Media release 22 March 2011
Info. Joe Collins Mob 04077 857 97
Open Letter to MSG leaders
Media release 22 March 2011
Info. Joe Collins Mob 04077 857 97
Open Letter to MSG leaders
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Operation Sunset Merona
The PNG Government launched its biggest ever joint security forces operation along its border with West Papua to combat (according to authorities ) illegal activities like people smuggling, gun and drug trafficking. The operation called Sunset Merona was launched on the weekend of the 15/16 of February and was supposed to last two weeks although it appears to be still continuing The operation includes members of the Police, PNGDF, Immigration, Correctional services, PNG Customs and Foreign Affairs. So far up to 100 West Papuans, including women and children have been rounded up from so called rebel camps and detained in Vanimo. They are to be taken to Kiunga later in the week. According to the governor of Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District, Powes Parkop, the government is using the security operation along the border to do Indonesia’s dirty work. According to a report on RNZI he said “Because they’ve just had the recently trans-border liaison meeting I think last month or just towards the end of the year and I think that’s where the pressure came from, from the government of Indonesia. We cannot be seen to be doing the dirty work of the Indonesian government. The Indonesian government should recognise the problems in West Papua and deal with it seriously as a political issue.” Powes Parkop also said the operation is doing more harm than good and asked the PNG Prime Minister to call it off. “There’s been reports of houses being destroyed and food gardens destroyed and people being detained and what I’ve called on the Prime Minister is that those people who’ve been arrested, if they’ve committed any criminal offense they should be charged. The law in PNG is very clear: you cannot detain people without charging them.” http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=58556 According to a report seven camps in West Sepik were searched and destroyed by the Sunset Merona team last week. They included the Yako, Daunda, Pepsi, Krisa, Black Wara, Davi and Skotsio-Bewani camps
Papuans rally for independence
Growing opposition to OTSUS and MRP in Papua [Also the Eleven Recommendations in full]
Harsh reality of Indonesian rule exposed
West Papua 2010
Chronology of events
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28 Spit Junction NSW Australia 2088
The human rights situation in West Papua continued to deteriorate in 2010. One incident in particular highlighted the worsening human rights situation and that was the shocking video footage of West Papuans being tortured by Indonesian soldiers. The video showed several men in military fatigues torturing two Papuans. The soldiers in the video threaten the two men with sharp weapons and pressed a burning bamboo stick against one of the men’s genitals. The torture of the men prompted a wave of international criticism with human rights organisations around the world condemning the actions of the Indonesian military. This incident was not an isolated incident and in further evidence of human rights abuses another report accused the police of burning down the village of Bigiragi in the Puncak Jaya district. The report said that 16 Mobile Brigade officers had burned the village to the ground on October 11. The report said that at least 29 homes were destroyed in the incident leaving at least 150 people homeless
A number of military operation took place in the Puncak Jaya region in 2010 and in fact security operations have been ongoing in the Puncak Jaya region for years . Security forces conduct regular sweeps (military operations) in the area to pursue members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM). Many reports have pointed out the the security forces have great difficulty distinguishing between what the term separatists and the general public. These operations leave the local people traumatised and in fear for their lives. In a report in Bintang Papua (29 June) The local chief of police admitted that “the OPM are all over the place including in the town of Mulia, mingling with the community. He said that because the features of the mountain people are almost the same as other people in the area, 'it is making it very difficult for us to differentiate between who is OPM and who is just an ordinary member of the community”. This statement raises great concerns that civilians are in danger of being targeted as members of the OPM. During these military operations villages have been destroyed as well as gardens and livestock. In September the House of Representatives (DPR) Law Commission deputy chairman, Tjatur Sapto Edy lamented the military operations in the Puncak Jaya Regency following a report by the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM). Tjatur said there should be no more military operations and such approaches are no longer suitable in a democracy. A report by Komnas HAM’s Papua chapter revealed 29 cases of rights abuses occurred in Puncak Jaya regency from 2004-2010, including the torture and rape of villagers in March 2010 by law enforcers.
In September an article in the the SMH alleged that Indonesia's elite counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, brutalised a group of separatists, repeatedly beating them in detention. Australia helps fund Detachment 88. The report also said the Australian Government had sent an official to the Indonesian province of Maluku to investigate the claims but an Australian embassy official denied there was an investigation going on although an embassy officer had visited Maluku as part of a regular program of provincial visits.
In November investigative journalist Alan Nairn released a secret report by a Kopassus task force which shows a list of West Papuans engaged in human rights work are a target of the Indonesian Special Force Group, Kopassus. The list includes members of civil society organisations, church groups , activists, students and members of the MRP. The report can be found on his blog at
In December cables released by WikiLeaks in relation to West Papuan human rights confirmed what NGOs have been telling their governments for years, that it is the Indonesian military that are one of the main problems in West Papua.
The cables revealed that US diplomats blame the government in Jakarta for unrest in West Papua due to neglect, corruption and human rights abuses. That Indonesian military commanders have been accused of illegal logging operations and drug smuggling from West Papua into Papua New Guinea, and also that a lifting of the US ban on training with Kopassus was made a condition of Obama's visit to Jakarta.
Also in December the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), a major Indonesian human rights group accused the National Police of being the state institution guilty of committing the highest number of acts of violence against the public in 2010. In the Jakarta Post (7/12/10) , the Papua chapter of the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) reported a 70 percent increase in the number of cases of violence in Papua, most of which were allegedly committed by security officers. The Jakarta-based Legal Aid Foundation in another report said Indonesian law enforcers routinely torture suspects and convicts to extract confessions or obtain information. The groups report found beatings, intimidation and rape are so commonplace they are considered the norm. It also found that few victims believe they have the right to lodge complaints.
West Papua suffered from a number of natural disasters in 2010 including a 7.1magnitude earthquake that occurred of the northern coast of Papua in June, destroying a number of villages with loss of life on Yapen island. In October the town of Wasior was hit by flash floods causing severe damage leaving over 158 people dead, 145 persons missing and thousands left homeless. There was some debate if the cause of the floods was due to deforestation in the surrounding areas or was due to unusually heavy rainfall
It is difficult to known the exact number of political prisoners who are in jail in West Papua because of the difficulty of access and restrictions on the gathering of information in the territory. In Amnesty’s International Report for 2010, it states
“At least 114 people were detained for peacefully expressing their views. The overwhelming majority were peaceful political activists who were sentenced to terms of imprisonment for raising prohibited pro independence flags in Maluku or Papua”.
And in an extract from Human Rights Watch World Report for 2010, in relation to West Papua. “Indonesian authorities have responded to a longstanding, low-level armed separatist insurgency in the provinces of Papua and West Papua with a strong troop presence and often harsh and disproportionate responses to non-violent dissent or criticism. Human Rights Watch has long expressed concerns over anti-separatist sweeps by the police, which often result in individuals who peacefully express support for independence being arrested and detained on charges of treason or rebellion (makar).
West Papua is one of our nearest neighbours and the West Papuan people face great challenges including ongoing human rights abuses, the exploitation of their natural resources with little or no benefit to themselves, the danger of becoming a minority in their own land as the result of migrants arriving daily and a HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The Australian Government has always been concerned about instability in the region to our north but as events in 2010 have shown, it is the Indonesian military which are causing the instability in West Papua. The recent reports of the torture of West Papuans by the Indonesian security forces and the information from the WikiLeaks cables about US concerns at the activities of the TNI in relation to West Papua, aptly show this.
urges the Australian Government to re- think its policy of ties with the Indonesian military until such time that Indonesian military personnel involved in past human rights abuses are brought to justice and the culture of the Indonesian military becomes of an acceptable standard to both the Australian people and Australian military. In the short term we urge the Government to put a moratorium on the training, funding and any ties between the Australian military, Detachment 88 and the special forces unit Kopassus, until a full inquiry is held into the activities of these units in relation to human rights abuses in the archipelago.
urges the Australian Government to sent a fact finding mission to West Papua to not only investigate the human rights situation in the territory but to see how Australia can help the West Papuan people in capacity building in the fields of health and education. We thank the Australian Government for the funding it has already given to aid projects in West Papua but urge more aid-funding to support health programs and medical organizations (local and international) working on the ground in West Papua and in the long term to support the training of the West Papuan people themselves as health professionals.
There are a number of Indigenous human rights NGOs in West Papua and the Australian Government can strengthen the human rights situation in West Papua by supporting these organisations with financial aid, capacity building and education.
We recommended that human rights defenders working in human rights organisations in West Papua be funded to attend human rights courses in Australia and the region.. There are a number of programs in Australia which can advance human rights and empower civil society in West Papua through education, training and capacity building. These programs are suitable for individual human rights defenders and community advocates.
We also call on the Australian Government to urge the Indonesian President to release all West Papuan political prisoners as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people.
