Sunday, May 10, 2015

1) Editorial: Make Sure That Historic Papua Policy Is Carried Out

2) In President’s Promises on Papua, Little Sign of Meaningful Change
3President Jokowi opens foreign media access to Papua
4) President Jokowi arrives in Merauke
5) Foreign journalists now  "free" to report on Papua,  says Jokowi 
6) Pro-Independence Papua Group Attacked Again in Merauke
7) Victims of Rights Abuse Urge Jokowi to Resolve Papua Conflict
8) Ministry Pledges to Improve Coordination on Paniai Case

9) Coalition meets with EU to discuss human rights in Papua

1) Editorial: Make Sure That Historic Papua Policy Is Carried Out
By Jakarta Globe on 09:06 pm May 10, 2015
Category EditorialOpinion
President Joko Widodo made a historic decision when he publicly announced in front of the nation’s security chiefs on Sunday that foreign journalists now can freely enter Papua. This is a huge boost for the image of Joko and Indonesia internationally, after the president received worldwide condemnation for executing 15 drug convicts, mostly foreign citizens, so far this year.
His policy to allow foreign journalists to cover everything in the nation’s two easternmost provinces — Papua and West Papua — is a significant step forward that will allow the international community to finally monitor conditions there.
What the international community believes is that there continue to be rampant human right violations in the provinces — including torture and shootings — committed by the country’s security forces. The opening up means there will be no more secrets. Any act of violence will be known by journalists and such information will spread around the globe quickly. Joko’s decision will thus drastically lessen violence and other human rights violations in the provinces.
Whether or not this is just an attempt to fix his image, we should welcome and laud Joko’s brave and historic move to repeal a policy that has lasted ever since Papua joined Indonesia 46 years ago.
This bold move also means that Joko is confident that there is nothing to hide. Allowing foreign media is the right move to weaken the push for independence in the region: If all is well, why resist?
However, we do still need to make sure the decision is actually implemented. We have seen too often that Joko’s policies aren’t carried out by relevant officials. Police insubordination in the conflict with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is one blatant example that makes Joko look like a lame duck. Let’s hope it’s different in Papua.


