Tag Archives: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Tapol: Britain and Indonesia – Too close for comfort?

TAPOL Press release
President’s visit prompts fresh concerns about arms sales and training of anti-terror police

30 October 201

British-funded training of Indonesia’s anti-terror police, Special Detachment 88, should be reviewed in the light of serious concerns about the unit’s human rights record and its operations in Papua, says TAPOL ahead of a state visit to London by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono from 31 October to 2 November 2012.

In the run-up to the visit TAPOL, which promotes human rights, peace and democracy in Indonesia, is also appealing for an immediate ban on the sale to Indonesia of any military equipment that may be used for internal repression.

“While British businesses are no doubt eagerly anticipating the President’s visit, victims of human rights abuses will derive little comfort from the prospect of increased arms sales and ongoing training of Indonesian security forces,” says Paul Barber, Coordinator of TAPOL.

As the UK government prepares a state welcome for President Yudhoyono, rights groups from the UK and beyond are organizing an alternative welcome at a demonstration on behalf of the victims of human rights abuses outside Downing Street from 13:00 to 14:30 on Wednesday 31 October.

While Indonesia has made substantial progress in its transition from dictatorship to democracy since the downfall of former President Suharto in May 1998, serious human rights concerns remain.

“The news that the President is to receive a prestigious honour from the Queen is a gross affront to those who have suffered violations at the hands of successive Indonesian governments,” said Barber [1].

Special Detachment 88, known as ‘Densus 88’ was formed after the Bali bombings in 2002 to combat terrorism, but is reportedly being deployed to tackle other issues, such as alleged separatism in Indonesia’s conflict-affected provinces. Local civil society monitors say Densus 88 is being used to crack down on the Papuan independence movement, and the unit has been implicated in the assassination of its leaders, such as Mako Tabuni who was shot dead in June this year.

The unit is trained at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, JCLEC, which received a minimum of £400,000 in funding from Britain in the financial year 2011/12, as well as training provided by British officers. These include the UK’s South East Asia Counter Terrorism & Extremism Liaison Officer Detective Superintendent Phil Tucker; former Metropolitan Police Commander Bob Milton, and David Gray, an officer from the Counter Terrorism Command at New Scotland Yard who sits on JCLEC’s Board of Supervisors and has been teaching on the course since August 2009.

In July this year, leading Indonesian human rights NGO, KontraS, published research which stated that Densus 88 operations commonly involved arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, physical abuse and injury causing death [2].

Indonesia has been identified by the UK as a priority market for defence sales, with Prime Minister David Cameron boosting the export effort when he visited Jakarta with arms company executives in April 2012. The value of approved arms export licences has risen dramatically under the coalition government. The use of British equipment such as Hawk jets, armoured personnel carriers and water cannon for internal repression has been widely documented over the years and was acknowledged by the British Government in the 1990s. UK Tactica vehicles have been used to crush protest on the streets of Jakarta as recently as March this year, and are used by Indonesia’s notorious paramilitary police unit Brimob.

During the President’s visit, groups including TAPOL, Down to Earth, Survival International, Progressio and Christian Solidarity Worldwide will be highlighting these and other key issues, including Human Rights in Papua; The Need for Dialogue in Papua; Freedom of Expression; Rights, Livelihoods and Climate Justice; Religious Intolerance; and Timor-Leste and Impunity.

Information on these issues is set out in a briefing available here.

ENDS

Contact: Paul Barber on 01420 80153 / 07747 301 739 or Esther Cann on 07503 400 308.

Notes:

1. President Yudhoyono will reportedly be awarded the Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Bath by the Queen during his visit.

2. KontraS report on Densus 88 available from TAPOL on request

First anniversary of Third Papuan Congress to be celebrated

Bintang Papua
15 October 2012 [Abridged in translation]

Jayapura: A group called the Federated State of West Papua, known by its Indonesian initials as the NFRPB plans to mark the first anniversary of the Third Papua  Conference on 19 October held last year. It was at the third conference that the Papuan people declared the restoration of their independence.

Chairman of the organising committee, the Rev. Ketty Yabansabra, said the celebration will take the form of joint worship and dialogue. and will proceed peacefully. The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been invited to attend. The event will proceed peacefully  because the theme of the event is all about the preservation of peace in  Papua.

The organising team which has been acknowledged by the president of the NFRPB, Forkorus Yaboisembut , has conveyed messages to the President of Indonesia and a number of Indonesian state dignitaries  including the military commander, the governor of West Papua province and the Indonesian police. These letters have been acknowledged.

In view of the above, said  the organisers of the event, ‘we are confident that we will be able to hold communal worship, having sent the necessary notification to the Indonesian police.’

All sections of society in West Papua, including the many Indonesians now living in Papua, who have throughout behaved with decorum, have also been invited to attend the event.

Furthermore, with regard to the plan to hold dialogue with the Indonesian president, invitations to the aforesaid were sent earlier this month. It is doubtful whether  any dialogue will happen on this occasion, because a similar request was made ten years ago, to which there was no response.

