Tuesday, May 5, 2015

1) We're against torture

2) Women Should Become Agents of Economic Change

3) 264 People Arrested Within Two Days For Freedom of Expression 
4) President's Agenda Jokowi in Papua, 8-11 May 2015

1) We're against torture
Padre James Bhagwan

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

THIS month the foreign ministers of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) member countries will meet to discuss and make recommendations to the leaders of the MSG on West Papua's application to become a full member. This important decision-making process, if successful for West Papua, will allow them to become a member of a formal Melanesian community. Even more, it will provide an important forum for them to raise the issue of the continuing human rights violations and possible genocide they are experiencing, with their Melanesian brothers and sisters, in the hope they will advocate for them on the regional and global level.
Kanaky in MSG
This will not be the first time the MSG has welcomed a group from a colonised Melanesian community. The Kanaky independence movement, FLNKS, from French-colonised New Calendonia has been a long-time member of the MSG.
Fiji has and continues to play a leading role in advocating for Kanak self-determination. Last year, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama affirmed his country's support for the indigenous people of Kanaky (New Caledonia) at a United Nation's Special Committee on Decolonisation (C24) regional seminar in Nadi.
It is no surprise, then, that the West Papuan community looks to Fiji as a big brother in Melanesia and a heavyweight in the Pacific region to help end the injustice of human rights abuse they have endured for the past half-century. Under Fiji's chairmanship, the MSG's concerns for human rights abuses and violations in West Papua were raised during bilateral talks between Bainimarama and the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2011.
West Papua
on MSG agenda
In fact it was under PM Bainimarama's leadership of the MSG that the issue of West Papua came on to the MSG leaders' summit agenda. In March 2013, while he was chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Bainimarama received representatives of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) in their quest for membership to the Melanesian bloc. The PM assured the West Papuans he would ensure the application would go through the proper process and it would be discussed at the next MSG senior officials meeting.
A few months later, at the 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders' Summit, held in Noumea, New Caledonia in June 2013, PM Bainimarama was praised for his role in raising the issue of West Papua. Speaking at the plenary session, Vanuatu PM Moana Carcasses acknowledged the outgoing chair, "for his great understanding in allowing the issue of West Papua to finally earn its rightful place" in the agenda of the MSG Summit, pointing out the cries of the West Papuans, "have been bluntly denied by many rich and wealthy countries, including the UN for many decades".
Melanesian values
The Melanesian Spearhead Group was born out of a desire to promote the Melanesian values, traditions and the inalienable rights of all Melanesians.
In January last year, Fijian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, a consummate diplomat, led a delegation from the MSG to West Papua.
Writing about the visit and the difficult task of Fiji in addressing the case of West Papua's membership in the MSG, while still maintaining a relationship with Indonesia which has laid claim on West Papua since 1969, journalist Graham Davis wrote: "Fiji has a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership, judgment and wisdom, not only in our own foreign policy but on behalf of all Melanesians, including the people of West Papua."
Davis adds that while Fiji and the other MSG countries are cautious of possible damage this issue may cause in their relationship with Indonesia, "philosophically, they cannot exclude a substantial Melanesian population whose representatives want to join the organisation".
With the formation late last year of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua/ULMWP as a larger umbrella organisation for West Papuan representation made up of the Federal Republic of West Papua, West Papua National Parliament and West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, there is a stronger united voice from within West Papua calling for help from its Melanesian family.
While these discussions and deliberations will take place, West Papuans will continue to suffer atrocities — beatings, torture, rape and murder and other forms of abuse continue in our back yard.
Fiji endorses UNCAT
Earlier this year, PM Bainimarama moved a motion in Parliament for Fiji's ratification of the United Nations Convention against Torture. This was then unanimously endorsed by Parliament.
In his address the PM said the Fijian Constitution already stated every person had the right to freedom from torture of any kind, whether physical, mental, or emotional, and from cruel, inhumane, degrading or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment.
"This provision in our supreme law provides Fijians with a level of protection from torture and abuse that is unprecedented in Fiji's history and is superior to that afforded by a great many countries. But we are determined as a government to not only adhere to the highest standards of justice, fairness, transparency and accountability in our own laws but also subscribe to the highest international codes of behaviour embodied in the United Nations conventions."
He said Fiji's decision to formally ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture sent an important message to the international community.
"It tells the world that we are willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with those nations who oppose any use of torture or cruelty as instruments of state policy. It tells the world that for Fijians, torture is unacceptable under any circumstances. And we are siding with those nations who are intent on upholding the human rights of their own citizens and the citizens of every country."
As a nation, determined to fight torture and cruelty in all its forms, and to affirm human dignity, fairness, justice and the rule of law as its core values, Fiji has a moral obligation to stand for those communities around the world who are victims of human rights abuses.
One needs look no further than our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters in West Papua.
"Simplicity, serenity, spontaneity."
* Reverend Bhagwan is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church in Fiji and a citizen journalist. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fiji Times or the Methodist Church in Fiji.
2) Women Should Become Agents of Economic Change
Merauke, Jubi – About 50 Papuan woman are taking part in training program organized by the WWF Southern Papua Region to promote women as agents of change in economy.
Two women from Alor Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province are also participating in the “training for trainers” workshop..
WWF Southern Papua Region Coordinator Paschalina Rahawarin told Jubi that this biennale workshop is aimed to share learning among the women.
“Two years ago we conducted a similar workshop in Kei, and this year it took place in Merauke,” she said.
In this workshop, the participants will be provided with both theoretical and practical lessons for several days. “Some activities conducted in the workshop is to strengthen women in many sectors, including the government, politic and so on,” she said.
Another activities, she futher said, is to encourage women to utilize and use the existing natural resources in their respective regions. So, every day they could optimize the natural potencies.
The purpose of this workshop is to share the experience in the sustainable economic, as well as to improve the role of women as the actor of economy. “We will also make a recommendation for the next two years workshop,” she said.
Two participants from Alor Regency, NTT Province was not able to attend the first day due to the flight schedule. “They will arrive tomorrow morning and join us for the next several days,” said Rahawarin.
Meanwhile, the Head of Merauke Women Empowerment Body, Albertina Mekiuw said the workshop gave the positive values to women. “I invite all women to stand up and create something as source of income for the economic development of their family. (Frans L Kobun/rom)


