Saturday, January 13, 2018

1) Yanto Awerkion’s trial adjourned again after prosecution witnesses ‘fail to answer questions’


2) Papua, Mimika to Jointly Get 10% of Freeport's Divested Shares

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1) Yanto Awerkion’s trial adjourned again after prosecution witnesses ‘fail to answer questions’ 

JANUARY 12, 2018
  • ‘Treason trial’ of Independence petitioner Yanto Awerkion adjourned untilTuesday 16th January after prosecution witnesses ‘fail to answer questions’ 
  • Independence activist facing 15-year jail sentence for supporting a petition
  • Prosecution witnesses were unable to answer questions from the judge
On Tuesday 9th January at 16:00 West Papua time, the trial of prominent West Papuan political prisoner Yanto Awerkion, Deputy Chairperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), continued at the Indonesian State Court in Timika, West Papua.  

As an independence activist, Yanto Awerkion is being charged with “treason” and faces a possible 15-year jail sentence for speaking in support of the West Papuan People’s Petition on 30th May 2017.  He has been left in prison for 8 months so far awaiting his trial. 
Prosecution witnesses at the hearing were unable to answer questions form the judge. 
For that reason, the trial has adjourned until Tuesday the 16th January 2018. 
According to a representative of Papuans Behind Bars: “We are deeply troubled that West Papuans are not only arrested during peaceful protests, but also for leading a prayer at a private property as experienced by Yanto Awerkion. Mr. Awerkion is charged with treason for leading a prayer at his organisation’s secretariat, KNPB”. 
“The Indonesian government has clearly violated his rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and liberty. The treason law has been again misused to suppress West Papuans’ civil and political rights discriminately”. 
“We, therefore, demand Awerkion’s immediate release and that he would be given compensation from the Indonesian government”. 
According to International Human Rights Legal Expert, Melinda Janki (LL.B, BCL (Oxon), LL.M): “The Indonesian government has arrested Yanto Awerkion and charged him with treason. Mr Awerkion has committed no violence. He merely stated that  267,437 people* had signed a petition. Is the Indonesian state so fragile and divided that it cannot bear to hear facts? The petition is an appeal to the UN to respect and implement international law. Why is the Indonesian government so frightened of international law?”. 
-ENDS- 
Press Contact Number: +44 (0) 1865 403 202   Email: office@freewestpapua.org 
 
links/background at

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2) Papua, Mimika to Jointly Get 10% of Freeport's Divested Shares
By : Adinda Normala | on 1:47 PM January 13, 2018
Jakarta. The central government and the Papua provincial and Mimika district administrations signed an agreement with state-owned mining holding company Inalum on Friday (12/01) to pave the way for the two local governments to jointly acquire a 10 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia.
The government has tasked Inalum with the acquisition of an additional 41.64 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia to gain a controlling interest in the company, currently a subsidiary of United States-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan.
Inalum currently owns a 9.36 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia.
Freeport Indonesia operates the Grasberg copper and gold mine in Mimika district, Papua.
According to Friday's agreement, Papua province and Mimika district will jointly receive 10 percent of Freeport Indonesia's shares via Inalum. The state-owned mining holding company will fund the entire cost of the acquisition.
Papua and Mimika will establish Papua Divestasi Mandiria, a company controlled by the two regional governments, to manage the shares.
"The stake ownership will benefit the people of Papua and the rest of Indonesia, as it will increase state revenue, sustain downstream [industry], increase value and create new jobs," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said during a press conference.
In a framework agreement in August last year, Freeport Indonesia agreed to divest a 51 percent stake, build copper smelters in Indonesia and pay higher taxes, as part of a deal to extend its contract until 2041.
Freeport's existing contract of work will expire in 2021.
Indonesia also plans to take over Rio Tinto's 40 percent participating interest in Freeport Indonesia as part of the total of 51 percent it plans to acquire.
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe expressed appreciation for the central government's efforts to transfer control over the world's largest gold mine and second largest copper mine to local residents.
"Since Freeport has been operating in Papua, this is the very first time the government puts its trust in the local residents; we are proud of it," Lukas said.
According to Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director general of minerals and coal at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the government has set a target to complete its negotiations with Freeport by June this year.

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