Tag Archives: freedom of association

PRP calls for release of nurses

JUBI, 29 March 2011

PRP calls for release of nurses

In a statement issued today, the Working People’s Association, the PRP, has called for the release of nurses arrested in Abepura, West Papua.

‘When working people demand a decent living, the neo-liberal regime
responds by arresting them.This is happening everywhere in Indonesia and on this occasion in Jayapura. Nurses working at DokII General Hospital have been under arrest for calling for the payment of incentives which they have been demanding since January 2010,’ said the PRP.

According to the PRP, this criminalisation of working people for demanding better living conditions is happening not only in Papua.
Working people elsewhere in Indonesia are also experiencing the same
thing. This is being done in order to silence the demands of the working people and to thwart the rights of working people to organise themselves.

It went on to say that union busting is happening on a grand scale
across the country, a sign that the the neo-liberal regime is scared
when working people organise themselves and demand their rights.
Measures to thwart the right of assembly and the right to organise or
even to organise demonstrations in happening in many parts of the
country, such as for example the district of Bintan.

The statement which is signed by the national chairman and the
secretary-general of the PRP makes the following demands:

1. Release the DokII nurses who have been arrested by the police because they organised a strike.Charging them with incitement is pure fantasy on the part of the police.

2. Working people throughout Indonesia should resist these efforts to
silence trade unions and organisations.

3. New forces need to be built by all sections of the working people in
Indonesia in opposition to the neo-liberal regime.

4. Capitalism and neo-liberalism have failed to improve the living
conditions of the people. Only socialism can bring prosperity to the people.

Unions call on Indonesia to release arrested nurses

ACTU MEDIA RELEASE :  

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Unions call on Indonesia to release arrested nurses


Australian unions have called on the Indonesian Government to respect international labour Conventions and human and trade union rights following the arrest of five nurses in West Papua.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said it was outrageous that the nurses had been detained for nine days and were reportedly subjected to long periods of police interrogation, simply because they had supported an industrial campaign to ensure they received their contracted entitlements.

“It is disturbing that at the same time as workers in North Africa are beginning to benefit from newfound democratic freedoms, repression of basic human rights including the freedom of association is taking place in our region,” Ms Kearney said.

“These West Papuan nurses were pursuing their legitimate rights and it is obscene to think they are languishing in jail.

“I am advised that more than 1500 nurses took spontaneous and unprecedented industrial action in response to an announcement that the Government of the province of West Papua had withdrawn industrial payments.

“We are told that in an attempt to intimidate the nurses and to force them back to work, five nurses were arrested.

“The intimidation has failed and the nurses and their community are more resolute than ever in their determination to secure the release of the five nurses and to win the industrial campaign.

“However it is simply outrageous that this type of intimidation and violation of human and workers’ rights is occurring.”

Ms Kearney said the arrests of the nurses, including two officials of the National Union of Indonesian Nurses, was a heavy-handed and excessive response to nurses pursing a legitimate industrial campaign in support of their contracted entitlements.

“This action is a clear breach of ILO Convention 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise), which was ratified by Indonesia in June 1998.

“It violates the fundamental human and trade union rights enshrined in C87 and reflects poorly on the Indonesian authorities.

“The Indonesian Government should take immediate steps to release the nurses, to remove all charges and to enter a constructive dialogue with the National Union of Indonesian Nurses to resolve these issues.”

Media contact: Rebecca Tucker ph (03) 9664 7359 or 0408 031 269; rtucker@actu.org.au

 



Open Letter to President of Indonesia on Papuan Political Prisoners

*c/o PO Box 21873
Brooklyn, NY 11202 USA
*etan@etan.org

August 16, 2010

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President
Republic of Indonesia
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta Pusat 10110 Indonesia
Via Fax, E-mail

Dear President Yudhoyono:

As Indonesia’s National Day on 17 August approaches, we the undersigned non-governmental organizations engaged in the defense of human rights in Indonesia are deeply concerned that dozens of Papuans are incarcerated in prisons in Papua and West Papua simply for having been involved in non-violent demonstrations or expressions of opinion.

In most cases, these prisoners have been sentenced under Criminal Code Articles 106 and 110 regarding “rebellion.” These articles are a legacy from the Dutch colonial era and are in violation of the Indonesian Constitution, Articles 28(e) and 28(f) which respectively afford “the right to the freedom of association and expression of opinion,” and “the right to communicate and obtain information for the development of his/her personal life and his/her social environment, and shall have the right to seek, acquire, possess, keep, process and convey information by using all available channels.”

Moreover, Articles 106 and 110 are inconsistent with your country’s
international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR) which Indonesia ratified in 2006. While the
ICCPR (article 19) notes that these rights are subject to certain
restrictions “for the protection of national security and of public
order or public health or morals,” the 1995 Johannesburg Principles on
National Security, Freedom of Expression, and Access to Information
identify clear standards for application of national security
restrictions. These Principles provide that persons should not be
restrained for expressing their opinions. Governments should only take
action against such expression of views on the grounds of national
security if they can demonstrate that they would incite acts of imminent violence. The prosecution of the aforementioned Papuan political prisoners has offered no evidence of any such threat of imminent violence in association with their physical or verbal actions.

While we strongly believe that none of these prisoners should have been prosecuted in the first place, we are also deeply concerned about the disproportionately harsh sentences imposed on these political prisoners given their non-violent acts. One prisoner arrested in 2004 and charged under these articles is serving a 15-year sentence while others have been given sentences of three or four years. Moreover, there have been alarming reports of maltreatment of the prisoners by prison warders and the lack of essential medical facilities. In one case, a prisoner with a serious prostate disorder had to wait eight months before being allowed to travel to Jakarta for essential treatment recommended by the local doctor. Severe Beatings of prisoners and detainees are frequently and credibly reported.

We the undersigned have on a number of occasions welcomed the democratic progress in Indonesian since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship, inspired by the Indonesian people. We recognize that this progress had been achieved despite frequent threats by the as yet unreformed Indonesian security forces.

In view of the tradition to mark Indonesia’s National Day on 17 August
by announcing the release of prisoners and bearing in mind the
restriction on essential freedoms such as those contained in Articles
106 and 110 of the Criminal Code we respectfully call on you to mark
this year’s celebrations by:

* releasing all Papuan political prisoners, including those already
convicted and those waiting trial;

* securing the deletion of Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code;

* ordering an immediate investigation into conditions in the prisons
where the prisoners are being held and ensure the punishment of all
prison personnel held responsible for maltreatment.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Aliansi Nasional Timor Leste Ba Tribunal Internasional (ANTI)/
Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal
Australia West Papua Association Adelaide
Australia West Papua Association Brisbane
Australia West Papua Association Melbourne
Australia West Papua Association Newcastle
Australia West Papua Association Sydney
East Timor and Indonesia /Action/ Network (ETAN) (U.S.)
Foundation Akar (The Netherlands)
Foundation Manusia Papua (The Netherlands)
Foundation of Papuan Women (The Netherlands)
Foundation Pro Papua (The Netherlands)
Free West Papua Campaign UK
Freunde der Naturvölker e.V./FdN (fPcN) (Germany)
Human Rights Watch
KontraS (Indonesia)
Land is Life (U.S.)
La?o Hamutuk (Timor-Leste)
Perkumpulan HAK (HAK Association) (Timor Leste)
Tapol (Britain)
West Papua Advocacy Team (U.S.)
West Papua Network Germany