The problems in West Papua won't be solved by Jakarta deploying more troops to the region or conducting more military operations. What the West Papuans are asking for is dialogue between Jakarta and West Papuan representatives. AWPA calls on the Australian Government to urge the Indonesian Government to dialogue with representatives of the West Papuan people to solve the issues of concern held by the West Papuan people.
The following chronology is a snapshot of the incidents/events that occurred in West Papua in 2010. It is by no means exhaustive. There are a number of fact sheets at the back of the report in relation to the history, the threats to West Papua’s forests and the special autonomy package.
The PNG-Indonesia border post at Wutung, Sandaun province, was re-opened after been closed during the Xmas period . The border was shut on Dec 20 after three Indonesians were shot at on the 19 December, allegedly by members of of the OPM. One of them was killed while the other two who were in serious condition received medical attention.
12 Jan. Nicolaas Jouwe returns home to Papua
Nicolaas Jouwe who lived for forty years in The Netherlands returned to West Papua.
18 Jan. The OPM, appoints new Commander of its military wing
A press release from the WPNCL, stated that the OPM, had approved the appointment of a new Supreme Commander of its military wing to replace the late Kelly Kwalik.
Jeck Kemong has been appointed head of the West Papuan National Liberation Army, or the TPN.
18 Jan. Ex-Kopassus Officer Named New Commander in West Papua
Maj. Gen. Hotma Marbun was installed as the Cendrawasih Papua Military Commander replacing Maj. Gen. Azmyn Yusri Nasution.
On the 24 January a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire on a convoy of vehicles carrying company employees and security officers, injuring nine people. The nine people injured included an American and South African national working at the Freeport mine , the teenage daughter of a mine employee and four Mobile Brigade (Brimob) police officers on security detail. The OPM denied any involvement in the shootings.
26 Jan. OPM Denies Responsibility for Ambush And Calls Police Accusation ‘Baseless’
The Free Papua Movement rejected an accusation by the National Police that it was behind Sunday’s ambush in which nine people were injured . OPM leader Otto Ondawame said, “The OPM has categorically rejected any involvement. The shooting does not help the process of peaceful dialogue in West Papua. On the contrary, this type of crime will only hamper the peaceful dialogue that has made good progress,” Otto said
Around 1,500 Papuans in Mimika staged a rally to support the registration of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua and the International Lawyers for West Papua at the European Union in Brussels.
29 Jan. Police embedded to help secure Freeport employees
The authorities increased security measures at Freeport Indonesia by placing a police officer into each of the buses transporting company employees between work and home. The measures, which are supported by 1,700 army and police personnel, have been adopted in the wake of repeated shooting incidents along the road from Timika to Tembagapura.
VIktor Kaisiëpo died in his home town of Amersfoort at the age of 61. Mr Kaisiëpo devoted his life to the right to self-determination of the Indonesian province of Papua, He was spokesperson for the West Papua People's Front, the federation of Papuan organisations in the Netherlands. He was born in Dutch New Guinea, but his family left for the Netherlands when the territory was handed over to Indonesia. Mr Kaisiëpo's father was also a well-known activist for Papuan independence.
The Head of Information for the Regional Military Command KODAM XVII/Cenderawasih, LTC Susilo, said he suspects that the perpetrators of the PT
Freeport shootings were from armed civilian groups. According to Susilo, the armed civilian groups are different compared to normal military groups as they can move independently without instructions from leaders. From intelligence reports, the armed civilian groups are small but very knowledge of the surrounding areas.
8 Feb. Freeport says it paid govt. $1.4b in 2009
PT Freeport Indonesia, announced that it had paid its financial obligations to the government in 2009, a total of US$1.4 billion.. The company said in a statement that out of the $1.4 billion, $1 billion was corporate income tax, employee income tax, regional taxes and other taxes and levies, $128 million was royalties, and $213 million was dividends. The 2009 amount is higher than the amount paid in the same period of 2008 which reached US$1.2 billion.
15 Feb. Policeman Shot Dead in Papua Province
Four gunmen shot a member of the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) squad who was patrolling a gas station and stole his gun in the town of Mulia near Freeport. An official of Puncak Jaya said he did not believe separatist rebels were involved in the killing of the police officer.
18 Feb. Two representatives from the EU visit West Papua.
The two delegates said that they were keen to learn about political and social conditions in Papua. One of the representatives told journalists: 'We are visiting Papua because the head office of the EU based in Basel, Switzerland, and the European Parliament want to get more detailed information about the political and social situation in Papua.'
22 Feb. Calls for Free Papua and release of poliitical prisoners
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Jayapura, called for Papua Merdeka - Free Papua. The demonstration which took place outside the Papua Legislative Assembly building consisted of several groups who had come from different parts of the city. They called on the Papuan people to struggle for the rights of the Papuan people. After initial attempts by the police, the demonstration was allowed to proceed. Demonstrators held aloft banners calling for the withdrawal of organic and non organic troops, for an end to the militarisation of Papua and demanded that the state accept responsibility for the many victims of rights in Papua.
25 Feb. Freeport bows to govt pressure on land use
PT Freeport Indonesia bowed to government pressure on alleged violation of regulations concerning operating in protected forests, saying the company would apply for the necessary permits to remain operating in existing mining areas.
We are ready to engage in talks with the government on the possibility of applying for land use rights for several areas," the company said in a statement issued on Wednesday. The company, however, clarified that it is protected under law by special rights that allow it to operate in protected forests.
KNPB says Indonesia should accept responsibility for the murder of Kelly Kwalik
At a press conference on 1 March in Jayapura, the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) called on the Indonesian government to accept responsibility for the murder of Kelly Kwalik, commander of the TPN/OPM. About a hundred Papuans in Mimika made this call regarding the murder of Kwalik on 16 December 2010 at a house in Gorong-Gorong, following which the Dewat Adat Papua, the Papuan Traditional Council made a statement on 23 December about Kwalik's murder by the anti-terror unit, Densus 88. The crowd assembled in front of Bahtera Church, Kwamki Baru and marched to the Mimika provincial legislative assembly, on the way shouting slogans about the death.
8 March. Papua Tribe Files $32b Lawsuit Against Freeport
Papua’s Amungme tribe lodged a new class-action lawsuit against US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan seeking $32.5 billion in material and non-material damages for the alleged illegal acquisition of its ancestral land. The action, filed at the South Jakarta District Court, came after an initial lawsuit filed last August collapsed and a second attempt to sue the company received no response in October.
11 March. Security personnel at Freeport reduced
The number of security personnel stationed at the working area of Freeport was reduced from 1,576 to 886. The decision was made in a meeting between the police, military offices and the management of PT Freeport.
11 March. Viktor Yeimo on trial for makar
The district court in Jayapura has begun the trial of Victor F. Yeimo for his role as co-ordinator of the demonstration outside Waeno Expo on 10 March 2009. The courthouse was under heavy police guard, standing in front of every entrance to the building. Inside the court was full of supporters of the accused. Members of the prosecution team read out the indictment, accusing Yeimo under Article 106 of the Criminal Code of rebellion (makar), for seeking to secure the secession of part of the territory of the Indonesian Republic. The prosecution charged him as the person responsible for the action along with Seravin Conceicao Dias and Marcho Tabuni.
15 March. OPM military wing calls for UN-mediated dialogue
The military wing of the Free Papua Movement (TPN-OPM) said it welcomed dialogue with Jakarta as long as an international organisation, preferably the UN, acted as the mediator. In an email sent to The Jakarta Post the leader of the military wing, General Thadius Jhoni Kimema Jopari Magai Yogi, said they would reject talks if Jusuf Kalla mediated. The email was in response to a plan proposed by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and supported by Papuan community leader and Catholic priest Neles Tebay.
Indonesian soldiers were involved in an exchange of fire with members of the OPM around Mulia in the Puncak Jaya regency. The shoot out broke out after the armed group intercepted a car of Yon 753 Nabire military compound on Monday at about 6.30 pm when it was returning to its base in Puncak Senyum area.
The police apprehended 15 activists from the West Papua National Committee protesting outside Waena Expo complex in Jayapura on Monday. Deputy chief of Jayapura Police, Adj. Comr. Amazona Pelamonia, said the protesters had requested a permit to stage a protest related to US President Barack Obama's visit but their speeches had called for a referendum instead..
While most of the people who were rounded up by the police for participating in the demonstration organised by the KNPB were released, two people, Mara Koyoga and Linus Pagawe, were formally charged for allegedly being in possession of sharp implements The two will face charges under Law 12/1951 regarding possession of weapons, and could face up to twenty years in prison.
29 March. Four Papuans on trial for makar
Four men have gone on trial in Jayapura in connection with an event last May when the Morning Star flag was unfurled at Kapeso airfield. All face the charge of makar (rebellion) under Article 106 of the Criminal Code. The four men on trial are Yusuf Animan aka Edo, Yeret Runaweri aka Yeri , Nataniel Runggaimusi and Yance Muabuai. Speaking at a hearing which heard testimony from five witnesses, a defence lawyer said that none of the witnesses had themselves seen the four persons present at the event.
