Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Photos News: KNPB Demo on Ban Ki Moon visit in Indonesia Demand Referendum in West Papua on 15 March 2012

Photos News: KNPB Demo on Ban Ki Moon visit in Indonesia Demand Referendum in West Papua on 15 March 2012
By WPNews
Mar 19, 2012, 01:46 at


Friday, March 16, 2012

Letter to Senator the Hon Bob Carr

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

Senator the Hon Bob Carr
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House, Canberra
ACT 2600

17 March 2012

Dear Senator Carr,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney concerning the five West Papuan men who have been found guilty of treason and sentenced to three years imprisonment by  the Jayapura state court on Friday the 16 March. They five men are  Forkorus Yaboisembet, Edison Waromi, Agust Kraar, Selpius Bobii, and Dominikus Surabat.

The background to their case is that they were arrested and charged with treason because of their involvement in the 3rd Papuan People's Congress which was held between the 17 and 19 October 2011. Shortly after the Congress and as part of a celebration, the Morning Star flag was raised and a declaration of Independence read out.  Indonesian security forces immediately moved in and  broke up the gathering firing live rounds resulting in up to six people been killed. The security forces also used batons, bamboo poles and the butts of rifles during the arrest of up to 300 delegates resulting in serious injuries.

We point out at no time did these men commit violence and they have been jailed solely for peacefully expressing their political views as is their right under  Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As opposed to the three year sentence given to the five activists, no action was taken against the security force personal who were involved in the brutal crackdown and they received only written warnings.   There are also serious doubts about the fairness of the trial proceedings. The security forces maintained a heavy presence during the trial sessions and one of the senior lawyers for the defence, Gustav Kawer, is being threatened with prosecution, in violation of his right under Indonesian law and international standards to carry out his professional duties in defending clients in court.

I congratulate you on your appointment as Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and ask you to use your good offices with the Indonesian Government to urge that the five West Papuan men be immediately and unconditionally released. These  men are prisoners of conscience

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Urgent appeal-Indonesia: Threat to prosecute human rights defender, Mr Gustav Kawer

Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders,
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Palais Wilson
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH 1211 Geneva 10

7 March 2012

Dear Mrs Sekaggya

Urgent appeal

Indonesia: Threat to prosecute human rights defender, Mr Gustav Kawer

We are writing to you on behalf of the Asian Human Rights Commission, the Australian West Papua Association, the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, the Faith-based Network on West Papua, Franciscans International, the Indonesia Human Rights Committee, KontraS, and the West Papua Advocacy Team, in relation to threats made against human rights lawyer Mr Gustav Kawer by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Jayapura, Papua Province, Indonesia.

Mr Kawer is an independent lawyer who is part of the legal team defending five suspects in a high-profile treason trial currently underway in Jayapura. A key issue at the trial is the defendants’ right to freely express their political opinions. As a result of remarks made in the courtroom, Mr Kawer has been accused by state prosecutors of ‘offensive treatment,’ as outlined by Article 335 of the Indonesian Penal Code, which is punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment.

This incident has occurred against a backdrop of intimidation during the trial, with security forces maintaining a heavy presence during consecutive sessions of the trial, and allegations of intimidation of the judiciary, including a reported visit to the presiding judge by the highest provincial military, police and civil authorities one hour before the first session of the trial was due to open.

We, the undersigned organisations, urge you to raise with the Indonesian government the allegations that the authorities have violated the basic rights of Mr Kawer to carry out his duties as a lawyer unhindered. We hope that you can help to protect the right of Mr Kawer to carry out his work free of threats, harassment or intimidation, and that you can help to ensure that the right to defend human rights in Papua is respected. We further request that you enter into dialogue with other UN Special Procedures to investigate allegations regarding restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and issues concerning the independence of judges and lawyers.

Facts of the case
On 21 February 2012 at the Jayapura State Court in Papua province, the sixth session of the trial of Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Dominikus Surabut, Selpius Bobii and Agustus Kraar  took place. During the defence team’s examination of the witnesses for the prosecution, Mr Kawer was continually interrupted by public prosecutor Mr Julius Teuf. Eventually Mr Kawer asked him “Prosecutor, where is your brain? I am still proceeding with my questioning, so would you kindly stop disturbing me?” Mr Teuf reportedly then fell silent.