2) In President’s Promises on Papua, Little Sign of Meaningful Change

By Jakarta Globe on 09:14 pm May 10, 2015
Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has declared Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua as open to foreign journalists, as part of what he calls a new paradigm in addressing longstanding grievances in the region.
The president, winding up a four-day visit to the region, said on Sunday that he wanted to end the widely held perception of the two provinces, known collectively as Papua, as a conflict zone, stressing that a military-first approach to problems stemming from a low-level insurgency was being replaced by a community empowerment drive.
“Starting from today, foreign journalists are allowed and free to come to Papua, just as they can [visit] other regions,” Joko said at a press conference in Merauke, Papua province.
Jakarta has long maintained an international media blackout in Papua, where indigenous groups have for decades been waging a battle for self-determination against the security forces.
Indonesian authorities briefly jailed two French journalists there last year for visa violations, after they were caught allegedly trying to arrange interviews with members of the Free Papua Organization, or OPM, a banned separatist group.
Joko dismissed concerns that calls for independence would grow louder with foreign journalists granted access to the region.
“We must think positively. The decision must be carried out. Let’s not scrutinize negative aspects of this matter,” he said.
The country’s chief security minister, however, indicated nothing had changed in Jakarta’s stance vis-a-vis allowing the foreign press to report from the region.
“We’ll allow it, on condition that they report on what they see, not go around looking for facts that aren’t true from armed groups,” said Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, effectively ruling out any attempt by foreign journalists to contact OPM members and other separatist sympathizers.
He added that journalists would also need permission from the authorities to report from the country’s mountainous hinterland — the heart of the insurgency.
“There’s a lot of news out there that makes it look like [human rights] violations are taking place here all the time, but I don’t think that’s the case,” Tedjo said.
Indonesia maintains a heavy security presence in Papua and West Papua, with both the military and the police frequently accused of blatant abuses of the human and civil rights of residents, including the firing of live ammunition into a crowd of peaceful protesters last December that killed five people and injured dozens, including school students in Paniai district.
No one has been charged or disciplined over that incident.
Prisoner pardons
Joko, in his second visit to the region since his inauguration last October, also used the occasion to pardon five political prisoners serving 20 years to life in prison for their role in the independence struggle.
Jafrai Murib and Numbungga, sentenced to life, and Linus Hiluga, Kimanus Wenda and Apotnagolit Enus, who were given 20 years each, walked free from Abepura Penitentiary in Jayapura, the Papua provincial capital, on Saturday after Joko signed their pardons on Saturday.
“This is part of the government’s serious efforts to banish the stigma of conflict in Papua. These pardons are granted as part of a reconciliatory framework to create a peaceful Papua,” the president said. “We want to turn Papua and West Papua into peaceful lands,” he added as quoted by Kompas.
Human rights activist Olga Hamadi welcomed the release of the Papuan prisoners, but said the government had robbed them of years of their life and their health, and owed them restitutions.
“They always had the right to be free,” said Olga, the head of the Papua chapter of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, or Kontras.
“They were in prison for 12 years. They became ill from the poor treatment they suffered while under military and police custody and in prison.”
Latifah Anum Siregar, a lawyer for the five men, said that Kimanus had tumor in his stomach, while Jafrai had suffered a debilitating stroke.
“Before sending them back to their families, the government must give them a health check,” she said.
Freedom of expression
Joko said he was considering extending similar pardons to other political prisoners across the country, of whom there are an estimated 60, most of them in the Papuas and Maluku, where a separatist insurgency is also being waged.
Semuel Waileruny of the Maluku Civil Community Advocacy Center said none of them deserved imprisonment, because their demands for independence had been peaceful.
“People in Papua and Maluku often stage peaceful rallies and protests against injustice, sometimes by waving the Morning Star Flag [Papua’s independence symbol] or the South Maluku Republic flag,” Semuel said.
“But these actions should be seen as part of the freedom of expression, which should be protected by law. These people, though, have been arrested and accused of conspiring against the state. And they’ve often been tortured and imprisoned for up to 20 years.”
Natalius Pigai, a native Papuan and serving commissioner on the National Commission for Human Rights, or Komnas HAM, said the token release of a handful of political prisoners was not enough to bring peace to Papua.
“Pardons are something a president regularly hands out. What we need is a grand design, not just a ceremonial pardoning of political prisoners,” he said.
Natalius accused the president of trying to win brownie points with the international community, after the fallout from the execution of foreign drug convicts, by freeing the prisoners without having any serious plan to address the underlying causes for the unrest in Papua.
He said Joko must start engaging in dialogue with the people in Papua to understand their points of view and what they wanted, as part of the “grand design” to bring peace and prosperity to the region.
“People in Papua want to feel the government’s presence; they want the government to pay attention to their lives, not just exploit Papua as a campaign tool before the international public,” Natalius said.


3) President Jokowi opens foreign media access to Papua

Minggu, 10 Mei 2015 16:42 WIB | 732 Views
Merauke, Papua (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo, here on Sunday, said foreign media are now free to enter Papua, like when they want to go to other regions in Indonesia.

"Beginning today, Sunday, I allow foreign journalists if they want to go to Papua, like to other regions," President Jokowi said in response to ANTARAs question after attending a grand harvest in Wapeko, Kurik Sub-district, Merauke District, Papua Province.

Starting now, the nation should think positively and promote mutual trust which is disappearing lately.

"Don't ask that question, that's enough," Jokowi said when he was asked about a fact that usually foreign journalists prefer to cover activities of illegal armed groups.


4) President Jokowi arrives in Merauke

Minggu, 10 Mei 2015 14:55 WIB | 630 Views
Merauke, Papua (ANTARA News) -President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Ibu Iriana Widodo arrived here, Sunday at around 9 a.m. local time for a five-hour working visit.

Upon arrival by an Indonesian Air Forces Hercules plane at Merauke airport, the President and his entourage proceeded to Wapeko, Kurik Sub-district, Merauke District, for a journey of some 80 km by cars.

In Wapeko, the head of state was slated to join a grand paddy harvesting and to release 10 thousand Nila fingerlings.

Some 500 farmers would greet the president in Wapeko.

On Saturday, in Jayapura, Papua, Jokowi emphasized that the Indonesian government was committed to developing Papua, always bearing in mind the welfare of the people in the countys easternmost province.

"The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing has set aside Rp6 trillion for general development, which does not include the development of traditional markets, agriculture and ports. There are more needs to be incorporated under the development of Papua," he affirmed.

During his three-day working visit to Papua, Jokowi pointed out that he admired the development of the Pharaa Market in Jayapura district, Papua, which used architectural elements and tribal variations from the Sentani ethnic community.

"I am surprised with the development of this market, with its terminal and facilities to process waste into fertilizers," President Jokowi said while visiting the market.

In addition, the head of state stressed that the economy in Papua must be driven through infrastructural development such as building markets. As a result, Papuans will be able to savor their own natural resources, or else there will be social and economic jealousy in the province.

