Tag Archives: strike action

INDONESIA: Police in Timika kill one union protester and injure others at Freeport

URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-204-2011

11 October 2011
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INDONESIA: Police in Timika kill one union protester and injure others at Freeport

ISSUES: Extrajudicial killing; right to life; police violence; freedom of expression; indigenous people; labour rights
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the extrajudicial killing of trade union member Peter W. Ayamiseba and the injury of several persons in police shootings during a union protest on October 10, 2011 at PT Freeport Indonesia in West Papua. The workers were protesting against the illegal termination of their contracts following their earlier union strike for wage increases. The police appear to have used lethal ammunition against the protesters. (right: Peter W. Ayamiseba/photo source:Chemical Energy Mining Union-All Indonesia Workers Union)

CASE NARRATIVE:

According to the Chemical Energy Mining Union-All Indonesia Workers Union (Serikat Pekerja Kimia Energi Pertambangan-Serikat Pekerja Seluruh Indonesia) in Timika, West Papua, since September 15, 2011, PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) employees were on strike demanding wage adjustments. PT Freeport Indonesia is running controversial mining activities in Indonesia’s resource rich province of West Papua. The company in the past has paid military and police to run security operations for them. The majority of striking workers were indigenous Papuans. Based on the wages of up to USD 15 per hour provided to workers by the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold group in other countries, the West Papuan workers demanded their USD 1.5/hr wage to be increased to USD 3/hr. The employees sought negotiations with the management of the company, but were not given opportunities for a serious dialogue; instead, they faced direct intimidation from the management or through the police.

According to article 144 of Indonesia’s law No 13/2003 concerning Manpower, protesting workers are protected from any termination of their employment:
Article 144
In the event of a strike performed in observance of what is stipulated under Article 140, the entrepreneur is prohibited from:
a. Replacing striking workers/ labourers with other workers/ labourers from outside of the enterprise; or
b. Imposing sanctions on or taking retaliatory actions in whatever form against striking workers/labourers and union officials during and after the strike is performed

In violation of this law however, PTFI fired the striking workers and employed new personnel as their replacement.

On October 10, the employees returned to their work location to protest against their termination and demanded their jobs back. At 9:30am, protesting employees from seven indigenous tribes that customarily hold the land of the Tembagapura mining location, and around 1000 employees from other areas walked to the entrance gate of the Gorong-gorong company bus transportation terminal (from where the PTFI run a bus to take the workers back to their dormitories). The police from Timika District Police (POLRES) had placed guards in front of the terminal, and refused to let the protesters enter, despite negotiation attempts by Mr. Anis Natkime (chief of the seven involved indigenous tribes).
The police then fired warning shots at the protesters causing those in the front rows to leave. When the protesters in subsequent rows tried to make their way forward to the gate, the police started shooting into the crowd, resulting in panic. Peter W. Ayamiseba, Freeport employee in the catering division, was shot in the shoulder and died at the scene. At least nine more persons were injured. The then enraged crowd responded by throwing stones at the police.

The police in turn fired several random shots at the protesters. While some reports claim that the police were merely using rubber bullets, the deadly wounds and the ammunition cartridges found at the scene indicate otherwise. Despite the police’s use of tear gas, the situation escalated further, resulting in the police withdrawing inside the gate they were trying to defend.

(right: Hand of Chary Suripto/photo source:Chemical Energy Mining Union-All Indonesia Workers Union)

Mr. Ayamiseba’s corpse was then brought directly to the Timika Regional General Hospital (RSUD), where the cause of his death was confirmed to have resulted from metal bullets. Nine other injured protesters (male) were also brought to the same hospital: Leo Wandagau and Melkias Rumbiak were wounded in the back by rubber bullets; Alius Komba was hit with a rifle in his stomach; Philiton Kogoya was hit by a rifle in his head; Ahmad Mustofa was wounded in the head and back by rubber bullets; Yunus Ngur W was shot in the stomach by police and operated upon in the hospital; Yusuf Kurni was wounded in his left hand by rubber bullets; Emeleanus Beanal was wounded in his right hand and left leg by rubber bullets and had bruises in his stomach caused by hits with a shotgun; and Chary Suripto was wounded in his left hand by the explosion of a tear gas unit.