6 April. Timika police urged to investigate recent crimes
Members of the Javanese ethnic community living in Timika, Mimika regency, Papua, have urged local police to solve criminal cases. The most recent case is that of the murder of a resident last week. Around 300 members of the group, affiliated with the Wahana Bhakti Jawa Timika Foundation, staged a rally Tuesday in front of the Mimika regency legislature. They demanded Mimika Police work professionally and uncover the unresolved cases in Timika.
13 April. Gunmen kill two in Papua
Two people were killed when gunmen approached a group of workers in the remote Papua regency of Puncak Jaya. The victims, Abdullah, Elimus Ramandey and Hans Ramandey were employees of PT Modern Group, and were working on the 25 kilometer Mulia-Mewulok highway project when they were shot and killed . The armed group also torched two trucks, a car, two bulldozers and an excavator.
18 April. Papuan Women need decent markets
Papuan women who are longing to be able to trade in decent traditional markets as promised by the government now regard this as nothing more than a dream. Government representatives have been quoted as saying that women selling their wares in the centre of the city, in front of the Galael shopping mall are regarded a blight on the appearance of the city. Three years ago, the governor of the province of Papua promised that he would build a decent market for women traders but nothing has happened.
22 April. Deadly attacks in Puncak Jaya blamed on OPM and NGOs
According to the district chief of Puncak Jaya, several (unnamed) NGOs, domestic as well as foreign, were involved in recent attacks in the district by armed groups which resulted in the death of several civilians. The district head said that the incidents had the support of pro-independence fighters who favour Papua's secession from the Republic of Indonesia. This is a matter that should be handled by the central government not by the Puncak Jaya provincial administration because the armed groups involved aim to undermine the Republic .
29 April. Armed group demands Rp 1b ransom.
A group of 30 armed men besieged a mine near Nomouwodide village demanding a ransom of Rp 1 billion (US$110,000)and 10 kilograms of gold dust. The group left after receiving a payoff of a kilogram of gold and 100 million rupiah. police said on Thursday. The group was reportedly led by a son of a Papuan separatist militia leader.
9 May. Pre-Dialogue consultations almost completed
From Bintang Papua
Pre-dialogue public consultations conducted by Foker NGO (Working Forum of NGO) and the Papua Peace Network are nearing an end. Of the eight regions involved in the consultations, only one remains to be completed, namely Fak-Fak.
The districts where consultations have already been conducted are Jayawijaya, Mimika, Manokwari, Sorong, Biak, Paniai and Merauke. Consultations were also conducted last Saturday in Jayapura at the GKI Philosophy College, attended by fifty community leaders from religious groups, women's groups, NGOs, student and youth organisations, also including people who are referred to as TPN/OPM separatists.
Pastor Neles Tebay, co-ordination of the consultations, said that at the end of May, an evaluation of the pro-dialogue consultations will take place.' 'This will be when we evaluate what we have achieved from January up to the present,' he said. 'The basic way of deciding whether the consultations have been successful is that the people have a proper understanding of dialogue. That is the target. Dialogue is important not only over the issue of the basic conflict but also regarding everyday things. Dialogue is a process to resolve problems by means of consultations, without resulting in there being winners and losers. Through dialogue, agreements can be reached. If the issue is taken to court, then there will certainly be winners and losers.' Tebay said that not only did Papuuan people not have a proper concept of dialogue, but people holding official positions and decision-makers have different concepts of what dialogue means. 'A dialogue between Papua and Jakarta as well as between between the government and the Papuan people needs good preparations. and this can be achieved,' he said, 'by means of public consultations.This is described as pre-dialogue consultations because the next step is the holding of dialogue. Once dialogue begins, the final step is the reaching of agreement, which must then be followed by implementation of what has been agreed.'
Indonesia and Australia are strengthening maritime ties as a result of Exercise Cassoary 2010 (CA10) which started on May 8. CA10 is a bilateral Indonesian Defense Force led combined patrol boat exercise designed to enhance interoperability in maritime operations between the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
A leader of the Free Papua movement, Nicolas Jouwe, has become an Indonesian citizen after living in exile in the Netherlands for 50 years. He received his certificate of citizenship from Minister of Law and Human Rights Patrialis Akbar in Papua's provincial capital Jayapura on Saturday.
17 May. Security forces kill rebel in Papua
A raid conducted by the Indonesian security forces in Goburuk Village, Yamo District Puncak Jaya, resulted in the death of a member of the OPM. A police spokesman said the member of the group was shot because he refused to surrender and even attempted to fight back.
18 May. Papuans rally for candidates
Thousands of protestors in Jayapura, demanded that the government implement a decree that would require that candidates in Papua’s regional elections be indigenous Papuans. Members of the Democratic Forum for Unitary Papua (Fordem), marched 20 kilometers from Abepura to the governor’s office in Jayapura and carried banners that expressed support of the decree, Papua People’s Council’s (MRP) Decree No. 14/2009.
25 May. French reporters detained for violating visa regulation
The local immigration office detained two French reporters for Manomano TV Arte on Tuesday for allegedly violating a visa regulation, a spokesman said. Head of the Jayapura immigration office Robert Silitonga told ANTARA News that Baudin Koeniag and Carol Helene Lorthiois were detained while they were covering a rally in Jayapura because their activity was a violation of their visas. Jayapura immigration office deported two French nationals from West Papua. Baudoin Koenig, a French independent TV documentary maker was allowed to stay in the country. However his assistant, Carole Liorthois, has been deported back to France for having overstayed her tourist visa.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a two-year moratorium on new logging concessions as part of a deal with Norway in which Indonesia will receive up to $US1 billion ($1.2 billion) if it adheres to a letter of intent signed by the two countries yesterday.
4 June. Police disperse demonstration by DAP
A rally which was to be organised by Dewan Adat Papua (Papuan Traditional Council) complaining about violence and the spread of alcohol was unable to go ahead. When the participants were being transported to the meeting they were prevented from reaching their destination by around fifty policemen in trucks.
7 June. Don’t turn Papua into a Military Zone
A decision by the chief of police of Papua to deploy a company of Brimob police officers to take charge of security in Puncak Jaya was strongly criticised by Weynand Watori, deputy chairman of Commission A of the DPRP. He said that Papuans strongly oppose such a move, bearing in mind that Papua is no longer a military operations zone - DOM
9 June. Malaria outbreak kills 40 in Papua highlands
Papua health agency sent a four-strong team to Intan Jaya regency to verify reports of malaria outbreak which is said to have killed 40 people in the highland region over the last three months. Team member Paminto Widodo of the Papua Health Crisis Center said Wednesday the medical workers would focus their mission on Degesiga and Bamba villages, where the disease reportedly affected the most.
11 June. Papuan peoples' consultations agreed to return special autonomy law to central government
Results of consultations betwwen MRP and indigenous Papuans A two-day consultation meeting between the Majelis Rakyat Papua - MRP - and indigenous Papuan groups agreed to return (to the government) the Special Autonomy law, because the law had brought nothing of any significance to the Papuan people.
Thousands of Papuans took to the streets of Jayapura to demand independence from Indonesia, days after a local council called for the province’s special autonomy to be revoked because of its perceived ineffectiveness. The Papuans demanded an independence referendum for the province.
21 June. A Vanuatu government MP says it’s hoped that parliament’s passing of a motion to raise issues around the status of the Indonesian territories of New Guinea, at the United Nations, won’t upset relations with Jakarta. The motion seeks support from the UN General Assembly in clarifying the legality of the process in which the former Netherlands New Guinea was ceded to Indonesia in the 1960s.
7 July. Yusak Pakage released from jail
Yusak Pakage was released from the Doyo Baru prison in Sentani,. He had been serving a ten-year sentence for his role in a peaceful demonstration in December 2004 where the Morning Star flag was raised.
8 July. Thousands of Papuans demand a referendum on self-determination
Thousands of Papuans again held a large rally to urge the provincial legislature to end special autonomy and demand a referendum allowing them to determine their own fate. An upper house the MRP voted in June to reject Papua’s autonomy status.
