Tag Archives: World Council of Churches

World Council of Churches raises questions about the situation in Papua

JUBI, 20 June 2012A number of things that have been happening recently in West Papua have drawn the attention of the World Council of Churches  The secretary-general of the Council, the Revd Olav F. Tveit, headed a delegation which visited the offices of the Provincial Province of Papua to seek information about the questios of justice, peace and the welfare of the Papuan people.

The assistant for Economic Affairs and Development, Drs Ellya Loupatty said that the WCC delegation had met with representatives of the provincial government to discuss a number of issues that have emerged in the provinces of Papua, among others, welfare, justice and peace.

‘I met them along with the chief of staff of XVII-Cenderawaih, Major-General Daniel Ambaat, to put forward our views on a number of issues, such a the people’s welfare, justice and matters related to peace in the area,’ he told journalists. He said that the delegation had also raised the question of the environment, in connection with the felling of Papuan forests.

He said that all the questions had been responded to very well. ‘We also spoke about education and health issues in Papua.’.

Asked about the response of the delegation, Revd  Tveit  had expressed the hope that all matters would be handled professionally and in accord with the dignity of the human being. They were happy to encourage the churches to participate along with the government in every way possible to improve the standard of living of the  Papuan people. The church representatives had also spoken about issues of justice. which we listened to.’

He went on to say that the churches delegation raised some questions about recent events, which we as members of the provincial government explained. He said that issues about justice had also been raised  which we listened to, and explained that they were being dealt with according to our future programmes. ‘We also explained that matters related to security and order were being handled by the police force.’

[Comment: Could this be the opening move for the World Council of Churches to devote some serious attention to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Papua? TAPOL]

“Papuans do not feel safe in their own land” – Faith Based Network holds forum in Geneva

from the Faith-based Network on West Papua

Newsletter, March 2012

On 15 March, the Faith-based Network on West Papua (FBN) in cooperation with Franciscan International (FI), the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and TAPOL held a side-event at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

National and international human rights experts discussed the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations from 2008 in Indonesia with regard to the human rights reality in Papua. Four years after the Indonesian Government accepted the UPR recommendations, the human rights experts observe no significant changes in the protection of human rights violations on the ground.

“Many Papuans do not feel safe in their own land”, said Rev. Matheus Adadikam, General Secretary of the Evangelical Church in the Land of Papua (GKI-TP). Extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention remain a reality for the indigenous people of Papua.  Ferry Marisan, Director of the Institute of Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ElsHAM Papua), reported 75 people tortured and three killed by the Indonesian security forces after the 3^rd Papuan Peoples Congress in October and over 1.000 refugees caused by a military operation in Paniai Regency in December 2011.

Norman Voss, from the Asian Legal Resource Center (ALRC), drew a bleak conclusion of the UPR recommendations in Indonesia. “The implementation of the 2008 recommendations is very disappointing”, the international human rights expert said. The initial momentum of the so-called “Reformasi” with its improved human rights legislation had gone. There is no accountability for human rights violations in Papua and also no remedy for the victims, Norman Voss explained.

Novel Matindas, from the Papua Desk of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), supported these observations and criticized the lack of political will from the Indonesian government to implement the Special Autonomy Law for Papua. The PGI therefore requests a dialogue between Papua and Jakarta to find the “best solution” for the ongoing problems.
For more information on the Faith-based Network on West Papua: http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org or contact fbn_papua@vemission.org

Related News

*World Council of Churches expresses concern over human right violations in Tanah Papua*

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee recently issued a statement expressing concern over the escalation of violence in Tanah Papua, Indonesia. <http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org/news_release/world_council_of_churches_expresses_concern_over_human_right_violations_in_tanah_papua>

*Concerns of JPIC in Papua regarding the situation in Papua*

The secretariats of JPICs in Papua confirm that the pro-investment policy of the Government of Indonesia and the torture and cruel treatment by the security forces have undermined law and the dignity of the indigenous Papuans, marginalising and threatening their right to life. <http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org/news_release/concerns_of_jpic_in_papua_regarding_the_situation_in_papua__reflections_on_the_situation_in_2011_>

*Statement: Torture and extrajudicial execution still take place in Papua*

FI, FBN and TAPOL would like to draw the attention on torture and extrajudicial execution still taking place in Papua. <http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org/userfiles/files/Item3-General%20debate-joint%20statement-FI-FBN-Tapol-West%20Papua%20%282%29.pdf>

*Joint Press Release*

The Jayapura State Court found five Papuan leaders guilty of treason, sentencing them to three years imprisonment. <http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org/userfiles/files/Joint%20Press%20Release%20on%20Verdict%20%282%29.pdf>

*Urgent Appeal: Joint Letter to Mrs. Sekaggya*

Dear Mrs Sekaggya, We are writing to you in relation to threats made against human rights lawyer Mr Gustav Kawer by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Jayapura. <http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org/news_release/urgent_appeal>

*Papua Update*

A Statement to the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, House Representatives of Australia Canberra. <http://www.faithbasednetworkonwestpapua.org/userfiles/files/BH%20paper%20for%20ozi%20joint%20committee_2012%20%282%29.pdf>

World Council of Churches concerned about human rights violations in Papua

[Abridged in translation by TAPOLBintang Papua, 6 March 2011]
Photo at head of article: Rev. Dr Sae Nababan, President of the World Council of Churches

Jayapura: The World Council of Churches is very concerned about the violation of human rights  in Papua , said the Rev. Nababan in a discussion with Bintang Papua on Tuesday, 6 March. He said that the WCC was very concerned about the many injustices being suffered by the Papuan people.