However, the NFRPB formally declared its independence  on the occasion of the conference, for which a struggle has been waged  since 1961.

‘We are continuing with our efforts to obtain recognition from the Republic of Indonesia,’ a spokesman for the organising committee declared.

The chief of security of the NFRPB, Elias Ayakading said that they sincerely hoped that the tragic events which occurred last year (when several people were killed and many injured) will not be repeated this year.  He therefore called on the security forces in the land of Papua to ensure that the event is allowed to proceed peacefully.

The organisers urged all sides to avoid raising unnecessary issues so as to ensure that the event proceeds peacefully, because this will take in the form of worship, praying for a peaceful atmosphere and assurances that security will be safeguarded.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Statement from the International Parliamentarians for West Papua on the Escalating Violence in West Papua

West Papua flag
West Papua flag (Photo credit: lussqueittt)

P.O. Box 656, Oxford, OX3 3AP England, U.K.Date: : July 22nd 2012

Statement from the International Parliamentarians for West Papua on the Escalating Violence in West Papua

To: Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President, Republic of Indonesia
Mr. Andi Matalatta, Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Republic of Indonesia
Mr. Hendarman Supandji, Attorney General, Republic of Indonesia
Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri, Chief of National Police, Republic of Indonesia

As members of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, we voice our concerns over the escalating violence in West Papua, especially in Wamena and Jayapura.
We are saddened by the recent murder of West Papuan independence leader Mako Tabuni and we express our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. We call on you to conduct a thorough investigation into Mako Tabuni’s death.

We are also concerned by the recent re-imprisonment of Buchtar Tabuni and his colleagues, Jufri Wandikbo and Assa Alua, and the continued imprisonment of Filep Karma, an Amnesty International recognized prisoner of conscience, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raising the Morning Star flag at a peaceful protest.  We ask you to release and to drop all charges against these detainees and others who have been held for peacefully expressing views. We also request your help in assuring that Mr. Tabuni and his colleague be released immediately from custody, as we have further concerns that he may be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

We call on you to allow foreign journalists and humanitarian organizations entry into West Papua in order to provide a comprehensive report of the human rights situation there.

As the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, we support the indigenous people’s of West Papua’s call to a genuine act of self-determination, a right which was not recognized in the 1969 Act of Free Choice. We are therefore deeply troubled by your government’s suppression of political activity in West Papua. We urge you and your government to end the violence in West Papua, by listening to West Papuans call to self-determination, rather than attempting to silence them.

Signed,

Andrew Smith, MP (United Kingdom)
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion House of Commons (United Kingdom)
Lord Richard Harries (United Kingdom)
Dr. Russel Norman, MP (New Zealand)
Jamie Hepburn, MSP (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Scotland)
Catherine Delahunty, MP (New Zealand)
Bill Kidd, MSP (Glasgow Anniesland, Scotland)
Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, MP (Port Vila, Vanuatu)
Cllr Alex Sobe (Leeds City Council)
Eugenie Sage, MP (Aotearoa)
Cate Faehrmann, MLC Green MP (Australia)

Gillard must raise West Papua with SBY in Darwin visit: AWPA

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Media release 1  July 2012

Aust PM to meet Ind President in Darwin. Should raise West Papua

Background 

1st Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting – Joint Communique

http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/1st-indonesia-australia-annual-leaders-meeting-joint-communique


————————————–


Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Prime Minister

Parliament House

Canberra

ACT 2600

 

1 July 2012

Dear Prime Minister,

On behalf of the Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) in Sydney, I am writing to you concerning the deteriorating  human rights situation in West Papua.

In the past two months there has been a large number of shooting incidents in West Papua by unknown assailants. The Indonesian security forces have tried to blame the attacks on the Free Papua Movement (OPM) however, the OPM has denied involvement in the attacks.

What is not in doubt is the attack on the village of Honai Lama, a sub-district of Wamena in the Baliem Valley by the  Indonesian security forces in which one person has been reported killed and up to 17 wounded and a large number of houses set on fire. There have also been reports that the military and police on Yapen Island have conducted military operations in villages looking for  peaceful political activists which the security forces  claim are so-called separatists. These military operations are creating a population living in fear from the security forces.

The security forces in West Papua have been targeting peaceful activists including members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). In one horrific incident the security forces killed Mako Tabuni, deputy chairman of the KNPB. The police claimed he was armed and resisting arrest but witnesses said he was not armed and shot by men in plain clothes from a passing car. 
 Some media reports have also said the Australian trained Detachment 88 was also involved in the killing.

As you will be meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the 2nd Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders` Meeting in Darwin in the next few days, we urge you to raise our concerns about the attacks against the civilian population by the Indonesian security forces in West Papua.

We note that in the official communiqué from the inaugural Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting in Bali in November 2011, the statement that the two countries would work together on

“the promotion of democracy, good governance, human rights, the rule of law and capacity building”.

and on the defence relationship

“Reinforcing our comprehensive security cooperation, both leaders directed senior officials of both countries under the Security Cooperation Consultation Group to review existing cooperation, and to coordinate and set priorities under the Plan of Action of the Lombok Treaty.  Both leaders also further encouraged the finalisation of the Defense Arrangement as a basis for an enhanced defence cooperation between the two countries”.

