Daily Archives: October 21, 2011

Third Degree: Indonesians Open Fire on Delegates

Indonesians Open Fire on Delegates
By: Judith RECZEK

http://3degree.ecu.edu.au/articles/4193

Published: 21/10/2011

At least two people are confirmed dead after Indonesian military and police opened fire and arrested 800 West Papuan leaders and congress delegates yesterday, on the last day of The Third Papuan People’s Congress. Over 20,000 people attended the congress, which started on October 16 on an oval in near Jayapura, in West Papua. Military trucks, police and soldiers armed with machine guns had surrounded the oval for three days.

A week earlier, on October 10, Indonesian guards opened fire on striking workers at the Freeport McMoran’s Grasberg gold and copper mine near Timika, West Papua. Two workers were killed and six others injured in that clash.

Roughly 9000 disgruntled workers have been on strike since September 15, demanding higher wages and better work conditions.

The Freeport miners’ trade union (SPSI) spokesperson Juli Parorrongan told 3rd Degree that the workers were on their way to Gorong Gorong bus terminal when the shooting started. They were heading to the mine facilities to stop contract workers as they were still on strike.

The police blocked the terminal, and warning shots were sent in the air. Panic spread, and shots were aimed at the crowd.

“The workers then became angry and that’s why the conflict and chaos began,” Mr Parorrongan said.

Local mineworker Peter W. Ayamiseba, 30, died later in hospital after being shot in the chest. Leo Wandago died five days later from his wounds.

The SPSI said the Grasberg mine workers are among the worst paid in the world, with wages between $A2.10 and $A3.50 an hour. They have rejected the 25 per cent increase the PT Freeport Indonesia management have offered.

Mr Parorrongan said they have lowered their demands from $30 per hour.

“We are now asking for $US17.50 but we can go down to US$9 per hour. It depends on the decision from management.

“We started the strike last month, and we have continued another month. We will strike until the problem is solved,” he said.

According the Fortune 500 list in 2010, the Freeport-McMoran group made a profit of around $US4.3 billion. Grasberg is the biggest gold mine and the third biggest copper mine in the world. Australian company Rio Tinto and the Indonesian government are both significant shareholders in the mine.

The Indonesian government announced a loss of $8 million for every day production is halted.

A report by Australian journalist Naj Taylor published on Al Jazeera last week explained Rio Tinto’s involvement in the Grasberg mine. Taylor reported on the blacklisting of Rio Tinto and Freeport-McMoran by the Norwegian Pension Fund in 2008 for “grossly unethical conduct” over treatment of workers at the Grasberg mine.

Taylor’s report also documents close ties between the Grasberg mine operators and the Indonesian military, whose history of violence is extensive.

A statement from the Coalition for Freeport Indonesia Workers’ Struggle said “there have been numerous incidents of pressure and intimidation against the workers, either directly by the Freeport management or through the arrogant actions of the police and the Mobile Brigade.”

Greens Senator and West Papua Spokesman Richard Di Natale said he was saddened to hear of the violence towards the miners.

“There needs to be a thorough investigation into the shooting and acts of violence that occurred against ordinary workers,” he said.

The Third Papuan People’s Congress started in Jayapura on October 16 and Mr Di Natale addressed the importance of the congress for the future of West Papua.

“I am deeply concerned that the conflict in West Papua is escalating. The only long term solution is to ensure that the West Papuan people are free to determine their own future.”

Mr Parorrongan told 3rd Degree he hoped the Indonesian government would protect them while they were on strike, but they have been slow to respond.

“We also hope the international human rights will have concerns about the tragedy. They have broken the law and we hope the international community will give us support so this will finish good,” he said.

For breaking news on the atrocities being committed in the wake of the Congress visitWestpapuamedia.info. 

It’s Time To Take A Stand On Papua

via NewMatilda.com

21 Oct 2011

It’s Time To Take A Stand On Papua

By Richard Di Natale

rudd and sby

The violence in West Papua this week is deeply worrying – and raises uncomfortable foreign policy questions for the Australian government, writes Senator Richard Di Natale

Yesterday afternoon news reached my office that unarmed Papuans — women, young people, church leaders, academics, tribal elders — and at least one Australian citizen, were being shot at by the Indonesian security forces.

We now know that at least four people are confirmed dead, scores severely wounded and hundreds have been detained at the police station in Jayapura, the capital of West Papua.

We are deeply concerned that a number of these people including Forkorus Yaboisembut, the Chair of the Papuan Customary Council, were beaten or tortured. Their crime? Reading an aspirational declaration of independence and meeting to discuss how West Papuans might peacefully secure basic freedoms that you and I in Australia take for granted.

It is not my place to get into the politics of independence. That is for the Papuans to decide. It must be said, however, that until there is a free and fair vote of all eligible Papuan citizens in the territory, any claim by the Indonesian government that there is democracy in West Papua will be highly contested.