3) 264 People Arrested Within Two Days For Freedom of Expression 
Jayapura, Jubi – As many as 264 people in Papua and West Papua provinces were arrested by police from 30 April – 1 May for marking the region’s annexation by Jakarta, an activist said.
They were arrested for distributing leaflets and demonstrating to mark the 52nd anniversary of Indonesia’s annexation of Papua on May 1 and most of them are youths and students who are members or supporters of the West Papua National Committee and a journalist who was doing reporting,” said #Papuaitukita Movement Coordinator Zelly Arianne.
“For Papuans, 1 May 1963 is a symbol of annexation of West Papua when the Papua’s administrative (West New Guinea at that time) was transferred to Indonesia by United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA). Since then, the people of Papua has marked the day and the response of the government and security forces remains the same: paranoid and repressive,” Arian told Jubi on Monday (4/5/2015).
#papuaitukita Movement considered these arrests, the biggest one since last recent years, are serious violation against the rights to assemble and express aspirations in Papua. This is a form of silencing freedom of expression and lacks of space of democracy in Papua; it even continued to occur since the last ten years of the reform era.
She continued the arrests and tortures of this time were happened systematically and extensively. This is indicated by (1) a large deployment of police officers, (2) occurred in five cities of Papua in two-separated Regional Police’s territorial, (3) it happened simultaneously. Therefore it’s difficult to not make a conclusion that this act was not involved the highest policy maker in security at national level.
Further, this Acehnese human right activist said thee is no reason to arrest and detain people who intend conducting the peace demonstration to reject the West Papua’s Annexation Day on 1 May 2015, since the freedom of expression, voice the opinion and have organization are guaranteed by Constitution and Regulation. Accusing treason towards the civilians and activists who endorse the fulfillment of human rights in Papua has become a military/police’s pattern to silence the criticism.
Zelly Arianne who recently awarded by change.org as Kartini Modern with six women of agents of change added the Indonesian President Joko Widodo must pay attention to this act. The government and law enforcement officers must stop the act to criminalize the critical student activists in Papua.
“The government also needs to open the space for freedom of expression and aspiration peacefully without a threat in Papua. She also reminded the Indonesian Government is still promising the UN Special Rapporteur about the Freedom of Expression and Opinion in the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva in 2012. Public has rights to get the unrestricted information and the truth about the situation happened in Papua,” she firmly said.
Based on the information collected by #papuaitukita, the random arrest and detention of student activists, especially the KNPB’s members and supporters in Jayapura, Nabire, Merauke, Manokwari and Kaimana was occurred on 30 April to 01 May 2015. As many as 264 students were arrested, but they have gradually released after being interrogated. Some of them were tortured during the process of interrogation. And on 2 May 2015, the police arrested 30 more students in Jayapura, but finally been released.
“Based on the information received on 27 April 2015, the Merauke Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissionaire Sri Satyatama stated the Indonesian Police would not give space to KNPB to perform various activist including collective prayer on 1 May 2015. He would certainly disperse any activities conducted by KNPB,” said Arianne.
