Thursday, June 23, 2016

1) Papua rights abuses under the spotlight

2) Papuan citizenship promised soon for West Papuan refugees 

3) Solomon Islands, Vanuatu condemn Papuan rights violations at UN hearing

4) Call for full Indonesian response to Papua abuses

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1) Papua rights abuses under the spotlight


3 minutes ago
West Papua has been highlighted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in recent days. But as international focus grows on ongoing human rights abuses against West Papuans, Jakarta says it's taking concrete action to address the issue.
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Allegations of human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region, or West Papua, have been highlighted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week.
But as the international focus sharpens on ongoing human rights abuses against West Papuans, Jakarta says it's taking concrete action to address the issue.

Johnny Blades reports.
During the 32nd session of the Council Plenary, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association zeroed in on Papua. Maina Kiai said what was occurring in Papua was a phenomenon connected with cultural fundamentalism and nationalism where West Papuans in their own land are dominated by another culture, language and tradition.
The Solomon Islands diplomat in Geneva, Barrett Salato, told the session his government received regular reports from Papua about cases of arbitrary arrests, summary execution, torture, restriction of freedom of expression, assembly and association, committed mainly by Indonesian police. Afterwards, he said it was important to raise the issue globally.
BARRETT SALATO: It will give the international community some awareness about what's going on (in Papua). Not much information goes out to the international community about what's happening so we take it here to the right body of the UN to raise the voices of our fellow human beings that does not have a voice in the human rights council.
One of those in attendance in Geneva was Victor Yeimo. He is the chairman of the West Papua National Committee which has organised a recent series of large demonstrations in Papua in support of Papuan self-determination.
 It's estimated four thousand Papuans were arrested during the demonstrations.
VICTOR YEIMO: Too many people die in West Papua, many arrested, many in prison... everyone there. But today, we are very thank you to Vanuatu and Solomon islands to stand strong for us to make voice in Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Meanwhile, Jakarta has been pushing ahead with the establishment of a team tasked with addressing a number of cases of human rights abuses in Papua. As part of this, the Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Luhut Pandjaitan, this month travelled to Papua with a number of regional ambassadors, including New Zealand's Trevor Matheson, to monitor the handling of rights cases there. However various Papuan provincial government and civil society figures are concerned that the team is not independent. One of those is Karel Phil Erari, deputy chairman of the Alliance of Churches in Indonesia.
KAREL PHIL ERARI: I have been rejecting this team because it has never been consulted with the churches, the real churches in Papua.
He urges the international community to press Jakarta to take meangingful steps to address the abuses.
KAREL PHIL ERARI: Jakarta should open an all-inclusive dialogue to ensure that the human rights abuses in papua should be ended for the sake of humanity, for the sake of justice and peace in Papua.

Meanwhile, Barrett Salato told the Human Rights Council that while increased attention on West Papua from Indonesia's president Joko Widodo is welcome, core violations of Papuans' rights remain unresolved.
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2) Papuan citizenship promised soon for West Papuan refugees 
  
By Charles Yapumi in Vanimo


Refugees from West Papua in Kiunga Diocese, Papua New Guinea, stand in front of their stilted houses in 2011. The refugees are forced to build their homes on this unwanted land as more than 90 percent of the land in the country is owned by locals. Image: Peter Balleis SJ/ JRS/Spotlight

West Papuans who have been living in Papua New Guinea for many decades will be granted citizenship soon.
The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority will also embark on registering all West Papuan refugees who have crossed over from Indonesia to seek refugee status in Papua New Guinea.
“So far we have over 10,000 refugees from West Papua who have lived with us for a very long time, and we have commenced registration of them with the view to finally granting them legal status,” said Deputy Chief Migration officer for Refugee Division, Esther Gaegaming.
“We’re pleased to announce that for more than 1000 of them, their applications have been finalised and they will be going before the Citizenship Advisory Committee very soon for issuance of their citizenships.
“This Friday, a team from our office will commence registration in Vanimo, another one of the biggest refugee settlement areas for West Papuan refugees. We will follow onto Wewak after that and then to Lae.
“So by the end of this year, we hope to have over 85 percent of West Papuans registered.

“I am proud to say that PNG is fulfilling its obligations as a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on the status of refugees. PNG now has a vibrant legal and procedural framework for the processing of refugee claims under the Migration Act and Regulations,” Gaegaming said.
“We also have a system in place for the registration and naturalisation of refugees from West Papua who have lived in Papua New Guinea for decades.
“We also have a national refugee policy that is clear on refugee matters, including guidance on the resettlement of refugees in Papua New Guinea and most of all, we have a dedicated team in the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority that is set up especially to manage this,” she said.
Charles Yapumi is a reporter for Loop PNG.
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3) Solomon Islands, Vanuatu condemn Papuan rights violations at UN hearing
  

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