Friday, May 22, 2015

1) Islands in focus: Hundreds rally for West Papua liberation

2) Plastic rice spreads to  Papua

3) West Papua’s rightful place

4) President Jokowi's visit to West Papua was unproductive
5) Legal counsel appointed for Papuan suspects involved in a peaceful action on 20 May

1) Islands in focus: Hundreds  rally for West Papua liberation 
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, May 22 2015, 6:39 AM - 

Around 700 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) at the Papua Legislative Council (DPRD) supported on Thursday the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) by proposing that Papua become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

“West Papuans from Sorong to Merauke fully support the ULPWP to bring Papua into the MSG,” said KNPB spokesperson Basoka Logo at the Papua DPRD on Thursday.

During the rally, the crowd, using trucks and motorcycles, was escorted by about 400 police officers from Wamena, some 20 kilometers from Jayapura, to the Papua DPRD office, and escorted back to Wamena after the rally. 

According to Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Jeremias Rontini, they allowed the KNPB to hold the rally to maintain security and prevent violence.

“They applied for today’s rally permit but it was rejected. However, to respect the instruction from President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo to prevent chaotic rallies, if I were to act repressively, there would be many victims. So I gave them the chance to hold the rally and I will no longer issue rally permits in the future,” Jeremias said. - 
2) Plastic rice spreads to  Papua
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, May 22 2015, 2:53 PM - 
Residents reported finding synthetic rice in the city to the Jayapura Trade and Industry Agency on Friday.
Yves Papare, a resident of Waena, Jayapura, said she unknowingly bought synthetic rice from a rice stand in the city and had reported it to the agency.
“The rice is similar to that widely exposed by national media. After cooking it for two hours, my family and I could not eat it. It smelled bad and was inedible,” she told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
She added that she paid Rp 12,000 (90 US cents) per kilogram for it.
Jayapura Trade and Industry Agency head Robert Awi confirmed that plastic rice was being sold in Jayapura.
“We confiscated several tons of synthetic rice from a rice stand in Waena and handed it over to the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency for analysis,” he said.
The government and the police are cracking down on rice kiosks, traditional markets and shopping malls following the confiscation of plastic rice in Bekasi recently.
The consumption of synthetic rice, a blend of resin, sweet potatoes and Chinese potatoes, can cause heart and kidney problems and cancer, according to the police and health authorities.(++++)


3) West Papua’s rightful place

In one month’s time, the eyes of the Pacific will turn to Melanesia as our leaders gather in Honiara to decide on West Papua’s membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
For more than 50 years, my people have suffered a creeping genocide under a repressive Indonesian military occupation that is estimated to have claimed 500,000 West Papuan lives.
Next month’s meeting is a critical opportunity to give my people a voice, and to allow us to take our rightful place in the Melanesian family.
West Papua’s request for MSG membership is grounded firmly in the group’s founding principles: respect for and promotion of Melanesian cultures, traditions and values, the inalienable human rights of the indigenous peoples of Melanesia, and most of all, the spirit of Melanesian solidarity.
These principles are enshrined in the MSG’s2007 constitution, which all MSG members are bound to respect
This year’s MSG Summit won’t be the first time the region’s leaders have had West Papua on their agenda. In recent years, they have expressed serious concerns about human rights and the atrocities committed against my people. And perhaps most importantly, the Melanesian leaders said in 2013 that they “fully support” West Papua’s right to self-determination.
Throughout the Pacific, there is a real sense that the time is right to stand with West Papua, and to bring us into the Melanesian family.
At the same time, Indonesian diplomacy has escalated, beginning withForeign Minister RetnoMarsudi’s chequebook tour of the region in late February, and a visit by President Widodoto Port Moresby last week.
With West Papua’s natural resources continuing to be a significant driver of the Indonesian economy, they will say and do anything to suppress support for our homecoming.
Ultimately,Indonesia has no right to stand in the way of a decision by Melanesian leaders for Melanesia, and only Melanesia.
Any suggestion that Indonesia must approve or consent to West Papua’s MSG membershipruns counter to the spirit of Melanesian solidarity that lies at the heart of the MSG, and is an insult to Melanesians everywhere.
Remember, Indonesia has already broken its promise to Prime Minister Peter O’Neillthat it would withdraw its military forces from West Papua, and has done nothing to hold out a genuine hand of friendship to West Papua and the people that have long suffered under the regime’s brutalityand campaign of terror.
The fact that President Widodo requiredan additional 6,000 armed personnel to accompany him to West Papua en route to Port Moresby demonstrates his lack of confidence and trust he feelsfromamong the people in what Jakarta calls its ‘provinces’, and his government’s attempts to stymie our MSG membership will do nothing to improve the situation.
With all of this in mind, we were very concerned to hear recent suggestions that Prime Minister O’Neill would prefer to avoid consideration of West Papua’s full MSG membership, and instead look at upgrading Indonesia’s own status to become an “associate member”.
Allowing Indonesian provincial leaders a seat at the MSG table risks isolating Papua New Guinea on the question of West Papua, and casts significant doubt on whether he truly has Melanesia’s best interests at heart.Clearly, the only legitimate representatives for West Papua are the West Papuans themselves.
We of course understand Prime Minister O’Neill’s concern about the need for West Papuans to have a united front at the MSG table, which is why we came together in December last year to form the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
We havebeen making our case for MSG membership with a united voice, and wrote directly this week to MSG Leaders to reiterate our strong claims for membership. We look forward to reinforcing the point in person when Foreign Ministers and then leaders gather in Honiara next month.
For too long, the world has turned a blind eye to the plight of my people.
Our brothers and sisters in Melanesia now have an opportunity to take a stand, and allow us to take our rightful place in Melanesia’s pre-eminent political grouping.
This is not only a question of Melanesian solidarity, but a test of Melanesian leadership.
  • Benny Wenda is a West Papuan independence leader and the spokesperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.