The hospital did not provide the victims with any medical records however, and their requests for obtaining such reports were denied without providing any reason. This is in violation of regulation no. 269/2008 from the Indonesian Ministry of Health, which states that information about the patient’s identity, diagnosis and medical history can be provided at the request and consent of the patient (article 10.2b) and that the content of the medical records belongs to the patient and can be provided to persons authorized by the patient or the patient’s family (article 12.1).

(left: lethal ammunition used/photo source:Chemical Energy Mining Union-All Indonesia Workers Union)

A tenth and so far unidentified person (non-indigenous Papuan) among the protesters was also injured. Since he carried no identity documents and was not known to any of the other workers, he is suspected to have conducted intelligence activities for the police or the company during the protests, and to have been injured by accident.

On September 10, the workers laid Mr. Ayamiseba’s corpse at the entrance gate of the Timika office of the Papuan Regional Autonomy Parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – DPRD) expecting Mr. James R. Moffett, chairman of PT Freeport Indonesia to come and take up his responsibility in the case and to ensure that both company management and police are held accountable. Until September 12 Mr. Moffet had not appeared, and the body of victim was then taken to the the Timika Regional General Hospital (RSUD) for an autopsy.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
West Papua, Indonesia’s resource rich province, which also has the highest poverty levels in the country, suffers from extensive mining operations by multinational corporations and illegal activities by security forces. Many years of mining and export of its valuable resources have yet to result in an improvement of the living conditions of indigenous Papuans (including improvement in unemployment, education, health care). The illegal payments made to the police and military to maintain security for the mining activities indirectly creates incentives for the security forces to prolong security risks that require their intervention. Excessive force continues to be largely ignored, and perpetrators are not held accountable. The disproportional influence of PT Freeport Indonesia in public institutions in the wider Timika area, including institutions of justice, remains a serious concern. This contributes to prolonging the conflict between authorities, mining companies and the large indigenous population.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the authorities listed below asking them to investigate into this case immediately, and to prosecute the responsible police officers for using illegal force. In particular, it is essential that this case is not buried or ignored as most cases regarding PT Freeport Indonesia are.

Please be informed that the AHRC is sending letters on this case to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, calling for their strong interventions.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

INDONESIA: Police in Timika kill one union protester and injure others at Freeport

Name of victims: Peter W. Ayamiseba, Leo Wandagau, Melkias Rumbiak, Alius Komba, Philiton Kogoya Ahmad Mustofa, Yunus Ngur W, Yusuf Kurni, Emeleanus Beanal and Chary Suripto (members of Serikat Pekerja Kimia Energi Pertambangan-Serikat Pekerja Seluruh Indonesia/ Chemical Energy Mining Union-All Indonesia Workers Union)
Names of alleged perpetrators: members of Timika Dictrict Police
Date of incident: 10 October 2011
Place of incident: The entrance gate of the Gorong-gorong company bus transportation terminal

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the killing of Peter Ayamiseba, an employee of PT Freeport Indonesia on 10 October 2011 by members of Timika District Police (POLRES), when PT Freeport Indonesia employees were on strike demanding wage adjustments. Nine other protesters were also injured by the police.

According to the information I have received from the Asian Human Rights Commission, since September 15, 2011 PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) employees were on strike demanding wage adjustments. PT Freeport Indonesia is running controversial mining activities in West Papua, Indonesia’s resource rich province. The company had in the past paid military and police for running security operations for them. The majority of striking workers were indigenous Papuans. Based on the wages of up to USD 15 per hour provided to workers by the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold group in other countries, the West Papuan workers demanded their USD 1.5/hr wage to be increased to USD 3/hr. The employees sought negotiations with the management of the company, but were not given opportunities for a serious dialogue; instead, they faced direct intimidation from the management or through the police.

According to article 144 of Indonesia’s law No 13/2003 concerning Manpower, protesting workers are protected from any termination of their employment:

Article 144
In the event of a strike performed in observance of what is stipulated under Article 140, the entrepreneur is prohibited from:
a. Replacing striking workers/ labourers with other workers/ labourers from outside of the enterprise; or
b. Imposing sanctions on or taking retaliatory actions in whatever form against striking workers/labourers and union officials during and after the strike is performed

In violation of this law however, PTFI fired the striking workers and employed new personnel as their replacement.

