Tag Archives: human rights violations

Decisions of Peace Conference still awaiting the OPM, says Tebay

(SOURCE UNDEFINED – Received via Tapol)
(NOTE: West Papua Media has serious concerns with the process and conduct of the alleged peace process run by Tebay and LIPI.  Due to Indonesian state human rights violations ongoing whilst this conference was talking up the “genuine  intentions” of the military participants of the meetings, we have been unable to give it the attention it requires.  Major reporting and analysis of the process, including detailed interviews with both participants and boycotters, will be soon forthcoming).

STILL AWAITING OPM

On recommendations regarding Jakarta-Papua dialogue Following the Papua Peace Conference which was held last week, Father Dr Neles Tebay, co-ordinator of the Papua Peace Network which was responsible for convening the conference, the results of the conference were not yet final.

He said that there were other groups of Papuans who would also play an important role in the success of the recommendations made by the conference. These were Papuans who are based abroad and Papuans living in the mountains, the TPN/OPM.

‘This [the conference] was only the beginning. A final decision about who would represent us at the dialogue is not yet final. These are suggestions made by Papuans who are in Indonesia.’ He said that a resolution of the problems in Papua would have to involve three groups, those living in Indonesia, those now living abroad, and those in the mountains.’

He said that the conference had agreed on the criteria of Papua, a Land of Peace. ‘The indicators were in the political, economic, and environmental spheres, as well as in the field of law, human rights and social-cultural spheres.’

‘The drafting committee formulated the criteria according to inputs from the various sources on the first day, in particular the results of the discussions which took place in the commissions,’ he said.

A political observer from La Keda Institute, Lamadi de Lamato said that the proposals agreed by the conference were somewhat idealistic. ‘It would seem to me that adjustments are needed to ensure that what is being proposed is realisable,’ he told Bintang Papua.

He said that components from a number of districts in Papua and West Papua had been invited, and pointed out that members of the ‘DPRP – provincial legislative assembly – were acknowledged as being representatives of the people and they have been very vocal in expressing views to the government.’

He felt that nevertheless, the results of the conference were acceptable, both scientifically as well as beng representative of the indigenous Papuan people, ‘because the participants had come from most of the regions in Papua and West Papua.’

Human rights NGOs in Papua may seek international action about violations in Papua

Bintang Papua, 14 June 2011
Jayapura: On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Wasior
incident, which was described by Komnas HAM – the National Human Rights
Commission – as a gross violation of basic human rights, two leading
human rights organisations in West Papua, BUK – United for Truth – and
KontraS-Papua – Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of
Violence, held a press conference in Jayapura.

They said that there has been a failure to show any serious concern
about the violation of basic human rights in Papua. In view of this,
they said that they now intend to bring these cases up before an
international mechanism. ‘There has as yet been no international move
to take action on these cases, but we intend to raise these issues by
waging a campaign in the hope that this will bring pressure to bear on
the Indonesian government to resolve these cases,’ said Selpius Bobii,
the BUK co-ordinator. who was accompanied as the press conference by
the co-ordinator of KontraS-Papua, Olga Hamadi.

He also said that they would make formal approaches by letter to a
number of government institutions as well as NGOs.

‘Immediately after this press conference, we will be sending letters to
Komnas HAM, to the attorney-general’s office, to Amnesty International ,
to the media in Papua as well as to NGOs in Germany and elsewhere.’

The organisations felt that such action was now called for as a way of
exerting pressure so as to ensure that these cases are recognised as
gross human rights violations and are brought before a court of law.

‘It seems that it is necessary to bring pressure to bear on the various
NGOs and on the government to persuade them to be more serious about
resolving a number of human rights cases in Papua,’ they said.

According to data that has been collected by BUK, these cases resulted
in the deaths of six people at the time of the incidents, while seven
others died subsequently as a result being subjected to torture. Seven
people are reported to have disappeared, while no fewer than 305 others
were subjected to sweeping operations known as ‘Tuntas Matoa’.

‘There has also been discrimination against the families of the victims
because their parents have been branded as separatists. This is apparent
from the way that /respect /funds have been distributed, bearing in mind
the fact that the families have been treated differently than others in
the community.’

With regard to the human rights violations that have been perpetrated in
Papua at the hands of members of the Indonesian army (TNI) and the
Indonesian police (POLRI), in all these cases, it has been virtually
impossible to bring them before a court of law. ‘In the case of those
incidents that were actually taken to court, nothing was done to side
with the victims; the perpetrators were protected with the argument that
whatever had been done was in the interest of the security of the state.
An example of this was the Abepura case where those who were found
guilty are no longer behind bars.

