Tuesday, May 3, 2016

1) Assault claims during mass arrests over West Papua independence push

2) Papua is already free, rights protected
3) Nearly 2,000 People Arrested, LBH: Papuan People Are Not Alone

4) INDONESIA: Stop arresting indigenous Papuans

5) Islands in focus:Diarrhea outbreak still shrouds Keesom

VIDEO SBS NEWS 3 MAY 2016 - 7:33PM
1) Assault claims during mass arrests over West Papua independence push
Activists have accused Indonesian police of being heavy handed as they arrested pro-independence protesters in the eastern province of Papua.
Around 1,000 protesters were detained in the provincial capital Jayapura, and hundreds more in other cities in the biggest clamp down by Indonesian police in more than a decade.
Those in Jayapura were held in an outdoor jail at police headquarters for eight hours before being released.
Chairman of the West Papua National Committee Victor Yeimo has told SBS many people were assaulted during the arrests.
"There's no room for democracy in West Papua, so they came suddenly to the place where we wanted to prepare for demonstration and they arrested the people, they beat the people,” Mr Yeimo said.
“This is peaceful action, we are the peaceful resistance. There are no [forms of] torture there is no violence, but Indonesians give us the torture."
The protests coincide with the anniversary of the end of Dutch colonial rule in 1963, as well as a weekend visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea, has seen a long-running and often violent separatist conflict since being incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticised UN-backed referendum in 1969.
Demands for a new referendum as an act of self-determination are viewed as treason, and this has been hugely detrimental according to Papuan journalist Victor Mambor.
"It's terrible for us. In my opinion it is not good for Indonesia [either],” Mr Mambor told SBS.
“The problem is not about the welfare or the economic development, but the problem is the history."
Access to police headquarters had been blocked off to media, family and advocacy groups, as up to 40 people remain detained.
Camellia Webb-Gannon from Sydney University think tank West Papua Project believes the arrests highlight Indonesia's heavy-handed approach.
She has called on the Australian government to pressure Indonesia President Joko Widodo over the matter.
"I'm surprised that such a large number of people would be detained for simply exercising their right to gather and to peacefully protest,” Ms Webb-Gannon said.
“They have the right to gather to assemble and to peacefully protest for their other right: their right to self-determination."
Activists said the arrests will not stifle them, and have pledged to continue to publicly state their demands.
West Papuan independence leaders are joining parliamentarians, lawyers and humanitarian groups from the United Kingdom and the Pacific region in London on Tuesday to demand the United Nations pass a resolution for an independence referendum.
Sade Bimamtara, spokesman for the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, has told SBS he cannot verify the number of people arrested but believes that number is closer to 400.
"I cannot verify the 1,700 number, from what I heard there we don't think it was that many, we believe it was around 400 people," Mr Bimamtara said.
“In Indonesia demonstrations are quiet regular and often it is okay for people to have demonstrations. But if people are breaking the law then police will try to control the crowd.
"If (allegations of abuse are) true then we have a way of rectifying that problem.”
The writer is spokesperson for the Indonesian Embassy in Australia, Canberra. The views expressed are his own.

2) Papua is already free, rights protected
Sade Bimantara Posted: Tue, May 3 2016 | 07:26 am

Reading the stories and claims put forward by a group calling itself the United Liberation Movement for West Papua ( ULMWP ) is like reading a piece of fiction. There are so many mistakes and outrageous claims by this group that it makes the magical land in The Wizard of Oz seem believable.

The group’s name itself is pretentious: “Liberation”. One may ask, “liberate” whom or what? They claim that the people of the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua are not free. Wrong. 

The people of Papua together with their brothers from other parts of Indonesia fought together in the war for independence from the Netherlands. In 1969 the people of Papua once and for all reaffirmed that Papua is an irrevocable part of Indonesia. A decision recognized by the UN and the international community. Since then, Papua has developed significantly and grown into two administrative provinces with 42 districts and cities with a combined population of 3.9 million. 

Anyone who visits Jayapura and other Papuan cities can see that development is comparable with, and in some cases exceeds, other cities in the South Pacific. 

Papuans routinely participate in elections that are internationally regarded as free and fair. For instance, the millions of Papuan registered voters, including those overseas outside Indonesia, participated in the 2014 presidential and legislative elections together with 184 million fellow voters across Indonesia, the third-largest democracy in the world. 

