Saturday, December 6, 2014

1) Ilaga town ‘tense’ after killing of 2 cops

2) Bodies of 2 Brimob personnel , evacuated to Jayapura
3) Police searching for unidentified gunman who shot two Brimob personnel
4) Komnas HAM: Jokowi Needs a Palace in Papua
5) Artha Graha’s Sinister Logging Business in Wondama Bay
6) Komnas HAM’s National Inquiry into Indigenous Rights arrives in Papua

1) Ilaga town ‘tense’  after killing of 2 cops 
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Headlines | Thu, December 04 2014, 9:52 AM

The situation in Ilaga, the capital of Puncak regency in Papua, remained tense following the deaths of two Papua Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) members who were shot as they assisted a church congregation with Christmas preparations at a church on Wednesday.

“I’ve just received reports that the situation in Ilaga after the incident remains tense, as security personnel are on guard. Residents are in a state of fear and they prefer to remain at home. Some of them gathered at government offices while waiting for the situation to improve,” said Puncak regency council member Penilus Balinal in Jayapura on Wednesday.

Pelinus expressed hope the Papua Police would immediately deploy personnel to the area to secure the situation so residents could go about their daily activities and the administration could resume its duties, failing which the situation would worsen and the lives of more people would be at stake.

Tensions increased after security personnel set fire to traditional Honai homes in the city as they searched for the perpetrators.

The shooting took place when Brimob officers Second Adj. Insp. Thomson Siahaan and Second Brig. Everson were arranging chairs for Christmas preparations together with the Paniai GKI church congregation in Ilaga at around 
9:30 a.m. 

“When they were helping to arrange the chairs and set up the tent in front of the church, they were shot and killed on the spot by an armed group,” said Papua Police chief spokesman Sr. Comr. Pudjo Sulistyo in Jayapura. 

According to Pudjo, Thomson was shot in the chest and leg, while Everson was shot in the head.

Their bodies have been taken to the Ilaga community health clinic and will be moved to the Papua Police Brimob headquarters in Jayapura on Thursday.

Papua Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw and police officials will leave for Ilaga, to observe the situation in the city.

Waterpauw expressed regret over the incident as his men were helping youths at the church to prepare for a Christmas event slated for Wednesday at 5 p.m. local time.

“We will pursue the attackers and catch them, dead or alive. Their behavior is inhumane,” he said.

Waterpauw added that his personnel were all ordered to promote and uphold basic human rights, but instead two of them had now become victims of violence at the hands of armed civilians.

“This matter should be discussed to prevent personnel from acting hesitantly and becoming victims instead,” emphasized Waterpauw.

Besides killing the two Brimob personnel, the armed civilian group also seized two AK assault rifles that the victims were carrying and fled into the woods.

The situation in Ilaga, said Waterpauw, was improving and security personnel were conducting investigations by speaking to witnesses who saw the incident.

Earlier in August, two police officers were shot dead by an unidentified group in Lanny Jaya regency, Papua. 

The police and military suspected the shooting was conducted by the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM).

In response to the shooting, the military launched a hunt for the group and shot dead four members.

In May this year, another police officer was shot dead in Lanny Jaya. 

The shooting was also believed to be committed by the OPM. 

Some Papua councilors expressed regret at the continuing violence in the province and said they could not inspect the locations due to the remoteness of the areas.

 2) Bodies of 2 Brimob personnel , evacuated to Jayapura
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Thu, December 04 2014, 8:18 PM