The World Council of Churches  has registered its concerns and has informed the Indonesian government of this as well as churches around the world.

The Rev. Nababan said that he was not interested in political developments but was concerned about the fate of its congregation in Papua. ‘We are not following the political developments but what we are concerned about is the fate of the Papuan people who are suffering suppression, who feel that they are a colonised people and are being marginalised. This is what we are concerned about,’ he said.

‘We are not discussing the basis of the state but we are very concerned about the Papuan peoples lack of  freedom,that their dignity must be respected and an end to the discrimination that they suffer.’

Asked whether the WCC supports the idea of a referendum news of which has been circulating here, he said that people should not be confused  about things like this but the fact is that the Council had received a great deal of information about the situation, not only from Papua and Indonesia but also  from organisations around the world and when they had looked at the situation, they were very aware that human rights were repeatedly being violated in West Papua.

Rev Nababan said that the WCC which has been able to visit Papua had indeed found that human rights violations have been repeatedly occurring there.

In statement issued by the WCC at its meeting in Geneva, Switzerland from 14 – 17 February, they issued a statement in which they also said that the Papuan people are not benefiting from the rich natural resources in Papua, that there is widespread poverty as well as a lack of facilities to for health care and for a decent education for the children. Multi-national corporations were exploiting its natural resources and the activities of these corporations had seriously damaged the environment.

The special autonomy law was not being properly implemented by the government which resulted in the Papuan people feeling that they were being badly treated by the security forces.

The statement also called on the United Nations to set up a Permanent Observer Mission in Papua  to supervise a referendum.

The statement issued by the WCC at the end of its four-day meeting made the following points:

a) Expressed deep concern about the worsening human rights situation in the Land of Papua.
b) Called upon the Indonesian government to take the necessary steps to free its political prisoners and lift regulations banning people from gathering peacefully and to demilitarise West Papua.
c) The government was urged to take the necessary steps for a dialogue with the indigenous Papuan people and to protect the rights of the people to live according to their basic rights.
d) To ensure that the security forces halt the killings and injuries inflicted on Papuan people and the damage done to their mental health.
e) Called upon churches and their partners to get involved in advocacy for peace and security n Papua.
f)  Ensure that the member churches of the WCC should work on advocating peace and security for the Papuan people.
g) To pray for the people and the churches in the Land of Papua to continue to give witness  for peace, reconciliation and hope.

 Read the full World Council of Churches committee statement on Tanah Papua here: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/executive-committee/bossey-february-2012/statement-on-the-situation-in-tanah-papua-indonesia.html

Deadline of 22 March for DPRP to return OTSUS

Bintang Papua, 8 March 2011

[Abridged in translation,]

Several hundred people attended a demonstration in Jayapura on Tuesday 8 March, mostly from the Central Highlands Students Association, urging the provincial legislative assembly, the DPRP, to convene a special session to declare that OTSUS (the special autonomy law) has failed and that it should be sent back to the central government at the latest by 22 March this year.

The demo coordinator Selpius Bobii said that OTSUS had been a complete failure, it should be repealed and the MRP should be disbanded. The government should respond without delay to the eleven recommendations made last June and foreign countries should stop providing money to support OTSUS.

The churches should withdraw their members from the second-term MRP now eing formed. He also called for a halt to all investments in Papua which are exploiting its national resources, including Freeport, MIFEE, the Degeweo mining company, Ilaga and PLTA construction works.

There was also a call to the Pope in the Vatican and the World Council
of Churches in Geneva to pay attention to the serious problems in West Papua in order to save the people from annihilation. The Papuan people and supporters abroad should organise large demonstrations from 22 to 24 March, calling on the executive and legislatures in Papua and West Papua to return OTSUS to Jakarta.

A spokesman for the National Committee of West Papua, KNPB, called on the younger generation of Papuans to show the world that they want freedom. ‘Since Papua became part of Indonesia, there has only been bloodshed, oppression and killings everywhere in Papua,’ he said. Other speakers spoke in the same vein.

Some members and leaders of the DPRP met representatives of the
demonstrators afterwards.

The chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, Ruben Magai said that the
blame for the failure of OTSUS rests with the executive and that the
DPRP has no powers to take decisions to affect the situation.

The demonstrators also took their demands to the governor of the province.

Selpius Bobii also read out a statement saying that they would boycott
the elections now under way for mayor and governor if the national
parliament does not respond to these aspirations. They also threatened to occupy the office of the governor if these demands continue to be ignored. He said that they would wait till 4 April, at which time they would occupy the governor’s office, a statement that was responded to very enthusiastically by the demonstrators.