I am informed that on October 10, the employees returned to their work location to protest against their termination and demanded their jobs back. At 9:30am, protesting employees from seven indigenous tribes that customarily hold the land of the Tembagapura mining location, and around 1000 employees from other areas walked to the entrance gate of the Gorong-gorong company bus transportation terminal (from where the PTFI run a bus to take the workers back to their dormitories). The police had placed guards in front of the terminal, and refused to let the protesters enter, despite negotiation attempts by Mr. Anis Natkime (chief of the seven involved indigenous tribes).

I am disturbed to learn that the police then fired warning shots at the protesters, causing those in the front rows to leave. When the protesters in subsequent rows tried to make their way forward to the gate, the police started shooting into the crowd, resulting in panic. Peter W. Ayamiseba, Freeport employee in the catering division, was shot in the shoulder and died at the scene. At least nine more persons were injured. The then enraged crowd responded by throwing stones at the police.

The police in turn fired several random shots at the protesters. While some reports claim that the police were merely using rubber bullets, it has come to my attention that the deadly wounds and the ammunition cartridges found at the scene indicate otherwise. Despite the police’s use of tear gas, the situation escalated further, resulting in the police withdrawing inside the gate they were trying to defend.

Mr. Ayamiseba’s corpse was then brought directly to the Timika Regional General Hospital (RSUD), where the cause of his death was confirmed to have resulted from metal bullets. Nine other injured protesters (male) were also brought to the same hospital: Leo Wandagau and Melkias Rumbiak were wounded in the back by rubber bullets; Alius Komba was hit with a rifle in his stomach; Philiton Kogoya was hit by a rifle in his head; Ahmad Mustofa was wounded in the head and back by rubber bullets; Yunus Ngur W was shot in the stomach by police and operated upon in the hospital; Yusuf Kurni was wounded in his left hand by rubber bullets; Emeleanus Beanal was wounded in his right hand and left leg by rubber bullets and had bruises in his stomach caused by hits with a shotgun; and Chary Suripto was wounded in his left hand by the explosion of a tear gas unit.

The hospital did not provide the victims with any medical records however, and their requests for obtaining such reports were denied without providing any reason. This is in violation of regulation no. 269/2008 from the Indonesian Ministry of Health, which states that information about the patient’s identity, diagnosis and medical history can be provided at the request and consent of the patient (article 10.2b) and that the content of the medical records belongs to the patient and can be provided to persons authorized by the patient or the patient’s family (article 12.1).

A tenth and so far unidentified person (non-indigenous Papuan) among the protesters was also injured. Since he carried no identity documents and was not known to any of the other workers, he is suspected to have conducted intelligence activities for the police or the company during the protests, and to have been injured by accident.

On September 10, the workers laid Mr. Ayamiseba’s corpse at the entrance gate of the Timika office of the Papuan Regional Autonomy Parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – DPRD) expecting Mr. James R. Moffett, chairman of PT Freeport Indonesia to come and take up his responsibility in the case and to ensure that both company management and police are held accountable. Until September 12 Mr. Moffet had not appeared, and the body of victim was then taken to the Timika Regional General Hospital (RSUD) for an autopsy.

In light of the above information I am of the opinion that the killing of Peter W. Ayamiseba and the violation of the rights of several workers who were threatened by the police with regard to their freedom of speech and expression is in contravention of Indonesia’s constitution.

I am therefore urging you to take immediate action in this case, and to ensure that it is not buried or ignored, as happens to most cases involving PT Freeport Indonesia. An impartial criminal investigation must be conducted by a professional investigation team for police officers who were using lethal ammunition which resulted in the killing and injury of several workers. An independent investigation team should also subsequently conduct an investigation into the allegation of corruption based on the payments made by the company to the police. All those found guilty must be prosecuted according to the law.

I also urge you to ensure that PT Freeport Indonesia takes responsibility for the outcome of the conflict, for which they share responsibility and ensure that there are no more violations of labour rights.

I am looking forward to your intervention in this case.