The bodies of Second Adj. Insp. Thomson Siahaan and Second Brig. Everson, two Brimob personnel who were shot dead by an armed criminal group in Ilaga, Puncak regency, Papua, arrived in Jayapura on Thursday.
Evacuated via Timika in Mimika regency, Papua, the two officers’ bodies were rushed to Bhayangkara Police Hospital for autopsies shortly after arriving at Sentani Airport, Jayapura. Their bodies will reportedly be sent back to their hometowns on Friday. Thomson will be buried in his hometown Parsoburon in Tobasa regency, North Sumatra, and Everson in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.
Papua Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said police had questioned five people who reportedly witnessed the shooting incident.
“In preliminary information, it was said the two Brimob personnel were first tortured before later being shot. In fact, they were first shot and then tortured by the perpetrators, who also confiscated a firearm,” he said on Thursday.
The police suspected that the Yambi group, an armed civilian group led by Leka Telenggen and Tenga Mati, was directly responsible for the incident.
“The killing was allegedly perpetrated by 10 people from the Yambi group led by Telenggen and Tenga Mati. This group has been responsible for a number of security-disruption incidents in Puncak Jaya,” said Puncak Jaya Police precinct chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Marselis.
Papua Police have deployed two groups of security personnel to help strengthen security operations to calm down the situation in Ilaga after the incident.
Marselis said Ilaga only had a sub-precinct police office, or Polsek, with 17 police personnel. “Ilaga is facing a shortage of security personnel. There should be at least one platoon of police personnel there, but in fact it has only 17 police officers,” he said.
The Brimob headquarters in Kotaraja, Jayapura, flew the national flag at half-staff to commemorate the shooting victims. A number of Brimob personnel prepared a hall where Thomson and Everson will be waked before they are flown to their hometowns on Friday. (ebf)(++++)


3) Police searching for unidentified gunman who shot two Brimob personnel

Kamis, 4 Desember 2014 20:16 WIB | 484 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The police are still on the lookout for an unidentified gunman who shot dead two members of the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) unit in the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua.

"We are still chasing the perpetrator," spokesman of the Indonesian Police Headquarters Senior Commissioner Agus Rianto stated here on Thursday.

The police are teaming up with the Indonesian military to intensify their search for the perpetrator, he revealed.

Agus remarked that the perpetrator snatched an AK47 rifle from the Brimob personnel shortly after they were shot dead.

He expressed hope that the local residents would report the hideouts of the perpetrator to the police.

"We hope the public will help to resolve the case," he remarked.

He said no additional police personnel were deployed following the shooting. The security condition in Papua has gradually improved following the incident, he noted.

An unidentified gunman shot dead two Brimob personnel in Papua province on Wednesday and seized their AK47 rifle, Papua Police spokesman Senior Commissioner Pudjo stated.

According to him, the shooting took place when the two policemen were on their way to the local GKI church to help with the preparations for Christmas celebrations.

As the policemen approached the Dilaga district chiefs office, an unknown gunman shot them.(*)


4) Komnas HAM: Jokowi Needs a Palace in Papua

By Farouk Arnaz on 04:59 pm Dec 04, 2014
Category News
Jakarta. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) is urging President Joko Widodo to build a palace in Papua, so that he can be closer to the people and soothe separatist sentiments in the remote region.
“We encourage [the president] to immediately establish a presidential palace for the Papuan people,” Komnas HAM commissioner Nurcholish told a discussion held at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday.
According to Nurcholish, the plan for a presidential pied-a-terre in Papua would greatly improve the prospects for peace.
Since Papua became part of Indonesia in the 1960s, a low-intensity guerrilla war has been waged against the central government, most notably by members of the Free Papua Organization (OPM).
Papua and West Papua remain among the nation’s least developed provinces, even as they are among the richest in terms of natural resources.
The Indonesian president already has a number of official palaces at his disposal. Apart from the State Palace in Jakarta, for instance, there are palaces in Bogor and Cipanas (both in West Java), in Yogyakarta (Central Java) and in Tampaksiring (Bali).

