Human Rights Violations in Papua Before and After Reformasi
ICTJ and ELSHAM
This joint report by ICTJ and the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELSHAM-Papua) provides important insight into the ongoing debate on steps required to achieve a sustainable peace in Papua. The report reviews Papua's recent history within a transitional justice framework, and provides expert recommendations on truth seeking, justice, reparations, institutional reform, and enforcing the rights of women victims. Based on more than 100 interviews carried out in 2011 in the districts of Sorong, Manokwari, Biak, and Paniai, the report reviews Papua’s recent history, including the Special Autonomy Law governing the relationship between the Papua province and Indonesia, within a transitional justice framework.
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Fri, 06/29/2012 9:56 AM
Issues on Papua — and its sister West Papua — have always drawn
the interest of both domestic and international communities. Both regions are
as attractive as the country’s capital Jakarta and resort island of Bali.
While Jakarta is the center of gravity for politics and the
economy of the country and Bali remains a magnet for foreign tourists, the
provinces of Papua and West Papua are rich in natural resources and beauty —
many of which have yet to be explored or tapped. It is the two regions’ natural
resources and beauty, as well as the political sensitivities of their history,
that have made these regions sexy and hotly debated subjects.
As the police continue to investigate and pursue suspects in a
series of shooting incidents that wracked both Papua and West Papua provinces
in the last few months, and as separatism remains a thorny issue, proposals
calling for the establishment of four new provinces, from the existing two
provinces, are yet another test of the Jakarta-initiated “Special Autonomy
Status” in both provinces.
Three regions in Papua and one in West Papua are looking to
become new provinces in the hope of reversing sluggish development under former
and current administrations. The petitioners have urged the Papuan Consultative
Assembly (MRP) to issue a recommendation approving their formation.
The four proposed provinces are named South Papua, Central
Papua, Teluk Cendrawasih (currently part of Papua province) and Northwest Papua
(currently part of West Papua province), each comprising several regencies and
Since the introduction of regional autonomy over a decade ago,
Indonesia has seen the formation of 205 new autonomous regions — seven
provinces, 164 regencies and 34 municipalities. In total, the country now has
529 autonomous regions: 33 provinces, 398 regencies and 98
The government declared a moratorium in 2009 against the
formation of new regions in light of the fact that the new regions were largely
under-performing in four areas: Good governance, public services,
competitiveness and social welfare. Still, proposals for additional regions
have continued to be put forward and the House of Representatives agreed on
bills for the creation of 19 new regions (one province and 18 regencies) in
Aspirants do have legitimate grounds in pursuing the creation of
the new provinces, citing gaps in public service delivery. Many people at the
grassroots level claim to still be waiting to benefit from the special autonomy
status granted to both Papua and West Papua provinces.
But, their proposals were no less controversial, as they
apparently neglect the principles of efficiency and appropriateness. According
to 2010 data, the population of Papua stood at 2,833,381 with West Papua at
760,422. Both are relatively densely populated regions. Establishing new
provinces — and regencies — will only lessen the size of each province and
regency, and trigger serious problems in the availability of infrastructure and
skilled manpower to fill new governmental posts in each new provincial and
regency administration. These limitations exclude considerations of the
financial capacity of both the local and central governments to support the
whole process until the new provinces and regencies are financially and
institutionally capable of standing on their own two feet.
Their proposals also come at a bad time. Although the country
has booked significant economic growth in the past few years, its economy is
not completely immune to the potential impacts of international economic or
It is indeed within their rights to demand the establishment of
new provinces and regencies, but the final decision on whether to endorse their
proposals should also consider the overall impact on the country’s financial
condition and development programs.
2) Govt acknowledgement of past crimes
crucial for peaceful Papua
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, 06/29/2012 3:43 PM
The cycle of violence in Papua has deep roots back in the
earliest days of Indonesia’s history as a nation.
The victims and witnesses of human rights abuses still feel the
In a joint report released on Friday, the International Center
for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Institute for Human Rights Study and
Advocacy (ELSHAM-Papua) reviewed Papua’s recent history, including the 2001
Papua Special Autonomy Law governing the relationship between the province and
Indonesia, within a transitional justice framework.
“Even as we were conducting this research, new outbreaks of
violence and cases of gross human rights violations continued to take place,”
ELSHAM director Ferry Marisan said in a joint press statement.
“We interviewed more than 100 victims, many of whom have
profound feelings of distrust, deeply rooted in the past and direct experiences
of human rights abuses today. Official acknowledgement of this violent past is
a prerequisite to building peace in Papua.”
The NGOs said reconciliation would remain elusive unless these
grievances were recognized and addressed in a practical way through a
transitional justice strategy.
