Tag Archives: Sydney

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


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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)

AWPA: Increasing tension in West Papua

Press Release

26 October 2011

In light of the dangerously deteriorating situation in West Papua AWPA has again written to the Foreign minister (letter below) urging him to use his good offices with the Indonesian Government to call for the halt to any (or proposed) military operations in West Papua as a way of avoiding further escalation of the situation and avoiding further bloodshed.
We point out that during military operations in West Papua the security forces have great difficulty in distinguishing between civilians and what they term separatists.

We also urge the Government to hold an inquiry into how our aid and training to the Indonesian military impacts on the lives of the West Papuan people and in the short term to immediately halt any aid or training to any military unit found to have committed human rights abuses.

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Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600

26 October 2011

Dear Mr Rudd,

I am writing to you concerning the increasing tension in West Papua. I wrote to you on the 20 October concerning the crackdown by Indonesian security forces on delegates who were attending the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress which was held between the 17 and 19 October. Reports now indicate that the casualties were more numerous than first thought. Six people have been confirmed killed and six charged with treason. A large number of West Papuans received serious injuries as they were beaten by the security forces with batons, bamboo poles and the butts of rifles during the arrest of up to 300 delegates. There may be more casualties as many of those attending the congress fled into the bush in fear of their lives from the security forces.

In other recent incidents around the giant Freeport copper and gold mine, three miners were ambushed by unknown gunmen and two other miners killed in a clash with police. The Mulia Police chief was also shot by unknown gunmen at Mulia Airport in Puncak Jaya regency on Monday and an unidentified group also set fire to the Mulia food resilience office. As a result of these incidents and in an effort to tighten security and to conduct military operations for those responsible for the killing of the police chief, up to 300 members of the security are being sent to West Papua.

AWPA believes that this deployment of extra security will only increase fear amongst the West Papuan people who are already traumatised by numerous military operations that have taken place particularly in the Puncak Jaya region.

A report in the Jakarta Globe (25 October) said that human rights groups believed that there were “strong indications” that security forces committed rights abuses during last week’s deadly crackdown on a pro-independence rally in Abepura, Papua. An extract from the Jakarta Globe article
Ridha Saleh, deputy chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), said it appeared likely that officers assaulted and fired at participants at the Papuan People’s Congress, which took place last week. A day after the incident, the bodies of six participants were found near the local military headquarters, reportedly with gunshot wounds. “The participants did not put up any kind of resistance, yet they were taken down, beaten and shot at,” Ridha said. “That this resulted in fatalities clearly makes this a serious rights violation.”

The security forces always try to blame the OPM for many of the incidents that occur in West Papua. However, Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, a researcher with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said on Tuesday that it was difficult to pinpoint the cause of the recent spike in violence, but that there were only three elements influential enough to trigger the turmoil: the separatist Free Papua Organization (OPM), the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the police. “But we can’t really tell which one of them actually started the whole thing because the information coming out of Papua is limited and sketchy,” he said, adding that reports from security forces were also unreliable. In one scenario he points out that “But if it’s the TNI or National Police manipulating events to try to get more troops and supplies posted to Papua, then that’s even more worrying.” 
He added that the tactic of boosting the security presence there by creating unrest was “not a new practice,” having been carried out frequently under the New Order regime. Earlier this year, the military said there was a need to increase the TNI’s presence in Papua, citing the province’s huge energy and mineral riches and increasing potential for secession.

AWPA points out that 300 security forces have just being deployed to West Papua.

In light of the dangerously deteriorating situation we urge you to use your good offices with the Indonesian Government to call for the halt to any (or proposed) military operations in West Papua as a way of avoiding further escalation of the situation and avoiding further bloodshed.
We point out that during military operations in West Papua the security forces have great difficulty in distinguishing between civilians and what they term separatists

We also urge the Government to hold an inquiry into how our aid and training to the Indonesian military impacts on the lives of the West Papuan people and in the short term to immediately halt any aid or training to any military unit found to have committed human rights abuses.

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney)

CC. Indonesian Embassy, Canberra

Australian Embassy, Jakarta

various human rights organisations and the media

AWPA letter to Foreign Minister re crackdown by security forces in West Papua

Press Release   West Papua
The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
 
AWPA letter to Foreign Minister re crackdown by security forces in West Papua
20 October 2011
AWPA has written  to the Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd re crackdown by the security forces on delegates at the Papuan People’s Congress.
Joe Collins of AWPA said “ the Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd should urgently raise the matter with the Indonesian President asking that he control the security forces in West Papua and urging the release of all those arrested for simply holding a meeting which is their democratic right” .

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

Ph/fax 61.2.99601698  email: bunyip@bigpond.net.au

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600
 
20 October 2011
Dear Mr Rudd,
I am writing to you concerning the dangerously deteriorating situation in West Papua. Yesterday, the Indonesian security forces fired on delegates who were attending a peaceful Papuan People’s Congress which was between  the 17 and 19 October. West Papua’s military commander, Major-General Erfi Triassunu, confirmed the shooting although claimed they were only warning shots. However, it is difficult at this stage to know if there are casualties but one person is believed to have been killed with others injured. Reports also indicate that hundreds have been arrested including representatives from various civil society organizations including church groups.
Panic was caused amongst the delegates when hundreds of members of the security forces, accompanied by armored vehicles   surrounded the participants at the Congress. As well as live ammunition delegates reported that the security forces also used tear gas and rifle butts on the participants during the arrests.
We urge you to urgently raise the matter with the Indonesian President asking that he control the security forces in West Papua and urging the release of all those arrested for simply holding a meeting which is their democratic right.
Yours sincerely
Joe Collins
Secretary
AWPA (Sydney)
cc.Various human rights organisations
.