Thousands of demonstrators who had spent the night on the grounds of the DPRP finally dispersed. In response to the demands from thousands of people represented by the Forum Demokrasi Rakyat Papua, together with tribal leaders, women and the youth, the DPRP said that it would respond very soon with regard to the people's aspiration for the Special Autonomy Law - OTSUS - to be handed back to the central government and the call for a referendum
15 July. Canberra agrees to write off Aus$75 million Indonesian debt
The Australian government has agreed to write off Indonesian debt totaling Aus$75 million under a program called Debt2Health to combat tuberculosis in Indonesia, a Finance Ministry official said. "The Debt2Health initiative we have supported from the beginning will enable us to divert debt repayment budget to public health programs," Rahmat Waluyanto, the ministry`s director general of debt management, said on Thursday. Under the program, Australia will write off Indonesian debt worth Aus$75 million. In return for the program, Indonesia will invest a half of the debt or Aus$37.5 million in the national tuberculosis control program supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
19 July. RI, US air forces holding joint exercise in Bandung
The Indonesian and United States air forces began a joint exercise at Bandung`s Husein Sastranegara airport that will run until July 31, an Indonesian air force official said. Dubbed "Teak Iron 2010" the exercise focuses on airdrop and parachuting techniques.
19 July . Landslides Near Freeport Site
Rain caused a landslide in Tembagapura District leaving up to 80 villagers injured and one person dead.
20 July. Trans Papua construction costs Rp50 trillion
The head of the Papua Public Works Agency said in Timika that the Papua provincial administration is busy building roads in the province. "As of 2008 we have started building the Trans Papua project covering 6,000 kilometers linking all the provinces and towns in the province," Adwin said. The project needs Rp50 trillion, obtained from the Papua Special Autonomy Fund (Otsus) and from the central government from the State Budget.
21 July . Two on trial for rebellion
Two Papuans, Semuel Yaru and Luther Wrait are on trial for taking part in a flag flying event recently outside the office of the MRP. Both men have been charged with rebellion. At the court hearing yesterday, the prosecutor presented his demand for sentencing the accused. He called on the court to sentence Sem Taru to three years and to sentence Luther Wrait to eighteen months. He said that the sentence for Sem Yaru should be higher because this is his second offence.
22 July. The U.S. has dropped its ban on ties with the Indonesian special forces
The United States said it was dropping its ban on ties with Indonesia's special forces, imposed over human rights abuses in the 1990s. The decision, made public by U.S. officials during a visit by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Jakarta.
22 July. The OPM said it would continue its struggle for independence
At a recent congress of the OPM along with its armed wing, Tentara Papua Nasional/TPN, it was made clear that the organisation would continue to struggle for independence. The congress was held before members of the organisation attacked and burnt three vehicles transporting fuels and foodstuffs in Tingginambut
Ardiansyah Matra'is, a journalist working for Merauke TV was found dead near the Gudang Arang river in Merauke. Ardiansyah had been reported missing for two days. The chapter of the Alliance of Independent Journalists linked the death with the regional election and conflict fueled by the giant food estate project in the regency which has drawn huge investors. A number of journalists have been terrorized through text messages or phone calls.
31 July. Felip Karma finally given medical care
Felip Karma, A prisoner who was sentenced to 15 years' jail for raising a West Papuan flag was returned to prison after surgery for a potentially life-threatening prostate ailment . He had been denied treatment for nearly a year. Felip said that many other Papuan prisoners also needed medical care. He reiterated allegations that many had been abused in prisons.
1 August. 50 Members of US Congress call on Obama to make Papua a priority.
The Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, and Chairman Donald M. Payne of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health have spearheaded an effort in Congress calling upon President Obama to “make West Papua one of the highest priorities of the Administration.” As a result of their efforts, 50 Members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to the President stating that there is strong indication that the Indonesian government has committed genocide against the Papuans. West Papua is the half of New Guinea that was invaded by Indonesia in 1962.
A group of gunmen opened fire on a car carrying a district chief and his family on their way home from Mulia n the Puncak Jaya. No one was injuried.
A migrant was killed and another injured after unidentified gunmen attacked them in Wuneri village in the Papua regency of Puncak Jaya. A spokesman for the police S said 25-year-old Wahid, a kiosk owner in the village, was shot dead late Wednesday afternoon and a motorcycle taxi driver who was passing by suffered gunshot wounds.
A Mobile Brigade and local police were involved in an exchange of fire against the armed group for about one hour, before the attackers fled to the jungle.
4 August Gruesome Video come to light.
One year after an activist’s death a video which shows him lying in a jungle clearing moments after troops allegedly sliced open his abdomen with a bayonet has been circulated online . The captive, Yawen Wayeni lifts his arm into the air, and says weakly, “Freedom! Papua Freedom. Police said Wayeni, had vandalized several of their buildings and vehicles, and was shot in the thigh and stomach while resisting arrest and that he died on the way to the hospital. However, Wayeni’s wife told the Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence that they tied his arms and legs to a log and forced him to chant “Free Papua!” before slicing him in the abdomen with a bayonet. The incident occured in August 2009.
6 August. Aid agency banned for helping rebels
The government banned Cordaid, a Dutch funding agency for allegedly supporting Papuan rebels and running a commercial enterprise, a move some fear would set a bad precedent for the future of NGOs in Papua. Cordaid, one of five foreign funding agencies for Papuan NGOs, has been involved for more than 30 years in social development work in Indonesia, focusing on economic empowerment of the poor.
Pacific Islands Forum leaders failed to raise or condemn the human right abuses being committed by the Indonesian military in West Papua
10 August. 144 Soldiers at Papua Base Infected With HIV
The Indonesian military announced that at least 144 of its 15,000 servicemen stationed at the Cendrawasih Army base in Papua tested positive for HIV. “That figure was based on medical examinations of all personnel at Cendrawasih,” spokesman Maj. Gen. Hotma Marbun said at a press conference at the base in Jayapura.
11 August. Indonesia tries to stop Papuan lecture
Indonesian officials tried to put a stop to a public lecture in Melbourne to discuss the troubled province of West Papua.
11 August Komnas HAM calls for end to imilitary operations in Puncak Jaya
The Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) called on the police and the army to immediately end their military operations in Puncak Jaya district because they will never solve the root of the problems in the area.
The Komnas HAM statement was made public at its office in Jayapura by deputy chairman Mathius Murib.
11 August One year sentence for two 'makar' defendants
After a trial that lasted for five months, the court announced its verdict for the two defendants, Semuel Yaru and Luther Wrait. They were both sentenced to one year minus the time already served in detention. The sentence was lower than that requested by the prosecutor who called for three years. The judges said that there was no evidence that they had committed 'makar' (rebellion) but they were found guilty of the alternative charge of incitement (Article 110).
12 August. HIV/AIDS carriers in Mimika reach 2,302
Antara news reported that the number of HIV/AIDS carriers in Mimika district, Papua province, has been recorded at 2,302 persons, Secretary of the National AIDS Commission (KPA) for Mimika, Reinold Ubra said. Reinold said here on Wednesday that in the April - June 2010 period alone, a total of 110 new cases of HIV/AIDS carriers were found.
18 August. Churches call for probe of shooting incidents
Church leaders have called for an independent investigation of a series of church shootings in Puncak Jaya, Papua, that started in 2004. “An independent team must be set up to investigate what actually happened and who was behind the incidents. The shootings have been taking place for the past six years,” Rev. Socrates Sofyan Yoman told reporters in Jayapura.
The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial) and the Indonesian Journalist Alliance (AJI) urged the government to investigate the murder of Ardiansyah Matra'is, a reporter of Merauke TV in Papua. "The state has failed to perform its duty to protect a human rights defender," Imparsial's managing director Poengky Indarti told the press in Jakarta Saturday. Matra'is was found dead in Merauke on 30 July
27 August. Freeport pays $899m in taxes
Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc, reported that it has paid the government as much as US$899 million in financial obligations in the first semester of this year. The payment is made up of $581 million in Corporate Income Tax; $137 million in Employee Income Tax, Regional Dues and other taxes, $105 million in royalties, and $75 million in the government’s share of dividend
6 Sept. DPR Laments Military Operation in Papua
The House of Representatives (DPR) Law Commission deputy chairman, Tjatur Sapto Edy lamented the military operation in Puncak Jaya Regency following the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) report. Tjatur said there should be no more military operations and such approaches are no longer suitable in a democracy.
3 Sept. Mobilising a Papuan peace force
Dewan Papua Adat (Papuan Customary Council) said it had mobilised its own force in response to the rising political tension in Papua. They have mobilised more than 500 people for a Papuan Peace Force (P3) and yesterday they took part in a rally in the forecourt of the home of the chairman of DAP, Forkorus Yaboisembut. Forkorus said that this mobilisation is in response to the intensifying political situation in Papua, which means that a force is needed to protect the authority of DAP, its personnel, its land and its natural resources.
7 Sept. Complaints about market space for Papuan women
Solidaritas Perempuan (Women's Solidarity) has called on the Papuan provincial legislative council (DPRP) to pay proper attention to the needs of Papuan women.
In a demonstration to represent the aspirations of the women, they complained that the Jayapura municipal administration has failed to promote the interests of the women and the customary rights of the Ireuuw people to a decent place for stalls in the market.