Yours sincerely,

—————-
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
The President of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel.: +62 21 3863777, 3503088.
Fax: +62 21 3442223

2. The Minister of Manpower and Transmigration
Jl. Jend. Gatot Subroto Kav. 51 Jakarta 12950
INDONESIA
Tel.: +62 21 5229285, 7989924
Fax: +62 21 7974488

3. Head of Indonesian Police
Markas Besar Kepolisian Indonesia
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru
South Jakarta 12110
INDONESIA
Tel. +62 21 3848537 / 7260306 / 7218010
Fax: +62 21 7220669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

4. Head of Division of Profession and Security of Indonesian Police
Markas Besar Kepolisian Indonesia
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru
South Jakarta 12110
INDONESIA
Tel.: +62 21 3848537, 7260306 / 7218010
Fax: +62 21 7220669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

5. Chairman of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas)
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20 Komplek PTIK Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel.: +62 21 739 2352
Fax: +62 21 739 2317

6. Head of Papua Regional Police
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura
INDONESIA
Tel.: + 62 967 531014
Fax: +62 967 533763

7. Head of Division of Profession and Security of Papua Regional Police
Jl. Dr. Sam Ratulangi No. 8
Jayapura
INDONESIA
Tel.: + 62 967 531834

8. Head of Timika District Police
Jl. Agimuga No. 03, Mike 32
Timika Papua
INDONESIA
Tel.: +62 901 301974

9. Office of The Anti Judicial Mafia Task Force (Satgas)
PO Box 9949
Jakarta 10 000
INDONESIA
Contact on website: http://www.satgas-pmh.go.id/?q=node/157

10. Head of National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia
Jalan Latuharhary No.4-B,
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel.: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnas.go.id
Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Kontras condemns police shooting of Freeport workers

Kontras, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence has condemned the shooting of Freeport workers who were seeking negotiations with the management of the company. Since the commencement of the strike on 15 September there has been no sign that the management is seeking to provide the space for dialogue which could accommodate the interests of the two sides.

During an action on 10 October, the workers protested against the company for recruiting new workers to replace those now on strike. We have received information that some eight thousand workers  were involved in this action. They marched from the secretariat of the SBSI, the trade union, to the culverts, a distance of about 500 metres along a road that was six metres wide. A short distance away, hundreds of policemen were standing on guard.

The police tried to disperse the workers action as they were seeking to meet the management of the company.. Having failed to meet the management, the workers burned some vehicles believed to belong to the company. The police then opened fire on the workers: Petrus Ayamiseba  who works in catering at the company  was shot in the waist and died. Six others were wounded, Leo Wandagau, Alius Komba, Melkius Rumbiak, Yunus Nguliduan, Philiton Kogoya and Ahmad. Some of the policemen were also injured.

We regard the shooting and violence as an act of intervention and intimidation against industrial relations as guaranteed in Law13/2003 on Labour Affairs. The government, in this case the Department of Labour and Transmigration, should be playing a role to guarantee the basic rights of the workers as stipulated in that law, in particular with regard to legal procedures in article 137.

Furthermore, it is clearly stated that no one shall interfere with strike actions undertaken by the workers. (article 143) and workers on strike may not be replaced by other workers in any form whatsoever (article 144).

The presence and acts of violence by hundreds of police have damaged the efforts of the workers  to seek negotiations with the namagement. The police have clearly sided with Freeport  by undertaking  patrols and protection of the company and have been receiving monthly contributions (see letter from head of operations no b/918/IV/2011). The function of the police should  be to protect the people,

The shooting and acts of violence have also violated a number of regulations. Internally, the police should implement the regulations of the police  Furthermore the police have also violated a number of other laws such as the Human Rights Law of 1999 and Law 12/2005 on Ratification of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Kontras therefore calls on the police:

1. To conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting and acts of violence that occurred on 10 October,

2. To pursue legal procedures  that are impartial, credible, accountable and transparent with regard  to the shooting and acts of violence.

3. Should take steps to ensure that the police maintain their independence in all industrial relations disputes so as to ensure that they do not trigger acts of violence and other breaches of the law.

