Friday, April 10, 2015

1) Indonesia: Formation of inquiry team into Paniai shootings offers hope for justice

1) Indonesia: Formation of inquiry team into Paniai shootings offers hope for justice
2) West Papua – Return to Melanesia

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https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/1423/2015/en/

1) Indonesia: Formation of inquiry team into Paniai shootings offers hope for justice

By Amnesty International, 9 April 2015, Index number: ASA 21/1423/2015

Amnesty International welcomes the announcement by Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) that it will be recommending the formation of a pro-justicia inquiry team to undertake a detailed investigation into the killings of four students by the security forces and injuries to dozens of others in Paniai, Papua province in December 2014. Victims and their families as well as human rights groups have been calling for justice since the incident occurred and this news offers them some genuine hope for accountability.

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT

Index: ASA 21/1423/2015

10 April 2015

Indonesia: Formation of inquiry team into Paniai shootings offers hope for justice

Amnesty International welcomes the announcement by Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) that it will be recommending the formation of a pro-justicia inquiry team to undertake a detailed investigation into the killings of four students by the security forces and injuries to dozens of others in Paniai, Papua province in December 2014. Victims and their families as well as human rights groups have been calling for justice since the incident occurred and this news offers them some genuine hope for accountability.

On the morning of 8 December 2014, Indonesian security forces, both police and military, allegedly opened fire on hundreds of peaceful protesters at the Karel Gobai field, in the town of Enarotali, Paniai, Papua province. After the shootings ended, four people were found dead from gunshot wounds. Apius Gobay, aged 16, was shot in the stomach; Alpius Youw, aged 18, in the buttocks; Simon Degei, aged 17, in his left rib; while Yulianus Yeimo, aged 17, had bullet wounds in his stomach and back. At least 17 others were also injured after being hit by bullets or bayoneted by the security forces.

Under international law and standards, law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required to carry out a legitimate law enforcement objective; they must not use firearms except in defence against an imminent threat of death or serious injury. Arbitrary or abusive use of force by police or other security forces carrying out law enforcement duties must be punished as a criminal offence under the law.

President Joko Widodo publicly committed in December 2014 to resolve the case and shortly afterwards Komnas HAM established a team to undertake an initial investigation into the case. After four months of work, the Commission has now found evidence of gross human rights violations as defined in Law No. 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts, and has recommended a pro-justicia inquiry to undertake a more detailed investigation, which could eventually lead to prosecution in a human rights court. The Commission will make a final decision in May 2015 after the team completes the compilation of case information and legal analysis as required by that law.

Amnesty International calls on the Indonesian authorities to ensure that all relevant parties, especially the Indonesian security forces, cooperate with the Commission’s team when it is formed and carries out its work, and that the Commission is provided with
adequate resources, including forensic and other relevant experts, to undertake its work. Moreover, victims and witnesses should be provided with adequate protection.

The culture of impunity has contributed to previous administrations turning a blind eye to human rights violations by Indonesian security forces in Papua, including unlawful killings, excessive use of force, and torture and other ill-treatment. Should Komnas HAM’s investigations and the President’s public commitment to resolve the case lead to genuine accountability and reparations for the victims and their families, it would be a positive indication for Papuans of President Widodo’s commitment to improve the human rights situation in that region.

Any members of the security forces found to be responsible for arbitrary or abusive use of force, including persons with command responsibility who gave unlawful orders or who knew or should have known that those under their command were resorting to unlawful use of force and who did not take measures to prevent it, must be prosecuted in civilian courts in proceedings which meet international fair trial standards, without recourse to the death penalty. Victims, including families of those killed in such circumstances, must be afforded full and effective reparation. 



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http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2015/04/west-papua-return-to-melanesia/

Press Release – Australian West Papua Association
2) West Papua – Return to Melanesia
 On the 15 August 1962 an agreement was signed between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea. A vote on a Dutch/Indonesian resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly …West Papua – Return to Melanesia
On the 15 August 1962 an agreement was signed between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands concerning West New Guinea. A vote on a Dutch/Indonesian resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 1962 and included this statement:
“The Agreement contains certain guarantees for the population of the territory, including detailed provisions regarding the exercise of the right of self-determination
In 1969, Indonesia chose 1025 electors (one representative for approximately every 700 Papuans) to vote in the UN sanctioned election. Under coercion the electors voted to integrate with Indonesia. The West Papuan people call this act, “The act of no choice”
(Note. AWPA uses the name “West Papua” to refer to the whole of the western half of the Island of New Guinea. However, “West Papua” at this time is divided into two provinces, Papua and West Papua).
West Papua Leaders ‘Summit on Reconciliation and Unification in Vanuatu
At a historic meeting of West Papuan leaders in Port Vila in December 2014, a new organisation called the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was formed. The groups who have united include the Federal Republic of West Papua (NRFPB), the National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and the National Parliament of West Papua (NPWP). An external secretariat consisting of five elected members from the various groups will co-ordinate the ULMWP activities. Octovianus Mote has been elected as General Secretary, while Benny Wenda, Jacob Rumbiak, Leone Tangahma and Rex Rumakiek are other elected members and spokespeople. The meeting was hosted by the Vanuatu Government, church leaders, chiefs and moderated by the Pacific Council of Churches. The “West Papua Leaders ‘Summit on Reconciliation and Unification” was in response to the MSG leaders inviting all West Papua groups to form an inclusive and united umbrella group to work on submitting a fresh application for membership after their (MSG) special summit in Port Moresby in June 2014.