The fact is that the Australian government and many other western countries were party to a fraudulent transfer of sovereignty during the 1960s. That is not hyperbole. It is fact. Professor Pieter Drooglever and Dr John Saltford have separately documented the travesty of justice that unfolded in West Papua during the transfer from Dutch to Indonesia rule. Less than 0.01 per cent of the population participated in the so-called Act of Free Choice in 1969 and those that did were forced to do so.

But this week’s peaceful gathering at Zaccheus Field in Abepura was not about the past. It was about the kind of future that West Papuans want. The Papuans’ desire for freedom is irrepressible. Many of the civil and political rights Papuan people want — like freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, an opening up of the province to foreign media, and respect of land rights — could be realised within the framework of the Indonesian state. By shooting and jailing Papuans who peacefully demand these legitimate rights, the Indonesian government is creating a bigger problem and fuelling political instability.

These events in our nearest neighbour raise serious questions back home. We are we providing funds, training and equipment to the Indonesian Military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, or TNI) and the Police force, including the counter-terrorism police (Detachment 88). There is mounting evidence that they are anything but a positive force for human rights in the region. By furthering our close military ties, we become complicit in acts of repression by the TNI such as that unfolding in West Papua today.

The Australian government has been secretive with regards to these links. We don’t know exactly what kind of military assistance is being supplied to the TNI and the police. The Australian government needs to come clean about the extent and nature of our level of defence cooperation with Indonesia. The shootings in West Papua — and indeed in other places in Indonesia — raise serious questions about what, if anything, the Indonesian military and police have learnt from East Timor. And whether our own government has learned anything, either.

One thing we do know from East Timor is that when violence like this occurs and political rights are continually repressed you can guarantee that West Papuan resistance will continue and eventually become a mainstream issue. West Papua is on our doorstep. I hope we can be good neighbours.

We can not ignore West Papua any longer, and we need to send the strongest possible signal to the Indonesian government that violent repression of peaceful meetings, people merely exercising their right to free speech and assembly, is totally unacceptable.

Indonesia insists it is a democracy. Its constitution guarantees all its citizens the right to free speech and free assembly. We should hold them to this promise by immediately suspending all military assistance to and cooperation with Indonesia. There is no compelling evidence that on the balance of things Australia’s military assistance in Indonesia has improved human rights. I fear that our anti-terrorism support is sometimes being used to harasses and intimidate human rights defenders.

I want to be a part of a Parliament that can encourage the Indonesian government and the West Papuan people to find peaceful and democratic ways to address the root causes of conflict in West Papua. Guaranteeing free speech and releasing political prisoners would be a good first step. The President has promised an open dialogue, and he must keep that promise.

In the meantime those of us in Parliament need to seriously reflect on the kind of relationship we want with Indonesia. For the sake of our West Papuan neighbours, and for Australia’s long-held commitment to human rights, we must be prepared to take a bold stand.

1530 21/10/2011 Updates From West Papua

By Newmatilda.com and westpapuamedia.info

CURRENT:
Arrests
Anywhere between 300 and 800 activists arrested, most released
Core group of 5 in custody at least but could be more, all feared tortured:

– Forkorus Yaboisembut – elected as leader of the broad based movement for peace and justice – possibly paralysed witnessed by another detainee
– Edison Waromi – deputy leader
– Argus Krar
– Selfius Bobii
– Dominikus Sorabut

Released
– Abraham Kareni (who’s son lives in Melbourne) with fractured skull

Charges include treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.

Police violence, dead and wounded
DFAT have confirmed four people are confirmed dead, activists claim six
People identified (all from Petapa or family of:
– Dani Kabepa
– Yakovus Sabonsaba
– Mathias Maidepa
– Martinus Siep
– Tanepi Kobeta
– One additional unidentified member of Petapa, the West Papuan paramilitary guard formed to protect Forkorus Yaboisembut, the man delegates elected as their leader.


Claims:
– Numerous people have been savagely beaten, many are in hiding for fear of arrest or worse
– Unverified claims people were shot at point-blank range and bundled into armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles.
– Five people at the Dian Harapan Hospital suffering several wounds: ”One is a woman, Ana Ana Adi, 41. She has got wounds at her right thigh. Pilatus Wetipo, 40, was shot in the right leg. Wiler Hobi (22) has some wounds in his head because of being beaten by the weapon, the other two have blistered wounds
– four people in Sabron Yaru wounded

  • Members of the community security force (Petapa) are arrested. Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Reports of violence by Indonesian troops continue to emerge from West Papua. New Matilda is in contact with local sources. We’re publishing regular updates on the situation here. (Warning: graphic content)

On Thursday, New Matilda published a report on the violence at the Third People’s Congress in West Papua. Indonesia military and police opened fire on participants and took activists and leaders into custody. Reports of fatalities and injuries continue to emerge from Jayapura.

