Friday, July 20, 2012

1) Regenvanu joins International MPs to voice concern over West Papua

1) Regenvanu joins International MPs to voice concern over West Papua

2) 'The Papuan Choir Was Not Neglected:' Officials
3) Police disperse fund raising for political prisoners in Jayapura


1) Regenvanu joins International MPs to voice concern over West Papua

Member of Parliament for Port Vila, Ralph Regenvanu, has joined 10 other international members of parliament from Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand to voice their concerns over the recent escalating of violence in West Papua.
The international parliamentarians voiced their concerns through a statement to the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono about the violence in Wamena and Jayapura.
They stated: “We are saddened by the recent murder of West Papuan independence leader Mako
Tabuni and we express our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
“We call on you to conduct a thorough investigation into Mako Tabuni’s death.
“We are also concerned by the recent re-imprisonment of Buchtar Tabuni and his colleagues, Jufri Wandikbo and Assa Alua, and the continued imprisonment of Filep Karma, an Amnesty International recognized prisoner of conscience, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raising the Morning Star flag at a peaceful protest.  
“We ask you to release and to drop all charges against these detainees and others who have been held for peacefully expressing views.
“We also request your help in assuring that Mr. Tabuni and his colleague be released immediately from custody, as we have further concerns that he may be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
“We call on you to allow foreign journalists and humanitarian organizations entry into West Papua in order to provide a comprehensive report of the human rights situation there.
“As the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, we support the indigenous peoples of West Papua’s call to a genuine act of self-determination, a right which was not recognized in the 1969 Act of Free Choice. We are therefore deeply troubled by your government’s suppression of political activity in West Papua.
“We urge you and your government to end the violence in West Papua,
by listening to West Papuans call to self-determination, rather than attempting
to silence them,” the 11 members of parliament stated.
The group of parliamentarians included; Andrew Smith, MP (United Kingdom); Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion House of Commons (United Kingdom); Lord Richard Harries (United Kingdom)
Dr. Russel Norman, MP (New Zealand); Jamie Hepburn, MSP (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Scotland)
Catherine Delahunty, MP (New Zealand); Bill Kidd, MSP (Glasgow Anniesland, Scotland); Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, MP (Port Vila, Vanuatu); Cllr Alex Sobe (Leeds City Council); Eugenie Sage, MP (Aotearoa); and Cate Faehrmann, MLC Green MP (Australia).
2) 'The Papuan Choir Was Not Neglected:' Officials
Antara & Arientha Primanita | July 20, 2012
Jayapura. The Rector of Papua’s Cendrawasih University denied on Friday that the Indonesian government failed to assist the school’s choir during a trip to the United States.  

“The choir from our campus was not neglected,” rector Festus Simbiak said on Friday. “The choir was accompanied by staff from the Indonesian consulate general in the United States.”

Festus said that following the news that the Gema Chandra was stranded in Cincinnati, Ohio, he contacted the Indonesian embassy in Washington D.C. to make sure the students were taken care of. 

“On Tuesday night, I contacted the education attache in the Washington, Haryono Winarso, to help the Cendrawasih University choir,” Festus said.

The Associated Press reported that 49 members of the choir were stuck in Cincinnati after they missed the World Choir Games, and did not have sufficient funds for the return trip to Papua. 

But Cincinnati residents were determined to help, and the choir gave two impromptu performances at a church on Sunday, and in the lobby of a downtown convention center on Monday.

Choir Games spokeswoman Julie Calvert said donations also made it possible for the group to depart Tuesday for California via  Greyhound bus. The 54-hour journey got the group to the airport in time for a Friday flight home.

Festus insisted that the choir was well looked after, as they slept in a hotel and were accompanied by the Indonesian consulate general. 

“The budget must have been calculated by the necessary people, including departure, accommodation and returning to Indonesia,” he said.

Indonesian ambassador for United States Dino Patti Djalal said in Jakarta on Tuesday that the Indonesian consulate general was attending to the choir’s return to Indonesia.

“We will make sure that there’s attention given to the choir,” Dino said, adding that such an incident should be a lesson in travel planning for the  Indonesian people.

“This is a lesson for Indonesians that insurance is important when they’re traveling abroad,” he said. “Such an incident could have been solved with insurance.”

from Tapol
3) Police disperse fund raising for political prisoners in Jayapura

Note: The bulk of this posting was posted yesterday but we are re-posting it with an important addition from Andreas Harsono. TAPOL]

Note: The Papuan Solidarity  for Human Rights Victims, SKPHP, is the
organization which supports political prisoners, including Filep
Karma, in Papua. They regularly do fund raising to buy medicines for
the prisoners. In 2010, they did a specific campaign for Filep Karma,
raising around $3,000 from the streets. Now the Indonesian police
stopped them from doing that on the grounds that SKPHP has no legal

Regarding Filep Karma's fund raising, we have now raised IDR116
million. It is enough to do the surgery in Jakarta. He will meet his
local doctor, Donald Arrongear, this week. SKPHP and Karma are still
negotiating with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights about he goes
directly to the PGI hospital in Jakarta (without going to the Jakarta
prison first). They're also suspicious with a new prison guard from
Java Island who wants to accompany him to Jakarta.

Police disperse humanitarian action in Jayapura

JUBI, 19 July 2012

The police in Papua forcibly dispersed  a humanitarian action taking
place when Papuans were out collecting money to help political
prisoners. They were from an organisation called Solidarity  for Human
Rights Victims, SKPHP. The police said that they had dispersed the
people because the SKPHP  has not registered with the provincial

The news was confirmed by Peneas Lokbere, a member of the SKPHP, who
told JUBI that before undertaking the action they had notified the
police of their intentions in both Abepura and Jayapura. Having done
this, it meant that the police would grant permission for the action
to take place.

Nevertheless, while the action was in progress on Friday at 1pm, the
police dispersed those taking part in the action. 'We were forcibly
dispersed,' said Peneas. 'They said that this was because  we had not
registered the organisation with the authorities. and therefore, we
were not allowed to continue with this collection of funds.' He also
said that after the police came to disperse the action, they dispersed
peacefully.'We did not offer any resistance. If we had resisted, it
would have led to a lengthy process.'

Peneas said that  they would follow up their action on Friday, 20
July. 'We will go to the police and ask for permission to continue
with action.'

The street collections were being undertaken to provide for the
medical requirements of the political prisoners and the other prisoner
who are  ill at the prisons in Abepura and Jayapura. Among those who
are ill in Abepura Prison are Filep Karma, Ferdinand Pakage and Jefrai

Their intention was to carry out this action from 9am Thursday 19 July
until Saturday.21 July.

[Translated by TAPOL]

The article is illustrated by a photo showing a large banner which
says: 'The government doesn't want to pay for medical treatment for
Filep Karma and Ferdinand Pakage'.   They are carrying posters which
say: 'The Papuan  political prisoners are not criminals.'

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