Such a strategy, they said, should include truth-seeking,
criminal accountability, reparations, institutional reform to prevent
recurrence of human rights violations, and a focus on the rights of indigenous
“We are at risk of repeating the past through using force to
deal with unrest, instead of opening a process of genuine dialogue. The first
step is acknowledgment,” said New York-based ICTJ senior associate Galuh
3) Members of Papua Independence Group to Turn Themselves In as
Proof of Innocence
Banjir Ambarita | June 29, 2012
Jayapura. A person claiming to speak
for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) says members of the
pro-independence group will soon surrender themselves to Indonesian authorities
as proof of their innocence in relation to the series of shootings that have
rocked Jayapura in recent weeks. Victor Yeimo, who said he was the KNPB
spokesman for international affairs, said the organization was not responsible
for the attacks, which have killed at least eight people, mostly
civilians. Mako Tabuni, the deputy chairman of the KNPB, was shot dead on June
14 during a police raid to find those responsible for the attacks. He was
accused of being one of the perpetrators.
A riot erupted in Jayapura the same day,
soon after his death, in protest of the shooting. The KNPB and Indonesian
rights organizations alike have slammed Mako’s killing. Indonesian authorities
have defended it, saying Mako tried to resist arrest and grab a gun belonging
to a police officer. By surrendering themselves to police, Victor said the
KNPB hopes authorities will no longer find a reason to scapegoat its
members. “Police must investigate the mysterious shooters that have been doing
all those actions instead of continually accusing the KNPB of being behind all
of them. As proof of our non-involvement, all of the members of the KNPB are
ready to turn ourselves in to the [Papua] Police,” Victor said in Jayapura on
Thursday. He alleged that a massive conspiracy was behind the shootings and
subsequent KNPB scapegoating, accusing the central government of playing a
major role, supported by the police and military. “The police have accused the
KNPB of being the perpetrator behind the series of shootings, but they can
never legally prove the accusation.
The KNPB, in our fight, never exercises a
method of violence. “If we used violence, then it is a setback to our fight,”
Victor said, adding that if any KNPB member committed a violent act, they did
so on an individual basis and not on behalf of the organization. He did not
mention exactly when the KNPB members would turn themselves in to the Papua
Police, only saying it would be in the “near future.”
Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) released on Friday a sobering
report on the state of the National Police, just days away from its 66th
anniversary, which falls on July 1.
The report showed that police behavior and accountability has
been on a general decline over the past three years.
For instance, IPW reports an increasing number of police
personnel dismissals, which it says is a reflection of worsening police
IPW says that 429 police were dismissed in 2009. This number
decreased to 294 in 2010 but jumped even higher in 2011 to 474.
"There have been 12,987 police personnel who have violated
National Police code of conduct in 2012 thus far. However, we'll have to wait
until December to find out how many of these violators will be dismissed,"
IPW chairman Neta S. Pane said on Friday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Neta said that some of the key problems of police conduct
included the use of torture and intimidation by police personnel when dealing
Then there were also instances of violence including shootings
and excessive force. In 2011, IPW says that police shot 97 innocent civilians.
Of these, 19 were killed.
So far in 2012, there have been 18 cases of police brutality
involving 34 of its officers. Eight of these cases were related to the misuse
of weapons. Ten were torture cases.
Neta says that bad behavior on the part of the police has the
effect of making people more violent and combative.
For instance, IPW reports that 65 police stations were
vandalized and burned down in 2011, whereas 2010 saw only 20 reports of such
In the first five months of 2012, IPW said that 28 police
officers had been attacked.
If this trend of public-police conflicts were to continue, IPW
says that the two sides could end up becoming sworn enemies.
"All of this has to be stopped. The National Police elite
and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government have to care about this
grave situation," Neta said.
In order to help improve the police's image, IPW said that the
National Police leadership should fire its deviant officers.
"The National Police elite have to realize that now is not
the time to blindly protect those among their ranks who are deviant. These
deviants have to be fired," Neta said.
The reason why these violations of police standards occur, the
IPW said, was because of the low level of awareness among those at the top of
the police hierarchy of the situations facing those on the ground.
Adding to the problem was the National Police's swelling
bureaucracy, which IPW notes includes 261 generals.
What results is a lack of enforcement of internal controls, so
that rule-breaking personnel do as they please and avoid the punishments that
the IPW says they deserve.
On this point, the IPW pointed to an example in June where North
Sumatra Police did urine samples of their ranks and found that 114 of their
personnel had used drugs. However, these police weren't punished, but rather
"If the police discovered a civilian in that kind of
scenario, the civilian would definitely have been firmly processed. This shows
how the National Police is still discriminatory," Neta said.