13 Sept. Detachment 88 accused of torture.
A report in the SMH said that Australia has sent an official to the Indonesian province of Maluku to investigate claims that Indonesia's elite counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, brutalised a group of separatists last month, repeatedly beating them in detention. Detachment 88 also operates in West Papua and the the unit's commander said that Detachment 88 has a legitimate role in countering separatism and will remain in Papua. Australia helps fund Detachment 88. An Australian embassy official denied there was an investigation going on although an embassy officer had visited Maluku r as part of a regular program of provincial visits.
14 Sept. SBY rejects dialogue but proposes constructive communication:
Responding to the proposal made by LIPI, the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, for a dialogue to take place between Jakarta and Papua. The Indonesia's President said that dialogue was not acceptable and he would prefer constructive communication to take place in seeking a solution to the problems in Papua.
16 Sept. Soldiers Patrol Papua Town
The military deployed soldiers across Manokwari, West Papua, on Thursday as thousands of residents stayed on the streets to protest the killing of two men by police a day earlier. A woman was also severely injured in the shooting that followed a dispute over a traffic accident. Human rights groups in West Papua are calling on the national rights commission to investigate last Wednesday’s shooting deaths of the two civilians by the police. Eleven Mobile Brigade personnel were eventually blamed for the deadly incident. Four of the 11 were sentenced to 21 days in custody and have had their promotions suspended, and the other seven received 14 days in custody and promotion suspensions.
21 Sept. Ex-Minster Slams Heavy-Handed Tactics in Papua
The government is being far too harsh in its handling of the low-level insurgency in Papua, Rizal Ramli, a former coordinating minister for the economy, said. Security forces in the country’s easternmost province, particularly the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus), have long been accused by human rights groups of gross rights violations when it comes to cracking down on suspected separatists. Rizal Ramli, said that this heavy-handed approach avoided addressing the real root of the problem. The government lacks a humane approach to the issue, while the Papuans want them to show more empathy,” he said at a seminar at Jakarta’s Indonesian Christian University (UKI).
22 Sept. US Congress Holds Open Hearing on Abuses in Indonesian
The United States Congress held an open hearing on Indonesia’s alleged military abuses in Papua as well as the harsh economic, health and social condition of its people. The inquiry, staged in Washington DC on Wednesday afternoon local time, heard testimonies from a number of Papuans and academics. The congressional hearing was called by Samoan Congressman, Eni Faleomavaega.
27 Sept. Police dispatch 140 personnel to Puncak Jaya
A new detachment of 140 Mobile Brigade personnel from Bogor, West Java, have been dispatched to Puncak Jaya. The personnel are replacing another 102 who have been in the region for four months.
27 Sept. Agus Suhartono Named Head of Indonesian Military
House of Representatives on approved Navy Vice Adm. Agus Suhartono as the new head of the Indonesian Military.
The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa signed the Convention for The Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. The Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, was adopted on 20 December 2006 by the UN General Assembly and has been signed by a total of 84 nations so far. Minister Marty Natalegawa signed the Convention on the sidelines of the 65th General Assembly at the UN Headquarters.
28 Sept. RI, Oz to hold joint military training on terrorism
The Indonesian Army's Special Force (Kopassus) and the Australian Service SAS held a joint training on handling terrorism at the Ngurah Rai international airport in Bali. The training would involve more than 300 personnel from both forces, including 69 from Kopassus, 25 from SAS and 383 supporting personnel from several forces.
1 Oct. Kontras Backs Claims Maluku Prisoners Have Been Tortured
Haris Azhar, chairman of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), said interviews with 23 political prisoners, members of the separatist group South Maluku Republic (RMS), showed they had been tortured.
4 Oct. One man was killed and at least three injured
One man was killed and at least three injured in a clash between Indonesian police and dozens of locals over a security check dispute at an airport in Wamena district . According to police they had wanted to check two bags believed to contain suspicious items and said in the past they had found evidence that ammunition and weapons had been sent through Wamena. Three people were arrested for allegedly attacking the police. Papuan tribal representative Dominikus Sorabut, from the Papuan Customary Council, said the locals were members of the council's security body and the bags had contained berets.
6 Oct. UNCEN students raise referendum with US ambassador
During a visit to Cenderawasih University the new US ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Marciel had a one-hour dialogue with students at which the students raised their demand for a referendum and called for merdeka a number of times during questions and answers. They expressed their disappointment that the ambassador's visit to the university was only one hour long and the newly appointed ambassador made no reference to the issue of a referendum or similar matters. The ambassador reiterated his country’s full support for Papua as part of the integrated nation of the Republic of Indonesia and for the implementation of the 2001 Special Autonomy Law in the province.
8 Oct. Nothing special has happened with Special Autonomy
The Rev. Socrates Yoman who is head of the Baptist Church in Papua told journalists at a seminar in Jayapura that up to the present time nothing special has been felt as a result of the law on Special Autonomy. Nothing has been done to protect or empower the indigenous Papuan people.
Although figures vary slightly in media reports the flash floods which hit the town of Wasior on the 3 and 4 October has taken the lives of 145 people with a1 20 people missing, 1000 injured and thousands left homeless. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono visited Wasior town on 11 Oct.
Indonesia banned the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" to from entering the country`s waters. Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said "It has been decided that the ship will not be allowed to enter Indonesia He said there are three offices responsible for giving access to the ship namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation and the Defense Forces Headquarters.
West Papua was not listed on Rainbow Warrior's Indonesian itinerary. Greenpeace’s International executive director Kumi Naidoo told The Weekend Australian that an invitation from the provincial governor came after the visit application was lodged.
Mr Naidoo said Rainbow Warrior had been asked to visit Wasior, where flooding and landslides killed 145 people 12 days ago, by governor Abraham Octavianos Atururi, but would go only with proper authorisation.
One of the first leaders of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) Zeth Rumkorem, hdied in The Netherlands, aged 72. He was found dead in his home in Wageningen, Holland.
18 Oct Video shows Papuans being tortured
An article in the SMH by Tom Allard brought to the world’s attention the shocking video footage of West Papuans being tortured by Indonesian soldiers. The video footage prompted a wave of international criticism with human rights organisations around the world condemning the actions of the Indonesian military. The four-minute video showing Indonesian soldiers torturing Papuans was removed from YouTube because of its "shocking and disgusting content." The video was uploaded online by the Asian Human Rights Commission
20 Oct. Police in Papua Accused of Burning Down Bigiragi Village
An official from the Papuan Customary Council (DAP) told the Jakarta Globe on that he had received graphic images of the destruction of Bigiragi village in Puncak Jaya district by officers from the police’s Mobile Brigade. The report said that 16 Mobile Brigade officers had burned the village to the ground on Oct. 11. The report said that at least 29 homes were destroyed in the incident leaving at least 150 people homeless.
The Dutcg Government is reported to have donated 5.8 million dollars and the New Zealand Aid Programme donated a further 3.8 million dollars in principle to support development and poverty reduction in the Papua and West Papua Provinces. These resources would be channeled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
22 Oct. Indonesia admits troops involved in Papua torture video
Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto told reporters that based on a preliminary report, soldiers had tortured the Papuan men seen in the online video footage. According to the Security Affairs Minister the soldiers on the ground overreacted in handling those people who had been arrested, "What they did was unprofessional."
23 Oct. Civilised Society Has No Place for Torture
Extract from an editorial in the Jakarta Globe.
“Torture has no place in a modern, civilized society. Period. It is thus distressing to learn that certain members of the military have engaged in such practices against innocent civilians in Papua. After more than a decade of democratic reforms, especially within the security forces, the emergence of evidence of the torture carried out by soldiers is inexcusable. The video of two Papuans being burned and beaten has been played and viewed worldwide, damaging the reputation of both the nation and the institution.
The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) wants the government to launch an immediate probe into the alleged torture of some Papuan men by members of National Defense Forces (TNI) on which some recorded footage had appeared on Youtube. "The House`s Commission I and Commission III are now coordinating to jointly ask for explanations from TNI Commander Agus Suhartono on the matter" Aziz Syamsuddin, the House`s Comission III deputy chairman, told ANTARA News, at the DPR building on Tuesday.
1 Nov. Australian Prime Minister visits Indonesia.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited Indonesia on the 1 and 2 Nov. It was later reported that Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised concerns about the trial or misleading trial concerning the torture video. A spokesperson for Ms Gillard was reported to say that Australia still expects to see a full investigation and that it must be transparent and that Australia will continue to make its expectations clear. One media reported said Australia’s Ambassador Greg Moriarty to Indonesia was ordered to raise concerns directly with President Yudhoyono about Indonesia’s stalled investigation into the alleged torture of two Papuans by the military
2 Nov. TNI/Police should stop seeking promotion in Papua
Ruben Magai, the chairman of Commission A of the Papuan Legislative Assembly, the DPRP said that members of the armed forces and the police should stop using Papua as a place where they can secure promotion for themselves. 'Dont just come here, commit violations in Papua in the hope of securing a promotion in their rank.'