The Wasior incident occurred on 13 June 2001. It was triggered when a
person demanded compensation for the theft of his traditional land
rights but this failed to solicit any response. On the contrary, the
people concerned were accused of disrupting security and were arrested,
tortured, and in many cases killed or made to disappear.

‘Cases that have been identified by Komnas HAM as gross violations of
human rights have reached a stalemate.after disputes between Komnas HAM
and the attorney-general’s office, with the latter using formalistic
excuses.

They went on to say that the Wasior case as well as the Wamena case (the
fatal shooting of Opinus Tabuni in August 2010) had been acknowledged by
Komnas HAM as gross violations of human rights but it had been virtually
impossible to deal with such cases because the administrations of the
provinces of Papua and West Papua which came into being following the
special autonomy law (OTSUS) had also failed to respond.

In view of all this, the representative of BUK made the following demands:

1. The president of Indonesia should immediately resolve the Wasior and
Wamena cases and in doing so recognise the fact that Papuans are
citizens of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia, NKRI which means that
their standing and dignity within the state is in keeping with the
values of the Papuan people as citizens of Indonesia.

2. The attorney-general’s office should end its machinations with regard
to the Wasior and Wamena cases and co-ordinate with other state
institutions so as stop their activities which have resulted in
reinforcing the cycle of impunity.

3. The administration of the province of Papua, along with the DPRP,
Komnas HAM-Papua and the MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua ) should act together
as quickly as possible to ensure that the Wasior and Wamena incidents
are brought before a human rights court in the Land of Papua.

4. A Papuan Human Rights court should be set up immediately.

5. If the government fails to deal seriously with the Wasior and Wamena
cases, we as representives of all the victims of human rights
violations in the Land of Papua will bring these matters before an
international court of law.

Medical personnel arrested in Jayapura for ‘inciting strike’

Bintang Papua, 15 March 2011

[Abridged in translation into English]

Eight nurses and midwives have been arrested in Jayapura for their
involvement in a strike that resulting in a halt to services at the
general hospital in Jayapura. They face charges of inciting their
colleagues to take part in a strike.

[See earlier reports about the strike of medical personnel who were
protesting against the failure of the authorities to pay incentives that
had been promised more than a year ago.]

The eight persons are being held by the criminal investigation unit of
the Papuan police command. The police claim that there is sufficient
proof that the persons had acted in violation of the law, forcing others
to engage in acts of violence and citing a number of articles in
Indonesia’s criminal code. Media attempts to contact the police for
confirmation of the arrest were unsuccessful.

According to Anum Siregar, one of the lawyers acting for the eight, a
group of fifty personnel from the security forces had gone to the homes of two of the persons and told them that they must report to police headquarters in Papua. The two women, Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri, then contacted the lawyer to inform her of what had happened. The two women then reported to the police as requested, in the company of the lawyer.

The two had earlier received notification from the police that they
would be summoned as witnesses in connection with the strike action of the hospital personnel.

According to Anum Siregar, after being questioned for several hours by
the police as witnesses, the police changed tack and indicated that they were being held as suspects. Soon after, the police took the six others into custody.

According to Bintang Papua, the eight detainees have been subjected to prolonged interrogations while other personnel from the hospital have rallied in support of their colleagues. Anum Siregar accused the police of acting in violation of the rule of law, saying that the medical
personnel were only acting in defence of their legitimate rights. She
also said that the action by the police would have a negative effect on the provision of services for patients at the general hospital.

‘The impact will not be felt by officials in the province because they
never go to the local hospital for treatment on occasions when they fall ill but fly to Jakarta or overseas for treatment.’

She also said that the arrests had led to expressions of solidarity from
members of the medical profession throughout the Land of Papua in
protest against the actions of the police.

AJI has urged press to monitor rights violations in Papua

JUBI, 11 February 2011
The chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) in
Jayapura, Victor Mambor, has called on the press in Papua to regularly
monitor cases of human rights violations in Papua.

‘Reports written in the media about these violations are helpful to
organisations that fight for the rights of the victims of violations,’
he said, during a speech at a workshop on the Papuan perspective
regarding human rights violations.

He stressed the importance of the role of the press in reporting the
human rights situation in Papua because this can help reduce acts of
repression against the civilian population.