During a later session of the trial on 24 February, the public prosecutor formally requested the court records of the 21 February session, with the stated intention of reporting a suspected crime to the provincial police headquarters. At the close of the  session, the legal team discovered from the court that Mr Kawer was the subject of this report, as the public prosecutor had felt harassed by his sentence “Prosecutor, where is your brain?”

During and after a further session on 2 March, the Prosecutor again expressed to Mr Kawer his intention to report him to the police in connection with the event described above, indicating that this was on the orders of the Head of the Prosecutor’s Office, Mr Imanuel Zebua. Mr Kawer has since reported that he feels under pressure and restricted in carrying out his human rights work and legal duties to defend his clients. A copy of a public statement made by Mr Kawer, translated by TAPOL, is attached.

The case has been reported to the Indonesian Advocates Association, Peradi, who have publicly stated that in their opinion, the remarks in question were made by Mr Kawer in the course of defending his clients, and he cannot therefore be threatened with prosecution in connection with these remarks. It should further be underlined that issues of this nature should be settled in the courtroom, under the authority of the presiding judge.

While the threat to report Mr Kawer’s actions to the police has been widely reported, both publicly and to Mr Kawer himself, no formal action or explanations on the part of the prosecutors have yet been forthcoming.

National and international protection of lawyers as human rights defenders
Indonesian Law No 18/2003, known as the Advocates Law, states that a legal advocate has the right to freedom of expression and the right not to be subject to criminal or civil action in relation to the performance in good faith of his or her professional duties in defending a client in court.

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders includes the right to provide professionally qualified legal advice and assistance in defending human rights (Article 3(c)) and imposes an obligation on the state to "take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of everyone against any violence, threats, retaliation, adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the Declaration” (Article 12 (2)).  As you highlighted in your recent 5 March communication, human rights defenders have a right to protection, and states are responsible for ensuring this protection.

Guarantees for the functioning of lawyers are further elaborated by the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.  In particular, they state that governments shall ensure that lawyers (i ) “are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference”; and (ii) “shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics” (Article 16).  

We are particularly concerned about the safety of Mr Kawer, and the wider impact of threats made against him on the legal team for the defence and on the prospects of a just and fair legal process for the five defendants on trial.

We would therefore request that you raise this matter with the Indonesian government as a matter of urgency.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information.

Yours sincerely,

Asian Human Rights Commission
Australian West Papua Association
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
Faith-based Network on West Papua
Franciscans International
Indonesia Human Rights Committee
The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan, KontraS)
West Papua Advocacy Team


cc.           Mrs Gabriela Knaul, Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

Mr Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression



Statement by Gustaf Kawar, laywer defending Forkorus and his colleagues

On 24 February 2012, during a hearing at the trial of Mr Forkorus Yaboisembut and his four co-defendants, the public prosecutor officially announced his intention to submit a report to the police regarding an 'unacceptable incident' that occurred during the trial hearing on 21 February. At the time, the meaning of this announcement was unclear and following the hearing, we decided to find out who was likely to face charges.

It seems that I am the target of this announcement. It seems that they were very irritated by the fact that, during the hearing on 21 February, seven of the witnesses summoned to appear were members of the [police] unit which carried out the arrest of Forkorus and his colleagues. When it was my turn to question these witnesses about the arrests, they were unable to explain certain things. Namely:

- That prior to the Papuan Peace Congress, news reached the regional headquarters of the police in West Papua that the police would not issue a licence,

- That a letter had been received by the Director-General of Otda, the regional office of the Department of the Interior, inviting him to formally open the Congress,

- That the Congress proceeded peacefully from 16–19 October 2011.

- That several commissions held meetings and that thereafter there was a Declaration, after which the Congress concluded at 1pm.

- That two hours later, that is to say, at 3pm, the security forces launched an attack during which approximately 400 participants were subjected to various forms of maltreatment and torture and taken to police headquarters, as a result of which three people died because of the way they had been treated by members of the TNI/Polri, (the Indonesian army and police).