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5) Foreign journalists now  "free" to report on Papua,  says Jokowi 
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sun, May 10 2015, 5:52 PM
Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto confirmed on Sunday that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had made an official press statement revoking the restrictions that prevented foreign journalists from covering Papua.
He said the President made the statement while in Kampung Wameko, Hurik, Merauke, Papua, where he was attending a harvest ceremony, on Sunday.
“Starting from today, foreign journalists are allowed to and can visit Papua as freely as they can any other part of Indonesia,” said Jokowi as repeated by Andi, as reported by
Andi further said foreign journalists did not have to request special permission from the Foreign Ministry to report on Papua. “This will be just the same as making news reports in other regions,” he said.
Jokowi said that from now on, Indonesia must be able to think positively and build trust, which he considers to have long been waning.
He refused to respond to a journalist’s question on reports that most foreign journalists in Papua focused their work on reporting on the activities of armed groups on the island. “Please don’t raise such questions anymore. That’s enough,” Jokowi said.
Indonesia had long maintained a cautious approach toward foreign journalists who aimed to cover Papua. For the past decade, journalists intending to report on Papua were required to fill out permission request forms, which needed approvals from various government institutions. Only a few requests were granted by the government. Any foreign journalists caught making news reports without permits could face criminal charges.
In 2014, two French journalists, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, were arrested and jailed for not having the proper permits to report in Papua. The journalists were caught trying to make a documentary on the Papuan separatist movement. (dyl/ebf)(+++)