‘Reports about human rights in Papua are only available from NGOs active
in the field, and these are frequently quoted in reports that appear in
the media,’ said Mambor. He also stressed the importance in ensuring
that these published reports are accurate and credible. It was also
important, he said, for journalists to provide the appropriate
references so as to make it easier for others to investigate the
violations that occur.

Wikileaks revelation – Indonesia threatened to derail a visit to Jakarta by President Barack Obama unless he overturned Kopassus ban

article in the Sydney Morning Herald – reprinted for media information only

NDONESIA threatened to derail a visit to Jakarta by President Barack Obama this year unless he overturned the US ban on training the controversial Kopassus army special forces.

Leaked US State Department cables reveal that the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, privately told the Americans that continuing the ban – introduced in 1999 because of Kopassus’s appalling human rights record – was the ”litmus test of the bilateral relationship” between the US and Indonesia.

Six months later the US agreed to resume ties with Kopassus, despite fierce criticism from some human rights groups and American politicians about Jakarta’s failure to hold officers to account for their role in atrocities.

The cables, made available exclusively to the Herald by WikiLeaks, detail US concerns about Indonesia’s failure to prosecute the military personnel responsible for murder and torture during the conflicts in East Timor and Aceh.

But they also reveal that US diplomats in Jakarta believed that Dr Yudhoyono’s demands should be met to ensure that Indonesia’s military and security services would protect US interests in the region, including co-operation in the fight against terrorism. It was also argued that closer military ties would encourage further reform of Indonesia’s military.

The Indonesian leader’s call to lift the Kopassus training ban is described in a January cable from the US embassy in Jakarta.

”President Yudhoyono (SBY) and other senior Indonesian officials have made it clear to us that SBY views the issue of Army Special Forces (KOPASSUS) training as a litmus test of the bilateral relationship and that he believes the … visit of President Obama will not be successful unless this issue is resolved in advance of the visit.”

The US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, said in July that the US needed to renew links with Kopassus ”as a result of Indonesian military reforms over the past decade, the ongoing professionalisation of the TNI [army], and recent actions taken by the Ministry of Defence to address human rights issues”.

An expert on the Indonesian military, the Australian Defence Force Academy associate professor Clinton Fernandes, said the cables appeared to show that members of Congress such as Patrick Leahy – author of the 1999 ban on training with Kopassus – ”have not been told the real reason for Mr Obama’s decision, which was to provide photo opportunities for the President”.

”The decision to renew links shows contempt not only to the victims of gross human rights violations but to members of the US Congress,” Professor Fernandes said.

US diplomatic cables from the past four years reveal that Jakarta’s intense lobbying to lift the Kopassus ban was largely supported by the US embassy in

Jakarta, which cited the Australian military’s ties with Kopassus as a reason to lift the ban. An April 2007 cable says that ”our Australian counterparts often encourage us to resume training for Kopassus”.

But numerous cables also detail serious US concerns about resuming ties. In October 2007, the embassy told Washington that ”Indonesia has not prosecuted past human rights violations in any consistent manner.

”While we need to keep Indonesia mindful of the consequences of inaction on TNI accountability, Indonesia is unlikely to abandon its approach. We need therefore to encourage the Indonesian government to take alternative steps to demonstrate accountability.”

Another 2007 cable details US concern about the appearance at a Kopassus anniversary celebration of Tommy Suharto, the notorious son of the former president who served several years in prison for arranging the killing of a judge who convicted him of fraud.

In May 2008 the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, was briefed by US diplomats that ”the key impediment to expanded engagement remains the failure of the GOI [Indonesia] to press for accountability for past human rights abuses by security forces”.

The cable welcomes Indonesia’s continuing military reforms but noted they were not ”the same as putting generals behind bars for past human rights abuses”.

Last last year, about six months before the US lifted its Kopassus ban, a senior US official, Bill Burns, told Indonesian counterparts that ”engagement with Kopassus continued to be a difficult and complex issue, particularly as there remained many in Washington, including in Congress, with serious concerns about accountability for past Kopassus actions”.

But the US cables also reveal the Jakarta embassy’s efforts to water down the background screening that Indonesian military officers must undergo if they undertake training in the US.

The US embassy is also revealed in another cable as heavily playing down a report by Human Rights Watch last year that alleged Kopassus soldiers had committed recent human rights abuses in Papua. The embassy calls the report unbalanced and unconfirmed and says the abuses detailed do not appear to ”meet the standard of gross violation of human rights”.