As regards the scenario to 'criminalise me'; some details became clear when I was questioning one of the police officers. I was repeatedly interrupted by the Prosecutor, in response to which I asked him to be a patient because I was in the process of questioning witnesses. Yet despite this, the interruptions continued, whereupon I said:
“Prosecutor, where is your brain? I am still proceeding with my questioning so would you kindly keep quiet.”
It was only thereafter that he became silent. I then continued with my questioning until I had finished. After the hearing, the prosecution team discussed the words that I had used and decided that they would concentrate on 'criminalising me' for the questioning.

We appeal to everyone to spread this statement far and wide. As lawyers, according to the Law on Advocates No 18/2003, there is impunity against raising any issues, in criminal as well as civil cases, while we are in the process of defending our clients.

We will now wait and see whether the Prosecutor intends go ahead with his intention which would be a violation of the rule of law in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).


Translated and published by TAPOL, 27 February 2012


Thursday, March 8, 2012

AWPA- update Februar

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

AWPA- update February -beginning of March  2012

Summary of events
The Australian-Pacific chapter of International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) was launched at Parliament House in Canberra on the 28 February. The event was hosted by Green Senator Richard Di Natale. Although the acting Foreign Affairs Minister Craig Emerson urged Labor members not to attend the event, Labor MP Laurie Ferguson defied Dr Emerson's advice and attended the launch. He said he regarded Dr Emerson's urgings as "unprecedented, ridiculous and ill-informed". "We're talking about a country where people get 15 years in jail for raising a flag, where on all common analyses of Indonesian society it is the second worst province in regards to longevity of people's life, child, infant mortality, income levels," http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-28/labor-mps-defy-ban-on-west-papua-meeting/3858188/?site=illawarra Craig Emerson was also pulled up by Labor caucus chairman Daryl Melham and former Speaker Harry Jenkins, who said MPs were free to attend any event they chose. Yet again this shows how sensitive the West Papuan issue is to both the Australian and Indonesian Governments.

There are various Parliamentary Friendship Groups including an Australian -Indonesian Parliamentary Friendship Group and one can’t imagine Parliamentarians being asked not to attend this group.  The Northern Territory Labor senator Trish Crossin, who chairs the Australian Indonesian Parliamentary Friendship Group, confirmed a delegation of embassy officials had met her to express concern because West Papua is a province of Indonesia. A Foreign Affairs Department spokeswoman also confirmed the Indonesian embassy had raised the West Papua meeting issue and said successive Australian governments had committed to the territorial integrity of Indonesia.
Catherine Delahunty, a Green Party MP from New Zealand and Ralh Regenvanu, MP from Vanuatu also attended the launch. International lawyers for West Papua was represented by Jennifer Robinson at the launch. Photos of launch at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/photos-of-launch-of-international.html Jennifer Robinson also spoke to a variety of groups while in Australia including at a Medical Association for Prevention of War seminar on the human rights situation in West Papua. http://pure-papua.posterous.com/?tag=seminar

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta released a press release stating Australia is fully committed to Indonesia's territorial integrity and national unity, including its sovereignty over the Papua provinces. This is a fundamental obligation of the Lombok Treaty between Australia and Indonesia. http://www.indonesia.embassy.gov.au/jakt/MR12_009.html A number of rallies took place in West Papua. Supporting the launch. Photos at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/photos-from-free-west-papua-site.html and http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/timika-photos-news-demo-supporting.html

The trial against the five the West Papuan activists, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Dominikus Surabut and August Kraar for treason is continuing with concern now for members of their defence legal team with reports in local newspapers of some intimidation.  AWPA also wrote to the former Foreign Minister kevin Rudd concerning the safety of the men on trial.  http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/awpa-letter-to-minister-for-foreign.html   AWPA also released its Human Rights report on West Papua for 2011. Found at http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1202/AWPA_Human_Rights_Report__West_Papua.pdf

President meets with church leaders
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,  Vice President Boediono and several top cabinet ministers, on Wednesday held a three-hour dialogue with representatives of the Papuan Synod of Churches at the state guesthouse. 
The government has vowed to improve the infrastructure and welfare of the people of Papua, but stopped short of committing to an all-inclusive dialogue to address the problems afflicting the restive province. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/papuan-church-leaders-meet-with-yudhoyono/495219

