Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
AWPA update September 2012
A snapshot of events in West Papua for September
Victor Yeimo of the West Papua National Committee [ KNPB ] has reported that eight members of KNPB were arrested on the 29 September by members of Densus 88 without any reason. They were arrested during a raid on the KNPB Regional Secretariat in Wamena . Victor believes they will try and blame the activists for a bomb accident in Wamena. Last week 5 members of KNPB were also arrested in Timika by the police and released after been questioned and intimidated. Victor is urging people to call for the release of those arrested in Wamena. The number for the local Chief of Police is +628125421793.
Congratulations to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund who has decided to end its investment in the Freeport-McMoRan mine in West Papua because it breaches the fund's human rights standards. Also to the Indonesia Human Rights Committee (IHRC) who lobbied the Super Fund for years to disinvest from Freeport. Maire Leadbetter from IHRC said “We’ve given them a really hard time over six years. We’ve had demonstrations outside their front door, we’ve been on deputations where we’ve argued pretty strongly with them. They’ve sometimes had bad press... and the whole drive towards ethical investment has probably been a factor in this too. But yes it’s a win, a win for the people of West Papua indirectly because they’re the ones who really stand to benefit if Freeport is challenged.” http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=71211
AWPA is also concerned with the recent news that Australia will sell military equipment to Indonesia particularly in light of the ongoing human rights abuses being committed by the security forces. http://www.watoday.com.au/national/trade-open-for-military-hardware-20120905-25er3.html
Senator Richard Di Natale raised concerns about the proposed sale of equipment stating that “Australia should require assurances that our military support will not lead to further violations of human rights. And we must call for West Papua to be opened up to foreign journalists and human rights monitors so that we can hold those assurances to account” http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/greens-condemn-mixed-messages-west-papua
The United States is also planning to sell eight 8 Apache Helicopters to Indonesian
In March of this year more than ninety organizations urged the U.S. government and Congress not to provide the deadly attack helicopters to Indonesia. http://www.etan.org/news/2012/03helicop.htm
Brig. Gen. Tito Karnavian, former head of Densus 88 is to become the head of police in West Papua. Because of the large number of shooting incidents in the past months, bringing international attention to the territory, it is believed that he is being appointed to try and solve the troubles in the region. For all his talk about touching the hearts of Papuans http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/new-papua-police-chief-vows-to-touch-the-hearts-of-papuans/545663
it is hard to imagine that a former head of an elite unit will not use such a unit to crackdown on so called separatists. AWPA press release
Amnesty International released an urgent action concerning West Papuan human rights lawyer Olga Hamadi who has been threatened after investigating allegations of police torture and ill-treatment in Wamena, Papua province, Indonesia. There are concerns for her safety and she is at risk of further intimidation and attacks. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/039/2012/en
A security operation was undertaken again in the Paniai region with local people afraid to move about freely because of the security forces. A google translate of a posting on the Australia West Papua Facebook page re the operation in Paniai can be found at.
Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. Original bahasa below article
22 members of the Free Papua Organization (OPM), including a prominent leader Daniel Kogoya were arrested in a hotel in Jayapura on the 2nd Sept.
According to police Daniel Kogoya was treated at Bhayangkara hospital for wounds suffered after being shot while he was trying to escape. Although 22 were arrested only five are being held on charges of being involved in offenses committed by the group. The police reported that a team of the hospital doctors decided to amputate Daniel Kogoya wounded right leg.
A number of shootings occurred in West Papua in the past month.
A police officer guarding a road project in Jayapura was gunned down by unknown assailants on the 10 September. He was shot 14 times.
On the 14 September gunmen fired on a Freeport Indonesia car in Mimika.
Members of the Indonesian Military were riding in the car and one soldier was injured from broken glass in the attack. No one was killed
On the 17 September two Freeport cars were also attacked by unknown gunmen on the road between Timika and the Grasberg mine. No casualties were reported.
The Jakarta Post reported that a man accused of extorting motorists on Jayapura’s Trans Papua Road was shot by police after a brief firefight on the 25th Sept. Kristian Songgonau allegedly set up a blockade along Trans Papua Road with several other men. The group was demanding payment from motorists to continue driving down the road — which links several provinces in Papua. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/lawandorder/papua-man-injured-in-police-shootout/546383
Tabloid Jubi reported that the coverage about the incident “ has been described as ‘public deception’ by human rights activists in Nabire” http://westpapuamedia.info/2012/09/27/the-coverage-of-gunfire-in-nabire-is-public-deception/
Two West Papuan activists currently in police detention in Yapen Island in West Papua are being threatened with twenty years jail by the Indonesian police for organising a nonviolent march in support of the United Nations International Day of Indigenous People which this year celebrated the role of indigenous media.
