Wednesday, October 29, 2014

1) Police, Soldiers Suspected of Arming Papua Separatists

1) Police, Soldiers Suspected of Arming Papua Separatists
2) Police officer sells ammo  to armed group
3) Brutal new Defence Minister undermines Jokowi’s overtures to West Papua4) HIV/AIDS is spreading rapidly because of the profound inequalities that afflict Papua

5) Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy


1) Police, Soldiers Suspected of Arming Papua Separatists

By Banjir Ambarita on 02:18 pm Oct 29, 2014
Category CrimeFeaturedNews

Jayapura. Authorities in Papua have arrested a police officer and are questioning three soldiers suspected of supplying ammunition to an armed separatist cell blamed for attacks that killed at least six police officers in the past three years.
The officer in custody, identified only as A.J., a police brigadier, was arrested on Sunday along with six suspected members of a cell of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) led by Pinus “Rambo” Wenda, who was also netted in the bust.
“We can confirm that one of our men was arrested and is suspected of having supplied ammunition to an armed criminal group,” Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende, the chief of the Papua Police, told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.
He said the bust took place in a hotel in Wamena, in Papua’s Jayawijaya district, in which police also found two rifle magazines and dozens of rounds of ammunition.
“We’ve had an eye on [A.J.] for a while now, but it’s only now that we’ve been able to catch him in a position where we can charge him,” Yotje said. “We’re questioning him intensively to determine where he got the ammunition, whether he stole it or some other means.”
Yotje said A.J. had claimed to investigators that his uncle, a retired soldier, was also involved in supplying ammunition to Rambo’s cell.
The provincial military commander said separately that his office was questioning a retired soldier and two serving ones about their alleged role in the case.
The police are handling the investigation into the retired soldier, according to Maj. Gen. Fransen Siahaan, the head of the Cendrawasih Military Command in Jayapura, which oversees military operations for the whole of Papua.
“The two others are still serving in the force and are being investigated by the Military Police,” Fransen told the Globe on Tuesday. “If they’re found to be involved in supplying ammunition to the OPM, I will discharge them. We won’t tolerate any armed forces personnel who does that. We’re going to find out how long they’ve been doing this.”
War drums
Police have not named A.J. or any of the soldiers as a suspect in the case, but they have already designated the six suspected OPM members as such.
Police also shot Rambo in the leg during the hotel raid on Sunday, claiming he tried to resist arrest.
The capture of Rambo, one of the most wanted OPM operatives in recent years, has prompted a threat of an armed backlash from the separatist group.
“We demand that the police immediately release our comrade, Rambo Wenda, or else we and all Papuan people will declare war and will target all non-Papuans in Papua,” Puron Wenda, the commander of the OPM in Lanny Jaya province, the organization’s stronghold, told the Globe by phone on Tuesday.
He added that police had until Thursday to release Rambo and the five others, “otherwise we will beat the drums of war.”
Puron said he had also phoned Yotje, the police chief, to make the demand — a claim that Yotje confirmed.
“But I refused to communicate with them because they’re criminals,” Yotje said.
Rambo is blamed for more than a dozen attacks on police stations and convoys since 2005 in Puncak Jaya and Lanny Jaya districts, and the deaths of at least six police officers since 2011.
The OPM, which is outlawed by the Indonesian government, has waged a low-level armed insurgency against the Indonesian security forces since 1965.:

2) Police officer sells ammo  to armed group
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Wed, October 29 2014, 7:54 AM
Police officer First Brig. Tanggam Jikwa, of the Nduga Police station in Nduga regency, Papua, has been arrested and is at risk of being dismissed from his unit for selling ammunition to an armed civilian group in Wamena, Jayawijaya, Papua.
“I will fire him and he will face a legal process,” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende said in Jayapura on Tuesday.
Tanggam was caught in the company of five armed criminals, among them Rambo Wonda and Rambo Tolikara, at a hotel in Wamena on Oct. 26.
Yotje also dismissed Nduga Police chief Second Insp. Pius Holahasan.
The armed civilian group led by Wonda and Tolikara is believed to be linked to several shootings in 2011 and 2012 that killed a number of police members and an Indonesian Military (TNI) soldier.
Cenderawasih Military Command chief Maj. Gen. Fransen G. Siahaan said that three TNI members with the rank of sergeant were also believed to have sold ammunition to armed civilian groups. Fransen has deployed a team to Wamena to further probe the case.


3) Brutal new Defence Minister undermines Jokowi’s overtures to West Papua

Indonesia’s new President has talked of hope and reconciliation as regards West Papua, but appointing a hard-line former general sends a different message, writes 

