Tag Archives: Non-governmental organization

Current condition of tapol Kimanus Wenda and funds needed for operation and travel costs

Received from Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran HAM Papua (Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights in Papua)
[Translated by TAPOL]

Papuan prisoners continue to be subject to discrimination in a number of ways such as the lack of finance, the lack of access to health facilities and racist insults against Papuan people. There are no NGOs, church groups or individuals who are regularly monitoring the situation of Tapols/Napols [this differentiates between political and non-political prisoners in Papua] who are currently in prison in Papua.

Take the example of Filep Karma who was for nine months left unattended in Dok II Hospital in Jayapura, in 2010. Ferdinan Pakage was tortured and sustained permanent injuries in his right eye from a prison official in Abe Prison, Abepura, in 2008. And most recently, Kimanus Wenda who, according to the recommendation of a doctor, needs to have operation for a tumour in the abdomen, but there has been no response from the prison officials in Nabire prison. He was even shackled with handcuffs and kept in an isolation ward in May 2011

The condition of Kimanus Wenda in Nabire Prison is now critical; he has been vomiting because of the tumour. Last Thursday at 12 midnight, he was vomiting and so dizzy that he urged an official to be transferred to hospital but this was refused. [precise meaning of a sentence in the text here is unclear]. Although he had asked to be transferred to Jayapura a number of times as recommended by the doctor, there was no response from the officials at the prison.

In view of the present condition of Kimanus Wenda, the SKPHP had a meeting with the Kanwil (?) and then with the Papua department of law and human rights [Depkum HAM Papua] on 19 September. However, the head of Depkum HAM, Daniel informed his family of a number of conditions:

* A guarantee from the family
* A formal request from the family
* A statement from Nabire Hospital
* Confirmation from the doctor
* A request for police to provide guards.

Solidaritas Korban said that it was prepared to find all these documents and that his family would provide the funds but only for a ticket for Kimanus to make the journey from Nabire to Wamena, meaning that funding for the guards was the responsibility of the state.

On 19 September, Solidaritas Korban had a meeting with Kontras Papua at which the following was agreed:

A division of tasks regarding the documents required.
We would need to raise money for the journey by two persons to Nabire
We would find the money for the stay in hospital, the operation and other requirements after Kimanus was in Jayapura
Information about these decisions would remain confidential.

Once the money for the tickets was available, Solidaritas Korban would:

Lobby the doctor.
Issue a press release
Seek contributions from the general public out in the streets
Lobby for funds to cover the costs of the hospital stay, the operation, the tickets to Nabire and so on.

The amount of money required is as follows:

Rp 1,347,000 x 2 for a total of Rp 2,694,000 for one-way tickets.
Airport tax and local transport, Rp 1,000,000
Solidaritas Korban transport costs incurred to handle arrangements for Kimanus
The total amount of money needed: is Rp 4,694,000

Jayapura, 19 September 2011
Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran HAM Papua

MIFEE project violates human rights: Joint press release

Joint Press Release,

14 August 2011

Walhi, Pusaka, Sajogyo Institute, Sorpatom, Papuan NGOs Working Group, Sawit Watch, Aman, Huma,  JKPP, KPA, Kontras, Green Peace Indonesia, DtE

MIFEE Project Violates Human Rights

[Translated by TAPOL]

One year after the MIFEE (Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate) Project was launched by the central government, the situation of the people in Merauke  has become a matter of grave concern.  The indigenous Malind  people and the inhabitants in Merauke in general have been threatened and marginalised as a result of the conversion of their land and their ancestral forests by the MIFEE Project.

Research undertaken by Pusaka, called  ‘MIFEE does not reflect the aspirations of the Malind people’ drew the conclusion that the MIFEE Project was launched as the illegitimate offspring of the global food crisis for Food, Feed, Fuel and Climate Change (3F and 2C).  MIFEE is called the ‘illegitimate offspring’ because it is not a solution that serves the interests of the majority of the people but is the result of a conspiracy between capitalists and the government in search of economic rent side by side with cramped living conditions for the majority of the people. In the words of Emillianus Ola Kleden, a researcher for Pusaka Foundation, the MIFEE programme will have a number of negative impacts on the social and cultural fabric, the demographics, the social and economic conditions and the environment of the people. These negative impacts  will also worsen the living conditions of many groups living in the areas affected by the project.

