Indonesian Civil Society: Open letter to SBY Raising Concern and Offering Solution:: One-Year Human Rights Promotion in Papua 2010


Raising Concern and Offer Solution::

One-Year Human Rights Promotion in Papua 2010

To the attention of

President Republic of Indonesia,

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

In Jakarta

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing this letter to you to raise our concern over human rights conditions in Papua. We are confirmed that lacking of protection and recognition of Papuans’ rights have led to abusive and violent practice against Papuans. This pratice has persistently cause death to Papuans and left trauma for them and their family. This practice clearly does not reflect the spirit of this country’s constitution to protect whole citizens.

We have recorded that there have been some big issues this year that attract public attention. The issues such as footage violent action against civilians by military in Tinggi Nambut Papua,[1] violence against civilians in Bolakme,[2] ethnic conflict between Papuan highlanders and Yoka people,[3] shooting civilians in Nafri[4], shooting against prisoners in Tanah Hitam,[5] civilians shot dead in Boroway,[6] arrest and detention of Filep Karma and  Buchtar Tabuni[7] and the rally of returning special autonomy. Other cases relating to social, economy and culture which potentially bring negative impact on Papuans and destroy Papuan values such as MIFEE in Merauke,[8] Dagewo case in Paniai[9],  the transfer of local land in Lereh for palm oil plantation, Freeport case,[10] and many illegal logging cases.

Bsaed on our observation and data collected, the problems mentioned above happen because of the following reasons:

First, government still stigmatisize any Papua groups and individual as separatist as they do resistance against government. Government uses ‘stigmatization of separatist” as powerful  strategy to silence Papuans demand and freedom of expression and weaken the critical thinking from Papuans who often criticise the govermnent policy. This strategy is partially successful as it silences resistant movement but in the other side it gives more energy and spirit for more resistance. Also, this unpopular strategy has planted the seeds of hostility and mistrust among Papuans against Indonesia.

Second, Jakarta still plays dominant role in the issue of any policies and their implementations in Papua. Jakarta, as the central power, is still unable to trust any process of development in Papua although Papua has been given special autonomy to manage themselves. MIFEE case, violence against civilians in Bolakme, Tingginambut-Puncak Jaya and Freeport cases are example on how central government still exercise their absolute authority which potentially destroy basic rights of Papua. Central govermnet just interest in investment without considering the basic rights of Papuans and their values

Third, Papua is still considered as conflict area. Therefore, security approach is dominant. Huge number of troops are deployed  every year to Papua to secure the border area and investor’s assets. Ironically, the security approach has caused fear and revive the past trauma. People in the border feel fear when they go to bush and forest to hunting, gardening as they might be arrested as being suspected as members of Papua freedom movement (OPM)/ National Freedom Army (TPN).

Fourth, The massive deployment of troops which is to secure investors’ assest has caused human right violations and fear. The rights of people are neglected and intimidation is done when the locals demand their rights and speak critically.

Fifth, Economic problems are still strongly perceived as the main problems in Papua. Therefore, huge amount of money and investment is needed to build Papua to improve their economy. RESPEK ( strategic plan for rural development) program is one example where the program emphasize infrastructure development rather than human resources development. Moreover, suspection among the locals is rising over the use and management of special autonomy fund used for RESPEK program. Also, no efective supervision has led to corruption

Sixth, the policy issued by govermnet and its implementation actually repair the impact not solve the basic problems which has been persisting so long. It is crucial that any policy has ‘solving-problems’ elements. If not, the problems will never be solved.

Based on the description above, we urge Mr. President to take immediate action by ordering central government and localgovernment to do the following:

First, hold peaceful dialog as an effective means to solve the problems in Papua. The dialog Jakarta-Papua which has been initiated by Papua Peace Network Team needs to be supported. The dialog should involved all elements: government, customary community, religious leaders, academics and civil groups.