Nic Maclellan, a journalist and researcher in the Pacific islands.
Writing in Crikey yesterday, Indonesia analyst Jim Della-Giacoma said the appointment of retired general Ryamizard Ryacudu as new Indonesian Defence Minister “could have been worse”. But if you’re West Papuan, it’s hard to see how.
During his election campaign, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo travelled twice to West Papua, promising a new era of dialogue between Jakarta and Jayapura. Last August, Jokowi met with West Papuan political, community and church leaders, outlining new policies for the troubled region. He pledged greater access for foreign journalists, stating: “Why not? It’s safe here in Papua. There’s nothing to hide.”
But the Indonesian President’s appointment of Ryacudu as Defence Minister threatens to undermine these commitments. The choice of a hard-line former military general for this senior cabinet post is likely to undo Jokowi’s cautious steps towards reconciliation in West Papua.
Successive Indonesian presidents have regarded the provinces of Papua and West Papua as an integral part of the Indonesian republic, cracking down on West Papuan nationalists who promote the right to self-determination or call for independence. Since Indonesia’s takeover in the early 1960s and the 1969 Act of Free Choice, Indonesia’s police and military forces have committed extensive human rights abuses. The Indonesian Armed Forces have marginalised the West Papuan guerrilla movement Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) but are struggling to control a new generation of student and community activists who are calling for independence.
In spite of Indonesia’s post-1998 democratic advances, West Papua remains an area with little international monitoring on the ground (the recent arrest, detention and trial of two French journalists for meeting with independence activists is a sign the security forces are still hostile to international scrutiny).
The new Defence Minister is an ally of former Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri, and his appointment reflects her influence with the new Jokowi administration. Ryacudu was chief of the Indonesian army’s strategic command (Kostrad) in 2000-02 and then army chief of staff between 2002 and 2005.
During his time in the Indonesian military, Ryacudu was notorious for his hostility to Indonesian human rights activists, expressed doubts about civilian control of the military and downplayed concerns over human rights violations by the Indonesian military in Aceh and West Papua.
A decade ago, Ryacudu led the implementation of martial law in Aceh, with a crackdown on the Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM), or Free Aceh Movement. In May 2003, he told Time Magazine: “Our job is to destroy GAM’s military capability. Issues of justice, religion, autonomy, social welfare, education? Those are not the Indonesian military’s problems.”
The Indonesian President can talk of dialogue, but ongoing human rights violations in West Papua by Indonesian police and military will undercut this initiative …”
In response to reports that Indonesian soldiers had executed unarmed children during the martial law crackdown, he stated: “If they are armed and fire, they will be shot, because children — and women — can kill, too.”
Ryacudu also played an important role in the crushing of the “Papuan Spring”, the period between 1998 and 2001 when West Papuans met to propose new options for self-determination. In 1998, as the Suharto regime collapsed, the West Papuan church, NGOs and indigenous leaders formed the Forum for Reconciliation in Irian Jaya (FORERI). In February 2000, the Papuan Mass Consultation (MUBES) was held in Jayapura to discuss democracy and self-determination. Supported by then-Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, this popular congress was a crucial but short-lived moment of hope for West Papuans.
A key outcome of the congress was the creation of the Papua Presidium Council, led by Chief Theys Eluay, a key indigenous leader who proposed dialogue rather than conflict with Jakarta. But Eluay was murdered by Indonesian soldiers on November 10, 2001, shortly after attending an event at the Kopassus Special Forces base near Jayapura. Indonesian military officials initially denied responsibility for the killing, but after campaigning by human rights activists, seven low-ranking soldiers were eventually brought before a military court. These soldiers were found guilty in 2003 but only served short prison sentences.
At the time, Ryacudu praised Eluay’s murderers as heroes, stating: “I don’t know, people say they did wrong, they broke the law. What law? OK, we are a state based on the rule of law, so they have been punished. But for me, they are heroes because the person they killed was a rebel leader.”
Today, Indonesian human rights activistsacademics and solidarity groups have all expressed concern about Jokowi’s new Defence Minister, and the potential for further conflict in West Papua.
Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) states: “The people of West Papua live in fear of security operations in the territory and the appointment of Ryamizard Ryacudu as Defence Minister can only add to this fear. There was some hope that the election of Jokowi would bring an easing of tension in West Papua, but with Ryamizard Ryacudu’s appointment it looks like there could be a continuation of solving issues of concern in West Papua by the security approach, not by dialogue.”
The Indonesian President can talk of dialogue, but ongoing human rights violations in West Papua by Indonesian police and military will undercut this initiative and continue to sour regional relations.
For Australia, the issue of self-determination in Melanesia will not go away. The French Pacific dependency of New Caledonia is scheduled to hold a referendum on self-determination before the end of 2018. Bougainville is moving towards a decision on its political status after nearly a decade of autonomous government. Self-determination will remain on the agenda in West Papua, even though governments in Canberra, Jakarta and Port Moresby regard it as a taboo subject.

Inside Indonesia

4) HIV/AIDS is spreading rapidly because of the profound inequalities that afflict Papua

Carole Reckinger & Antoine Lemaire



Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy

Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy, 29 October
29 October 2014
When: From 1pm to 1.30pm on Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Where: Indonesian embassy, 70 Glen Rd, Kelburn, Wellington
Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua.
Local journalists in West Papua, occupied by Indonesia since 1963, are subjected to violence and intimidation, as highlighted during the visit earlier this year by Victor Mambor, Alliance of Independent Journalists in Papua ( Foreign journalists are seldom permitted to visit West Papua, and the select few that are allowed entry are closely monitored during their time there.
The lack of access for foreign media, and the harsh treatment of West Papuans who meet with those who enter the country under tourist visas, has been highlighted most recently by the Indonesian authorities treatment of French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, who were arrested on 6 August while recording footage for a documentary on the human rights situation in West Papua. Rather than being swiftly deported as other foreign journalists have been in the past, they were charged with immigration breaches and imprisoned until this week when they appeared in court - according the Indonesian Independent Alliance of Journalists, the first time that foreign journalists have been tried under immigration laws in Papua. The two journalists were found guilty, and will be freed next week. There have been reports that West Papuans who may have met with Dandois and Bourrat have been targeted and interrogated by Indonesian intelligence officers.

The International Federation of Journalists has raised numerous concerns about media freedom in West Papua over many years, just last week calling on President Joko Widodo to adopt a more open and transparent approach to media - Rights Watch too has raised this issue repeatedly, describing the conviction of Dandois and Bourrat as "a worrying blow" for media freedom
Further information is available

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