Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1) Cyclist says misrepresented by Indonesian media on West Papua.

2) Accusations Indonesia's PNG consulate interfered with the autopsy of West Papuan rebel leader Danny Kogoya 
3) Indonesia's Papua Connects Faiths

Posted at 18:14 on 18 December, 2013 UTC
A Canadian man who cycled around the world to raise awareness of human rights abuses in West Papua says Indonesian media outlets have insulted him by distorting comments he made about prisoners’ conditions.
Jeremy Bally completed his 12,000 kilometre cycling trip this month and is soon to fly out of Jakarta to return home.
Mr Bally says The Jakarta Globe and the Jakarta Post both misquoted him about his recent visit to West Papua to meet political prisioners.
He says the news articles reported him as saying the prisoners were treated well and had no problems.
“It’s extremely insulting to me to be characterised in that way and to the efforts of the prisoners, first of all, and to everyone who helped organise this action to have it just so blatantly distorted in the media. So I am going to make a callout to my network today to write letters to the editor to the Jakarta Post to make sure that it is well known that this is unacceptable.”
Jeremy Bally says the Jakarta Globe has now removed the inaccurate comments.
Mr Bally says West Papuan political prisoners are regularly subject to torture, poor living conditions and poor medical care.


2) Accusations Indonesia's PNG consulate interfered with the autopsy of West Papuan rebel leader Danny Kogoya 
The family of a one-legged West Papuan rebel who died in Papua New Guinea at the weekend has accused the Indonesian consulate of interfering with his planned autopsy.
The Free Papua Movement (OPM) regional commander Danny Kogoya died on Sunday in the north-west town of Vanimo, where he has been hiding since fleeing the threat of arrest in Indonesia earlier this year.
The cause of his death is not yet clear.
The OPM is a group fighting for West Papuan independence from Indonesia and Danny Kogoya was the group's commander for the Jayapura region.
Mr Kogoya was shot by Indonesian security forces during an arrest last year and later had his leg amputated while in custody.
In July, Mr Kogoya spoke to the ABC after his leg had been amputated, where he vowed to return to the jungle to fight against Indonesian rule.
He told the ABC he was unarmed and surrendering when police shot him below the knee and his leg was amputated without his permission while he was jailed on manslaughter charges.
"This leg was amputated for the Free Papua Movement. I am asking for independence... I am asking for West Papua to exit the Republic of Indonesia," he said.
At the time Mr Kogoya said he need further surgery to remove bullet fragments from the stump of his leg.

Questions over death

Initial reports blamed infection as the cause of death, but a doctor at Vanimo Hospital says Mr Kogoya was being treated for liver failure when he died.
A spokesman for Danny Kogoya's family, Jeffrey Bomanak, has accused the Indonesian consul-general of interfering with plans to carry out an autopsy at Vanimo Hospital.
He alleges the consul-general, who is based in Vanimo, asked the hospital to not go ahead with the post mortem.
"[The] Indonesian consulate disturbed that process. I don't know what reason, [it's] not clear the reason. Because he wanted to disturb the process about operation, even to check the full report of hospital," Mr Bomanak said.
The ABC has been unable to reach the consulate or the consul-general for comment.
I heard that probably the consulate wants the body for some legal reasons and the family wants the body too, so they're still going to and fro.
Dr Kennan Witari, Vanimo Hospital

But the emergency department registrar at Vanimo Hospital, Dr Kennan Witari, claims the Indonesian consul-general was involved.
"I'm not really sure why he's following this thing like this, to this extent. But I heard that probably the consulate wants the body for some legal reasons and the family wants the body too, so they're still going to and fro," Dr Kennan Witari said.
Family spokesman Jeffrey Bomanak says he suspects foul play and wants an autopsy to take place in the coming days.
Danny Kogoya's family then wants to take the body back to Jayapura for it to be buried in the same place as his amputated leg.
"Half [his] leg is already planted [buried] there, in West Papua. So we cannot plant [bury] the body here... that is a big wrong," Mr Bomanak said.
Further discussions between Mr Kogoya's family, the Indonesian consulate and the hospital about a post mortem are expected.
Preparations for a funeral or burial have not yet been confirmed.

Decades-old fight

Since the 1960s, the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement has conducted a low-level insurgency within Indonesia.
Allegations of atrocities committed by Indonesian forces within Papua and West Papua province are difficult to confirm because the international media is kept out.
It is also hard to get a real sense of the strength of the West Papuan militants.
Mr Kogoya told the ABC in July he commanded a standby army of 7,000 men, with around 200 active fighters, but those figures cannot be verified.


3) Indonesia's Papua Connects Faiths

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00
In the Christians-majority province, Muslims are treated equally to Christians and have an equal representation.
PAPUA – Amid increasing religious troubles worldwide, Muslims and Christians in the West Papua province are interweaving an atmosphere of harmony and peace for all faiths in the area.
"We are coming from the same land and culture," Andreas Wamena, a 37-year-old who grew up in Wamena alongside the children of Christian merchants, was quoted by Khabar Southeast Asia on Wednesday, December 18.
“Therefore, there is no reason for us to not get along with other ethnic tribes.”
West Papua, formerly West Irian Jaya or Irian Jaya Barat, is the least populous province of Indonesia.
The former Dutch colony has a population of approximately 2.6 million.
Christians make up nearly 78 percent of the population, Muslims 21 percent while the rest are Buddhists and Hindus.
There is also substantial practice of animism, though it is not recorded by Indonesian census.
Living side by side for decades, religious harmony has been connecting different faiths in the area.
Wamna's Muslims are welcomed to participate in cultural events, they were also allowed recently to attend municipal government meetings and run for local office.
Pork-free feats are one of Wemana's interfaith benchmarks which are held under the name 'Bakar Batu'.
In Bakur Batu, residents from different faiths come together to cook meat and vegetable over the heated stones.
In the pork-free gathering residents eat chicken, beef and goat instead of pork, as a sigh of respect to Muslim participants.
"Before, we had not been involved in many local community programs," Hadiman Asso, a Wamena Muslim leader who lives in Jayapura, said.
"However, now, more people are aware of the existence of the small Muslim community in Wamena."
In the Christians-majority province, Muslims are treated equally to Christians and have an equal representation.
"The [provincial] government acknowledges opportunities for us to be civil servants and leaders," said Asso, the Wamena Muslim leader.
“We have similar opportunities just like all Christian Papuans.”
Signs of Tolerance and cooperation are found everywhere in Wamena where Muslims and Christians across the town join hands to build worship places.
They also share construction equipments to build a mosque or a church, Asso added.
“The elected officials are often also involved with different religious beliefs to promote tolerance and equality in Papua," said Victor Wanggai Papua Toni, chairman of the Wamena chapter of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).
Pastor Sonny Manoach, with the Jayapura chapter of Indonesian Pentecostal Church (GPdI), shared a similar opinion.
"Issues involving ethnicity, religion, and race have occurred here and there. However, it never affected the harmony among religious followers in Papua,” he said.
"We are not easily provoked into violence."
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim state with Muslims making up around 85 percent of its 237-million population.
Christians, both Protestants and Catholics, make up nearly 12 percent of the country’s population.

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