8 Nov. Papuan torture trial 'red herring'
The trial into abuses by Indonesian soldiers in Papua which was supposed to show evidence of the Indonesian government’s commitment to human rights , proved to be a deception. The trial of the four soldiers which began on the 5 November in Jayapura, amid assurances that those appearing were involved in the torture of two Papuan men depicted in a video. However it soon became apparent that the four defendants had nothing to do with the incident depicted in the video, and were four soldiers that had been involved in another incident in March.
9 Nov. Protesters arrested after demonstration
Three activists were arrested for staging a demonstration demanding to meet visiting US President Barrack Obama to convey their aspirations. Protester Usman Yogbi said they had sought to report human rights violations, environmental damage and protest the presence of Freeport, which they said had not benefitted the local people.They had planned to hold a “Papuan solidarity for Obama” demonstration at the Papuan legislature but instead now face detention on the grounds that they did not have the mandatory permit.
Army Second Lieutenant Cosmos, commander of Kolome Post in Illu District, Papua has been found guilty of torturing civilians and sentenced to four months in prison. The sentence will include his detention period. Cosmos was charged with torturing a number of people living in Puncak Jaya, Papua, last March. Private FC Sahminan Husain Lubis, Private Joko Sulistiono and Private Dwi Purwanto, were sentenced to three months jail time for the same offence
Investigative journalist Alan Nairn released a secret report by a Kopassus task force which shows a list of West Papuans engaged in human rights work are a target of the Indonesian Special Force Group, Kopassus. The report can be found on his blog at
The Australian Government has donated a new maritime radio communication system to Indonesia to help it combat maritime threats and transnational crime.
As part of the partnership with Indonesia, the Gillard Government has donated $2 million for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). The VHF radio network provides more comprehensive reception of radio transmissions and can monitor maritime radio messages from anywhere within the archipelago.
Authorities in Papua arrested nine people for raising a separatist flag just hours before President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was due to arrive in the province. Eight men and a woman believed to be linked with the OPM hoisted the banned Morning Star flag on Saturday in Yalengga Bolakme, near Wamena in the central mountainous range of Papua.
One person was reported killed in raids in Papua as the military steped up its search for members of the Free Papua Movement . Markus Haluk, a member of the Papuan Customary Council (DAP), said that Wendiman Wenda, a 55-year-old farmer, was killed outside his house. He said that Wendiman was shot while working in his garden in Yambi village, Puncak Jaya district, on Sunday, shortly after returning from church. “The military was patrolling the area and assumed he was an OPM member,” he said. “Wendiman was not a separatist. He was just a farmer.”
3 Dec. One killed, eight arrested in raid
A man was shot dead and eight others arrested Friday in an operation by the Jayapura Police and Wira Yakti Military Command to apprehend the perpetrators of a shooting incident in Nafri, Abepura, on Nov. 28. The operation commenced on Thursday and the dead suspect, identified as Miron Wetipo, was killed at around 00:30 a.m. local time. Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. said. That the joint team raided the area because of reports that the firearms used in the shooting incident in Nafri were stashed in a house there. The eight people arrested were taken into custody for questioning. Authorities claim to have recovered two boxes of ammunition at the scene.
4 Dec. Sebby Sambom arrested.
Seby Sembon was arrested as he was about to board a planeto fly to Cingkareng.
Sembon is currently under house arrest, in the cutody of the prosecutor's office, awaiting trial on charges of makar for involvement in a demonstrator on 16 October 2008 held to launch International Parliamentarians for West Papua. When he was arrested, a laptop was confiscated and is reported to have contained information about human rights violations committed by the police and the army in Papua. Sembon was taken to the prosecutor's office for further investigation.
4 Dec. Man shot dead at Puncak Jaya cafe
A shooting occurred at 7:30 p.m. at the Mulia Old Town Market in the Puncak Jaya district, where four unknown gunmen burst into a cafe and shot dead one of its customers, identified as Muhamad Amas. Witnesses said Amas, a motorcycle-taxi driver, had been at the cafe with five friends at the time. They said the gunmen appeared suddenly from the thick jungle on the fringe of the market and fired rounds of shots in the cafe before immediately fleeing back into the dark jungle. Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono on Sunday said it appeared that the gunmen had intended to target a group of soldiers, two of whom were from the Army’s Special Forces Unit (Kopassus), but had missed. Authorities are blaming separatist guerrillas for the attack
11 Dec. Violators in remote areas gain impunity
The National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) marked International Human Rights Day on Friday by releasing a year-end report that highlighted rampant torture and killing by military and police officers. “The number of complaints we received this year against law enforcers from remote areas remains high. This is because of the lack of transparency, both by the National Police and the Indonesian Military, in imposing penalties for violators of human rights,” commission chairman Ifdhal Kasim said
14 Dec. Lawyer, five students and others arrested in Manokwari
From Tapol. According to a report received this morning (14 December) from LP3BH, the legal aid and investigation institute based in Manokwari, a member of their lawyers team has been arrested by the police while he was involved in monitoring a flag-raising incident on Tuesday, 14 December. As reported by Yan Christian Warrinussy, executive director of the LP3BH, the flag-raising is an event held every year on 14 December to mark the anniversary of the independence proclamation by the West Melanesian Council 22 years ago [in 1988] by Dr Thomas Wanggai (who died shortly thereafter)
14 Dec. Freeport Pays Rp 11,8 Trillion in Taxes and Royalties
PT Freeport Indonesia reported that it has paid the government US$ 418 million in taxes and royalties during July-September. The payment consisted of the company’s income tax totaling US$ 343 million, employees’ income taxes, regional taxes, other taxes amounting to US$ 41 million, and royalties worth US$ 34 million. In a press release Freeport’s management said that all of Freeport’s payment until September was US$ 1,3 billion, comprising the company’s income tax worth US$ 925 million, other taxes of US$ 178 million, royalties worth US$ 139 million, and the government’s dividends of US$ 75 million.
15 Dec. Shooting death in Papua
Andi Rahmat Faisal was found dead on Wednesday bringing to four the total number of shooting victims in the past three weeks in Jayapura regency. A Papua Police spokesman said “He was found at 1 o’clock and we believe he was killed a few days before. He had a gunshot wound to his left eye,” Andi worked as a collections agent for a cellphone retailer in Sentani. “He was shot on his way home to Sentani after collecting money. Rp 40 million has been reported missing,” Wachyono said
16 Dec. OPM leader Kelly Kwalik honoured
A number of local people gathered to remember and honour OPM leader Kelly Kwalik who was killed by Indonesian security forces one year ago.
17 Dec. WikiLeaks, a lifting of the US ban on training with Kopassus
According to diplomatic cables published by the Sydney Morning Herald from WikiLeaks, a lifting of the US ban on training with Kopassus was made a condition of Obama's recent visit to Jakarta
23 Dec. Jakarta causing unrest in West Papua
In more cables released by WikiLeaks it was reveal that US diplomats blame the government in Jakarta for unrest in West Papua, where Indonesian military commanders have been accused of illegal logging operations and drug smuggling from West Papua into Papua New Guinea. According to the leaked US diplomatic cables the US believes that the Indonesian Government is causing unrest in West Papua due to neglect, corruption and human rights abuses
29 Dec. Kontras Says Police Most Violent Institution in 2010,
Haris Azhar, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), a major Indonesian human rights group has accused the National Police of being the state institution guilty of committing the highest number of acts of violence against the public in 2010. This year “leaves a big stain on the National Police’s record in terms of working toward reform and accountability Haris told a press conference on Tuesday “This year there were at least 34 cases of violence perpetrated by members of the National Police against the public,” he said. Haris added that most of the violence involved torture, especially during investigations, as well as the excessive use of force and abuse of police weapons.
A new report says Indonesian law enforcers routinely torture suspects and convicts to extract confessions or obtain information. Restaria Hutabarat of the Jakarta-based Legal Aid Foundation says the group's report found beatings, intimidation and rape are so commonplace they are considered the norm. It found that few victims believe they have the right to lodge complaints.
Investing in the Future of Papua and West Papua: Infrastructure for Sustainable Development
ReliefWeb Source: The World Bank Group Jan 2010
Full_Report (pdf* format - 4.2 Mbytes)
“Unkept Promise” Failure to End Military Business Activity in Indonesia
Human Rights Watch report Jan 2010
This 20-page report provides a detailed critique of a presidential decree and Defense Ministry regulations addressing military involvement in businesses that were issued in October 2009. It finds that these measures do not satisfy the requirement in a 2004 law that the government fully divest the armed forces of its business interests as a means to promote military professionalism and civilian control.
Radicalisation and Dialogue in Papua, Asia Report Nº188.
International Crisis Group Mar 2010
Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua saw an upsurge in political violence in 2009, continuing into 2010.