"The government, the House of Representatives and the
public have to build external watchdog institutions that prevent bad behavior
in the police and help guide them along the path of reform.
"What is really needed to maximize the police's work
performance is to strengthen the system of oversight and to better coordinate
police personnel in the field," he said. (png)
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-113-2012
29 June 2012 --------------------------------------------------------------------- INDONESIA:
Three Papuans engaged in a peaceful demonstration were killed allegedly by
security officers while 45 others were arrested
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information
regarding the shooting, beatings and assaults directed by security officers against
peaceful protesters in Sentani, Papua on 4 June 2012. The shooting and attacks
allegedly resulted in the death of three protesters while 45 others were
arrested and some ill-treated. The protest was organised by the West Papua
National Committee (KNPB) to urge the government to investigate several
shootings against civilians which recently took place in Papua.
In West Papua Indonesian history is
repeating itself as tragedy
Jun 30th 2012 | from
the print edition
THE flight from Bali to Jayapura, in the
Indonesian half of Papua, offers a stunning view. The planes stop at Timika
soon after dawn to connect with helicopters leaving for Grasberg, the largest
gold mine and third-largest copper mine in the world. As the sun rises, a vast
expanse of lush forest emerges. From the air it is a vision of Eden. But on the
ground, these are dark days.
Ever since 1969, and a ludicrously misnamed
“Act of Free Choice”, when a decision by 1,025 selected Papuans was deemed an
act of self-determination accepting Indonesian sovereignty over the former
Dutch colony, simmering, low-level resistance has persisted. After the fall in
1998 of the dictator, Suharto, and the flowering of Indonesian democracy, the
region was granted “special autonomy” in 2001 and renamed Papua (from Irian
Jaya). In 2003 it was split into two provinces—Papua and West Papua. But
Indonesia continues to rule the region in the Suharto style, through shadowy
parts of the security forces. This year a spate of unexplained deaths has
raised tensions. At least 17 people have been killed since May. Jayapura’s
usually bustling streets are deserted after nightfall. Anonymous text-messages
warn people to stay indoors, recalling memories of previous crackdowns.
In Wamena, a sprawling town in the
highlands, it is wise to take a bicycle rickshaw, not a motorcycle taxi. The
cyclists, calves bulging as they labour, are native Papuans and know the way. The
motorbikes belong to the Indonesian migrants—from Sulawesi, Madura and Java—who
make up 40-50% of the 3.6m population of the two provinces. Migrants own the
shops, restaurants and building firms, and man the police and army. Native
Papuans sit in the dirt to hawk vegetables and fruit. Women traipse in from the
countryside with hand-knotted nets strapped to their foreheads, stuffed with
cabbages, piglets and sometimes their babies. To the migrants’ disgust, some
men still come into town naked but for their penis gourds. The mainly Muslim
settlers and mostly Christian Papuans do not always get along.
Three recent incidents, above all, have
contributed to the climate of fear. On May 29th a German tourist was shot on
the beach at Jayapura. Activists link the shooting to hearings that month at
the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, where Indonesia was discussed. Among
the countries unusually critical of its record, especially in Papua, was
Germany. The suspicion is that parts of Indonesia’s security forces want to
show that Papua remains dangerous, blaming the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, a
secessionist group that has used guerrilla tactics.
Then on June 6th a ten-year-old boy was
injured by a motorcycle ridden at high speed by two Indonesian soldiers through
a village near Wamena. Angry locals attacked the soldiers, killing one of them.
Their comrades came back for revenge on the villagers, setting fire to some of
their houses. At least one person died. For critics of the army this was a
typical tale of its indiscipline, brutality and impunity. Even after a video
seen around the world in 2010 showed soldiers torturing Papuan suspects, the
three culprits received jail sentences of just eight to ten months, for
In the third incident, security forces in
Jayapura on June 14th shot dead Mako Tabuni, a leading advocate of a referendum
on Papuan independence. The police say they had reason to suspect him of recent
killings, and that he was carrying the gun used to shoot the German tourist.
Eyewitnesses, however, have said he was unarmed and doing nothing more
aggressive than buying betel nut when he was killed.
All of this is eerily reminiscent of the
way Indonesia ruled its former province of East Timor for 24 years. There, too,
abusive and mysterious security forces fuelled local resentment. There, too,
Indonesia divided to rule, stressing the fissures among the local population.
There, too, it would blame unrest on a tiny resistance manipulated by foreign
forces. In East Timor Indonesia tried to contain unrest by closing off the
territory. Papua is largely off-limits to foreign journalists. Foreign
NGOs—even those dealing with an HIV epidemic spread by prostitution—are finding
visas for their workers hard to come by. Some feel pressure to leave Papua altogether.
