(This is a violation of the rights to free and peaceful expression)

Name of KNPB activists pre-emptively arrested:
1. Leonard Logo 23 years.
2 Edo Doga 27 years.

Both activists are currently being held in isolation in punishment cells at Jayawijaya Police HQ.

Please forward this to advocates, and also telephone the following:

  • Jayawijaya police chief, +6285254344334
  • Dandim (Military Commander) Jayawijaya +6296933005.
  • Regent of Jayawijaya district: +6296931085.
  • Polda (Police HQ) Papua +62967-521308,
  • Regional Offices Law and Human Rights in Papua Province. +6296931005.
  • Jakarta offices, Komnas HAM, +6281288899966 and +62967586112, +62213925227
  • Komnas HAM Papua +62967521592
  • Governor Bas Suebu, Papua province, +62967534395

Photos and full report to come

—  westpapuamedia.info

Information received from sources in Wamena

Today (Wednesday 22 September) at 17:00 in Wamena (Papua time), there were arrests of KNPB Wamena area activists by  Jayawijaya police, who were distributing the call to action for a mass peaceful rally tomorrow (23 September 2010) in Wamena.

(This is a violation of the rights to free and peaceful expression)

Name of KNPB activists pre-emptively arrested:
1. Leonard Logo 23 years.
2 Edo Doga 27 years.

Both activists are currently being held in isolation in punishment cells at Jayawijaya Police HQ.

Please forward this to advocates, and also telephone the following:

  • Jayawijaya police chief, +6285254344334
  • Dandim (Military Commander) Jayawijaya +6296933005.
  • Regent of Jayawijaya district: +6296931085.
  • Polda (Police HQ) Papua +62967-521308,
  • Regional Offices Law and Human Rights in Papua Province. +6296931005.
  • Jakarta offices, Komnas HAM, +6281288899966 and +62967586112, +62213925227
  • Komnas HAM Papua +62967521592
  • Governor Bas Suebu, Papua province, +62967534395

Photos and full report to come