Monday, January 30, 2012

AWPA- update January 2012

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

AWPA- update January 2012

Summary of events

The trial against five Papuan activists for treason began on Monday 30 January. The five men, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Domingkus Sorabut and Agustinus Kraar are charged with treason. The Judge at the Jayapura district court said, “The defendants jointly tried to commit treason with the intention of allowing the country or part of the country to fall into the hands of the enemy,” and , 

“They acted together to declare Papua an independent region, which constitutes an act of treason.”

Human Rights Watch has urged the Indonesian government to drop the charges against the five Papuan activists who are being prosecuted for peacefully expressing their political views. Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch said “The Indonesian government should show its commitment to peaceful expression by dropping the charges against these five Papuan activists,” and “It’s appalling that a modern democratic nation like Indonesia continues to lock up people for organizing a demonstration and expressing controversial views.”

Human Rights Watch also released its World Report for 2012. This 22nd annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2011. The country report on Indonesia at

There have been a number of shooting incidents in West Papua in the past month. On Monday the 9 January two contractors working for US company Freeport-McMoRan were found dead near the mine. According to a report in the Jakarta Globe ten people, have now been killed around the mine in ambushes since September.

On the 5 January soldiers, from the Yonif 753 base in Nabire, clashed with members of the OPM in Puncak Jaya. 

During the shootout one of the suspected rebels was killed. According to a media report he was identified as Lindiron Tabuni, the son of Goliat Tabuni, the leader of the Puncak Jaya cell of the OPM

In other incidents a food vendor was shot by an unidentified armed group in Kurilik, Mulia district in the Puncak Jaya regency on the 20 January. The reason behind the shooting is unknown. On the 28 January a Brimob officer was killed while on patrol with six other men l. The patrol was ambushed by unidentified armed assailants.

Indonesia Police, Prosecutors Engaged in Torture: Papua Poll Confirms

A survey carried out by nongovernmental organizations between July and September last year showed there was a widespread belief among respondents in Papua that police engaged in practices of torture. For the survey, the Jakarta and Papua offices of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) spoke to 205 respondents from various fields: police, prosecutors, customary and tribal leaders, commentators, criminal suspects and even inmates at Abepura Prison in Jayapura, Papua. The results showed that respondents identified several institutes as engaging in torture: the police (61 percent), prosecutors (31 percent) and prison officials (8 percent). The findings echo the results of a previous survey by LBH Jakarta, in which respondents identified police as the main perpetrators of torture among all branches of law enforcement.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released two urgent actions in January. On the 26 January, Military officers arbitrarily arrest and torture civilians based on false claims of rebel activity

and on the 27 January , Authorities refuse to treat political prisoner with tumour

AWPA also called on the Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to raise the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian Government during his visit to Indonesia.

In Brief

54 students in Jayapura infected by HIV/AIDS

The Jakarta Post, 01/22/2012

The Jayapura branch of the AIDS Prevention Commission (KPA) has discovered that 54 students in Jayapura regency have become infected by HIV/AIDS.

“These students would have been able to avoid this if they had come to us earlier to be tested,” KPA secretary Purnomo said on Sunday as quoted by

He acknowledged, however, that this could be an "iceberg phenomenon", meaning the figure might not represent the actual number of those affected by HIV/AIDS. The discovery of 54 infected students from Jayapura is just one part of the bigger picture, in which the KPA maintains that 796 people in the regency, from all social strata, have been infected by the disease. (dic)


Eighteen Jayapura toddlers infected with HIV/AIDS

Tue, January 17 2012 18:26 | 306 Views

Sentani, Papua (ANTARA News) - The National AIDS Commission (NAC) reported that 18 toddlers in Jayapura regency, Papua are HIV/AIDS positive during tests conducted in 2011. Jayapura's NAC Secretary Purnomo said here Tuesday that the 18 toddlers are aged from one to four years. "Toddlers with HIV/AIDS were transmitted through the mother. Where the mother was already infected before conception," he said. He said that there is still a HIV infected toddler found because the local pregnant mothers in the community are still afraid to check to the nearest hospital equipped with voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) facility……………..


