Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1) Pacific Islands’ leaders called on to stand up to Australia over Papua issue

1) Pacific Islands’ leaders called on to stand up to Australia over Papua issue
2)US Secretary of State to attend Pacific Islands Forum
3) Letter to United Nations experts from the Human Rights Law Centre re Detachment 88
4) Australia Presses Indonesia on Papua Killing
5) Hillary Clinton To Visit Indonesia On September 3

1) Pacific Islands’ leaders called on to stand up to Australia over Papua issue
Rnzi Posted at 01:54 on 29 August, 2012 UTC
An Australia group advocating for the indigenous people of Papua says Pacific Islands leaders meeting in the Cook Islands must discuss the worsening human rights situation in the Indonesian region.
Spokesperson for the Australian West Papua Association, Joe Collins, says with an ABC report detailing Australia’s links with the counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, the leaders should push for a fact finding mission to be sent there.
Mr Collins says while Australia and possibly New Zealand will try and block discussion the security situation in Papua is the worst in the region and the island country leaders should push for it.
“Although they are smaller island states compared to Australia and New Zealand [he is hopeful] they will finally push Julia Gillard or Australia to do something about the issue. I mean they would have the support of the people of the region. The people of the region are very concerned about the human rights situation in West Papua. Unfortunately sometimes the government leaders are less keen on the issue.”

2) US Secretary of State to attend Pacific Islands Forum
RNZI Posted at 22:47 on 28 August, 2012 UTC
The United States has officially confirmed that the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will travel to the Cook Islands this week.
Mrs Clinton will attend the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit being held in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
Megan Whelan reports from Rarotonga.
“The secretary of state will arrive in the Cook Islands on Friday night [NZ time] to attend the post-forum dialogue with leaders. She will meet with all of the Pacific leaders for a breakfast meeting on Saturday. In a statement, the department of state says the visit is part of the United States intensive engagement and ongoing collaboration with the Pacific Islands. In the increasing battle for influence in the Pacific, Mrs Clinton will lead the highest-level U.S. delegation in the 41-year history of the Forum with senior officials from the Departments of State, Defense, and Interior.”

3) Letter to United Nations experts from
 the Human Rights Law Centre re Detachment 88 


Government urged to act on Papuan death squad claims

Posted 10 minutes ago

The Human Rights Law Centre is trying to pressure the Federal Government to act on allegations of torture and killings by an Australian-trained counter-terrorism group.

The ABC's 7.30 program has been told the group, known as Detachment 88, has been involved in attacks on independence leaders in the province of Papua.

Detachment 88, receives training, supplies and extensive operational support from the Australian Federal Police.
In a letter to United Nations experts, the human rights centre's executive director, Philip Lynch, has urged them to pressure the Government to act on the allegations.
He says the group has been implicated in similar attacks before.
"This letter is an urgent appeal to the UN special rapporteurs on torture and on extrajudicial killings, to bring to the attention of those independent experts," he said.
"The fact that Australia has provided support for an Indonesian counter-terror unit implicated in very serious human rights abuses."
Mr Lynch says Australia should immediately suspend its support for the Indonesian group, pending a full investigation.
"These are not the first reports of Detachment 88 being involved in serious human rights violations," he said.
"Previous reports have been made an verified by organisations such as Human Rights Watch and also acknowledged by Indonesia itself through the prosecution of some members of the Indonesian National Police."
Trained in forensics, intelligence gathering, surveillance and law enforcement by officials from the US, the UK and Australia, the Detachment 88 unit was established in the wake of the Bali bombings and has played a crucial role in Indonesia's counter-terrorism efforts.
The police are ruthless, often killing suspects, and their anti-terrorism mandate is now creeping into other areas like policing West Papuan separatists.
On June 14, popular independence leader Mako Tabuni was gunned down as he fled from police on a quiet street in the Papuan capital.
The men who killed Mr Tabuni, who was deputy chairman of the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB), were allegedly part of Detachment 88.
And in December 2010, Detachment 88 killed militant Papuan activist Kelly Kwalik.
Mr Kwalik was a leader from the Free Papua Movement (OPM), a violent independence group with a record of attacking military and civilians, and Detachment 88 publically claimed responsibility.
Click here and here to read the full 7.30 reports.