Jakarta, 10 October 2011

[Translated by TAPOL]

Union makes move to end Freeport strike

JUBI, 23 September 2011

Trade union SPSI writes to Moffet in a move to end the strike

SPSI, the trade union of Freeport workers, has finally decided to write to the top executive of Freeport-McMoran in the US via the intermediary of Silas Natkime (who is referred to as the ‘bugnagel’ which means the ‘host’) after realising that there is not likely to be any settlement of the strike at the Freeport mine because the management of PT Freeport Indonesia has not shown any goodwill to resolve the problem.

Chairman of organisational affairs of the union, Virgo Solossa, said that the decision to write to the top management was taken at a meeting with the bugnegal at the Nemangkawi Institute of Mining in Kuala Kencana today.

‘We have drafted the letter and given it to the bugnegel to be forwarded to Moffet for negotiations to take place. Until we get a reply from Moffet, we will not return to work. This is our final move and we hope that this will bring about an end to the strike,’ he said.

Solossa said that this did not mean that they were handing the issue over to the bugnegel. Everything would be handled jointly, but this was because it is only the bugnegel whose help could be sought to resolve the dispute.

The request to the bugnegel is for Moffet to make recommendations as soon as possible. When approached, the bugnegel expressed his willingness to help facilitate a resolution to the strike with the FI management.

With regard to reports that a number of employees working for the contractor at Mill Operation and Underground as well as at Grasberg have gone back to work, Solossa said the union had decided to hold a peaceful demonstration. ‘We plan to approach the police and the labour service about this plan for a demonstration. This is mainly in connection with our criticism of actions taken that do not comply with the laws in force in this country. This is particularly with regard to some remarks made by a foreign member of staff which we regard as not complying with the laws in force in this country.’

According to Solossa, the actions taken by the management since the start of the strike have failed to respect the laws of this country. But Solossa was not in a position to say when this demonstration would take place. According to Solossa, ‘the demonstration will be held together with other components in society, such as the youth, students and school-children.

The news from Tembagapura is that workers at the Mill Operation and Underground factory as well as at Grasberg went back to work last night. These are workers on contract with PT Buma, Intinaker, Inamco, Visvires and PT Trakindo.

‘Production at the Mill Operation has been going on since last night, but the products cannot be sent to Portsite because they are not of the correct density,’ according to a JUBI source who works at Mill Operation. The same source at Grasberg said: ‘There is some production by contract workers of PT Trakindo, Buma and Grasberg.’

AHRC: PAPUA: Medical workers criminally charged for protests over their income

August 30, 2011

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-150-2011

30 August 2011
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INDONESIA: Medical workers criminally charged for protests over their income

ISSUES: Freedom of Expression, Fabrication of Charges, Labour Rights
——————————————————————–
Dear friends,

AHRC-UAC-150-2011-01.jpgThe Jayapura regional police in West Papua have charged eight medical workers with incitement and objectionable acts following their peaceful protest against regulation 141/2010 by the provincial governor. The regulation deprives the Jayapura hospital’s medical workers of certain payments. An earlier request to meet and discuss the situation was ignored by the governor. Moreover, the medical workers were reported to the Jayapura regional police for violating criminal law with their protest. The AHRC sees the fabrication of these charges as a violation of the workers freedom of expression. Peaceful protesters have frequently been criminally charged for incitement or disobedience in West Papua and other parts of Indonesia. (photo: workers in front of the house of representatives in Papua, source: ALDP)

CASE NARRATIVE:

The AHRC has received information from KontraS, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, regarding the fabrication of charges against workers who had conducted a peaceful protest. The medical workers serving in the Jayapura District Hospital have been receiving an incentive bonus since 2005. In 2010, the governor of Papua decided to alter this incentive.

When news reached them of the possible change the workers feared that they would lose this payment and made requests for a meeting with the governor which were initially ignored. Only after the medical workers conducted a peaceful protest in front of the local parliament building in Jayapura on 2 December 2010 did a dialogue take place the following day. The workers met with several commissioners including the Regional Secretary of the province, the head of the Legal Division, Papua’s health agency representative and a representative of the Jayapura hospital.

