Pax Christi International Statement on the Situation in the Papuan Provinces of Indonesia

Pax Christi International Statement on the Situation in the Papuan Provinces of Indonesia

Human rights issues arising from the transfer of the western half of New Guinea from Netherlands to Indonesia in the 1960s threaten to flare up again if Papuan concerns are not addressed peacefully.

Pax Christi International made a written intervention on the occasion of the 15th session of the Human Rights Council: 13 September – 1 October 2010.

The Human Rights Council should urge the Indonesian Government to enter meaningful negotiations with the leadership of the representative Papuan bodies without pre-conditions and under international mediation.

Recently, political tension in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia has increased, particularly over the past two months as Papuan people across all sectors have openly rejected the 2001 Special Autonomy Law (OTSUS). The high hopes for greater self governance brought about by the autonomy law, have withered away as its implementation is obstructed by the Indonesian authorities. From the start OTSUS has been hamstrung by delays in the Central Government’s empowering regulations and systematic interference by Indonesia’s political and military bureaucracies. Money allocated to the provincial government for development, education and health is being absorbed by a vastly increased bureaucracy as regencies grew from nine to thirty, each with its own military, police and intelligence agencies. Because these funds are depleted by corruption, the maintenance of buildings, public servants’ wages and military operations, healthcare and education are in serious decline. The hopes for greater self governance have also been swamped by the persistent migration from other parts of Indonesia which rendered the Papuans a minority in their own country. The ever growing numbers of police and military personnel, countering any form of Papuan opposition with severe and sometimes deadly force as well as the central government’s plans for clear-felling millions of hectares of rainforest can only confirm the fears of the Papuans for their very survival as a people. The rejection of OTSUS has been accompanied by public demonstrations, including one of more than 20,000 indigenous people in Jayapura on 8 July. Pax Christi International fears that such demonstrations of discontent by indigenous people will lead to increasingly violent suppression by the Indonesian authorities. Recent reports speak of “sweeping” operations in the regency of Punkak Jaya, the central highlands area in the vicinity of major mining operations. This practice, where military units focus on a particular area to “sweep” out any real or suspected resistance to the takeover of land or resources, was already a feature of the early years of Indonesian occupation of West Papua, resulting in extensive loss of life and destruction of indigenous infrastructure.

Full statement here: Pax Christi International Statement on the Situation in the Papuan Provinces of Indonesia

Komnas HAM calls on security forces to halt military operations in Puncak Jaya

Bintang Papua, 11 August 2010

Komnas HAM calls on security forces to halt military operations in Puncak Jaya

The Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has called on the police and the army to immediately end their military operations in Puncak Jaya district because they will never solve the root of the problems in the area.

The Komnas HAM statement was made public at its office in Jayapura by deputy chairman Mathius Murib on Wednesday.

He said that from 17 August 2004 up to August 2010 the inhabitants of Puncak Jaya have lived in a constant state of trauma because of reports that dozens of people as well as members of the security forces have been shot dead and murdered in Puncak Jaya. ‘As a result, the people there are traumatised and unable to carry on with their activities, with some of them leaving the area in search of tranquillity elsewhere.’

Murib said that in order to avoid further casualties, the police and the army (Polri/TNI) should immediately stop all operations to hunt people down in Puncak Jaya district and consider other ways of resolving the problems there.

‘We believe that force of arms or other forms of violence will never resolve these problems and will only lead to yet more problems and more casualties.’

He also urged the civilian population in the area to remain calm and consolidate their efforts so as to be able to function normally, and to avoid being provoked by issues coming from irresponsible elements.

Murib said that Komnas HAM will be urging the district chief of Puncak Jaya as well as civil society, in particular the church, to draft a comprehensive account of developments during the current year.

He said that the role of the church was important because church mediation has been able to solve a number of problems in the Land of Papua, and moreover those involved in the conflict were all members of the church.

The Komnas HAM team which has just returned from Puncak Jaya has also called on senior police officers in Puncak Jaya to initiate legal proceedings against all those persons or groups deemed to be involved in the Puncak Jaya case from 2004 up to 2010.

‘The Puncak Jaya case is not a new case and thereforre all individuals or groups involved in the case for the past six years should be brought to account in accordance with the laws in Indonesia,’ said Murib, who has just returned from Puncak Jaya where he conducted investigations.



9 July 2010

Report by Piron Moribnak, Puncak Jaya

First part :
On Friday, 9 July 2010 TNI/Polri forces shot dead a TPN/OPM member sent from the Tingginambut headquarters in Kampung Jambi. NUMBUNGGA GIRE died at the hands of the Indonesian security apparatus and was then cremated by OPM members and villagers in Kampung Jambi. No picture could be attached to this report since the access from Kota Mulia to the place was blocked by military forces. Source: Witness from Kampung Jambi (D. GAME).

Second part
In May, I sent a report on two churches and villager’s houses torched down by Indonesian military in two villages in Tingginambut District, Yarmukum and Pilia. At that time, I did not have any pictures to testify. Here are a few pictures of the brutalities committed then by the TNI forces against villagers’ properties. These houses were burnt down by INDONESIAN MILITARY.

Picture 1 : Houses were torched down by military, forcing villagers to live in shelters, Tingginambut District. Picture taken by Dopes Morib

Picture 2 : An example of the Indonesian military perpetuated arsons : the GIDI church in Yarmukum, May 2010, Tingginambut District.

Picture 3 : A woman searches the ashes of an Indonesian military torched house for an axe or a knife, Pilia GIDI church, Tingginambut District.

(WPmedia note: Other photos were also included in the report but were not included as they do not show any significant evidence. see below)

(not included:
Picture 4 : A woman and her children appear helpless after their house was burnt down. They are now forced to live in a shelter under the banana trees (which doesn’t appear in the picture), Tingginambut District.
Picture 5 : A villager’s house that was also torched by the Indonesian military in Yarmukum, Tingginambut District.
Note – this image does not show any clear evidence of arson)

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