Illiteracy Points to Deeper Woes in Papua

Banjir Ambarita & Mary Anugrah Rasita | January 30, 2012

Jayapura. Education experts and officials have decried the poor state of schools in Papua in the wake of a revelation that half of all students at a state elementary school in Jayapura, the provincial capital, were illiterate. 

Nella Manaku, headmaster of Holtekamp Elementary School, said on Monday that 50 percent of the students there could neither read nor write. 

“Most of the students in grades one through three can’t read or write, they can barely just spell [the alphabet],” he said. “In grades four and five, there are also students who can’t read or write.” 

The Jakarta Globe also observed fifth- and sixth-grade students still being taught how to write. 

Nella blamed the high illiteracy rate on a lack of teachers at the state-run school. He said there were just five instructors for the more than 100 students. 

“Three of them are permanent and the others are contract teachers, but they rarely show up for work,” he said. 

He added that he had repeatedly applied to the Jayapura Education Agency for more teachers, but to no avail. 

“For several years now we’ve been asking for help, but there’s never been a response from the authorities,” he said……………………


Freeport Indonesia appoints new president director

Rangga D Fadhillah, The Jakarta Post, 01/27/2012

PT Freeport Indonesia, operator of the Grasberg gold and cooper mine in Papua, announced on Friday that it had appointed former Public Works Minister Rozik B. Soetjipto as its new president director, replacing Armando Mahler.

Rozik will be assisted by an executive committee chaired by Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold chief executive Richard Adkerson, while Armando will serve the company as a senior advisor to the committee, the company revealed.

“The new management organization will enable us to renew our commitment to operate the Grasberg mine in a safe, efficient and world class fashion for the benefit of our employees, the local community, and the Republic of Indonesia,” said Rozik in a press statement sent to The Jakarta Post.

Rozik has served on the board of commissioners of PT Freeport Indonesia since 2000. He is a mining engineering graduate of the Bandung Institute of Technology and has obtained masters and doctorate degrees in metallurgical engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.

He held various senior positions in the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry for a number of years, including as director general of mines from 1998 to 1999. He served as the Public Works Minister during 1999-2000.


New book : Comprehending West Papua

This new book from the West Papua Project is an edited volume of the collection of papers presented at the February 2011 University of Sydney conference "Comprehending West Papua". It represents the views of the world's leading scholars and activists currently working on understanding the conflict in West Papua.

Click to download Comprehending West Papua.

It will be launched at the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney, on Tuesday February 7 at 6PM (for a 6:30 start).


UP4B starts development acceleration in Papua

Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Thu, 01/12/2012

The Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B) began its work on Wednesday by disseminating its mission. UP4B chairman Bambang Darmono, accompanied by his deputy Eduard Fonataba, said the main tasks for his unit were to support the coordination, synchronization, planning, facility provision and the control of development implementation and acceleration in Papua and West Papua. Bambang said the UP4B would only operate for three years and its main duty would be to build a basis for sustainable development, in line with the aspirations of local communities, leading toward social integration. The UP4B was established by the government in late 2011 after the acknowledgment that special autonomy legislation, which was applied to Papua in 2001 in the hopes of providing a “win-win” solution to local demands for the separation of Papua from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesian (NKRI), had not secured the benefits expected.


Some Papuans skeptical about UP4B

Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura 12/08/2011

The government’s initiative to accelerate development in Papua and West Papua through the establishment of a special unit led by Bambang Darmono has met with resistance from some Papuans.

“Papuan people have rejected special autonomy status. Now they have offered UP4B. What on earth is that? We Papuan people reject UP4B. What we want is a referendum,” Saul Bomay, former political prisoner, said during a meeting with an entourage from Jakarta in Jayapura on Wednesday.

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