AHRC-UAC-150-2011-02.jpgThis meeting resulted in an agreement regarding the amount of the incentive payment. On 6 December 2010, the governor of Papua issued resolution no. 125 of 2010 implementing the agreement. However, in an abrupt about face, on 30 December 2010, the governor revoked the earlier resolution with another one (no. 141 of 2010) and thus deprived the medical workers of the respective payments. (photo: workers at the regional police correctional facility, source: ALDP)

The medical workers again requested a dialogue with the governor asking the reinstatement of resolution no. 125 of 2010 which was once again ignored. They then held a peaceful demonstration from 1 — 14 March 2011.

AHRC-UAC-150-03-2011.jpgOn 12 March, 2011 a report was made to the Papua regional police that the protestors were alleged to have carried out acts of incitement and objectionable acts as mentioned in article 160 and article 335 point 1 respectively in the criminal code. The report deplored the medical workers absence from their health service duties while participating in the protest. Leni Ebe, the coordinator of the protest pointed out that not all staff attended the protest and that they had arranged to ensure that health care was sufficiently provided to patients. (photo: workers receive letter regarding leave on bail from a lawyer, source: ALDP)

On 15 March 2011, at 10.00 am, Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri were examined as witnesses in the criminal case against them at the Papua regional police headquarter. At 03.00 pm, the police declared eight persons including Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri as suspects in the case.

The AHRC is concerned about the ongoing criminal procedures conducted against the workers for organising a peaceful protest. Criminal charges against peaceful protesters have increased in Papua and West Papua in recent years and several political protesters were convicted with prison sentences.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the authorities listed below urging them to drop the charges against the eight medical workers of the Jayapura hospital.

Please be informed that the AHRC is sending letters on this case to the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, calling for strong interventions.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _____,

INDONESIA: Medical workers criminally charged for protests over their wages

Name of the victim: Leni Ebe, Popi Mauri, Stevi Siahaya, Luthrinu, Siska Mandosir, Yolanda Inauri, Dolita Ataruri, Imbenay
Alleged perpetrator: Papua regional police
Time of incident: 12-15 March 2011
Place of incident: Papua regional police headquarter

I am writing to express my serious concern over the charges of incitement and objectionable acts against Leni Ebe, Popi Mauri and several others.

According to reports from KontraS, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, the medical workers serving in the Jayapura District Hospital have been criminally charged for their participation in a peaceful protest against a new regulation of the governor of Papua depriving them of some payments.

Fearing that they would lose this payment when news reached them of the possible change the workers made requests for a meeting with the governor, which were initially ignored. Only after the medical workers conducted a peaceful protest in front of the local parliament building in Jayapura on 2 December 2010 did a dialogue took place the following day. The workers met with several commissioners including the Regional Secretary of the province, the head of the Legal Division, Papua’s health agency representative and a representative of the Jayapura hospital. This meeting resulted in an agreement regarding the amount of the incentive. On 6 December 2010, the governor of Papua issued resolution no. 125 of 2010 implementing the agreement. However, on 30 December 2010, in an abrupt about face the governor revoked the earlier resolution with another one (no. 141 of 2010) and thus deprived the medical workers of the respective payments. The reasoning given for this new resolution was that the payment of the incentive would create duplication of budget.

The medical workers again requested a dialogue with the governor asking the reinstatement of resolution no. 125 of 2010 which was once again ignored. They then held a peaceful demonstration from 1 — 14 March 2011.

On 12 March, 2011 a report was made to the Papua regional police that the protestors were alleged to have carried out acts of incitement and objectionable acts as mentioned in article 160 and article 335 point 1 respectively in the criminal code. The report deplored the medical workers absence from their health service duties while participating in the protest. Leni Ebe, the coordinator of the protest pointed out that not all staff attended the protest and that they had arranged to ensure that health care was sufficiently provided to patients.

On 15 March 2011, at 10.00 am, Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri were examined as witnesses in the criminal case against them at the Papua regional police headquarter. At 03.00 pm, the police declared eight persons including Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri as suspects in the case.

I am concerned about the ongoing criminal procedures conducted against the workers for organising a peaceful protest and urge you to ensure that the charges against the eight members of the medical staff be dropped. I hope that the provincial administration could show more openness to dialogue and would commit to ensure that no person will be criminally charged for participating in a peaceful protest as such charges present a violation of every person’s right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Indonesian and international law.

