Thursday, August 3, 2017

1) Relatives of Papua shooting victims call on police to take responsibility

2) Indonesian police kill civilian, injure others in Papua during clash sparked by worker’s refusal to take dying man to hospital
3) Indonesia rights body urges end to abuses in Papua after police shooting
4) Floods hit Jayapura as city gets environmental award

5) Global Union Heads for Indonesia for Freeport Worker Cause
1) Relatives of Papua shooting victims call on police to take responsibility

A relative of villagers in Indonesia's Papua region caught up in a fatal police shooting says they're calling for the police to take responsibility for the incident.
Amatus Douw's relatives were among victims shot in a confrontation with paramilitary police in the Deiyai district on Tuesday.
According to reports up to 16 people were also injured, some of them critically, among them teenagers.

Mr Douw is a pro-independence activist for West Papua and lives in Australia after obtaining political asylum in 2006.
He had been in contact with his family and he said the dead man's body was placed in front of the police office in Deiyai yesterday after the shooting.
"Without asking, without advocat(ing) the issue, they just shoot and shoot. Uncompromised. They are really sad and very worried," Said Amatus Douw.
Mr Douw said his people were worried because more police and military have been deployed to the district.
According to a BBC report police say warning shots were fired in the incident and they are investigating.
The parliament of the Deiyai area has called for the arrest of officers involved in the shooting and the withdrawal of the mobile brigade.

2) Indonesian police kill civilian, injure others in Papua during clash sparked by worker’s refusal to take dying man to hospital


Indonesian police said Wednesday they shot dead one man and injured several other people during a clash in Papua sparked by a worker’s refusal to take a dying man to a hospital.
A confrontation broke out in Deiyai district in Indonesia’s easternmost province on Tuesday when a villager asked a group of workers at a company’s construction site to take the person to the hospital.
A worker denied the request, fearing he would be blamed if the patient died en route. This angered locals, who gathered at the site to confront the workers after the patient passed away.

Police deployed to handle the incident shot dead a 28-year-old man.
The shots also injured seven more people, including two children who sustained minor injuries. Three other people who were seriously injured have been flown to the neighboring district of Nabire for treatment.
Papua police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said locals had thrown rocks at members of the police mobile brigade and injured 11 of them.
“We fired warning shots because the situation was dire, there were three warning shots,” Kamal told AFP, adding one of these hit Yulius Pigay and killed him.
The spokesman said police fired another shot at the ground. “Maybe somehow it hit people, the children got hit by bullet fragments.”
Hong Kong-based rights group The Asian Human Rights Commission condemned what it called police brutality in Papua.
Jakarta has long kept a tight grip on resource-rich Papua, with a heavy military and police presence.
But a low-level insurgency continues to smolder, with the Free Papua Movement fighting on behalf of the mostly ethnic Melanesian population.

3) Indonesia rights body urges end to abuses in Papua after police shooting

AUGUST 3, 2017 / 8:42 PM / 8 HOURS AGO

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's human rights commission on Thursday urged President Joko Widodo to end rights violations in the easternmost province of Papua after police were alleged to have killed one person and wounded 16 others while trying to quell a protest. 
The incident started on Tuesday when workers at a construction site in the province's Deiyai district refused to transport a man who had nearly drowned in a river to a hospital, according to local media Tabloid Jubi. 
Residents were angry when the man eventually died and attacked the workers' camp and assaulted police officers who were called by the company, the news website reported. 
Officers fired warning shots to disperse protesters, police spokesman for the Papua region A.M. Kamal said. He disputed the number of victims, saying police records showed nine residents, not 16, were wounded by the warning shots and one died from a wound in his leg. 
"President Jokowi should take the initiative and lead the settlement of humanitarian cases in the land of Papua through peaceful dialogue comprehensively .. within the framework of the unity of the Republic of Indonesia," Maneger Nasution, an official at Indonesia's Human Rights Commision, said in a statement, referring to the president by his nickname. 
The commission - a state institution in charge of research and mediation of human rights problems, independent from the government - has sent its members to Papua to investigate the incident, Nasution said. 
A presidential spokesman declined to comment. 
Natalius Pigai, another commissioner at the institution, called the incident "a serious human rights violation". 
A heavy handed approach by the police and military on behalf of companies "has happened for a long time, massively and systematically. More than 60 people have died because of cases like this," Pigai told Reuters. 
Police spokesman Kamal said its internal investigation unit and commission members had begun questioning construction workers on Thursday. They would interview police officers involved in the incident on Friday. 
Reports of human rights abuses often emerge from Papua, where a separatist movement has simmered for decades. 
The International Coalition for Papua in its 2017 report said there was a significant aggravation of the human rights situation in Papua in 2015 and 2016 compared to previous years. 
Indonesia took over the former Dutch colony after a widely criticized U.N.-backed referendum in 1969. Despite its rich resources, the province is among the poorest regions in Southeast Asia's largest economy. 
Reporting by Jessica Damiana and Stefanno Reinard; Additional reporting by Jakarta Newsroom; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Ed Davies and Christian Schmollinger