Laksmi A Savitri, a researcher for the Sajogyo Institute, came across facts showing that MIFEE is a development model which makes no provision for improving the living standards  of the indigenous people in Merauke and is only focussed on the accumulation of corporate profits. There are three reasons for this, according to Laksmi:  firstly, it fails to respect the concept of land and identity  which is inseparable from the identity and dignity of the Malind people; secondly, it fails to understand the close links between the Malind people’s system of living and the natural resources and the forests, and assumes that the loss of forestry resources will be replaced by opportunities to work as day labourers for the companies; and thirdly, it pays no attention to the process of meaningful social transformation for the Malind people towards a better life in ways and forms that are defined by the Malind people themselves.

According to Billy Metemko, chairman of Sorpatom Merauke, the Merauke Project  has already caused significant damage  to  the social structure of the customary groups who have lost land where they are able to look for food and fulfil their social  needs, like what has happened in Zanegi Kampung in the operational area of PT Medco or Domande Kampung in the operational area of PT Rajawali and Nakias Kampung in the operational area of PT Dongin Prabhawa.  The destruction of these forests has resulted in the destruction of traditional symbols, the source of their livelihood, while in the longer term, it will lead to the wholesale destruction and extermination of traditional communities in Merauke.

Since 2010, Sawit Watch and the Justice and Peace Commission of the Diocese of Merauke (SKP-Merauke) have held a number of meetings in kampungs along the border region between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea in South Papua and have discovered that land has been allocated for palm oil plantations on a massive scale. In the district of Merauke, at least 380,887 hectares have been allocated to ten companies, and 320,000 hectares in the district of Boven Digoel where licences have been issued to eight palm oil plantation companies. Opening up the land to palm oil plantations  on such a large scale has resulted in forest areas in the south of Papua having been turned into mono-cultural  plantations  leading to ecological destruction and the permanent and irreversible loss of its vitally important diversity. The presence of traditional communities  and indigenous Papuan people whose lives still depend on the forests will eventually be uprooted and marginalised as a consequence of development schemes that fail to take account of local wisdom and culture.

Bearing these conditions in mind, civil society in Indonesia has warned the Indonesian government and parliament, the DPR RI, that this project is more harmful than beneficial. Nevertheless the government  seems to have refused to listen to reports about the destruction of the environment, the food culture of the traditional communities and their life spaces and the destruction of Merauke’s forests. Sorpatom (Solidarity of Papuan People Rejecting MIFEE) has on numerous occasions organised activities to reject the  presence of MIFEE. Komali (the Community of Traditional Communities) wrote to the Indonesian president last year expressing the same views about MIFEE.

A field visit to Merauke by the environmental NGO WALHI in June 2011 discovered that during the course of the past year, at least one hundred thousand hectares of natural forest in Merauke have been cleared, including sago hamlets which protected food security  at all times, regardless of the season, and are very adaptable to changes in the climate. The marshlands are threatened  by drought, as a result of which  fish, birds  and deer  that have provided the local people with their source of protein will find it increasingly difficult to enjoy the necessary living space. Eventually, the Economic, Social and Cultural (ECOSOC)  rights will become ever more inaccessible to protection and provision by the state. Berry N. Forqan, the national executive director of WALHI, has stated that it is reasonable to say that the Indonesian government should be regarded as having caused the violation of basic human rights with the MIFEE Project.

Sinal Blegur, a member of the Working Group of NGOs in Papua, said that the violation of these ECOSOC rights will ultimately lead to the violation of  civil and political rights because MIFEE could potentially pave the way for the security forces  to enter the region on a massive scale to protect the operations of the companies.

In view of the above, dozens of local, national and international NGOs  have in the past month jointly produced a report to be submitted  to the Special Rapporteur of the UN on the Right to Food, drawing attention to threats to the right to food  of the traditional communities in Merauke. According to Abet Nego Tarigan, executive director of Sawit Watch, 22 NGOs  have so far signed  this document, representing the traditional communities in Merauke who are the victims or potential victims of the MIFEE Project The report has also been sent to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  of the Human Rights Treaties Division.

This means that all civil society organisations which are concerned with the rights and living space for indigenous Papuan people should call on the government to immediately halt all MIFEE activities and Food Estates in general  in Indonesia that are  damaging the environment and forcing the  removal of traditional communities from their traditional land  and areas which they manage. The national, provincial and district governments must stop granting location licences  to companies and hold an inclusive dialogue, in which the Malind people are central, to discuss the allocation of land, the provision of space and development capital for agriculture, in conformity with social transformation that can bring the Malind people self-reliance and dignity.