Second, stop all stigmatization against Papuans and place them a citizens who have rights to be protected by the state. Constitutions guarantee freedom of expression and this should also be applied to Papuans. Some articles in state criminal law and government regulation No. 77 year 2007 about treason and subversion need to be amended as it limits the freedom of expression

Third, revise or redesign security approach to be human rights-based approach as it will recognise the rights of Papuans and protect Papuans from violent acts. The deployment of troops need to be adjusted to the need of the local area and real threat as to save state budget of defense

Fourth, police should exercise their professionalism in keeping the order and promote human rights. The professionalism is shown by giving protection so people feel secure and peaceful in doing their activities. This is important to bring back trust from the people.

Fifth, push the policy that promote human rights and provide justice to the victims of human rights abuses. Government has to take immediate action to establish human rights court and reconciliation and truth commission in Papua as mandated by special autonomy law

Sixth, central government needs to revise public-service related policy because the existing policy does not provide and touch the basic rights of Papuans. There are three public service issues that needs to taken into consideration: education, health and economy where these three areas are directed to empowernment, affirmative action and protection

Seventh, Policies issued for Papua need to have recognition of human rights elements. This is so because all existing policies basically emphasize on economic and welfare problems.

Eighth, governor, Papua legislative (DPRP) and Papua People’s Assembly (MRP) should build good coordination and reponsive to the problems of human rights abuses in Papua. Lack of initiatives and good will from these institutions show that they actually do not have commitment to promote human rights in Papua and potentially increase mistrust among Papuans.

We write this open letter with the hope that immediate action to be taken to solve the problems in Papua. Thanks

Jayapura, 05 January 2010

Institutions support this open letter

Papua Based Institution

Foker LSM Papua, ALDP, Elsham Papua, SKP-KPC, KPKC Sinode GKI Papua, LBH Jayapura, JAPH-HAM Wamena

Jakarta Based Institution

Imparsial, Kontras Jakarta, HRWG, PRAXIS

CC :

1.  Menkopulhukan RI

2.  Menkokesra RI

3.  Menteri Dalam Negeri RI

4.  Menteri Luar Negeri RI

5.  Menteri Pertahanan RI

6.  Panglima TNI

7.  Kapolri

8.  Jaksa Agung RI

9. Ketua DPR-RI

10. Anggota DPD Provinsi Papua

11.  Gubernur Provinsi Papua

12. Gubernur Provinsi Papua Barat

13. Ketua DPRP

14. Ketua MRP

15. Kedutaan Asing

16. lembaga Internasional

17. Jaringan kerja Papua

[1] This video was initially released by Hongkong Based Human Rights group, AHRC and made public through youtube. In the video, it shows that military tortures civilians suspected as members of Papua free movement group. But in fact, the victim is a reverend. Government then response to the incident immediately by forming fact-finding team. Ministry of politics, law and human rights finally acknowledges in the press release that it is true that military has done such a barbaric act. The perpetrators of the torture were finally on trial and sentenced respectively 5 months and 7 months. This very minimum sentence indicates a failure of states to provide justice to the victim

[2] An ambush against military in Yugam, Bolakme, Jayawijaya district on 1 december 2010. This incident has caused two civilians die

[3]This incident took place on 17 November 2010, 35 houses burned and 3 got injured. The highlanders damage the houses in Yoka as they are angered by a song composed by a Yoka man which insult the highlanders. It is also suspected that third party plays role in fueling the conflict. Local government has facilitated a dialog and they have agreed to cease their hostility. .

[4] Group of unknown men shoot civilians in Nafri, Abepura on 28 November 2010. One was dead and 4 seriously injured. The perpetrators are not identified yet.

[5]Friday on 3 December 2010 around 12.00, 4 prisoners and one detainee escape from prison. Miron Wetipo, one of the prisoners is shot dead when trying to escape. One of the prisoner is finally caught while the other three escape.

[6] Rahmat Faisal, an employee at mobile phone counter,  found dead by Oktafinaus Yerisitow. The victim was suspected being shot around 13.00 on 13 December 2010

[7] Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni were detained as they are suspected as the mastermind of riot in the prison after the death of Wiron Wetipo, a man shot dead while trying to escape from prison. Actually, Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni just ask head of law and human rights department about the reason why Wetipo was shot dead

[8]Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) is a joint program between local and national government. This program will place Merauke as global agriculture industry. The program is promising which says that in 2030 Indonesia will have additional reserved food such as rice of 1.95 million ton, corn 2.02 ton, and many other food reservation. Also, Merauke will have income of IDR 124.2 million per capita per year in 2030. The program will bring more people from Java to work in the industry. Sadly, the program has taken people’s land.

