Saturday, May 5, 2012

AWPA- update April-beginning of May 2012

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

AWPA- update  April-beginning of May  2012

A number of shootings occurred in West Papua in the past month.
A convoy of Freeport Indonesia cars was attacked twice on the road linking Tembagapura and the company’s Grasberg mine although no one was injured.  The Jakarta Globe reported that 

“A group of unidentified men shot the convoy at mile 26. The bullets hit the back windows of cars. The mobile brigadier and the Indonesian military were quick to aid the convoy. The cars, however, were shot again a second time at mile 36”.

Another shooting occurred on the 8 April when gunmen fired on a small plane as it landed at Mulia Airport, Puncak Jaya.  One passenger was killed and four people wounded including both pilots. The management of Trigana Air said they would suspend services to the regency until the authorities could guarantee security at the airport. The military accused the OPM for the attack but the OPM has denied they were responsible. More than three weeks after the attack airlines are still not flying to the destination

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a number of rallies to protest the handover of West Papua by the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) to Indonesia on the 1st May in 1963.  One person was killed and 13 protesters arrested by the security forces at one rally held at the grave of Chief Theys Eluay. The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial) condemned this latest shooting in Papua. Photos of the rally that took place in Manokwari at

Amnesty International released an urgent action concerning the need of medical treatment for Filep Karma
AWPA also wrote to the Director General of Prisons

 re Filep Karma 
Amnesty released a report  Indonesia must end impunity for police violence”

Human Rights Watch has criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron (who visited Indonesian) for his statements about Indonesia’s democracy, saying he overrated it while neglecting reports of ongoing rights abuses. 

Cameron praised Indonesia during his Jakarta visit earlier this month, saying Indonesia’s transition to democracy could be a model for other Muslim majority nations.
AWPA also wrote to the British Prime Minister urging him to rethink the possible sale of military equipment to Indonesia as AWPA believes any equipment sold to Indonesia could be used against the West Papuan people
DFAT replied to AWPA’s letter of concern re the Jayapura five who were sentenced to three years imprisonment foe subversion.

In brief
Catholic youth organisation calls for an end to further transmigration to West Papua
JUBI, 21 April 2012
The Jayapura branch of the Association of Catholic Students of the Republic of Indonesia, the PMKRI,  has expressed its firm rejection of government plans to  bring more transmigrants to Papua and West Papua because it believes that this will mean the further marginalisation of the indigenous Papuan people. The organisation believes that more transmigants will result in further expansion of the population and will lead to unhealthy competition  that could result in horizontal conflicts. 'The indigenous Papuan people have already become a minority in their own homeland. We strongly reject plans to bring in more transmigrants,' said the chairman of the Jayapura branch of  the PMKRI,  Benyamin Lokobal. He went on to say that if the government nevertheless goes ahead with this plan, they will organise demonstrations in collaboration with other youth organisations in Papua. They also intend to undertake research by holding one-day seminars in order to firm up opposition to the arrival of more transmigrants. Simon P. Bane of the general secretariat of the PMKRI said that if more transmigrants come to West Papua, they very much fear that the  Papuan people will be further marginalised because the trsansmigrants will get all the attention. 'This will automatically mean less attention being paid to the indigenous Papuan people. Last Friday, the Papua Post reported that the head of the Office of Labour and Transmigration in the province of West Nusatenggara, Mokhlis, speaking in Mataram, said that they would be sending more transmigrants to Papua and West Papua. The chairman of Catholic Youth in Jayapura, Kristian Bame said that in addition to resulting in a rapid expansion in the population, more transmigration has the potential to lead to land grabbing. He said that up to the present, the contribution of transmigrants in Papua is not at all apparent. On the contrary, their presence has only led to social jealousy. [Translation by TAPOL]