For Papua, a Continuing Struggle to Provide a Good Education
Banjir Ambarita | September 07, 2012
Papua receives about Rp 1 trillion ($104 million) a year from the central government for education, but the province continues to be plagued by a lack of teachers and crumbling schools. “Education in Papua is frightening due to poor management in remote areas as a result of the lack of attention from the head of the regional working unit,” said Kenius Kogoya, a member of Papua’s regional legislative council. The regional working unit oversees education, and Kenius pointed the finger of blame squarely at it when talking about the problems in the province. “Schools in remote areas are inadequate,” he said. “Many of the teachers don’t show up for classes because they prefer to stay in the city. The number of teachers is very limited. One teacher has to handle two to three classes a day, and there are no new recruits coming in.” With schools struggling to provide an adequate education, he said, Papua will not have the educated work force needed to lift the province out of poverty.
Papua has had special autonomy for 11 years and the central government has sent tens of trillions of rupiah in development funds to the easternmost province. But with few signs that this money has brought the kind of improvements expected for the education sector, some regional legislators are beginning to question how much money is actually going to education, and how it is being spent. “The mandate under the special autonomy law is to allocate 30 percent of the budget for the education sector, but only 7.15 percent was disbursed [last year],” Kenius said. “So it’s obviously very small. How can you radically improve education in Papua that way?” Syamsul Arief Rivai, Papua’s caretaker governor, responded to the concerns by saying that the regional government continued to build new schools and other facilities and repair old ones across the province. “For fiscal year 2011, money was allocated for the construction of official residences for school teachers and principals,” he said. “There was also money allocated for elementary, junior high and high school teachers working under contract. The money allocated by the Papuan provincial government for the education and health sectors is in line with the mandate in the special autonomy law.”
West Papua Responses to Australia, U.S. and Indonesia
By Victor F. Yeimo
Last week, Australia, the United States and Indonesia strengthen their economic, political and security when the people of West Papua were lamenting oppression. That's a sign that the practice of colonialism and capitalism will continue in West Papua. We do not know how much more blood of the people of West Papua will fall victim by the Indonesian military.
The world seems blind and deaf to the repression in West Papua. The world does not care about the Papuan struggle in upholding truth, justice, honesty and humanity. Instead, World trampling of human values, truth, justice, honesty and all the rules of its international law. The world is only cares on its political and economic interests. West Papua has become the object of transactions of economic and political interests of U.S and Indonesia. The dirty practice is still applied in the open era. The lust of economic and political expansion of the states, without feeling guilty, continued to increase the suffering of the West Papuans. The people of West Papua are not stupid. People of West Papua fully understand how colonialism and exploitation scenarios in this modern century. Making indigenous people as terrorists and then kill and control of land and its natural resources are the ways that are always used by the colonial countries and capitalist. Australia, Britain, the U.S. and Indonesia are implementing those ways in West Papua.
Peaceful resistance movement in West Papua silenced by the Indonesian military forces. The Space of peace and democracy closed and Indonesia accidentally open space of violence that they can easily kill and destroy the struggle of the people of West Papua with the stigma of terrorists, then with that stigma military cooperation between Indonesia, the U.S., Australia and other countries considered essential. for them, It is important to kill Papuans and to accoupy the land of West Papua.
Violence was created by rulers who oppress and exploit the people and the land of West Papua. Terrorism created for global rulers who have an interest in mastering the fields of exploitation. Terrorism was created by the colonial rulers who invaded to take control of someone else's land. The territory of West Papua controlled by Indonesian. The people of West Papua were massacred by Indonesia. Military power funded, supported and trained by Australia, the U.S. and other countries pro-colonial and capitalist.
This is evidenced by the attitude of the Australian government and the presence of three ministers from Australia and the vist of U.S. Foreign Minister in Indonesia and support for the Indonesian defense forces. Meanwhile, thousands of Indonesian troops deployed to West Papua. Meanwhile, police in West Papua, led by the former head of Detachment 88 Anti-Terrorism, and the officer at the criminal detective of Papua Police controlled by members of Detachment 88.
Their target is only one, to kill peaceful resistance movement in West Papua, to eliminate the people of West Papua and to rule the roost on this land for the benefit and prosperity of colonialism and global capitalism. So, who is the real terrorist? Victor F. Yeimo,
Chairman of the West Papua National Committee [ KNPB ]
From News Reports:
Jakarta, September 9: Twenty-seven members of the People’s Representative Council’s nine parties have been elected to the parliament’s new committee to monitor West Papua. The Parliament’s Commission 1, which deals with defence, foreign affairs and information, formed the working committee last Monday.