[9]Illegal mining in Degowo has happened since 2001 where local do the mining without outside intervention. But since 2003, intervention comes and backed up by military and police. As more outsiders come and do the mining, the locals are moved out and can no longer do traditional mining as they used to do. They are even forced to release their land to investors who are interested in the gold mining. Moreover, prostitutes are brought by investors and military to Degowo to entertain the locals.

[10] Freeport case is the longest and massive exploitation of natural resources in Papua. Although there have been many efforts initiated by Freeport to bring back trust of Papua such as giving Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) but the problems and mistrust remain

HMI: Flash Flood in the Land of Papua: President Must Declare As a National Disaster

Abridged in Translation

Press Release
Executive Board of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI PB)

Flash Flood in the Land of Papua: President Must Declare As a National Disaster

The Flash flood that swept Wasior City, Teluk Wondama, West Papua, on Monday (4 / 10) has killed more than 90 people. Meanwhile, according to a report from the Metro TV (7 / 9), there were 837 injured and 66 people remain missing. We believe that the number of victims will certainly continue to grow.

Observing the scale of the disaster and the number of victims, this disaster is not a normal disaster. Flooding in Wasior is not just a local disaster, but a national disaster. Anyone who feels a part of the Indonesian nation must be concerned with the suffering that is suffered by our sisters and brothers in Papua.  “Much less us as the Indonesian nation, the American people  located far away also expressed their concern through their Foreign Ministry (sic) statement by Hillary Clinton,” said General Chairman of PB HMI, M Chozin Amir.

“Unfortunately, the government now seems less serious and less responsive to respond to the disaster.” The government is too busy with its elite politics as well as for projects from the foreign debt fund, so that when their people affected far-away there, they were just ignored . Moreover, President SBY is too preoccupied with his image, so he forget the things that are substantial, such as helping allay the disaster that befell his people, “said Chozin further.

Even so well with the media, while they so aggressively report politics of the situation in the capital, they forget (or purposely forget) to report the disaster that occurred in the eastern tip of Indonesia. Yet when these disasters strike outside Papua, the media usually also heavily preach.

Because of the lack of response and weakness from government, especially the (national) news media, the Executive Board of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI PB) hereby declare:

1. Request for the President on behalf of the government to announce that Wasior flooding disaster as a national disaster, so that all elements of this nation is concerned specifically and able to give a helping hand.
2. Asking the media to proclaim extensively the scope of the disaster crisis, so that people will open their conscience to help our brothers and sisters at there place.
3. Call on all elements of society to set aside part of condolences to give sustenance to help the flood victims. Papuan Society is part of the Indonesian nation, then it becomes our collective responsibility to help alleviate their burden.

Herewith we submit that the PB and also officially HMI will send aid to flood victims.
Distribution of aid will be delivered by representatives of HMI in Papua, namely HMI Cenderawasi Coordinating Board in collaboration with HMI Branch of Jayapura, Manokwari, and  Sorong.

Currently PB HMI also continues to actively raise funds for distribution to victims. If you are interested in sending aid, you can send donations to be channelled through us in our account at:

Bank Mandiri
Account Number: 124 000 569 9807
On behalf  of  Y PB HMI

So we convey this news with concern and hope that eventually we are all moved to help our brothers and sisters who are victims of flooding in Papua.

Billahittaufiq walhidayah
Jakarta, October 8, 2010


M Chozin Amirullah

CP: 081213881128

Jl. Saharjo Gg. Swadaya I RT 12 RW 09 No 10 kelurahan Manggarai , Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12850

Al-Jazeera: Papua floods may fuel tensions

NOTE: apologize for lack of sourced original coverage, we have been working directly with international news agencies to assist in their coverage.  We are still trying to get West Papuan voices to tell their own story.  If you have any local coverage, please contact us info<at>

Repost of

Papua floods may fuel tensions

Disaster in West Papua could add to local grievances as aid workers struggle to reach the affected areas.
Yasmine Ryan Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 18:03 GMT
Displaced Papuans from Wasior who, like hundreds of others, have sought shelter in Manokwari [AFP]

Relief workers say they are struggling to reach West Papuans hit by heavy flooding in the Indonesian province.

