Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1) South Papua ‘Ready’ to Become New Province

1) South Papua ‘Ready’ to Become New Province
2) Education fair kicks off in Papua
3) Papuan leader gets 8 months for vandalism
4) Journalists face difficulties when trying to report about the trial of Buchtar Tabuni
5) Buchtar Tabuni sentenced to eight months; tight security round the courthouse.

1) South Papua ‘Ready’ to Become New Province
Markus Junianto Sihaloho | September 26, 2012
A lawmaker on Wednesday called on the government to give consideration to the proposed creation of a third province on the island of Papua, saying all requirements for it had been met.

Ganjar Pranowo, the deputy head of the House of Representatives’ Commission II, which oversees home affairs and regional autonomy, said the government should prioritize the creation of South Papua.

He said the House had received proposals for the creation of 24 new regions, and agreed that 19 of them, including South Papua, were worthy of follow-ups.

“South Papua is a priority region and it has met conditions to become the third province in the eastern Indonesian region after Papua and West Papua,” said Ganjar, a politician with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Speaking in Jakarta, he said lawmakers disagreed with the government’s policy placing a moratorium on the creation of new administrative regions. That moratorium was announced in 2009 following the death of the North Sumatra Legislative Council's speaker, Abdul Aziz Angkat, who suffered a fatal heart attack after an angry mob demanding the creation of a new Tapanuli province assaulted him.

Ganjar said lawmakers remained skeptical of the government’s justification: that 80 percent of the 205 new regions created since the introduction of the regional autonomy policy in the early 2000s were failures.

“The government did tell us about [the reason behind] the moratorium, but the House has rejected it,” Ganjar said. “The House wants creating new regions in border areas to be prioritized”.

Meanwhile, the coordinator of the South Papua Community Brotherhood Union, Johanes Gluba Gebze, said South Papua had met the socioeconomic, political and administrative requirements for a new province, as well as other conditions related to education quality, food resilience, trade, security and transportation.

“The creation of South Papua will be the safest. It has 225 different ethnic groups with each of their own languages, but they communicate [with one another] in Indonesian,” Johanes said.

Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said earlier this year that the government would only lift the moratorium at the end of 2012, pending the completion of a new framework on new regions' creation, as well as the processing of electronic ID cards (e-KTP) for the whole country.

2) Education fair kicks off in Papua
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Archipelago | Wed, September 26 2012, 8:22 PM
The Papua administration officially opened the 2012 Education Festival on Wednesday; the event aims to support and inspire educational development in the province through information, communication and technology.
“The festival is one of the best events in Papua. It started in 2009 and has kept improving year-on-year,” Papua Governor Syamsul Arief Rivai said in a speech read by second assistant for the Papua administration, Elly Loupatty, on Wednesday.
“We hope that the event will have a positive impact on the educational development in Papua,” he added as quoted by Antara.
Through the speech, the governor emphasized that the region must begin to exploit electronic media to enable the fast, effective and efficient distribution of information.
Throughout the event students have the opportunity to take part in various workshops and competitions
Officials from the Education and Culture Ministry as well as other representatives also attended the opening ceremony of the fair. (fzm/lfr)
3) Papuan leader gets 8 months for vandalism

The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Wed, September 26 2012, 8:29 AM

JAYAPURA: Buchtar Tabuni, 32, human rights activist and leader of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), was sentenced to eight months in prison for vandalism at the Jayapura Prison in December 2010.

Haris Munandar, chair of the panel of judges assigned by the Jayapura District Court to try the case, said in the court on Tuesday that the defendant was proven guilty of throwing stones at the glass windows of the prison’s head office.

Hundreds of riot police were deployed to maintain security at the court as more than 200 Papuans attended the session to show support for Buchtar.

from Tapol
4) Journalists face difficulties when trying to report about the trial of Buchtar Tabuni
JUBI, 25 September 2012

[Photo at the top of the report shows several of the police on guard, all of whom are heavily armed.]

The police who guarded the courthouse during the trial of Buchtar Tabuni made it difficult for some of the journalists wanting to cover the case to gain access to the court.

Benny Mawel of JUBI said: 'I showed my press card but the police  insisted that I open my bag and take everything in it out for them to examine' He said that access to the court had been made difficult.

Journalists were interrogated and the police demanded to see the contents of their cases. 'This happened not only to me but to other journalists,' said Benny Mawel, 'even though we had clearly displayed our press cards.'

This did not happen during the earlier hearings of the trial.