All this is intended to ensure that similar operations that have resulted in the massive destruction of the environment which have occurred in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and Sulawesi  should not be repeated in Papua.

Contacts:

Islah, Manager   of the Water and Food Campaign, WALHI;

Frangky Samperante, Director of Psaka;

A Karlo Nainggolan, staff member of Advocacy, Policy and Legal Defence, Sawit Watch;

Laksmi Savitri, Sajogyo Institute;

Sinal Blegur, member of the Working Group of NGOs in Papua.

Komnas HAM meets army commander to discuss rights violations

Bintang Papua, 16 July 2011

Komnas HAM meets military commander to discuss human rights violations

Jayapura: Many human rights violations are now confronting the National
Human Rights Commission – Komnas HAM in Papua. Commission deputy
chairman Nurcholis paid a visit to the command centre of the Cenderawasih Military Command to discuss two important problems.

The first was about the security situation at Freeport.   ‘A few weeks ago, we
received complaints from workers at Freeport about the security situation at the company and this is now being discussed with the military commander.’

The security problem began when some Freeport employees made complaints
about the situation and the families of the victims went to Komnas HAM, seeking assurances that legal processes would begin quickly.

The second problem relates to the shooting of members of the TNI in Puncak Jaya.  But apart from these casualties, there were four civilian casualties, a woman and three small children.  ‘We need to know whether these casualties were wounded or had died,’ he said.   Nurcholis stressed the need for caution about information being received, so as to correctly determine what measures need to be taken. ‘We are now gathering more complete information with the help of the human rights commission in Papua, to ensure that speedy action can be taken to solve the issue.’

Meanwhile, there are reports that some villagers have fled their homes because of armed skirmishes between civilian forces and the TNI in Puncak Jaya. He said: ‘If this is indeed happening, we hope to solve the problem so that our activities can focus on restoring security,’ he said.

No access to Puncak Jaya
He said that Komnas HAM is not at present able to gain access to Puncak Jaya and can only establish contact by phone. ‘The core of the problem needs to be dealt with through dialogue while recognising that this will not be easy. The next move will be to consult with the ministry of political and legal affairs, with dialogue being the only choice, and one that is supported by most of those involved so as to ensure that the difficulties can be overcome.’

Komnas HAM is checking whether the victims are civilian or military and whether the victims were wounded or have died. When asked how long this would take, Nurcholis said that he could not say.

‘The best indicator for solving human rights issues is not fixing a time frame but finding the best way to solve the problem ,’ said Nurcholis.

Statement of deep concern by Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Papua

Bintang  Papua, 17 June 2011Human rights defenders in Papua very worried

Acts of violence and terror that have been perpetrated against human rights defenders as well as against journalists have led to a  sense of deep concern among human rights NGOs and religious organisations which are members of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of  Papua

The following NGOs held a press conference in Jayapura  on Friday 17 June, to convey their problems:

KomnasHAM- Papua, the Synod of the Kingmi Church in Papua, the Synod of the Baptist Church in Papua, Foker NGO (NGO Working Group) Papua, Kontras Papua, LBH – Legal Aid Institute in Papua, and BUK, United for Truth.

Foremost among the agencies criticised was the TNI, the Indonesian army whose members were involved in a number of acts of violence. They drew attention in particulate to five incidents that had occurred during the past five months in which members of the TNI were involved:

‘Up to June this year, there have been at least five incidents which reflect the  arrogance and random actions perpetrated by members of the TNI,’ said Olga Hamadi, the co-ordinator of Kontras Papua. Others present at the press conference included the Rev. Benny Giay, chairman of the Synod of the Kingmi Church in the Land of Papua, Mathius Murib, representative of Komnas HAM-Papua, Eliezer M, LBH-Papua, Julian Howay of the ALDP, and a number of human rights activists.

They said that the much-vaunted  reforms within the TNI were rarely reflected in the activities of members of the TNI on the ground. ‘Is this what the commander of the TNI was praising so profusely during his recent visit to Papua,’ wondered Rev Giay.

Mathius Murib  said that the incident that occurred in Puncak Jaya a few months ago had drawn a great deal of public attention, nationally as well as internationally. [This refers to the acts of torture against Papuans that were circulated by video.]