According to the province’s public health chief the HIV/AIDS in Papua has become a general epidemic “Alarm raised on HIV ‘epidemic’ in Papua” http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/02/17/alarm-raised-hiv-epidemic-papua.html   and in a report on Radio Australia it stated that
The incidence of HIV/Aids in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat - the area known as West Papua is said to be 20 times greater than the rest of Indonesia. “West Papua struggling with HIV/AIDS

There have been a number of shootings in the past month
Motorcycle taxi driver shot by man in Papua
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Thu, 02/02/2012
A motorcycle taxi driver is in hospital after being shot by an unidentified man for no apparent reason, Papua Police say. Police said that the victim, Daeng Yonri, was being treated in hospital. “Daeng Yonri has been severely wounded. Now we are trying all we can to save him,” Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono said on Thursday. He said a team of police officers and army soldiers were hunting the perpetrators. Wachyono said Yonri was the third shooting victim so far this month. The other shooting victims, both killed, are a civilian identified as Kismarovit and First. Brig. Sukarno, a member of the Papua Mobile Brigade (Brimob

Workers shot at Mile 37 in Papua
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura 02/09/2012
Two employees of mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia’s subcontractor, CV Yawapu, Benny Yamamo and Phiter Tumoka, were shot on Thursday by an unidentified person at Mile 37 while driving from Nayaro village to Timika.
“Benny was shot on the right side of the chest while Phiter was shot in the leg. Four other people in the car were injured by glass fragments,” Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono said in Jayapura. Wachyono did not mention the condition of the two victims or whether they survive the ambush.
A Mobile Brigade [Brimob] officer, First. Brig. Ronald, was shot dead near the Mile 37 area on Tuesday. Ronald’s body was sent to Ternate on Wednesday for burial.

Update: Indonesian Soldier Dies in Papua Firefight
Jakarta Globe March 08, 2012
An Indonesia soldier shot Thursday morning during a firefight in Puncak Jaya, Papua has died, Indonesian Military (TNI) officials said.  First Pvt. Laode was rushed to Mulia Hospital in critical condition earlier today after a group of armed men opened fire on a military truck heading to Mulia, the capital of Papua’s Puncak Jaya district. The soldiers exchanged fire with the attackers. Laode suffered a gunshot wound in the attack. The men then took his rife. Doctors at Mulia Hospital transfered the soldier to Jayapura’s Marthen Indey Military Hospital for further treatment. But doctors were unable to save the man.   
Indonesian Military officials are trying to determine who the shooters were, said Erwin Syafitri, commander of the Cendrawasih Military Command, which oversees military operations in Papua.Separatist groups have been historically responsible for the occasional bloody clash between security forces and armed groups in Indonesia's easternmost province, according to the Indonesian government. Antara/JG

 Thousands of Papuans Demand Referendum
Tuesday, 21 February, 2012  TEMPO Interactive
Jakarta: Thousands supporting the West Papua National Committee thronged the Papua People Assembly building in Kotaraja, Jayapura, on Monday. The protesters demanded for a referendum and for the Papua and West Papua Development Acceleration Unit (UP4B) to be disbanded.

“We don’t want UP4B. We’re not looking for special autonomy, we want a referendum,” said Mako Tabuni, the National Committee spokesman on Monday.

Mako said that freedom for Papua could not be compromised. Special autonomy, as stipulated in Law No. 21/2001, has failed to bring welfare for the Papuans. “Special autonomy has failed, the unit won’t work either. It’s only sugar-coated politics for Papua sent from Jakarta,” Mako went on.


Indonesian Police Arrest Czech Tourist in Papua
February 08, 2012
Manokwari. Police in Indonesia’s restive Papua region arrested a Czech tourist Wednesday for taking photos of a pro-independence demonstration, district police said.

Petr Zamecnik, 35, was detained in the town of Manokwari, around 400 kilometers east of the popular Raja Ampat diving site in West Papua province, Manokwari police chief Agustinus Supriyanto told AFP.

“We questioned him because his travel permit lists him as a tourist. He has now been handed over to immigration,” Supriyanto said.