They have voted for their president and their lawmakers to represent them in Jakarta and in the provincial capitals of Papua and West Papua. The people of Papua and West Papua also directly and freely elect their governors and regents. They are free. Free to vote. Free to govern. Free to determine their future. With its special autonomy, no person other than ethnic Papuans are eligible to be governors and regents in Papua. No other Indonesian provinces enjoy this right.

The ULMWP’s claim that Indonesia is “committing genocide” and “killing dissidents on a daily basis” is absolutely baseless and unsubstantiated slander. The 1948 International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defined genocide as acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group as such”. 

After reviewing two reports on human rights in Papua ( by Yale Law School students and by Sydney University ), the International Crisis Group ( ICG ) in its 2006 report concluded that “Neither of the reports provides any evidence of intent on the part of the Indonesian government or military to destroy the ethnic Papuan population as such in whole or in part.” 

Unfortunately, violence is committed both against civilians, armed separatists, individuals and groups as well as against the security forces. Cases of violence in 2013-2014 shed light on the nature of the situation in Papua. In those two years, there were 42 reported cases of violence that left 21 civilians, 18 members of the police and the military and nine members of an armed separatist group dead. Just last March, a separatist group of 20 armed people ambushed and killed four workers who were building roads to connect the cities of Sinak and Mulia.

Any cases of violence are treated seriously by the police. The government is strongly committed to protecting the basic human rights of Indonesians including those living in Papua. The highly respected National Commission on Human Rights and many human rights NGOs provide the necessary checks and independent reviews to make sure the rights of the people are properly protected.

The ULMWP has been calling to oust Indonesia from the Melanesian Spearhead Group ( MSG ). Indonesia is a Pacific country. Eleven million Indonesians of Melanesian descent call five provinces of Indonesia home: East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua. This makes Indonesia home to the largest population of Melanesian ethnicity in the world, by comparison, the Melanesian population in other Pacific nations number about 8 million people.

Indonesia’s engagement and membership in the MSG is intended to add value to the organization by supporting the group’s work to develop a stronger cultural, political, social and economic identity and link. We have committed ourselves to being a responsible associate member of the group including through constructive participation in meetings as well as financial contributions.

Through membership in the MSG, Indonesia wants to further open ways and strengthen connectivity, promote greater contacts and exchanges and valuable activities in which we can share our experiences with our Melanesian brothers in the South Pacific. Indonesia’s 250 million population and its large middle class-60 million and projected to reach 85 million people by 2020-will also be a lucrative export destination for MSG products and services as well as a large investment source. 

The ULMWP presence in the MSG on the other hand, is disruptive because its political goal and routine robotic statements calling for “Papuan separation from Indonesia” is contrary to the Agreed Principles of Cooperation of the MSG: “the principles of respect for each other’s sovereignty”.

If members allow the ULMWP to dishonor such revered principles, crafted by the founders of the MSG, the unity and even the existence of the MSG may be at risk because there is the possibility that other organizations with ill-intention may follow suit and question the sovereignty of other members over their respective territories. While other members focus on developing the group with initiatives, programs and projects, the ULMWP has not been adding much value to the MSG’s works and instead is blinded by its fantasy of seeing Papua separate from Indonesia. 

The writer is spokesperson for the Indonesian Embassy in Australia, Canberra. The views expressed are his own.
A google translate.Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

3) Nearly 2,000 People Arrested, LBH: Papuan People Are Not Alone

KNPB peaceful demonstrations supporting IPWP meeting, Monday (02/05/2016) - Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi - Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Jakarta strongly condemned the arrest of 1,724 activists in a peaceful demonstration held simultaneously in Jayapura, Sorong, Merauke, Fakfak, Wamena, Semarang and Makassar. A few days earlier, 52 people have also been arrested ahead of today's action.

Today's action is done in order to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) enters into a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a diplomatic forum in the South Pacific. In addition, also to commemorate May 1, 1963 protest in which the joining of Papua into Indonesia. Action is also carried out to support the meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) which will be held in London tomorrow, May 3, 2016, which will discuss the referendum for Papua.

"There were two people who were arrested in Merauke when to give written notification to the police action. This article What kind that can be used to catch people who were handed a notice of action? 41 people arrested in Jayapura just for spreading leaflets calls to action. This clearly arbitrary act unconstitutional, "blasted Veronica Koman, public defenders LBH Jakarta.
Here are the number of people who were arrested today in each region who managed to LBH Jakarta gathered from sources in Papua: 1449 people in Jayapura, 118 people in Merauke, 45 in Hyderabad, 42 in Singapore, 29 people in Fakfak, 27 people in Sorong, 14 people in Wamena. Total arrested today there are 1,724 people. Most have been released, but there are still dozens detained in Merauke, and Wamena Fakfak.