The committee’s purpose was to encourage the government to compensate for its failure in West Papua with the formulation and implementation of comprehensive and peaceful programmes, The Jakarta Post quotes Commission 1 chairman, Prosperous-Justice-Party-member Mahfudz Siddiq, as saying.
The continuing violence in West Papua illustrated the government’s failure to deal with the problems, he said. “This working committee will help the government bring together various stakeholders in Papua to search for the best solutions with the unity of Indonesia in mind.” Commission 1is one of the parliament’s 11 such committees that prepare legislation between plenary sessions of the People’s Representative Council. Its members listed at least four major causes of the violence after a visit to West Papua in June:
The lack of trust West Papuans have in the central government; the politics and history of the province’s integration into Indonesia at the end of Dutch rule; the poor performances of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua; the regional administration and an increase in armed violence.
“We suggest the government evaluates the significance of setting up the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua – the two supposedly autonomous provinces of West Papua because it has done almost nothing in Papua after almost two years,” said Mahfudz Siddiq. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a decree for the establishment of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua in mid-October last year and its brief is to coordinate, synchronise, facilitate, monitor and evaluate development programmes in West Papua. In April, West Papuan students studying in South Sulawesi announced their opposition to the unit. The students – members of the Students Solidarity Forum for Papuan People in Makassar – voiced their opinions at rally at the Western Papua Liberation Theatre Monument, Makassar.
The students demanded a tri-partite dialogue between the central government, Amnesty International and the West Papuan people as a way to solve their problems. The nine parties represented in the People’s Representative Council are the Democratic Party, the Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the Prosperous Justice Party; the National Mandate Party; the United Development Party; the National Awakening Party, the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura).
From the Southeast Asian Times online
No witnesses appeared at the trial of Buchtar Tabuni
Bintang Papua, 13 September 2012
Jayapura: A hearing in the trial of Buchtar Tabuni took place today in the Jayapura district court, without the presence of any witnesses who might have been able to testify in court in support of the charge that the defendant had damaged Abepura Prison where he was being held at the time. One of his team of lawyers, Gustaf Kawer, said that there were a number of people who the prosecutor could have summoned to appear in court during the trial but he had not done anything to call these witnesses Kawer said this was already clear at the earlier hearing on 10 September when the prosecutor said that Matius Murib would be called to testify, but at the following hearing, Murib did not attend as a result of which the presiding judge suspended. the hearing. At the next hearing, it was the defendant, Buchtar Tabuni who was questioned. The presiding judge, Haris Munandar, asked Buchtar to tell the court what he had done on 3 December 2010 when the prison was damaged. Buchtar told the court that he had done everything he possibly could to prevent a crowd of people from inflicting damage in the prison. 'I shouted to a crowd of people, calling on them not to enter the prison and start damaging it.' This is the same as what Buchtar Tabuni told the court at the begining of the trial. [Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]
Bintang Papua reported on the 11 September that Gustaf Kawer, one of the lawyers defending the former chairman of the KNPB said , that the judges hearing the case of Buchtar Tabuni should have the courage to release the defendant in the absence of any witnesses to testify against him.
Many Papuans have never had any medical treatment since the day they were born Bintang Papua, 14 September 2012
A senior official of the province of Papua said that people living in many parts of the province have never had any medical treatment since the day they were born, and even don’t understand what is meant by the term medical personnel.
Drs Elia I. Loupatty, second assistant for economic affairs and development, was giving the opening address at a seminar on the role of the provincial government in Papua. He said: 'This is problem for all of us.' He hoped that the seminar would produce a programme which can have a direct impact on the lives of the people because 'there are many Papuans who have never had an treatment since the day they were born.' He also said that budgetary funds should be used not only in the towns and districts. This was because people living in the kampungs should be helped because they could only travel from their homes by helicopter.
Speaking to journalists after the end of the seminar, he recognised that many Papuans are very isolated and live in places where medical personnel cannot reach them. He expressed he hope that the seminar would find ways to help these people and ensure that everyone can receive medical treatment. Asked to say which kampungs were not able to get medical facilities, he spoke about his experiences when he was working in the area. Speaking about the district of Welarek, he said : 'We can reach Welarek but it is very difficult to reach the kampungs . The district of Benawa is only accessible by helicopter because planes cannot land there.' He also said there were not too many of these inaccessible places but there were certainly places which cannot be reached to provide the people with medical treatment. And furthermore, it is necessary to charter planes to reach such places because there are no routine air services operating in the area. [Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]
Number of illiterate Papuans continues to increase
[COMMENT: Such is the fate of the Papuan people after more than forty years as part of Indonesia!]