I am kindly urging for your intervention into this case.

Yours sincerely,

———————

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
The President of INDONESIA
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 3863777, 3503088.
Fax: +62 21 3442223

2. Minister of Home Affair of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Merdeka Utara No. 7 Jakarta 10110
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 3450058, 3842222
Fax : +62 21 3831193

3. Chairman of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas)
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
Komplek PTIK
South Jakarta
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 739 2352
Fax: +62 21 739 2317

4. Head of Indonesian Police
Markas Besar Kepolisian INDONESIA
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta 12110
INDONESIA

Tel:+62 21 3848537, 7260306, 7218010
Fax :+62 21 7220669
Email : info@polri.go.id

5. The Head of House of Representative of Papua
(Ketua Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua)
Jl. Dr. Sam Ratulangi No.2
Jayapura, Papua
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 967 533580
Fax:: +62 967 533691

6. Barnabas Suebu
The Governor of Papua
Jl. Soa Siu Dok
Jayapura, Papua
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 967 537523
Fax: +62 967 531847, 531853

7. Head of Police Area Headquarters Jayapura, Papua province
Polda Papua
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura
INDONESIA

Tel: + 62 967 531014
Fax: +62 967 533763

8. Head of National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia
Jalan Latuharhary No.4-B,
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail : info@komnas.go.id

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Document Type :
Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID :
AHRC-UAC-150-2011
Countries :
Issues :

RNZI: Difficult conditions remain for Freeport’s Papua workers‎

RNZI Posted at 07:32 on 14 July, 2011 UTC
Striking workers at Freeport-McMoran’s gold and copper mine in Indonesia’s Papua province have returned to work after their union said the firm agreed to its demands in the latest round of talks.
The estimated 7-thousand workers had been demanding higher wages and were protesting against the dismissal of six union leaders.
Their eight-day strike crippled operations at the remote Grasberg mine, which contains the world’s largest recoverable reserves of copper and the biggest single gold reserve. Johnny Blades reports that Freeport’s Papua staff work under uniquely difficult conditions:
Freeport management has granted the reinstatement of the sacked unionists, and has agreed to further negotiations on wage rates.
Nick Chesterfield of West Papua Media Alerts says no real concessions have been made to the workers who are said to be paid up to 10 times less than what other Freeport workers around the world earn.
“People who are working significant hours, and their welfare is not being looked after. They’re only earning about a dollar-fifty (US) an hour for extremely dangerous conditions. They wanted their pay to be raised to three dollars. Freeport are out there, making massive amounts of profit and not giving anything back to the workers or the people.”
Not all employees at Freeport were happy with the industrial action.
One non-striking worker who wishes to remain unnamed warns that any wage increases would incur a cost for the local community.
“It will be impact to other sub-contractors for Freeport. They will lose their jobs because their company cannot pay for the high salary in their company like Freeport. And the other people in Timika – like police, like local government, community – will get a problem because for meals, for transportation, for gasoline, the price will rise up like that.”
Freeport workers have recently been demanding guarantees of safety at Grasberg.
An Indonesian human rights activist, Andreas Harsono, says the deaths of two staff in an attack in April are still fresh in workers’ memories.
“They also had a strike last year, demanding better security. The problem with security in Freeport is not always coming from the West Papua guerilla fighters. Sometimes it also comes from Indonesian security forces. The Indonesian military police used to be bought earlier this year but the ones who shot (workers) at Freeport mine were actually three Indonesian soldiers.”
Andreas Harsono hears many complaints from Freeport personnel about the conduct of the Indonesian security forces around the mine.
There are 3,000 of these forces in the area and the soldiers tend to act as a law unto themselves.
“The solders sometimes go beyond their duties like selling protection, involved in illegal alcohol sales, prostitution, and of course hunting, because it is so difficult to control the soldiers in the jungle and mountains around Freeport.”
For the strike to end, the union wanted Freeport’s Indonesia CEO Armando Mahler to be included in negotiations over pay.
Union leaders say Mr Mahler will be involved intermittently in pay talks, which are due to start next week