4) Floods hit Jayapura as city gets environmental award
Jayapura | Thu, August 3, 2017 | 07:10 pm
Nethy Darma Somba The Jakarta Post
Heavy downpour since early in the morning caused flash floods in many areas of Jayapura on Thursday.
Residents of the Papua's provincial capital were shocked when they woke up in the morning only to find their homes inundated.
“I was lucky I woke up early today, otherwise my belongings would have been completely soaked,” said Agustine, a resident of Kotaraja in Abepura.
At least three schools had been closed due to the natural disaster, said Jayapura Education Agency head I Wayan Mudiyasa.
Even many students of schools that remained open opted to stay at home.
“I couldn’t go to school; my home is flooded,” said Gorion, a fourth-grader.
The overflowing Kali Acay River inundated residential areas and the Youtefa Market.
Vendors were scrambling to secure their items at the market.
Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Tober Sirait said he had deployed personnel and rubber boats to help evacuate residents.
“We are helping to get residents to houses of relatives or friends that are unaffected,” he said.
Jayapura is one of the cities to receive the 2017 Adipura Award from the Forestry and Environment Ministry on Wednesday. The award is given to cities and regencies for achievements in cleanliness, healthiness and sustainable development.
The head of the Jayapura Environment Agency, Ketty Kailola, said the flooding could not be blamed only on extreme weather but also on the city’s poor drainage system. (bbs)

5) Global Union Heads for Indonesia for Freeport Worker Cause


Representatives from some of the biggest unions in the world are heading to Jakarta to try to pressure Freeport-McMoRan Inc. to reinstate thousands of workers who have lost their jobs and, according to the local union, are now blocked from accessing hospitals, schools and banks.
Officials from Geneva-based IndustriALL Global Union and local unions are scheduled to meet with senior management from Freeport’s Indonesian unit, PT-FI, on Aug. 10, IndustriALL’s Adam Lee said by email.
Workers at Freeport’s flagship mine in Papua province downed tools on May 1 to protest layoffs and enforced furloughs that began during a government-imposed ban on the export of copper concentrate. In June, more than a month after exports had resumed, Freeport confirmed that 4,000 people, including 3,000 permanent workers and 1,000 subcontractors, had been “deemed to have resigned” after not showing up for work. Last month, the local union said about 5,000 workers will extend a strike until the end of August.
The labor dispute at Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, has bolstered prices of copper, which is trading around the highest level since May 2015.

“It is simply not true that there is no strike,” IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Kemal Ozkan said in an email after Adkerson’s comments. “There is an officially declared, legitimate strike, which is now entering its fourth month. Freeport is using the strike as an excuse to fire more than 4,000 workers and to undermine the union.”
The Phoenix-based company is using the stand-off to replace higher-paid permanent workers with contract positions, according to Abraham Tandi Datu, general secretary of the Chemical, Energy and Mines Workers Union, or CEMWU.

Benefit Allegations

Terminated workers and their families no longer have access to education or health care, including hospital treatment, Datu said. The union alleges that Freeport has cut off financial assistance that allows employees’ children to attend local schools and pressured banks to suspend worker bank accounts. Many of the workers who have lost their jobs have loans at local banks, Datu said by email.
A document obtained from CEMWU gives a more detailed break-down of the shrinking headcount at Grasberg. Since the beginning of the year, more than 4,300 jobs have been eliminated through furlough, contractor workforce reduction and voluntary separation. That’s in addition to 4,220 jobs lost as a result of worker protests, bringing the total headcount reduction above 8,000, the data show. As of July, the Grasberg workforce, including contractors, was roughly 25,000, according to the document.

Illegal Strike

Asked to comment on the headcount numbers and allegations that terminated workers can’t access hospitals, schools or banks, Freeport spokesman Eric Kinneberg referred to the company’s second-quarter earnings statement in which it said high absenteeism had hurt mining and milling rates and that the May strike was illegal. As a result, protesting workers were deemed to have “voluntarily resigned,” the company said.
“PT-FI is also taking steps to increase its workforce in order to restore normal operating rates, ” Freeport said at the time.
The company’s local unit has invested $81.5 million in infrastructure projects for three highland villages surrounding the mine, according to the company’s web page. It has funded construction of houses, schools, clinics, churches and air strips.
Meanwhile, more than 300 workershave also been fired at PT Smelting, in East Java, after participating in a January strike, according to IndustriALL. As at Grasberg, they have been told they have “voluntarily resigned,” the union says. The smelter processes copper concentrate from Grasberg. PT Smelting is majority-owned by Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and 25 percent owned by Freeport’s Indonesian unit.
Next week’s “solidarity mission” is in the process of confirming meetings with PT Smelting, the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower, Lee said. The delegation will include senior officials from the National Union of Mineworkers, The Australian Workers’ Union, United Steelworkers and the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation.
IndustriALL represents 50 million workers in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors around the world, according to its website.
Freeport is in the process of renegotiating conditions of its long-term presence in Indonesia with the government. Earlier this week, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said the country will insist that local interests acquire a 51 percent state in PT-FI through divestment but will allow the miner to continue to operate the unit “until the Indonesian side is ready and professional.”

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