In the wake of increased violence in Papua it would appear that the Indonesian Government is failing in its attempts to bring democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law to the territory.

As Australia helps train the Indonesian military and in particular Detachment 88, we have to accept some responsibility for the Indonesian security forces behavior in West Papua.

I urge you to raise the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President asking that he control the security forces in West Papua and urging him to order the security forces to return to their barracks as a way of avoiding further escalation of an already tense situation.

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins

AWPA (Sydney)

HRW: Indonesia – Lift Restrictions on Reporting, Access to Papua

HRW

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Indonesia: Lift Restrictions on

Reporting, Access to Papua [1]

Invite UN Rights Experts to Increasingly Violent Eastern Provinces
June 13, 2012

(New York) – The Indonesian government should allow foreign media and civil society groups access to Papua to report on violence and rights violations since May that have left at least 14 dead.

Human Rights Watch urged Indonesia to accept calls made at the United Nations Human Rights Council to permit access to the province and to issue standing invitations to UN human rights experts.

“By keeping Papua behind a curtain, the Indonesian government is fostering impunity among military forces and resentment among Papuans,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It needs to let the media and civil society shine a light on conditions in the province.”

Human Rights Watch said that the Indonesian government has failed to hold to account those responsible for recent violence in Papua. On June 6, 2012, a crowd stabbed one Indonesian soldier to death and seriously injured another after their motorcycle struck a Papuan child in Honai Lama District in Wamena, a city in Papua’s Central Highlands.

In retaliation, hundreds of soldiers from the 756th battalion swept through Honai Lama and elsewhere in Wamena, beating and stabbing residents and burning homes. A Papuan civil servant, Elianus Yoman, reportedly died from bayonet wounds. Seven other Papuans were injured and hospitalized. The soldiers set numerous buildings and motor vehicles on fire, causing many villagers to flee into surrounding forest.

An Indonesian military spokesman in Jayapura, Papua’s capital, initially denied that soldiers had injured any Papuans. But Indonesia’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, later conceded [4] that the Indonesian security forces overreacted in their response.

There have been a number of other violent incidents reported recently in Papua’s capital. Since May 23, unknown gunmen shot dead several non-Papuan migrants. A German tourist was shot on May 29 and was sent for treatment to a hospital in Singapore. The police forcibly broke up a protest on June 4 by the National Committee for West Papua (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB), a militant Papuan independence group, reportedly killing three student members. A KNPB member was also reported shot to death earlier on May 1.

The response of the national government to the growing violence in Papua has been inadequate, Human Rights Watch said. Yudhoyono told reporters on June 12, “The action [attacks in Papua] can be said to have happened on a small scale with limited victims.… The figure is far [lower] than the violence in the Middle East, [where] we can witnesses, every day, attacks and violence with huge numbers of deaths.”

“President Yudhoyono should stop making excuses for his government’s failure to investigate the violence,” said Pearson. “Allowing full access to the province for UN rights experts, the press, and other monitors could curtail the rumors and misinformation that often fuel abuses.”

The Indonesia government sharply restricts access to its easternmost provinces, Papua and West Papua. Military forces have been deployed there since 1963 to counter a long-simmering independence movement. Foreigners are required to obtain a special permit to visit the areas. Such permits are routinely denied or the processing delayed, hampering efforts by journalists and civil society groups to report on breaking events.

During the Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia at the UN Human Rights Council on May 23, France called on Indonesia to ensure free access for civil society and journalists to Papua and West Papua. The United Kingdom noted the “increase in violence” in Papua and “encouraged Indonesia to tackle violence against minority faiths and accept visit requests by Special Rapporteurs.” Austria, Chile, the Maldives, and South Korea called on Indonesia to accept standing invitations to the UN rights experts and groups known as special procedures. Mexico specifically asked the Indonesian government to invite the special rapporteurs to Papua.

The previous UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, made a request to visit Indonesia in 2004 and again in 2008, to which he never received a response.

“Several states registered concerns at the UN Human Rights Council about Indonesia’s failure to invite UN experts to the country,” said Pearson. “If Indonesia wants to be taken seriously in Geneva, it shouldn’t continue to ignore this request.”


Links:
[1] http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/06/13/indonesia-lift-restrictions-reporting-access-papua
[2] http://twitter.com/share?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hrw.org%2Fnews%2F2012%2F06%2F13%2Findonesia-lift-restrictions-reporting-access-papua&count=horizontal&via=&text=Indonesia%3A%20Lift%20Restrictions%20on%20Reporting%2C%20Access%20to%20Papua&counturl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hrw.org%2Fnews%2F2012%2F06%2F13%2Findonesia-lift-restrictions-reporting-access-papua
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[4] http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/sby-sanctions-for-papua-law-enforcers-committing-inappropriate-actions/523951

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