“Zamecnik was supposed to go on a holiday to Raja Ampat but he was found taking pictures of a protest instead.”

Around 100 ethnic Melanesian Papuans marched to the governor’s building Wednesday afternoon yelling “Free Papua, we are not Indonesians”, carrying a banner showing the outlawed Papuan Morning Star separatist symbol.

Indonesia imposes strict visa regulations on foreign visitors to Papua and tight restrictions on foreign journalists looking to report from the region.

Jakarta annexed Papua in 1969 in a self-determination referendum widely seen as rigged and continues to keep a tight grip on the region through its military and police to quell a decades-long insurgency by poorly armed rebels.

In 2010, two French journalists were deported from Papua for filming a peaceful demonstration outside government-approved areas.

Agence France-Presse

RNZI February, 2012
The General-Secretary of the Papua Customary Council has called on New Zealand to ensure it doesn’t take up investment opportunities created by massive land exploitation in Indonesia’s eastern region.
While in New Zealand last week, Leonard Imbiri spoke of the dangers of this country furthering its trade links with Indonesia while ignoring human rights abuses in Papua. The planned Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate near the Papua New Guinea border is highly strategic in terms of the nation’s food security and energy programmes. Mr Imbiri says New Zealand should think twice before investing in it. “I don’t think that there is good preparation to involve the Papuan indigenous people in that process. And it means that they will be displaced in their own land. I didn’t see that there will be any possibilities or benefits from this project to the West Papuan indigenous people.”
Leonard Imbiri

RNZI 17 February, 2012
A leading researcher on West Papua says the trial of five Papuan leaders for treason has hallmarks of being another public relations disaster for Indonesia. The five were arrested last October at the Third Papuan People’s Congress where they raised the outlawed Papuan ’Morning Star’ flag and declared independence. Earlier this week, the panel of judges rejected a bid by the defendants’ legal team to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the five men are entitled to freedom of expression under Indonesian law. Jim Elmslie of Sydney University’s West Papua Project says security forces are pressuring the judges to deliver harsh sentences. “But the previous case where people were sentenced to long terms purely for non-violent political actions like raising a flag, they’ve been taken up by people all over the world. And it doesn’t make Indonesia look good to have political prisoners who are merely expressing their political convictions.” The trial continues today with witnesses for the prosecution to be heard, most of whom are members of the police force involved in the deadly crackdown on October’s peaceful gathering.

Reports/opinion pieces  etc
Australia Is Policing Separatism
By Marni Cordell
Indonesia's counter-terror unit Detachment 88 is funded and trained by Australia. Why are we so involved with a unit whose work includes counter-separatist activities? Marni Cordell reports from Jakarta

West Papuan Leaders Face Life In Prison
Tomorrow five West Papuan men will face charges of treason for peacefully declaring independence from Indonesia. Why isn't Australia sending legal observers to the trial, asks Tom Clarke

In memory of the 1999 Papua dialogue
Budi Hernawan, Canberra 03/01/2012
Thirteen years ago today, Papua’s “Team 100” was invited by then president BJ Habibie to hold a national dialogue to discuss the Papua issue at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. 

We need a pulpit perspective on Papua
Members of regional parliaments are increasingly alarmed at the continuing violence in the Indonesian Papuan provinces and at the seeming inability of the Indonesian Government to administer these territories without a large military presence. The refusal of permission for journalists and many aid workers to enter the provinces is a growing cause of concern.

ALP Tries to Ban West Papuan Meeting
2SER's Razors Edge

Comprehending West Papua
New ebook
edited by ProfessorPeter King, Jim Elmslie and Camellia Webb-­Gannon from the University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, is a collection of papers and essays from an eponymous conference held at the University last year. The book brings together the thoughts and observations of West Papuan intellectuals, religious leaders and independence activists from around the world. A must read for anybody interested in the issue of West Papua

Indonesia: Amnesty International welcomes President’s commitment on accountability in Papua
17 February 2012,
Amnesty International welcomes the acknowledgement by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that security forces have committed human rights violations in the region of Papua. The President said further that he wants an end to repressive actions by the military and police in Papua.

By Alfred Oehlers February 16, 2012