6) Pro-Independence Papua Group Attacked Again in Merauke
Jayapura, Jubi – Merauke police have reportedly attacked the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) secretariat in Merauke at around 20:30 at local time.
While contacted by Jubi, the Chairman of Merauke Regional People Parliament (PRD), Pangrasia Yeem confirmed it.
He said the police came in truck, a car and motorbikes and were fully armed.
“We were ten at the secretariat. We were surprised and had no idea about what they wanted. They just came and told us to leave. If not they would take the offensive action because it’s an order,” Yem cited the officers when they were at Merauke KNPB Secretariat last week.
However, Yeem said both KNPB and PRD Merauke Region would never stop and feel intimidated with such police’s acts against them. “KNPB and PRD would continue their struggle to dismiss colonialism and the invader from the land of Papua,” he firmly said.
Meanwhile, the Central KNPB Spokesperson, Bazoka Logo stated the police’s act was a crime since they disregarded the procedure. “If they wanted to come to the secretariat, why didn’t they come at noon? Why should they come at night? We assumed they were playing a game,” he said. Therefore he asked the Merauke Police to immediately end their efforts to criminalize the KNPB. “Merauke Police must discontinue their stupid acts immediately. For whatever they do, KNPB and PRD at the entire of Papua Land won’t give up. It would still be existed,” said Logo. (Arnold Belau/rom)
7) Victims of Rights Abuse Urge Jokowi to Resolve Papua Conflict
Jayapura, Jubi – President Joko Widodo should make solving human rights abuse cases his priority, said ELSAM Papua Director, last week.
Following the fall of the New Order regime seventeen years ago, violence, human right abuses and impunity have been daily occurrences in Papua, ELSHAM Papua Director, Ferdinan Marisan said. Despite reforms, freedom of expression and gathering are still restricted.
“The Seventh President of the Republic of Indonesia when celebrated Christmas with the local government and Papuan people has committed to prioritize the welfare of Papuans and to resolve the human right violation cases in Papua, especially the Paniai shooting incident that occurred two weeks ahead Christmas on 8 December 2015,” Marisan.
According to him, the injustice and violence by State’s apparatus in Papua reflected the ignorant of the Indonesian presidents to comprehensively protect and resolve the humanitarian issues in Papua that until today many civilian victims of violence in Papua not thoroughly obtaining justice for 52 years of integration (since 1 May 1962).
He also said since the enforcement of Law No.39/1999 on Human Right Violation and Law No.26/2000 on Human Right Court has conducted, three incidents of violence has taken to the Indonesian General Attorney, including the Abepura Case of 7 December 2002 (taken to Human Right Court in Makassar but failed to bring justice to the victims), Warior Case 2001 and Wamena Case of 1 April 2003 (not taken to the court due to pending verdict from the Indonesian General Attorney).
Another major cases are Hostages Operation at Mapenduma in 1996, Biak Case in 1998, Shooting Case that killed 4 students in Paniai on 8 December 2014, and the recent case is the arrest and torture of 267 civilians in Manokwari (215), Jayapura (39), Merauke (16) and Surabaya (3) by the police officers and soldiers on 30 April and 1 May 2015 when held a protest against the Papua’s intengration into Indonesia and supported the ULMWP (United Liberation Movement for West Papua) membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) including the torture towards two teenagers Dodi Fatagor and Pascalis Fatagor by a soldier at Workwana, Arso, Keerom Regency (27/04/2015).
The Papua’s integration into Indonesia for 52 years has resulted no respect and protection towards human rights in Papua. It evidenced the persistence of conflict and violence and Papua, thus the President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla not to replicate the same attitude to give empty promises in resolving issues in Papua as did by former presidents.
For that reason, ELSHAM Papua urged the Widodo’s administrative to immediately find resolution and put the human right issues in Papua as priority with the following conditions:
1. The Government state an apology to the people of Papua due to the conflict in Papua was occurred for decades and cause many violations towards the Papuans’ rights and took many life of civilians during the long-drawn conflict in Papua;
2. The Government to build communication with Papuans people for dialogue and peace resolution for Papua;
3. The Government to ensure the follow up the sever human right violation cases in Wasior and Wamena at the General Attorney and to implement the establishment of Human Right Court and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) as authorized in the Law No.21/2001 on Papua Special Autonomy.
4. The elimination of separatist stigma against Papuans and of colonial stigma against the Government, an amnesty for all political prisoners to reflect the Government’s good intention.
5. The law enforcement towards the perpetrators of violence and human right violation cases by Military/Police from the past to present.
6. To open the broadest access to the international journalist, researcher, activist and organization to come to Papua.
7. To provide assurance towards the democratic right of Papuan people to have organization, freedom of expression, and ideology as guaranteed by the Constitution.
8. To ensure the accountability and coordination of security operation in Papua.
9. The Local Government to carry out its duties in providing protection and rehabilitation to the victims of human right violation.
The following statement has been submitted to the Widodo’s administrative and expected obtaining the government’s attention in the implementation and realization of peaceful, stability and relief in Papua.(Engel Wally/rom)
8) Ministry Pledges to Improve Coordination on Paniai Case
Jayapura, Jubi – An official at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs promised to improve coordination with relevant parties for the resolution of December 2014 shooting case in Paniai Regency, Papua.
“The coordination would be improved, and we’ll ask its progress in integrated meeting,” Major General Yoedhi Swastonohe said during his visit in National Human Right Commission Papua Representative Office in Jayapura last week.
The visit was part of the collaboration series of First Deputy of Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security and National Human Right Commission Papua Representative Office in socializing the interpretation on human right.
He said the Ministry of Laws and Human Rights is technically the leading sector in solving the violence case in Paniai, while the First Deputy is in-charge to implement some tasks and responsibilities of Coordinating Ministry for Politic, Legal and Security Affairs and report to the Coordinating Minister for Politic, Legal and Security Affairs.
Thus he is responsible of preparing the coordination of planning and policy making as well as synchronizing the implantation of polices of domestic political affairs.
He’s also responsible on monitoring, analysis, evaluation and reporting on issues and implementation of domestic political affairs policies, such as the implementation of working agreement on domestic political affairs in coordination with other Coordinating Ministry, the Ministry of State and other relevant offices.
“We will synchronize the problem solving (Paniai Case) accordingly,” he said.
On the same occasion, the Head of National Human Right Commission Papua Representative Office, Frits Ramandey said the Paniai Case is increasingly leading to the bright spot. “The President has addressed a letter to the Military and Police Chief,
National Human Right Commission and other relevant parties that are expected to immediately establish an Investigation Team because all relevant parties are responsible to do so,” he said. (*/rom)

9) Coalition meets with EU to discuss human rights in Papua
Updated 8 minutes ago
Church leaders, human rights organisations, academics and international observers have gathered in the capital of the European Union, Brussels, to discuss the human rights situation in Papua.
The organisation, which calls itself the International Coalition for Papua, also met with the European Parliament last week to discuss the situation in the province, alongside the Chargé D'affaires of Indonesia and a range of diplomats.
In a statement, the group says it called on the European Union to highlight ongoing human rights violations in Papua and to send a human rights fact-finding mission to Indonesia in the near future.
It also called on Indonesia to take measures to protect the rights of indigenous Papuans -- who are now a minority in the province as a result of mass migration of Javenese -- including their customary rights over land and natural resources.
It also called for an end to excessive force by security forces and to release all political prisoners whouth any condition and an end to torture with impunity.

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