4) Australia Presses Indonesia on Papua Killing
August 29, 2012
Sydney. Canberra called on Wednesday for an Indonesian inquiry into the killing of a Papuan independence leader but could not say whether Australian-trained counter-terrorism police were involved in the death.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr said senior Australian officials had pressed Indonesia on the death in June of Mako Tabuni, a leader in Papua's fight for independence from Jakarta allegedly killed by Indonesia's anti-extremist squad.

Tabuni's supporters told Australian media he was gunned down by plain-clothes officers from Detachment 88, a counter-terrorism squad formed after the 2002 Bali bombings and partly trained and resourced by Australia.

Carr said Australian police included human rights training in their work with the Indonesian police but "we don't run the counter-terrorism forces" and there was a limit to Canberra's responsibility for their activities.

He could not confirm whether Detachment 88 had been involved in Tabuni's death but said several top-level representations had been made to Jakarta calling for a "full and open" investigation into the shooting.

"We think the best way of clarifying the situation is for an inquiry," Carr told ABC Television. "We think it would be in the interest of Indonesia in particular and in the interest of their human rights record in the Papuan provinces."

Carr stressed that the calls came "in the context of us consistently recognizing Indonesian sovereignty over Papua, and at the same time asserting our right as a friend and a neighbor to raise human rights issues."

"Even when they're dealing with people who may have used violent means, who are accused of using violent means, our strong position with Indonesia is that the legal process should be open and that the people accused of these offences should be treated with due process," he said.

Carr said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa had been "very responsive."

Australian police said it only provided funding to the Indonesian forces for specific counter-terrorism initiatives, though it had "gifted" cars, telecoms and computer equipment worth Aus$314,500 ($325,810) over two years.

"The Australian Federal Police is not aware, nor been informed, that Detachment 88 is specifically targeting independence leaders in Papua and West Papua," it said in a statement.

Agence France-Presse


5) Hillary Clinton To Visit Indonesia On September 3

Wed, August 29 2012 14:47 | 50 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Indonesia on September 3, to discuss with senior Indonesian officials about the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership and respective engagements on regional global issues. 

The visit to Indonesia will be part of her trips that will also take her to the Cook Islands, China, Timor-Leste, Brunei, and Russia starting August 30, the US embassy said on its official website here Wednesday.

"In the Cook Islands, Secretary Clinton will attend the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Post Forum Dialogue on August 31 as part of our intensive engagement and ongoing collaboration with the Pacific Islands," the US embassy said in the statement. 

Her visit will emphasize the depth and breadth of American engagement across economic, people to people, strategic, environmental, and security interests. 

The visit also represents a concerted effort to strengthen regional multilateral institutions, develop bilateral partnerships, and build on alliances - three core elements of U.S. strategy toward the Asia-Pacific. 

She will lead the highest-level U.S. interagency delegation in the 41-year history of the Forum with senior officials from the Departments of State, Defense, and Interior.

In Beijing September 4-5, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior Chinese leaders. 

Discussions are expected to cover a wide range of issues of importance in the U.S.-China relationship as part of our efforts to build a cooperative partnership, including preparations for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other upcoming multilateral meetings and numerous bilateral, regional, and global issues.

On September 6, Secretary Clinton will be the first Secretary of State to travel to Dili, where she will emphasize U.S. support for the young democracy of Timor-Leste in her meetings with senior officials.

In Brunei, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior officials to emphasize the importance of the increasingly vibrant U.S.-Brunei relationship. She will also highlight the U.S.-Brunei ASEAN English Language initiative and discuss Brunei`s 2013 chairmanship of ASEAN.

The final stop on Secretary Clinton`s trip will be Vladivostok, where she will lead the U.S. delegation to the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting September 8-9. 

The Secretary will discuss trade liberalization, food security, and green growth including initiatives to fight wildlife trafficking, with heads of state and other regional leaders, including business representatives. She will engage on many areas of bilateral cooperation with Russia including with Foreign Minister Lavrov. (*)

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