4) President Jokowi's visit to West Papua was unproductive

Statement by the Executive-Director of the LP3BH on 22 May 2015

  The recent visit by President Jokowi to the Land of Papua when he visited the Province of Papua and the Province of West Papua can be
described as being unproductive or meaningless.  This is so because, although the President took a good step by
granting clemency to five political prisoners who were being held at Abepura Prison, after his visit the security forces  continued to
arrest activists who were taking action  for the political rights of the Papuan people here in the Land of Papua.

  As has already been reported, four political activists from the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) were arrested on 21 May and
will be held in custody until 9 June this year by Sub Den 3 Den Pelopor  C. Manokwari of the Regional Police in West Papua.

  They were arrested on the charge that they took an act of Incitement to Break the Law on 20 May this year at 10am  in front of
the Unipa campus, in Manokwari, according to Article 160 jo Article 55 of the Criminal Code.   In my opinion, as the Executive-Director of the LP3BH Manokwari, this action was in violation of basic human rights , specifically the right to freedom of expression and freedom of opinion of the Papuan
people as stipulated in Law 12/2005 on the Ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

  According  to the right to democracy there should be good communications between activists on the one hand and the security
forces and the local government people which means that people should not be arrested as is happening so frequently, and moreover with
people being tortured or maltreated as was experienced by the people who held a demonstration on 20 May.   Moreover, President Jokowi recently declared that foreign journalists would be allowed access to visit all parts of West Papua.

  However, this decision was not made absolutely clear in writing for the security forces to act accordingly. This means that the good
things done by the President in fact become unproductive, as is obvious from the situation recently confronted by KNPB activists in
Manokwari, Sorong, Biak, Fakfak, Nabire, Merauke, Wamena and Jayapura.  The arrest and taking into custody of a number of KNPB activists is
an important sign showing the international community that freedom of expression and freedom of opinion is always being blocked whenever
Papuan people take a position in opposition to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, which means that their political opinions are
blocked.   These actions to block the freedoms of expression and opinion are always accompanied  by destructive actions  by the security forces and
the police who treat all this as being criminal and as acts of subversion (see Article 110 of the Criminal Code.

  President Jokowi should take firm action at the very least by issuing a Presidential Decision regarding the granting of clemency or
amnesty or abolition for people struggling for their political rights, instead of people becoming 'tapols' according to the police while
saying that  there is freedom of access for foreign journalists to enter West Papua and report on the situation there.   If all declarations made by President Jokowi were made absolutely firm as lawful regulations, it  would ensure that there would be real
implementation which could then be followed up by the security forces, in particular the Indonesian Police and the TNI (Indonesian Army),
which would be properly recognised by the Papuan people and the international Community.
Peace Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH
[Translated by Carmel Budiadjo]

5) Legal counsel appointed for Papuan suspects involved in a peaceful action on 20 May
Report by LP3BH, 21 May 2015

  Two lawyers from the LP3BH have been granted access to several suspects who are activists of the KNPB, NRFB and WPNCL and who were
arrested on Wednesday 20 May after taking part in a peaceful demonstration that took place in front of the UPINA campus. The two
lawyers are Theresje Julianty  Gasperz (Yanti) and Paula Mara.   The persons who are in custody were expressing their support for
The United Liberation Movement of West Papua's application to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)   According to Yanti and Paula, when they entered  the grounds of the Brimob commander's headquarters, they reported to the sentry on guard
that they were acting as LP3BH's counsel and they were taken to the place where the suspects were being held.

  When they reached the place where the suspects were held, they discovered that the Manokwari Chief of Police along with the Deputy
Chief of Police and the head of the Criminal Department were questioning altogether 67 persons.The latter were subsequently
separated from the persons who have already been declared as suspects, namely: Alexander Nekenem (32 years old), Nopinus Humawak and Othen
Gombo. They had all be given their arrest warrants.  The arrest warrant for Nukenem states that he was taken into custody
on 20 May and would be held until 9 June this year.  They were charged with the Crime of Incitement for others to take
action which is against the law on 20 May in front of the Unipa campus, on Jalan Gunung Salju, Amban, Manokwari in accordance with
Article 160 and Article  55 of the Criminal Law.   Strange to say, the police had confused the names of the
suspects,giving their names as Nopinus Humawak or ARKO MURIB, and Othen Gombo's name was incorrectly stated as being Maikel Aso. This
means that  the identities of the persons in police custody are incorrect.

   Nopinus  Humakan (Narko Murib) and Othen Gombo (Maikkel Aso) were taken into custody to be charged  with a crime as stipulated under
Article 160 jo Article 55, according to which they could face a maximum of six years in prison.  The arrest warrants for their arrests were signed by the head of
the Criminal Research  Department and Police Officer AKP Tommy H Pont Potororing and they are currently being held in a police cell at the
request of Sub Den 3 Pelopor C. Manokwari.  Nopinus Humawak (Narko Musib) and Othen Gombo (Maikel Asu) have
both signed the arrest warrants, but Alexander Nekenem refused to sign any documents. He has also refused to be questioned by the police
without being accompanied by legal counsel.   The LP3BH is seeking the authority to accompany Alexander Nemekem.
The other two have been questioned without being accompanied by legal counsel which is clearly against the law as specified in Articles 54.
55 and 56 of the Criminal Code.
Yan Christian Warinussy. Executive-Director of LP3BH.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]

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