September 18, 2012
Jakarta: The number of illiterate Papuans continues to increase because of the large number of teachers who fail to turn up for work in the interior. James Modouw, head of education of the Province of Papua, said that at present, there are more than 900,000 illiterate Papuans out of a total of 2.6 million Papuans living in the interior, most of whom are living in the districts of Nduga, Yahukimo and the district of Puncak Jaya. In order to solve this problem, Modouw said that the provincial administration will impose tighter control over the allocation of funds for education out of the special autonomy funds in various districts and cities. 'The second thing we will do is to tighten control over the teachers. The special regulation (perdasi) we intend to introduce will tighten up this control. Anyone who fails to comply with the regulations will have their salaries stopped.'
Modouw went on to say that without imposing this tight control, the number of illiterate Papuans will continue to increase year on year. The department of education and culture will reveal the five regions where the number of illiterate people is the highest in Indonesia. Two of these five regions are Papua and West Papua. Meanwhile, the director-general of formal and non-formal children's education of the Department of Education (PAUDNI), Lydia Freyani, said that the number of illiterate Papuans is 1.9 million. This figure is much higher than the figure announced by the Papuan provincial administration.
Translated from Indonesian
West Papua: Lack of medical provisions for political prisoners
The following report was received from Suara Perempuan Papua on 23 September 2012
Last August, BUK (United for Truth) and Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations organised street collections for the treatment of Tapols (Political Prisoners) and Napols (Convicted Prisoners) in Papua. While they were collecting money, they were forced to disperse by members of the police force and some of them were taken into custody for causing traffic congestion. They were subsequently released. The lack of government attention is what triggered the decision of BUK and Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations to start collecting money to cover the cost of medical treatment for Tapols/Napols in the centre of Apebura and Waena, for a period of a month.
This was not the first time that street collections were organised. They had on previous occasions organised collections of money to cover the medical costs for Napol Filep Karma for whom doctors at the General Hospital RSUD, Jayapura said that special treatment was needed , in the form of a colonoscopy at the PGI (Protestant Churches of Indonesia ) Hospital in Cikini Jakarta. Filep Karma is a political prisoner who was arrested for treason (makar) in 2004 and sentenced to fifteen years. Several months ago, Karma underwent an operation to remove a tumour. The incision that resulted from the operation became infectious and Karma needed further treatment at a hospital in Jayapura but had to wait nine months before he was transferred to a hospital in Jakarta for treatment.
Karma is not the only Napol who has fallen ill during incarceration and has had to wait for many months before receiving the necessary treatment. Another one was Ferdinand Pakage who lost the sight of one eye after being beaten by a prison warder in Abepura Prison. Another was Jefrai Murib who suffered a severe stroke, and Kimaus Wenda who had a tumour in the stomach back in 2010 but who was not taken to Jayapura until February this year for an operation. This was only because of help from several international organisations. Kimaus was cured and then returned to prison in Nabire.
Another prisoner, Kameus Murib suffered, psychological problems but has nevertheless remained in custody, while Yusak Pakage, a former Napol had to rely on money collections for treatment that he needed.. He has since been released because his state of health was considered to be serious enough for him to be released Another Napol, Ardi Sugumoi, who was being held in Cipinang Prison suffered a very serious illness and died in prison. According to Paneas Lokbere, co-ordinator of BUK, things like this would not happen if the government authorities were to pay attention to the health problems of prisoners. But the authorities simply ignore these problems, showing clear discrimination against Tapols and Napols. 'Their right to life must be respected by the state. If not, it will reflect badly on the country's international reputation,' he said.
Proper attention must be paid to the dignity of the prisoners who must be treated like human beings. At the moment, there are about eighty (80) Tapols and Napols being held in West Papua. They are spread across a number of prisons in Abepure, Biak, Nabire, Manokwari, Fak-Fak and Wamena. Ten of these prisoners have not yet been tried. It is the responsibility of the government to pay proper attention to as to ensure that each prisoner has access to medical treatment. According to Melania Kirihio from the Papua branch of National Human Rights Commission, 'It is the responsibility of the state to provide whatever is necessary to guarantee the health of people in custody in the various prisons. If the necessary treatment is not available in the prison, the state must grant permission for the prisoner to been examined elsewhere in accordance with their needs.' This also includes making sure that they have whatever treatment or medication they need for their ailments.
