Friday, June 29, 2012

Report The Past That Has Not Passed: Human Rights Violations in Papua Before and After Reformasi

The Past That Has Not Passed:
Human Rights Violations in Papua Before and After Reformasi 
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.
Date published: 

1) Editorial: Streamlining Papua

1) Editorial: Streamlining Papua
2) Govt acknowledgement of past crimes crucial for peaceful Papua
3) Members of Papua Independence Group to Turn Themselves In as Proof of Innocence
4) 'The National Police are getting worse': watchdog
1) Editorial: Streamlining Papua
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 municipalities.

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 municipalities. 

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 April.

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 financial crisis.

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 grief today.
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 women.
“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 Wandita.(mtq)


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.”

4) 'The National Police are getting worse': watchdog
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Fri, 06/29/2012 3:15 PM

Neta S. Pane: Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) chairman. (
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 behavior.
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
Neta said that some of the key problems of police conduct included the use of torture and intimidation by police personnel when dealing with issues.
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 incidences.
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 were quarantined.
"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)

Photos of rally, Parliament House Canberra 28 June

AHRC hree Papuans engaged in a peaceful demonstration were killed allegedly by security officers while 45 others were arrested

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
ISSUES: Freedom of expression, military, police violence, inhuman & degrading treatment
Dear friends,

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.
CASE NARRATIVE:......................

Thursday, June 28, 2012

1) The last frontier

1) The last frontier
2) OPM: Three regions ready to fly the Morning Star flag
3)  Papua Police confiscate homemade weapon
4) INDONESIA: Police shot civilians in a petty fight in Papua resulted in one person



1) The last frontier
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 insubordination.

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 continued rule.
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.
from the print edition | Asia


 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 professionally.'

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.

[Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL]

3) Papua Police confiscate homemade weapon
The Jakarta Post | Archipelago | Thu, 06/28/2012 7:38 AM
Jayapura: 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 said Wednesday.

Johanes 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
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-110-2012

28 June 2012
INDONESIA: Police shot civilians in a petty fight in Papua resulted in one person died and four others injured
ISSUES: Extrajudicial killing, police violence, right to life, inhuman & degrading treatment
Dear friends,
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.
CASE NARRATIVE:………………………………