From INDOLEFT News service
Intel in Papua operating under independent chain of command
Kompas - April 19, 2012
Jakarta -- Speaking in Jakarta on Wednesday April 18, Indonesian Military (TNI) headquarters information centre chief Rear Admiral Iskandar Sitompul said that intelligence personnel on duty in Papua do indeed have its own chain of command. Intelligence operatives do not report to the Papuan chief-of-police despite the province currently being under a state of civil administration, where jurisdiction for security lies with regional heads and is implemented by the police. "Intelligence operations if they're found out, yeah, they would be in the wrong", said Sitompul. Earlier, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) questioned why numerous shooting incidents in Papua are not followed by the arrest of suspects. The government invariably claims that the perpetrators are from the Free Papua Organisation (OPM). Komnas HAM Commissioner Joseph A Prasetyo said that based on information obtained by the commission, there is a group of people referred to as "angel troops" (pasukan malaikat). They are not TNI and also not OPM. "We are therefore asking for transparency, [so that] all operations in Papua are reported to the police chief because Papua is under a state of civil order", he said.
According to Sitompul, boarder security and security operations in unstable areas are coordinated with regional governments or under the authority of local police. Intelligence [operations] however, although they do indeed require coordination, are conducted through intelligence channels above them. "If they don't need coordination, yeah, they aren’t conducted", said Sitompul. Speaking at the Papua Regional House of Representatives (DPR) in Jayapura on Wednesday, DPR Commission A chairperson Ruben Magai said that security personnel, particularly the police, have been unable to maintain order and security in Papua. Shootings in the area of PT Freeport and Puncak Jaya for example, continue unabated. Yet the security forces have proven incapable of shedding any light on the perpetrators. Although there are many TNI and police personnel, as well as agents from the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the Army's Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS) that are assigned to Mulia, Puncak Jaya regency, a civil aircraft was still fired during a landing at the Mulia Airport resulting in the death of one passenger. The shooting has resulted in pilots being unwilling to fly to Mulia and this has impacted upon the mobility of local people and the supply of foodstuffs. Since the shooting of the Trigana Air Twin-Otter aircraft on Monday April 8, no aircraft have flown back to Mulia. (JOS/EDN) [Translated by James Balowski.]

28th anniversary of the death of Arnold Ap to be commemorated
JUBI, 24 April 2012
SKPHP plans to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the death of Arnold Ap
Jayapura: The chairperson of Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran HAM Papua (SKPHP)- Solidarity for Papuan Victims of Human Rights Violations,  Lokbere Peneas has announced that they will be commemorating the 28th anniversary of the death  of Arnold Clemens Ap, the Papuan human rights leader who is thought to have been murdered by the Indonesian Government. 'We wish to inform the general public in the city of Jayapura and its environs that SKPHP will commemorate the 28th anniversary of the death of Arnold Clemens Ap who is believed to have been murdered by the Indonesian government. During the anniversary we will organise a number of actions, ' Peneas. told JUBI.He said that the agenda of the anniversary would include campaigning as well as the performance of Mambesak music in various places in Jayapura and throughout the district of Sentani. Prayers will be said at the grave of Arnold Ap and there will be a press conference, as well as speeches being delivered in front of the UNCEN (Cenderawasih University) Museum. Arnold Ap (1 July 1945 - 26 April 1964) was a Papuan leader, a cultural worker, anthropologist and musician. Arnold Ap was the leader of the Mambesak group and Curator of the Museum of the Cenderawasih University . He also performed Papuan music during weekly programmes on the radio. In November 1983, Ap was arrested by a Kopasus unit, imprisoned and tortured. He died from a shot in the chest in the month of April. The security forces said at the time that  he had made an attempt to escape, but it is clear that he was  executed by Kopassus. To this day, Arnold Ap and his Mambesak music are very popular throughout West Papua and his creations are  regarded as symbols of Papuan  identity. [Translated by TAPOL]