West Papua Leaders ‘Summit on Reconciliation and Unification in Port Vila
Background
Melanesian Spearhead Group
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is one of the two main regional organisations in the Pacific and is composed of the four Melanesian countries of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu as well as the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of Kanaky (New Caledonia). The organisation celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.
The West Papuan people and their supporters have been calling on the MSG to grant membership to representatives of the West Papuan people for years. In 2013 the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) applied for full membership of the MSG. Representatives of the group toured the region lobbying the MSG Leaders. However, the issue of membership for West Papua at the MSG’s Summit in Noumea in June 2013 was deferred, but a number of decisions by the leaders of the MSG in relation to West Papua are to be welcomed.
From MSG Communiqué
(In relation to WPNCL application for Membership)
Decisions
21. Leaders:
(i) endorsed that the MSG fully supports the inalienable rights of the people of West Papua towards self-determination as provided for under the preamble of the MSG constitution;
(ii) endorsed that the concerns of the MSG regarding the human rights violations and other forms of atrocities relating to the West Papuan people be raised with the Government of Indonesia bilaterally and as a Group.
The full Communiqué at
The Fact that the issue of self-determination for the people of West Papua was recognised by the representative regional body of the Melanesian Peoples is very significant as is the fact that the MSG leaders acknowledged that there are ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.
The MSG leaders also received an invitation from Indonesia to visit West Papua on a fact-finding mission. (Indonesia has observer status at the MSG). The MSG fact-finding mission took place in January 2014. The purpose of the trip was to assess what support there was for the WPNCL’s application for MSG membership although in reality it became more of a trade mission.
Vanuatu boycotted the Fact Finding mission believing the agenda for the visit had been “hijacked” by Indonesia with little chance for the delegation to meet with civil society groups, pro-independence groups, church leaders or other groups concerned with human rights violations in West Papua.
The MSG’s decision was formally announced at the Special MSG meeting in Port Moresby in 2014. The application by the WPNCL was rejected and the MSG invited all West Papuan groups to form an inclusive and united umbrella group in consultation with Indonesia to work on submitting a fresh application. (The MSG had received another application for membership as well as the one from the WPNCL).
The new uniting group, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua submitted their application for membership to the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila, at the beginning of February 2015. The West Papuan people believe that membership of the MSG will increase their voice and credibility with the international community and in their struggle for self-determination.
The MSG leaders relationship with West Papua has been ambivalent. The exception is Vanuatu. Vanuatu has been consistent in its support of West Papua. It is the one country in the world where everybody knows the issue of West Papua. It has raised concerns about West Papua in international fora. The former Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Carcasses Kalosil raised the issue at the United Nations General Assembly and again at the Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting in Sri Lanka.
There is one reason the MSG leaders may support West Papua at their coming summit in July. It is the growing support from their people for the West Papuan Cause.
Support for West Papua by civil society groups continues to grow in the Pacific region. On the 20 February in Suva, church, civil society groups and individuals marched to mark World Social Justice Day. In Fiji the march was dedicated to the sufferings of the West Papuan people. The president of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Tevita Banivanua said, “for too long, we have failed to speak out against Indonesia’s brutal oppression of the West Papua people,”
Approximately 50 Methodist Church heads of divisions signed the solidarity movement for West Papua’s petition at Suva’s Centenary Church in support of the call for the freedom of West Papua. The petition drive was headed by the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy and would be handed to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the end of April.
In the Solomon Islands a one-day consultation to discuss and highlight issues concerning West Papua’s struggle for freedom and independence from Indonesia led to the formation of the “Solomon Islands Solidarity for West Papua Freedom”. The consultation was jointly organized and hosted by the Pacific Council of Churches (PCC) and the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM).
In PNG The Hon Gary Juffa, Governor of Oro Province launched the PNG Union for Free West Papua (PNGUFWP) on the 3 April in Port Moresby.
It’s not just in the Pacific Islands that there is growing support for West Papua but also in Australia. The last two lines of an article “Tony Abbott has an Indonesian problem he doesn’t want to talk about” (News.com.au 31 March) says it all.
“Mr. Abbott’s stance (or lack thereof) on West Papua makes political sense for his government. But whether he likes it or not, he might have to engage the issue sooner rather than later”.
It should be remembered that West Papua has always been considered part of the Pacific Community. Netherlands New Guinea, as West Papua was then known, was a member of the South Pacific Commission (SPC), a forerunner to the other regional organization, the Pacific Islands Forum. A West Papuan representative attended the first SPC Conference and West Papuans continued to participate in the SPC meetings until the Dutch ceded their authority to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) in 1962.
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