Whereas on 25 April 2016 there were also two people were arrested in Merauke, April 30, 41 people were arrested in Jayapura. May 1 there were four people in Wamena and 5 people were arrested in Merauke.

"A total of 1,839 Papuans were arrested since April 2016 until today. Jokowi often useless in Papua to Papua if it works just ceremonial. The development approach is not wanted by the people of Papua, Jokowi should be more keen to listen to their demands, "added Veronica.

The police actions violated the Indonesian Constitution and Article 28 of Law No. 9 of 1998 on Freedom of Expression in Public. "Although demand is for a referendum, as long Papuans Indonesian citizen, their constitutional right to argue should always be maintained. Gelarlah dialogue, not repress their aspirations, "said Alghiffari Aqsa, director of LBH Jakarta.

To that end, LBH Jakarta demanding to Jokowi to crack down on police chief, police chief of Papua and West Papua Police Chief that have tarnished the constitutional rights of the people of Papua, as well as the immediate release of those still detained. ,

"We urge that the tidal Papua Rabat Alone. Continue your aspirations! "Alghiffari lid. (*)


4) INDONESIA: Stop arresting indigenous Papuans

May 3, 2016

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has learned from national and local sources that on May 2, police officers arrested in total 1,724 indigenous Papuans who took part in a peaceful protest in Jayapura and other cities in Papua.
The protesters came from various Papua districts, to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) becoming a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a regional forum in the Pacific. Moreover, the protesters also gathered to commemorate integration of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia, on 1 May 1963, though the integration remains a questioned one for many indigenous Papuans.
Under President Joko Widodo, the human rights situation in Papua and West Papua provinces has yet to show any progress. Fundamental problems remain, such as lack of law enforcement, and the lack of accountability amongst security forces. In the last one year, the AHRC reported and documented several cases in Papua, for instance the excessive force being used on April 5. Then there is the case on torture against three indigenous Papuans, which occurred on 27 August 2015. Not only in Papua, local indigenous Papuans were also arrested when they were involved in and conducted peaceful protests in Jakarta, as reported by Just Asia AHRC TV episode 101.
Despite the protesters being released after their being interrogated by the Police, circumstances have proven that the government has yet to change its policy on Papua. The government’s commitment to solve problems in Papua peacefully, through dialogue, has never been formally admitted or followed. Dialogue initiative are usually organized by civil society organizations and churches.
Under President Widodo’s administration, the government has tended to prioritize the development of public infrastructure to boost either national or international investments in Papua. However, such a policy does not really bring benefit for local indigenous. It benefits non-indigenous Papuans who have been living in Papua for many years. Furthermore, the development of public infrastructure in Papua will potentially trigger other problems, such as land grabbing and the migration of more people from outside the Papua.
Considering the situation in Papua, the AHRC calls upon the government of Indonesia, to consider the following: first, the government must prove its commitment to solve human rights problems in Papua and ensure protection for local indigenous Papuans without any discrimination and extreme restriction; second, the government of Indonesia, as a member of the Human Rights Council, and having already ratified several key international human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), must ensure its policy is in line with the covenant; third, the government must stop judicial harassment against local indigenous people, and show its commitment and seriousness to establishing peaceful dialogue without undue delay.


5) Islands in focus:Diarrhea outbreak still shrouds Keesom
Posted: Tue, May 3 2016 | 06:41 am
A diarrhea outbreak remains a threat in Keerom, Papua, as nine toddlers continue to be in treatment at the Kwaingga Hospital in Keerom since their admission on April 1. So far, 86 toddlers have suffered from the outbreak, one of them fatal.

“Until now, nine toddlers are still hospitalized, while the others have returned home,” hospital staffer Yunince Pabeno told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He said that earlier 27 patients had returned home after receiving three to five days of treatment.

New patients are still arriving as of now. On Saturday, there were three patients and four on Sunday. 

“Today, their admission was reported,” he said.

Thanks to the swift actions of the Kwaingga regional hospital and the parents of those affected, cases of the illness have dropped. 

“Fortunately, everyone is working hard to prevent fatalities. Only one patient died because they were too late in receiving medication,” said Yunince.

Keerom Health Office Disease Control and Environmental Health section head Laomi said his office had taken measures to stop the outbreak.

“We have taken samples of feces and groundwater, which are currently being examined at the Regional Health Laboratory in Dok II, Jayapura. From submission, the results will be known in 10 days,” he said.

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