Criticisms over tardy relief effort are already beginning to emerge from the region, where relations between the indigenous Papuans and the Indonesian state have long been difficult.

There are fears that a failure to address the humanitarian crisis could add to tensions over the recent killings of indigenous Papuan protesters by the Indonesian security forces in the towns of Wamena and Manokwari.

Denny Yomaki, a humanitarian NGO worker, told Radio New Zealand International on Thursday that some of the flood’s victims felt the state was not doing enough to assist them.

Aid workers told Al Jazeera the damage from the landslides has made it hard to reach the worst hit areas.

Hundreds have fled or been evacuated from the devastated seaside town of Wasior to seek shelter in Manokwari, the province’s capital. Most are staying with extended family or in makeshift shelters on a military base, Ridwan, a member of the disaster management team for the PMI (Indonesian Red Cross), told Al Jazeera.

“The current situation is very difficult, it’s very difficult to reach Waisor,” Ridwan said.

Red Cross barred

Ridwan said that the conflict was not affecting his organisation’s relief efforts in West Papua, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is restricted from working in the province, even in the aftermath of the recent disaster.

It was forced to close its West Papua branch in April 2009, but is providing funding to the PMI’s response to the flooding.

“We are not actively present in the area for the present,” Patrick Megevand, the spokesperson for the ICRC’s Indonesia delegation, told Al Jazeera.

The government told A Jazeera it had dedicated 200 million rupiah ($22,000) to the relief efforts following the flooding, which left at least 91 people dead and and more than 800 others injured, many of them suffering broken bones.

Maman, an officer at the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), said the government had sent tents, food and medical supplies to Wondama Bay, along with army, police, technicians and medical workers. A navy boat and three cargo ships have already set off for the area.

The flooding comes at a time when calls for independence for West Papua and Papua are growing, especially in the wake of heightened US interest in the provinces. Indigenous Papuan leaders say that the “special autonomy” status granted by Indonesia in 2001 has been a farce.

Nick Chesterfield of West Papua Media told Al Jazeera that if the aid were felt to be insufficeint by those living in the stricken villages there is a risk it would enflame the tensions between the indigenous Melanesian populations and Indonesian security forces.

West Papua has already been hit by two major earthquakes this year and the government-led relief efforts were “very slow,” Chesterfield said.

He also warned that the aid effort could be compromised by anger over two separate incidents in which the police have killed local residents in recent weeks.

Police killings

The latest alleged killing was in Wamena, a town in West Papua’s highlands, just days ago.

Local authorities there have established the unarmed peacekeeping force, known as Balim Petapa, “to keep away the Indonesian police, their proxies and militias,” Chesterfield explained.

Violence broke out after a group of people from the force confronted police at the Wamena North airport to demand an explanation for the seizure of a box of berets – their uniforms – along with 40 million Rupiah ($4,468) in cash.

In the other incident, a priest, his wife and son were shot by Indonesian police in the city of Manokwari, which is close to the flooded areas.

Reverend Naftali Kuan, his wife Antomina Kuan and their 23-year-old son Setinus were shot by police on September 15 as locals protested a hit-and-run road accident by a member of the security forces, who fled to police headquarters after accidently running down an elderly Papuan woman on his motorbike.

In the days after the shootings, thousands of protestors took to the streets. Indonesian soldiers were sent in to quell the demonstrations.

“Manokawri has been one of the hotbeds for independence for years,” Chesterfield said. “If the Indonesian army doesn’t put down its guns and pick up its shovels, there’s going to be a lot of tensions there.”

Al Jazeera and agencies
At least 75 people have been killed and many are missing after flash floods and mudslides hit mountainous villages. ( 06-Oct-2010 )

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