Another human right activist Indria Fernida added the police officers also intimidated the KNPB activists, because since 17 April 2015, they came to the secretariat of KNPB Sentani Region and threatened the activists. “During April 2015, the Merauke Police officers have twice raided the secretariat of KNPB Merauke Region and seized its documents. In addition, some black leaflets were circulated among the Merauke residents said KNPB is outlawed organization and people who join the organization are accused as traitor,” said KontraS Jakarta activist Indria Fernida.
According to Fernida, the Manokwari Police officers arrested 12 KNPB members on 30 May when they distributed leaflets to invite people participated in peace demonstration. On 1 May, the local police officers arrested 30 KNPB members and supporters in the front of the Cenderawasih University’s gate in Jayapura.
In Manokwari, 2013 people were arrested from the early morning until noon when the rally was conducted; meanwhile the police dispersed the demonstration and arrested 2 KNPB activists in Kaimana. The police officers also destroyed both KNPB and PRD Kaimana secretariats. In Merauke, the arrest towards KNPB activists was continued. 15 KNPB members and 1 PRD (People Regional Parliament) member of Merauke Region were arrested. In the afternoon, the officers built the police station near the secretariat of KNPB Merauke Region and deployed hundreds of police officers in the station. They also raided the secretariat and seized some banners, posters and documents.
Besides the arrest of KNPB activists and supporters, former Director of the Secretariat of Peace and Justice, Budi Hernawan said journalist of Majalah Selangkah Online in Nabire, Yohanes Kuayo was arrested and handcuffed by Papua Police and Nabire Police Special Forces when doing reportage at RUSD Nabire. He was arrested only on suspicion wearing Free West Papua t-shirt when covered the story on the shooting victims in that hospital,” said Hernawan who currently lecturer in the University of Indonesia and Paramadina University.
Kuayo, according Hernawan, finally was released after the magazine’s Editor in Chief came and protested the act of police officers.
“Up to 3 May 2015, the police officers have released all the prisoners except one in Manokwari. On the other hand, this incident was escaped from media, so the public’s right for information has been ignored,” Hernawan said. (Benny Mawel/rom)
A google translate of article in masjalahselangkah.com. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. 
Original bahasa link at
4) President's Agenda Jokowi in Papua, 8-11 May 2015
 Author: Princess Papua | Tuesday, May 5, 2015 17:25 Reads: 396 Comments: 1

President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo. Photo: Ist

Jayapura, STEP MAGAZINE - President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will make a visit to Jayapura and Merauke in Papua and to Manokwari and Sorong, West Papua province during 8-11 May 2015.

Information received majalahselangkah.com, this afternoon, Tuesday (05.05.15), Jokowi arrived at Sentani Airport, Jayapura on May 8, 2015. From Sentani Airport, Jokowi will review the market Mama-Mama in Sentani Phara Market.

On May 9, 2015, Jokowi reviewing Hamadi Market, Holtekamp bridge inauguration, inauguration IPDN 35-acre campus in Buper Waena, laying the first stone of the construction of the facility in 2020 and the inauguration PON optical cable.

On May 10, 2015, Jokowi going to Merauke and hold harvest in Bapeko. On the same day, President Jokowi will go Manokwari, West Papua province. There, he will inaugurate the construction of the petrochemical industry and the inauguration of a power plant project SOE tough.

On May 11, 2015, Jokowi to Sorong, West Papua province to inaugurate optic cable Telkom and the inauguration of national tourism strategic areas (KSPN). Afternoon, Jokowi will return to Jakarta. (Princess Papua / MS)

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