Thursday, March 12, 2015

1) Fiji military to learn from Indonesia's army

2) February 2015: Forced confessions violate fair trial rights for Papuans

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http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/268562/fiji-military-to-learn-from-indonesia's-army

1) Fiji military to learn from Indonesia's army

Updated about 1 hour ago

A former senior Fiji military figure, Jone Baledrokadroka, says there is much that the Royal Fiji Military Forces can learn from Indonesia's army.
The comment comes as the two countries have agreed to forge closer military co-operation.
The Foreign Ministers from both countries recently agreed to have greater cooperation in relation to United Nations peacekeeping forces of both countries.
As part of this, Fiji peacekeepers are to undergo training at a centre in Indonesia.
Mr Baledrokadroka says Indonesia's military has extensive peacekeeping experience and that training with them is a natural progression.
"Indonesia has got quite a large military and Fiji is looking at trying to use these Indonesian military facilities, especially in peacekeeping. And other training of course, to do with... in nation-building and rural development, those sort of areas."
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2) February 2015: Forced confessions violate fair trial rights for Papuans

In brief

At the end of February 2015, there were at least 38 political prisoners in Papuan jails.
The trials for Areki Wanimbo and the case of the Pisugi Election Boycott detainees are underway after months of postponed court hearings. In both cases, local human rights observers report a lack of sufficient evidence against the detainees. The legal process in both cases has also been fraught with irregularities. In the case of Areki Wanimbo, a Lanny Jaya tribal leader, police charged him with treason instead of acquitting him once they failed to find evidence to charge him for possession of ammunition. In the Pisugi case, court hearings were postponed six times as prosecutors were unable to present any witnesses. The five men standing trial were arrested for allegedly boycotting the Presidential elections in July last year. They were tortured on arrest and in detention, forced to confess and forced to sign fabricated police investigation reports (Berita Acara Pemeriksaan, BAP). The use of coerced confessions and falsified evidence in criminal proceedings is a direct violation of the right to fair trial. In the Sasawa case of February 2014, seven detainees were sentenced to 3.5 years’ imprisonment each after a trial that used falsified police reports as key evidence in their conviction. In many political cases in Papua, trials lack material evidence and depend heavily on police reports that are often signed by detainees under duress and in the absence of a lawyer.
In February, the team for the National Human Rights Commission (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) leading investigations into Bloody Paniai returned to Enarotali to conduct interviews with victims and eyewitnesses. Even though early reports from Komnas HAM indicate that human rights violations were committed, it remains to be seen whether those responsible for the fatal shootings of four high school students will be held accountable. Without the establishment of a mechanism such as an Investigative Commission into Human Rights Violations (Komisi Penyelidikan Pelanggaran HAM, KPP-HAM), Komnas HAM would lack the necessary mandate to seek prosecution at Indonesia’s Ad Hoc Human Rights Court. Furthermore, the suspicious circumstances surrounding the burning down of a high school attended by two of the Bloody Paniai victims suggests that the local community in Enarotali continue to face threats and intimidation. Eyewitnesses and victims of Bloody Paniai are reluctant to come forward to provide testimony due to insufficient victim and witness protection.
Information received from local church groups reported that those detained in mass arrests in Utikini village in Timika last month have since been released. Maxson Waker, one of the 65 detained on 6 January, is reported to have been arrested for being drunk and suffered torture at the hands of police.
You can read the full update here:
http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/?p=3408

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