Note. A number of NGO’s responded to this report as many felt it was mistaken in some of its its conclusions. AWPA’s response can be found at the Lowy Institutes blog “The interpreter” at http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2010/03/24/Reader-riposte-The-Freeport-attacks.aspx See also Get up, stand up: West Papua stands up for its rights (below)
Prosecuting Political Aspiration Indonesia’s Political Prisoners.
Human Rights Watch report. June 22, 2010
This 43-page report is based on more than 50 jailhouse interviews with political prisoners conducted between December 2008 and May 2010. It describes the arrest and prosecution of activists for peacefully raising banned symbols, such as the Papuan Morning Star and the South Moluccan RMS flags. The report also details torture that many say they have suffered in detention, especially by members of the Detachment 88/Anti-Terror Squad in Ambon, as well as police and prison guards in Papua, and the failure of the government to hold those responsible to account.
How Sinar Mas is pulping the planet
July 2010 . A new investigative report from Greenpeace, 'How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet', shows how major brands like Walmart, Auchan and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) are fueling climate change and pushing Sumatran tigers and orang-utans towards the brink of extinction.
One People, One Soul' West Papuan Nationalism and the OPM
New Book by John Ondawame
Indonesian colonisation of West Papua and the lack of a democratic tradition have been the main root causes of the current political problems in this area, triggering the emergence of an increasingly strong Papuan nationalism that finds its expression in a resistance movement, led by the OPM, seeking self-determination and independence. These problems have continued over many years, having serious social, political, economic, and environmental effects for West Papua but, despite the widespread local resistance, the OPM has so far been unable to end the colonial domination and practices.
Inquiry into Human Rights Mechanisms and the Asia-Pacific
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and TradeCommittee activities (inquiries and reports)http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jfadt/asia_pacific_hr/report.htm
Elmslie, Jim and Camellia Webb Gannon with Peter King July 2010
Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Sydney
International Crisis Group Aug 2010
EIA August 2010
The murky business of merbau smuggling in Indonesia
A detailed expose of some of the key players behing Indonesia's illegal timber trade.
From the author. The Illustrator and I have chosen to release the first three chapters (60 pages) now, given the urgency of the content but also because we can update and add to this "flip book" over time. (Try your scroll wheel to flip pages.)
If you enjoy the beautiful illustrations in this book and you come to appreciate the global significance and dire urgency of its story, please tell others about papuanvoices.com. www.papuanvoices.com.
INDONESIA: Economic marginalization fuelling conflict in Papua
humanitarian news and analysis
a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
JAKARTA, August 2010 (IRIN) - Economic marginalization of the indigenous population in Indonesia's easternmost Papua region is fuelling conflict, experts and activists warn. Papua, home to ethnic Melanesians, has experienced a low-level separatist conflict for decades, while a recent political standoff with the central government over political representation has sparked growing calls for a referendum on the region's status...
Indonesia: Papuans displaced by military operations in the central highlands remain unassisted
Date: 13 Oct 2010
Since May 2010 and particularly in May and June, an unknown number of Papuans, ranging from several hundreds to several thousands, have been reported to be internally displaced in the central highlands region of Puncak Jaya, where the government of Indonesia has been conducting counter-insurgency operations against rebels of the OPM (Free Papua Movement). Fleeing the army's "sweeping operations", which are often accompanied by severe human rights violations, most internally displaced people (IDPs) have taken shelter in the jungle, where they have very limited or no access to basic necessities of life including food, shelter, water and health care.
Indonesia: Papua Flood Situation report 12 October 2010
Source: Yakkum Emergency Unit Date: 13 Oct 2010
Brief description of the emergency
Flash flood struck Wondama Bay (Wasior), Papua (110 sea miles east of Nabire) at October 4, 2010; resulting in 105 casualties (BNPB data on 11 October), hundreds injured and thousand forced to flee to Manokwari and Nabire. 67 people are still missing..............................
UNFPA provide reproductive health assistance for Wasior flash floods
Date: 13 Oct 2010
On 12 October 2010 UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, provided assistance in the form of reproductive health supplies for the flash floods in Wasior, West Papua, Indonesia. In coordination with the Crisis Centre and Maternal Directorate of the Ministry of Health UNFPA provided:
Date: 19 Nov 2010
This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation. Palang Merah Indonesia, (in English Indonesian Red Cross), will, however, accept direct assistance to provide support to the affected population………..
The State of Human Rights in Indonesia in 2010
Source: Asian Human Rights Commission
Date: 9 Dec 2010
Non-truth and Reconciliation in Indonesian Peacebuilding
John Braithwaite, Valerie Braithwaite, Michael Cookson, Leah Dunn.
Indonesia suffered an explosion of religious violence, ethnic violence, separatist violence, terrorism, and violence by criminal gangs, the security forces and militias in the late 1990s and early 2000s. By 2002 Indonesia had the worst terrorism problem of any nation. All these forms of violence have now fallen dramatically. How was this accomplished? What drove the rise and the fall of violence? Anomie theory is deployed to explain these developments.
Investing in Papua: The Dual Challenges of Governance and Development
Centre for NTS Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, The National University of Singapore
Brief historical background
The conflict in West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea, can trace its origins, like so many of the conflicts around the world, to the boundaries that were drawn up by former colonial powers, and one cannot understand the present conflict in West Papua without understanding its history.
We could say the modern history of West Papua began when the island was partitioned by three Western powers, the Dutch claiming the western half in 1828, while the Germans and British divided the eastern half into German New Guinea in the north and British Papua in the south (1884). Eventually the Eastern half became the independent nation of Papua New Guinea in 1975.
The Papuan people of Dutch New Guinea (also called Netherlands New Guinea or West New Guinea), were to have a different fate. The Republic of Indonesia was created in 1949 when the Indonesian people won their struggle for independence against their former colonial masters, The Dutch. West New Guinea, due to its distinct Melanesian population, was retained as a colony by the Dutch and during the 1950s, the Dutch government prepared the territory for independence. However, President Sukarno continued to claim that West New Guinea should be part of Indonesia and when his demands were not met, armed conflict ensued in 1962. (In January 1962, there was a clash between Dutch and Indonesian naval forces of the coast of West New Guinea resulting in the sinking of an Indonesian naval patrol boat. Also in 1961 Indonesia sent armed infiltrators into West New Guinea).
Under pressure from the United States to come to terms with Indonesia, the Dutch
agreed to secret negotiations and in August 1962, an agreement was concluded in
were to leave West New Guinea and transfer sovereignty to UNTEA (the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority). After 7 months the UN transferred power to Indonesia with the provision that a referendum be held to determine Papuan preference for independence, or integration with Indonesia.
From the moment Indonesia took over the administration from UNTEA, the oppression of the West Papuan people began. A sham referendum called the “Act of Free Choice” was held in 1969, under UN supervision. Only 1022 hand-picked voters, one representative for every 700 West Papuans, were allowed vote, and under coercion, voted to remain with Indonesia. The West Papuan people call this the ‘act of no choice’. A UN official, a retired undersecretary-general , who handled the takeover said recently: “Nobody gave a thought to the fact that there were a million people who had their fundamental human rights trampled,” and “It was just a whitewash. The mood at the United Nations was to get rid of this problem as quickly as possible”.
Since Indonesia took over the administration of West Papua in 1963, there have been ongoing human rights abuses in the territory. A report prepared for the Indonesia Human Rights Network by the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic Yale Law School titled “Indonesian Human Rights abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control” was released in 2004. The following extract from the reports conclusion aptly describes what has been occurring in West Papua since the Indonesian takeover.
“Since the so-called Act of Free Choice, the West Papuan people have suffered persistent and horrible abuses at the hands of the Indonesian government. The Indonesian military and security forces have engaged in widespread violence and extrajudicial killings in West Papua. They have subjected Papuan men and women to acts of torture, disappearance, rape, and sexual violence, thus causing serious bodily and mental harm. Systematic resource exploitation, the destruction of Papuan resources and crops, compulsory (and often uncompensated) labor, transmigration schemes, and forced relocation have caused pervasive environmental harm to the region, undermined traditional subsistence practices, and led to widespread disease, malnutrition, and death among West Papuans”.
As to Australia’s involvement - originally we supported the Dutch in trying to hold onto West New Guinea, as we preferred another colonial power to act as a buffer zone between Australia and any potential invader from the north. However, once the US decided to back Indonesia, Australia also decided to support Indonesia’s takeover of West Papua. In fact, Australia acted against the wishes of the West Papuan people, who always wanted independence. One example is the case of two West Papuan leaders, Clemens Runawery and Willem Zonggonao who were removed by Australian officials from a plane just weeks before the UN supervised vote. (in Australia’s then colony of PNG). This was at the request of the Indonesian foreign minister. They were on their way to the UN in New York carrying testimonies from many West Papuan leaders calling for independence. Because of Australia’s involvment, they never had a chance to plead their case.