Certain standards are required by the government/state that meet with the needs of prisoners, those already convicted or not yet convicted, its responsibility towards the international community as a consequence of having ratified international covenants.This is something, she said, that human rights activists pay too little attention to, the need to pay attention to the economic, social and cultural rights of prisoners.' Attention must be paid at all times to the basic needs of prisoners, including Tapols and Napols. she said. This is also in order to be able to make whatever is needed for international advocacy on behalf of the prisoners. The immediate need is for data to be collected about the health conditions of all Tapols and Napols. 'As things stand at the moment, guaranteeing the good health of prisoners has become something very expensive indeed for the families of prisoners in Papua. Lack of attention can result on some of these prisoners suffering ailments or injuries that could cause them permanent harm'
Immakulata Butu [Translated by TAPOL]
Papuan Prisoner of Conscience Filep Karma in Jakarta for Medical Treatment
Press Release Jakarta, Indonesia [27 September 2012].
Filep Karma, a political prisoner of conscience from Papua, has attended a two-week medical treatment in Jakarta hospital and now is back in the Abepura prison in West Papua. He arrived in Jakarta on September 14 and took a colonoscopy treatment in PGI Cikini hospital, Jakarta. Indonesian physicians in Jayapura, who earlier examined Karma with simple equipment, suspected that he has a colon tumor. As it is not possible to conduct a colonoscopy in West Papua the physicians referred him to the hospital in Jakarta. Karma was imprisoned in 2004 and is serving 15 years in prison for participating in a peaceful independence demonstration and for raising the Morning Star flag, an important Papuan symbol of independence.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared him a political prisoner in September 2011, asking the Indonesian government to immediately and unconditionally release Karma. The government, however, denies the existence of „political prisoners‰ in Indonesia. His injuries were sustained from acts of torture inflicted on him while in prison. He also injured his hip during a falling in 2006.
It took nearly six months for Karma to be able to be transferred to Jakarta despite this referral. Abepura prison officials, under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, have refused to cover cost of his medical treatment and travel. The Indonesian government‚s refusal to cover his costs is in direct contravention of national and international law. According to United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24), and Indonesian law (Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners' Rights in Prisons) it is required that all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital be borne by the State.
Despite the Abepura prison authorities recently giving permission for Karma to travel to Jakarta, they still refuse to cover the cost of his medical treatment and travel. Funds have been raised through donations from the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund (London), Rev. Socratez Yoman‚s church service (Timika), STT Walter Post (Jayapura) and many individuals. Not only Karma, there are seven political prisoners in Papua with variety of illness. They are Apotnagolik Lokobal (stroke); Ferdinand Pakage (stroke); Forkorus Yaboisembut (impaired vision); Kanius Murib (memory loss); Kimanus Wenda (hernia); Jefrai Murib (stroke); and Yusak Pakage (indigestion). Karma urges the Indonesia government should release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and give them the proper medical treatment.
For further inquiries, please contact:
Margareth Karma : +6281242950809
Cyntia Warwe : +6281344910243
Reports/opinion pieces/ press releases etc.
All the ingredients for genocide: is West Papua the next East Timor?
Jim Elmslie. Visiting Scholar, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Sydney
They are just Papuans: Representing the Papuan conflict in a foreign country
We Need The Truth On West Papua
By Richard Di Natale
Australia lets human rights takes a back seat with Indonesia
The Drum opinion
Australia should take a number of steps to ensure that our security cooperation with Indonesia does not in any way aid operations which may lead to human rights violations, writes Phil Lynch.
Votes in the bag? The noken system and conflict in Indonesian Papua
September 11, 2012 by Cillian Nolan
An elite Indonesian counter-terrorism unit trained and supplied by Australia
is being accused of acting as a "death squad" in Indonesia's troubled West Papua
Analysis: Aid access challenges for Indonesia's Papua region
IRIN humanitarian news and analysis
a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Comprehensive dialogue urgent for Papua
Activists and rights campaigners have called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to use his visit to Papua next month to initiate a dialogue with all members of the Papuan community to find a lasting solution to tension in the country’s easternmost province.
Margareth S. Aritonang, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Vanuatu's Masamp Crew sings for West Papua
Radio Australia Updated 20 September 2012
Take a listen to Masamp Crew's entry into Pacific Break 2012, "West Papua".
Indonesian Police's Pot of Gold in Papua
John McBeth - Straits Times | September 20, 2012
It is time for the critics to forget about the Indonesian military's businesses for a moment and look at the money-making ventures of the national police that assumed responsibility for Indonesia's internal security over a decade ago.
Fifty years on, Australia’s Papua policy is still failing
Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono isn’t getting the right kind of encouragement to create a long-term solution, writes Richard Chauvel
Inside Story September 27, 2012