Thursday, August 20, 2015

1) Papuans behind bars July 2015: Threats to human rights defenders in Papua on the rise

1) Papuans behind bars July 2015: Threats to human rights defenders in Papua on the rise

2) Most Papua airports have  no navigation systems

1) Papuans behind bars July 2015: Threats to human rights defenders in Papua on the rise

In brief

At the end of July 2015, there were at least 51 political prisoners in Papua.
Information received from the Central Papuan Highlands Coalition for Peace, Law and Human Rights (Koalisi untuk Kedamaian, Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua) reported an increasing climate of intimidation and harassment against human rights defenders and lawyers in Wamena. Coalition members providing accompaniment to Roby Erik Pekey, a victim of arbitrary police violence in Wamena, have been subject to harassment due to their role in addressing impunity. An increased number of reports of intimidation faced by human rights defenders underscores the need for the state to take urgent measures to ensure their protection.
Reports from the Coalition describing how Jayawijaya police were able to freely mistreat Roby Pekey while he sought medical treatment in Wamena Hospital is yet another example of open police brutality in public spaces. In our April 2015 update, we recorded two other cases of victims who were arbitrarily detained, tortured and cruelly treated in hospitals.
In Tolikara on 17 July, a 16-year-old teenager was shot dead and at least 11 others injured when security forces shot into a crowd that were protesting the use of loudspeakers during an Eid al-Fitr prayer session. The shootings provoked the burning of several kiosks, which spread quickly to amusholla (a prayer room) where the prayers were taking place. While police were quick to secure the arrests of two men who were allegedly involved in the arson, perpetrators of the shootings from the security forces have so far not yet been identified or brought to account. Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing.
At least 40 members of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) were arrested for participating in a prayer session giving thanks to the outcome of the June summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Since May this year, 264 people have been arrested for expressing their support or being involved with the ULMWP. The targeting of ULMWP members and its supporters for arbitrary arrest demonstrates Indonesia’s zero-tolerance policy towards peaceful aspirations of West Papuan independence.
Full update

2) Most Papua airports have  no navigation systems
Nadya Natahadibrata, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, August 20 2015, 3:54 PM -
More than half of the total of 54 airports in Papua and West Papua are not yet equipped with adequate navigation systems and pilots rely on visual cues when flying in the area, a senior official has said.

The Transportation Ministry’s navigation director Novie Riyanto said on Wednesday that pilots mostly relied on visual cues rather than navigation instruments when flying to remote airports in the east of the country.

The ministry is planning on installing and improving navigation instruments at all airports in Papua before the end of this year, he said.

“We will soon require all airports and aircraft operating in Papua to have adequate navigation systems and also to train and give licenses to all the pilots flying in the area to ensure safety,” he said.

The move was made following the crash of a Trigana Air Service plane that was flying from Papua’s provincial capital, Jayapura, to Oksibil on Sunday. 

The ATR42-300 twin turboprop plane was carrying 49 passengers and five crew members on a scheduled 42-minute journey. Five children, including two infants, were among the passengers.

Oksibil, which is 280 kilometers south of Jayapura, was experiencing heavy rain, strong winds and fog when the plane lost contact with the airport minutes before it was scheduled to land.

Novie said that the airport in Oksibil was already equipped with navigation systems, including VHF radio and a NDB-VOR navigation aid. However, he said that the airport was relying on a diesel generator to supply electricity, due to the island’s power deficit.

“Sometimes the power at the airport is on and sometimes it’s off, therefore pilots flying to the airport sometimes have to rely on visual cues only,” Novie said.

Novie said that in Papua only big airports were equipped with navigation systems, including Jayapura, Biak, Merauke, Sorong and Timika.

“In the future all pilots will have to depend on navigation instruments that will show the waypoint, wind direction and altitude, and not only rely on what they can see on the ground,” Novie said.

Much of Papua is covered with impenetrable jungle and mountains. Some planes that have crashed in the past have never been found.

Novie said, however, that experienced pilots were allowed to rely on visual cues.

“Papua has a special topography and extreme terrain. Therefore navigation instruments are very critical to direct aircraft flying in the area,” Novie said. “Moreover, with navigation instruments, aircraft don’t need to divert or return to base and continue to fly whenever the weather turns bad,” he continued. 

On Tuesday, the bodies of all 54 people aboard the Trigana plane, the aircraft’s black box and most of Rp 6.5 billion (US$470,000) in cash being carried on the plane were found in a forested area near Oksibil.

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