Read Alex Rayfield’s initial report here.

New Matilda is in contact with local sources and will continue to update this page as new information emerges.

UPDATE, Friday 21 October, 10am:
This is a phone interview with journalist Alex Rayfield.

“Ferry Marisan, the director of Elsham — a leading human rights organisation based in the capital, Jayapura — has said that six people are confirmed dead.

“We think that a couple of people were shot as the security forces raided the stage, and some later. There are also lots of people with gunshot wounds, some of whom are in hiding and too scared to get medical assistance.

“We’ve had multiple reports that there were 800 people in jail. Many of those have been released, but a core group is still detained, charged with a range of offences including treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.

“It’s important for people to know that [Congress] is not a radical fringe movement. It’s made up of mainstream Papuan society: academics, church leaders and senior tribal leaders. In fact the radical fringe stayed away from this event because they think it’s not radical enough. So if the Indonesian government thinks this is a minority view, they are sadly mistaken. It is a mainstream view.

“Meanwhile, we should add for Australian audiences, that the strike continues at the Freeport mine [which is part owned by Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto]. The two events are intimately connected.”

For more information on the Freeport strikes read New Matilda’s coverage here andhere.

UPDATE Friday 21 October, 4.30PM
These photos were sent by a credible source to West Papua Media Alerts and allegedly show injuries suffered in police custody. They have not been verified by New Matilda.

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

MORE INFORMATION
Listen to an interview with Elsham’s Ferry Marisan here.

Read Amesty International’s statement on the incident here.

Read an article on Australia’s foreign policy response by Greens spokesperson on West Papua, Richard di Natale, here.

Update on Papua Congress Shooting Deaths

via NewMatilda.com

UPDATE, Friday 10am:
The following is a phone interview with journalist Alex Rayfield.

“Ferry Marisan, the director of Elsham — a leading human rights organisation based in the capital, Jayapura — has said that six people are confirmed dead.

“We think that a couple of people were shot as the security forces raided the stage, and some later. There are also lots of people with gunshot wounds, some of whom are in hiding and too scared to get medical assistance.

“We’ve had multiple reports that there were 800 people in jail. Many of those have been released, but a core group is still detained, charged with a range of offences including treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.

“It’s important for people to know that [Congress] is not a radical fringe movement. It’s made up of mainstream Papuan society: academics, church leaders and senior tribal leaders. In fact the radical fringe stayed away from this event because they think it’s not radical enough. So if the Indonesian government thinks this is a minority view, they are sadly mistaken. It is a mainstream view.

“Meanwhile, we should add for Australian audiences, that the strike continues at the Freeport mine [which is part owned by Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto]. The two events are intimately connected.”

For more information on the Freeport strikes read New Matilda’s coverage here andhere.

Listen to an interview with Ferry Marisan here.

 more information as it becomes available. 

Third National Papua Congress Declaration

[as received in english from Papua National Consensus Team. This was scanned copy. Typos not corrected. – JMM]DECLARATION

FORMING FEDERAL STATE OF WEST PAPUA

On this day Wednesday ,19 October 2011 at the Third National Papua Congress, the people of Papua in Country of West Papua declare:

I.

Proclamation recover and Restore the independence and sovereign of West Papua which was lost to Indonesia annexation on December 1, 1961.

II.

Going into effect Constitution of Federal of West Papua by forming Governance of Federal State of West papua in the form of lifting President and elect Leader of Governance-The Prime Minister.

III.

Government of Federal State of West Papua guarantees the rights of live and rights of endeavor of everyone in the Country of West Papua.

IV.

Indonesia immediately terminates its occupation of West Papua pacifically and prestigious as civilized nation and member of the United Nations.

V.

The Nation Members of the United Nations to confess the Independence of the nation of Papua parallel with the other independences in the globe.

VI.

United Nations Security Council immediately register the Federal State of West Papua becomes the permanent or regular member state of the United Nations

VII.

Authorized the mandate to Papua National Leadership for run of the power of governance, Legislative, Judicative and Commander in Chief of Defense and also as soon as during one year carry out the general Election to chosen the Prime Minister of definitive Governance.

The People of West Papua greatly appreciate on your understanding of the historic injustice that we have suffered and are most grateful for your goverment’s support and recognize for restoration of our sovereign righs.

God Bless us all Sincerely

Forkorus Yaboisembut, SPd.
Head of Papua Customary Law Council Executor of Presidency of West Papua

CC:
1.Secertary General of United Nations
2. The President of United States
3. President of Indonesia
4. Netherland Kingdom
5. Pope in Vatican- Rome
6 .US Members of Congress and Senate