Yet there are reasons to doubt that Papua
can follow East Timor into the independence it has now, as Timor-Leste, enjoyed
for ten years. First, East Timor’s legal status was different. Through the
occupation, Portugal remained, under the UN charter, the “administering” power.
Much as the outside world might have liked to forget the problem, there were
legal reminders of its existence. The Act of Free Choice, though a flagrant
injustice, was nevertheless one to which the UN was party. Second, the Papuan
resistance is not as coherent even as the faction-ridden Timorese.
Third, and most important, Timor-Leste’s
oil-and-gas income is relatively modest, and started to flow only after
independence. Papua is already a treasure-chest. That immense forest is
pockmarked in places by isolated lighter-green squares, where the trees have
been felled and oil palm planted. And Freeport McMoRan, Grasberg’s owner,
claims to be the largest single taxpayer to the Indonesian government.
Indonesia is not going to part with such riches easily. It has invested heavily
in Papua, buying itself a corps of people with a vested interest in its
The SBY effect
Its rule in Papua is a reminder that
Indonesia’s current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was a general under
Suharto, that the army has not cleaned up its act since its atrocities in East
Timor and in the conflict in Aceh in Sumatra, and that, in some other respects,
too, his regime looks less like the repudiation of Suharto’s Indonesia than its
continuation. But Mr Yudhoyono enjoys being feted internationally as the leader
of a beacon of democratic moderation. Papua may be the place where that image,
already tarnished, is irrevocably stained.
2) OPM: Three
regions ready to fly the Morning Star flag
Bintang Papua, 27 June 2012
OPM: 'Three regions are ready to fly the Morning Star flag'
The OPM's general coordinator, Lambert Pekikir has announced
that three regions in Papua are ready to fly the Morning Star flag on 1 July,
the anniversary of the OPM's military wing, the TPN.
The flag flying will last for three days, along with fireworks.
He said that the three regions are Wamena, Keerom and Yapen Waropen. People in
Wamena are from the mountains, the people Yapen Waropen are coastal people,
while those from valleys and lowland areas live in Keerom.
OPM troops along with civilian sympathisers will take part
in the flag-flying. 'There will be ceremonies as well, attended by the general
public and those struggling for an independent Papua.
'Our military forces are well prepared for these events and if
the TNI and police respond with violence, we are ready,' he said.
Meanwhile, the police have issued an ultimatum urging that
there is no flag flying. 'The Morning Star flag is not a flag of the
Indonesian Republic or a regional symbol, and anyone who unfurls that flag
anywhere in Papua will be seen as having violated the law and will
face the consequences in accord with the laws in force in Indonesia.'
The army spokesman, Yohannes Nugroho Wicaksono called on
people not to fly the flag. 'In the interest of security and order throughout
the area of Papua, we urging people not to be provoked by those who are
planning this event.'
Activities undertaken by the police in anticipation of the flag
flying on 1 July include intensifying police patrols and sweepings in all
police regions. He said that the police have been ordered to act
The chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, the Papuan
legislative assembly, Ruben Magai, has called on all the people not to be
provoked by unnecessary issues in advance of the TPN anniversary. He hoped that
people will continue to engage in their everyday activities, while calling on
the security forces not to use violence. 'The persuasive approach must be prioritised.
The best thing would be for all those concerned to sit down and talk, to as to
find out what each sides wants.
The Jakarta Post | Archipelago | Thu, 06/28/2012 7:38 AM
The Papua Police have confiscated a homemade weapon together with 47 bullets
discovered in a suitcase abandoned near a trash can on Jl. Pipa Argapura in
Jayapura. The weapon was discovered by two scavengers on Monday at 11:30 a.m.
local time. “The two scavengers were suspicious upon discovering the suitcase.
As soon as they saw the weapon after opening it, they reported it to the
nearest police post,” Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Johanes Nugroho
explained that the box in which the bullets were stored was not made in
Indonesia but came from overseas. The weapon with its bullets, he said, had
been sent to the National Police’s forensic laboratory for ballistic tests. “It
will take one to two weeks to know the test results,” he said. When asked
whether the weapon was used by unknown assailants to terrorize the Jayapura
area in a spate of recent unsolved shootings, Johannes said he could not answer
because he had to wait for the results of the ballistic tests-
4) INDONESIA: Police shot civilians in a petty fight
in Papua resulted in one person died and four others injured
June 28, 2012
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received
information regarding the death of a civilian and the injury of five others
after the police shot them in a petty fight in Degeuwo, Papua, on 15 May
2012. The five civilians were having an argument with the owner of a billiard
parlour they were visiting. The owner of the parlour called the police and
three officers arrived and became involved in a fight with the civilians. None
of the civilians were armed at that time.