‘All their talk about Love and Peace is far from been applied by members of the security forces on the ground. Isn’t it time for them to change their tune?’

They said that the continued occurrence of acts of violence and intimidation by members of the TNI is a clear indication that no actions have been taken against members of the TNI who have violated the law.

‘We are concerned about the impact this is having on the reputation of the Indonesian state and wonder  what is being done to protect the rights of human rights defenders,’ said Olga Hamadi.

She said that in cases where members of the TNI had been involved in acts of violence, all that had happened was that they had been moved sideways. ‘Or, in those instances where they had been taken to court, they had appeared before a military tribunal and the verdicts were often unclear or had had little if any effect.,’ said Peneas Lokbere, co-ordinator of BUK.

The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua therefore issued the following statement:

1. Protection is needed for human rights defenders in Papua in carrying out their humanitarian activities throughout the Land of Papua. Such protection can be provided by the introduction of a special law, while at the same time setting up an independent commission at state level for the purpose of monitoring and advocacy as well as taking sanctions against those individuals who commit violence against human rights defenders.

2. As a short-term measure, we regard it as important to set up a special bureau within Komnas HAM to focus on the protection of human rights defenders.

3. In view the many acts of intimidation and violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces, we urge the military commander of  Cenderawasih XVII military command  to take firm measures in the law courts and administration against all violations perpetrated by members of the TNI on the ground.

4. To provide moral guidance  to all officers of the armed forces  as well as disseminate an understanding of human rights so as to ensure that acts of violence  perpetrated by members of the armed forces are not committed against civil society or against human rights defenders in the Land of Papua.

[Translated by TAPOL]

NGOs Say US Got it Wrong on Indonesian Human Rights

FYI

Dessy Sagita | April 11, 2011

Indonesian activists on Sunday criticized the US government for praising Indonesia’s progress on human rights, saying that the barometer used for the report could be misleading.

“I’m a bit concerned with the diplomatic statements made by some countries regarding Indonesia’s progress on human rights, because it could give people the wrong perception about what’s really happening,” Haris Azhar, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), told the Jakarta Globe.

As in previous editions, the US State Department’s annual survey on human rights pointed to concerns in Indonesia, this year including accounts of unlawful killings in violence-torn Papua along with violations of freedom of religion.

But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while presenting on Friday the mammoth, 7,000-page global report, pointed to Indonesia as a success story.

“Indonesia boasts a vibrant free media and a flourishing civil society at the same time as it faces up to challenges in preventing abuses by its security forces and acting against religious intolerance,” she was quoted by foreign wire agencies as saying.

The survey covers the period before Islamic fanatics brutally killed three members of the Ahmadiyah sect in early February, raising questions over Indonesia’s commitment to safeguard minority rights.

The concern over Papua is primarily a reference to the torture of two civilians there last year by soldiers. They were subsequently court-martialed in January but given sentences of less than a year, a punishment slammed by the influential group Human Rights Watch as far too lenient to send a message that abuse was unacceptable.

Kontras’s Haris said both indicators presented by the US government — that Indonesia has been progressing in terms of media independence and better access for civil societies to voice their concern — were also incorrect.

“Freedom of journalism? I don’t think so. It’s still fresh in our minds that several journalists have been brutally attacked because of their reporting, some were even murdered,” he said.

“And in terms of flourishing civil societies, it’s true, non-government organizations are mushrooming, but what’s the point if human rights defenders and anticorruption activists are assaulted?” he added.

According to Kontras, in 2010 alone more than 100 human rights activists here were victimized and many of the perpetrators remain free.

And according to Reporters Without Borders, when it comes to press freedom, Indonesia ranks very low, much worse than it did several years ago when Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid was the president.

The US report in some ways echoes progress noted by New York-based Human Rights Watch in its own annual review of human rights practices around the globe, released in January. Then it noted that while serious human rights concerns remained, Indonesia had over the past 12 years made great strides in becoming a stable, democratic country with a strong civil society and independent media.

But Andreas Harsono, from Human Rights Watch, said it was perplexing that the US government would compliment Indonesia’s progress on rights.

“It’s a big joke,” he said. “Attacks against Ahmadiyah have been happening since 2008, after the joint ministerial decree was issued, and attacks against churches during SBY’s six-year tenure are even more prevalent than during the five decades in which Sukarno and Suharto ruled,” he said.

Additional reporting by AP, AFP