The Question of Special Autonomy
The question of Special Autonomy is very important as a number of governments support the Special Autonomy package offered by Jakarta to the West Papuan people. They believe its the best way forward for the Papuan people however, the West Papuan people have rejected it and symbolically handed it back to Jakarta this year.
In 2001, President Megawati and the Indonesian Government approved a Special Autonomy package for West Papuaas well as allowing a name change for the province to “Papua”. It was hoped this autonomy package would dampen support for independence. Although the package appeared generous in that the central government would return up to 70% of the province’s revenue, it was rejected by the West Papuan people. This refusal at what appears to be a very generous package surprised the central government who seem to have great difficulty believing the fact that the West Papuan people want their freedom. But the Indonesian Government was never really committed to Special Autonomy and this was confirmed when President Megawati in 2003, issued Presidential Instruction No. 1/2003, to divide Papua into three separate provinces.
The Presidential Instruction was legally problematic as the 2001 Special Autonomy Law No. 21 held a more legitimate legal status than the presidential instruction. The decree contradicted Law No. 21/2001 on special autonomy for Papua, particularly Article 76 which states that any policy affecting Papuans must be approved by the Papuan People’s Council (MRP), in effect Papua can only be divided into several provinces if it were an aspiration of the Papuan people and also only with the approval of the MRP. (In August 2002, the Papuan parliament sent a draft bill establishing the MRP to the Ministry of Home Affairs, however, officially at the time of the division the MRP had not yet been established. The MRP has only come into being after long delays, under the present SBY government).
To the West Papuan people this presidential instruction to divide West Papua into a number of provinces was basically seen as a case of ‘divide and rule’ i.e. to weaken the Papuan movement for self determination. In 2004, the Indonesian Constitutional Court overturned the controversial law that would have divided Papua into three new provinces, but ruled that one of the new provinces (West Irian Jaya ) would remain intact as it had already been established in line with constitutional requirements i.e. it became a de facto province. The formation of the third proposed province, Central Irian Jaya was disallowed.
In January 2008, Indonesia’s House of Representatives endorsed its own plan to create another four provinces in West Papua. With the four new proposed provinces (which would exclude the province of Papua), there would be a total number of five provinces in the western half of the Island of New Guinea, Papua, West Papua, Southwest Papua, Central Papua, and South Papua. However, at this stage President Yudhoyono has postponed (not cancelled) the formation of the new provinces.
A number of governments have supported the autonomy package for West Papua as it gives them a way of avoiding looking at the harder question of self-determination for the West Papuan people. Funding for the autonomy package has flowed to West Papua but it has only benefited some elites and the bureaucrats with no benefit for the majority of West Papuans, which is why it has been rejected. The Rev. Socratez Sofyan Yoman, President of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of West Papua has said that Special Autonomy funds have been used to support military operations by the TNI against the West Papuan people.
There have been ongoing demonstrations against Special Autonomy for many years including the one below in July of this year with the marchers calling for a referendum on self-determination, and rejecting special autonomy.
The Papuans are calling for an end to governments supporting Special Autonomy as the only way forward for the West Papuan people and are calling on Jakarta to open a national dialogue with the West Papuan leadership. Dialogue with Jakarta is what the West Papuan people are demanding to solve the many issues of concern in the territory.
West Papuans marching in Jayapura in July 2010 calling for a referendum on self-determination, and rejecting special autonomy. (AFP Photo/Banjir Ambarita)
West Papua contains some of the last great tracts of undisturbed rain forest in the
Asia-Pacific region. Natural forest cover is still approximately 70% of the territory however, there is no doubt that the rich, bio-diverse forests of West Papua are coming under major threat as the Indonesian government looks to replace the exhausted forests resources in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The main threats include logging (both legal and illegal), oil palm plantations and proposed food estates although transmigration sites and mining areas have also impacted on the forests of West Papua.
Oil Palm Plantations
The world’s demand for bio-fuel is causing deforestation in tropical forests around the
world and oil palm plantations are now a major threat to the forests of West Papua.
John McBeth in an article titled ‘Tussle for Papua's forests” (Straits Times, Singapore 21/8/07) reported on the Indonesian central government’s plan to massively
expand palm oil plantations in West Papua. This would entail the creation of four
million hectares of plantations concentrated in the south-eastern districts of Merauke,
Boven Digoel and Mappi, and in the Sari, Keerom and Jayapura regencies on the
northern side of the Central Highlands. According to McBeth, about 90 per cent of the
area designated for conversion to palm oil plantation is primary forest that has never
been logged. The exact amount of land set aside for oil palm plantations is unclear and figures vary according to sources. Greenpeace claims that Indonesia’s President has asked Papua’s Governor Barnabas Seubu to open up five million hectares of land for conversion into palm oil plantations in a bid to increase biofuel production.
A report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) in 2007 reported that The social and political tensions generated by natural resources investment have always been an important element of the Papua conflict. Papua’s and West Papua’s timber, fishing and minerals are vital to the national economy, yet their populations are poorer than those of any other province in Indonesia except West Nusa Tenggara. The most significant new investment in Papua, however, is plantation development,
particularly oil palm, and the bulk of it – potentially hundreds of thousands of
hectares – will be in Boven Digoel, Mappi and Merauke”. The report raised a number of concerns including “the potential influx of non-Papuan Indonesian workers”. West Papuans are already concerned that they will become a minority in their own land and any influx of migrants into an area has the potential to cause conflict between the local people and Indonesia workers.
Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE)
The Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate is a project to create a $5 billion agricultural estate across three districts in Papua. The MIFEE program is the latest attempt by the government to gain self-sufficiency in food production, with a longer-term goal of someday becoming a food-exporting nation. MIFEE would be a collection of commercial plantations, planned to cover 1.6 million hectaresand has received support from the Government of Indonesia. Merauke has been designated a national ‘Special Economic Zone’ (SEZ) in order to attract the US$8.6 billion of investment needed for the project.
The proposal would attract tens of thousands more workers and economic migrants, mostly from outside Papua which would have major consequences on the indigenous people of the Merauke region who have already been impacted on by transmigration programmes,. The project is likely to contribute to the marginalisation of indigenous Papuans by taking over the customary-owned land and resources which provide their livelihoods. It is also likely to raises major environmental and ecological concerns and exacerbate existing human rights grievances. Although Indonesia’s Forestry Minister has said the proposal would not impact on natural forest cover the conversion of protected forest for agricultural use seems likely.
It was reported in the Jakarta Post (21/7/10) that the government planned to expand the pulp and paper industry to eastern Indonesia, including Papua, because of its vast tracts of forest. “Currently, only western Indonesia has pulp and paper factories,” Industry Minister MS Hidayat said after opening the April Technology Center (ATC) in Pelalawan, Riau. “In future, we plan to expand the development of the pulp and paper industry to eastern Indonesia,” he said, adding that the expansion would to help Indonesia increase pulp and paper exports. At the event, Hidayat urged pulp and paper producers not to damage forests to avoid criticism by foreign NGOs.
The Jakarta Post (23/7/09) reported that a coalition of green activists had launched an action plan to tackle the severe threat of rampant deforestation in Papua.
Extract from the article “The coalition, which includes Greenpeace, Papua NGO Network (Foker), Papua People's Assembly (MRP) and the Samdhana Institute, announced the establishment of working groups to formulate forest management policy and the financing steps needed to protect Papua's forests, indigenous forest-dependant peoples and biodiversity, as well as to fight climate change. "The only way to save Papua's forests, people and biodiversity and to fight global climate change is to take global action immediately. This means industrialized nations must find at least US$40 billion per year to protect the world's rapidly diminishing forests and make deep emissions cuts at home," Yuyun Indradi, a Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest campaigner, said in a statement”.
However, the question raised by any proposed REDD scheme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is, who would receive the money for the protection of the forests? The central government? the provinces? or the Indigenous people who actually own –or should own them? In discussing any plan to protect the forest of West Papua the West Papuan people themselves should be consulted and guaranteed to benefit from and participate in such plan, which will also benefit the global community.
About the Australia West Papua Association ( Sydney)
The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) is a human rights organisation focusing on the territory of West Papua. AWPA’s role is to lobby both the Australian government and the International Community to raise concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua. The West Papuan people face great challenges including ongoing human rights abuses, the exploitation of their natural resources with little or no benefit to themselves, the danger of becoming a minority in their own land as the result of migrants arriving daily and a HIV/AIDS epidemic. AWPA raises awareness in the international community about the historical wrongs and history of West Papua and supports the right of the West Papuan people to self-determination..
To be added to a West Papua email list to receive further information and respond to urgent actions on West Papua contact AWPA Sydney at PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW Australia 2088 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
 AWPA (Sydney) uses the name “West Papua” to refer to the whole of the western half of the Island of New Guinea. However, “West Papua” at this time is divided into two provinces, Papua and West Papua.