Medical personnel seriously lacking in Papua
JUBI, 2 April 2012
Taking into account the vastness of the territory of the Province of Papua, there is a serious shortage of medical personnel here. Moreover, the ratio between the number of medical personnel and the number of hospitals and clinics is also far too low. 'If you take into account the  number of hospitals, clinics and medical centres, I reckon that the shortage of medical personnel amounts to as much as 2,700,' said the Head  of the Provincial Medical  Services in Papua, Josef Rinta Rachatmaka. He said that as a way of reducing this shortage, the Provincial Medical Services  intends, in co-ordination with the Agency for Personnel Education and Training in the Province of Papua, to look more closely at the data about healthcare personnel in the area. 'On the basis of our present calculations, the number of healthcare personnel in Papua is very low indeed.. With 20 hospitals, 310 clinics and  760 healthcare centres, we need a further 2,700 medical personnel,' he said. He said in particular that there was a need for more medical personnel in the medical health centres that are spread right across the territory.

He said that the shortage would become even more acute  if new hospitals were built. The medical personnel includes the number of doctors, midwives, dieticians and so on. The key factor in any healthcare provision is that there is the right number of personnel. However many medicaments and however much money is available, if there are not enough personnel, then nothing will function properly. While agreeing that there are enough facilities, the most important thing is to have enough medical personnel. 'Many of the facilities we have here are standing empty.' He went on to say that whenever there are plans to build new hospitals, if the personnel are simply taken from those at the already existing facilities, this would only lead  to a further lack of personnel. He said that they plan to open up new diploma courses  for nurses, midwives and dieticians.'We very much hope that, as new healthcare facilities are built, there will be a sufficient number of personnel and not continue with the situation as it is at present.' [Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Reports/opinion pieces/press releases/urgent actions etc

 Amnesty International
We are writing at this time to raise our concerns about human rights violations committed by the police in Indonesia. Amnesty International has received ongoing credible reports of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (other ill-treatment). We highlight below some recent cases that have occurred over the last year………….

 Tempo Investigation
 THE plantation and forest production projects under way in Merauke Regency at the southern tip of Papua, are in danger of unraveling. Last year, a wood-processing factory of PT Medco Papua Industri Lestari stopped operating for two months as a result of heated protests from local residents. Clearing of land for planting sugarcane by PT CenderawasihJaya Mandiri, a subsidiary of the Rajawali Group, also ran into trouble. Two tribal groups disputed over the amount of land to be used by the company. Similar confl icts have taken
place in many other areas in Merauke, affecting over a dozen companies there.

Conference New Guinea Council, the first step.
The conference took place in International Presscentre Nieuwspoort in The Hague/the Netherlands.

Report "Enough is Enough
ICTJ, the Women Commission, and the Women Working Group of Papuan People Assembly
“We women of Papua have been bruised, cornered, besieged from all directions. We are not safe at home, and even less so outside the home. The burden we bear to feed our children is too heavy. The history of the Papuan people is covered in blood, and women are no exception as victims of the violence of blind military actions. We have experienced rape and sexual abuse in detention, in the grasslands, while seeking refuge, no matter where we were when the army and police conducted operations in the name of security.”…………………….

Activists dodge police as they unfurl independence flags in West Papua
Reports are today filtering out of the Indonesian-controlled province of West Papua describing significant protest activity. Many west Papuans have never accepted Indonesian sovereignty over their land. The protests on May 1st mark the anniversary of the day in 1963 when Indonesia assumed control of West Papua.

New report into a major land grab in West Papua
“An Agribusiness Attack in West Papua: Unravelling the Merauke
Integrated Food and Energy Estate”
is now online at:
(direct pdf download:

Politics: Papua and t”he big wink”
A link with JFK and 50 years of lost freedom
Islands Business   Jason Brown 

Raise Religious Freedom and Peaceful Political Expression
(New York) –The European Union should press Indonesia to act against growing religious intolerance and to release all political prisoners during the EU-Indonesia human rights dialogue on May 3, 2012, Human Rights Watch said today…………………………….


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