A journalist  from Papua Pos Daily, Rudolf,  also said he had been heavily investigated. His bag had also been searched. He said that before entering the court, he hung his press cord round his neck but even so, the police examined the contents of his bag.

While on the one hand regretting the  measures taken against journalists by the police, Viktor Mambor, chairman of the Jayapura branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, AJI. said he hoped that journalists would understand what the police were doing.

''They certainly acted excessively and this should not be necessary this if journalists have clearly shown their press cards. But at the same time,' he said,  'I could understand what they were doing because during an earlier discussion I had with the chief of police, there was concern about the fact that the credentials of some of the journalists were suspect because of recent indications about the involvement of certain pressmen in the recent violent conflict  in Papua.'

He went on to say that some time around July this year, a journalist had been interrogated by the police because he had reported that the Morning Star Flag had been flown on some occasions. In Papua, such reports only complicate matters because it stigmatises people, thereby legitimising excessive measures taken by the  the security forces. As Papuans, we have to be understand this,' he said.

Translated by TAPOL]

From Tapol
5) Buchtar Tabuni sentenced to eight months; tight security round the courthouse.

Bintang Papua, 24 September 2012

The former chairman of the KNPB - National Committee for West Papua - was sentenced to eight months in prison, having been charged with inflicting damage on the prison where he was held. The sentence was  less than the demand of the prosecutor who wanted the accused to be sentenced to one year. The eight month sentence will be reduced by the time the accused has already spent behind bars.

Aggravating circumstances were that he had previously  been sentenced and that his actions caused anxiety among the people, while the mitigating factor was that he had behaved politely in court.

Following the announcement of the verdict, the defence team said that they had not yet decided whether to launch an appeal against the sentence. 'We are still thinking about how we will respond,' said Gustav Kawar.

The defence team said that the sentence was light and the accused should have been released. However, according to Gustav Kawar. the panel of judges had  given him a sentence as the result of external interference.

Bintang Papua, 25 September 2012

After further consideration, the defence team said that the verdict had not been decided independently and had been seriously influenced by the authorities, Gustav Kawar told  journalists. This influence had come from the security forces, that is to say the army and the police This was the factor that had caused the judges to hesitate before reaching their verdict. There were also doubts because of the fact that the testimony from several of the witnesses was contradictory. Nor had it been proven that the accused had been acting  in consort with others.

According to Gustav Kawar, the Criminal Procedural Code (KUHAP) stipulates that  if  any element in the charge has been proven to be invalid, the entire charge must be declared invalid. The accused as well as his defence team said that they would consider what to do in the coming seven days.

Security measures round  the court

On the day the verdict was announced, around 230 security forces from the local and district forces, including personnel  from the police intelligence unit, Brimob  were among those standing guard.

The chief of police said that several  elements of the security forces had taken part in security at the time of the various hearings.  He asserted that  they had discovered sharp weapons among the crowd of people outside the courthouse following the earlier hearings but after measures had been taken, this did not occur during the latter hearings.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Posted at 20:22 on 26 September, 2012 UTC
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s chief executive says it has decided that further engagement with Freeport-McMoRan would not bring any human rights improvement around the company’s mine in Indonesia’s Papua province.
The Super Fund has dumped its shareholding in Freeport’s massive Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua.
The mine operations are guarded by Indonesia’s security forces and have been the subject of ongoing violent attacks.
The security forces have been linked with a long list of human rights abuses in the area.
The chief executive Adrian Orr says the Super Fund has engaged with Freeport for some time to try and help improve the rights standards of the mine operations.
He says Freeport has been open to engagement but they’ve now a hit a wall.
“Comparing the standards that they’ve set against what we expect - the United Nations global compact standards around human rights - we’ve come to the conclusion that those standards are not going to be good enough. They’re not going to meet our level of comfort and respect. And further engagement from us isn’t going to make sufficient difference.”
Adrian Orr
Posted at 03:37 on 26 September, 2012 UTC
Human rights breaches have prompted the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to end its investment in the huge Freeport McMoRan copper and gold mine in Indonesia’s Papua region.
The fund has has sold shares worth just over a million US dollars in the Grasberg mine in West Papua, blaming the company’s human rights policies and payments to Indonesian security forces.
The New Zealand Green Party co-leader, Russel Norman says that’s a very positive development.
“The people of West Papua will, I think, receive the information very gratefully, the fact that the New Zealand government, the New Zealand Super Fund is taking a stand against the terrible practices at this mine. I think it’s great news.”
Dr Russel Norman says it’s great the Super Fund is taking a stronger ethical stance.

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