5) Artha Graha’s Sinister Logging Business in Wondama Bay

Indigenous communities in villages in the forested interior of Wondiboi, Naikere and Kuriwamesa Districts in Wondama Bay Regency, still feel traumatised by the ‘Bloody Wasior’ events which took place in 2001. Even now they are unable to forget the murders, the tortures, the freedom usurped, the rapes, the forced disappearances, being forced to flee, the houses and possessions burnt.
In its 2003 report, the National Human Rights Commission’s Team to Study Human Rights Problems in Papua concluded that sufficient initial evidence had been found to suppose that a gross and extensive human rights violation had occurred in Wasior, which should be categorised as a crime against humanity.
The bloody Wasior incident started with two logging companies, PT. Darma Mukti Persada (DMP) and CV. Vatika Papuan Perkasa (VPP), which had been operating in the Naikere and Wondiboi areas since 1992. The companies, which had started work without the support of the local indigenous communities, proceeded to clear the forest, felling the trees and transporting the forest’s natural riches out of the area. When met at the testimonial hearing Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry, Bernad, an employee of Wondama Bay’s forestry service, told of how “PT DMP was operating without an environmental impact assessment, everything had been arranged by the central government, and the Wasior sub-district administration just accepted it”.
In 2009, amidst the chaos of demands to reform government practices, the Forestry Ministry issued a new logging permit (IUPHHK-HA) to PT Kurnia Tama Sejahtera, with document reference SK.648/Menhut-II/2009. It was for a location in PT DMP’s former concession and covered an area of 115,800 hectares. Although the debts of the past had still not been paid off, and the issue of rehabilitation and justice for the victims had yet to be settled, the government issued this new permit to exploit forest resources, kindling questions about whether it was really serious about protecting indigenous people’s rights.

In the National Human Rights Comission’s testimonial hearing on 29th November, Kostan Natama, an indigenous community leader from Sararti village, testified “The government does not value or protect our rights. The government issues permits without consulting us, just as the company PT KTS also never consulted the community. The company said it would not log forests belonging to the Mairasi indigenous people in Sararti village. In fact, PT KTS cleared the forest and felled trees in Sararti just as they pleased”, Natama explained.
The Mairasi indigenous people in Wombu and Sararti have protested several times because important sites have been cleared and the low levels of compensation. PT KTS did not settle the community’s demands or arrange a fair benefit-sharing mechanism, instead the company just invited police and military forces to guard the logging compound and the company’s basecamp. The trauma of the past violence meant that the community did not feel free to denounce the company’s behaviour.
PT KTS is a subsidiary of the Artha Graha Group, owned by Tommy Winata (TW), with its head office on the 27th floor of the Artha Graha building, Jalan General Sudirman 52-53 Jakarta. Tommy Winata’s other logging company in the land of Papua is PT Papua Satya Kencana (permit number  SK.647/Menhut-II/2009, dated 15th October 2009), which is located in Bintuni Bay Regency and covers an area of 195,420 hectares.
TW’s business empire has expanded and is well-known to be close to military circles. TW is involved with developing military infrastructure, from building barracks to supplying goods to military bases in Papua. TW’s business enterprises partnered with Yayasan Kartika Eka Paksi, which is owned by the army, to build the SCBD megaproject (Sudirman Central Business District) in Jakarta. TW’s competitors accuse him of using the military to facilitate his businesses.
In late January 2013, the thing which the community feared and had hoped not to see again, happened once more. Military troops stationed at PT KTS’s logging compound struck Yulian Kiri and then off-and on throughout the day staff came from the base camp to the compound and beat and harrassed Yulian until he was black and blue, swollen and vomiting blood. His hearing was damaged and has never recovered.
At the same time, army staff at the 48km post also physically harassed and threatened Elias Natama and Absalom Natama just because they were insisting to be brought home to their village from the logging compound. Elias was punished with 100 push-ups and had to stand below a flagpole. Elias explained what happened to Kostan Natama, who related “the squadron commander, his deputy and one other solider each struck him at least nine times in the face, his solar plexus and bones were broken, and he was struck twice with a large rattan rod the size of a snooker cue. The staff ordered him submerged in mud for 30 minutes”.
Elias and Absalom Natama were threatened with being shot dead because the two were believed to be provoking the community to shut down PT KTS’s operations. The soldier said “If the company is shut down, it will be you that we shoot first, and then we’ll finish off the people from the two villages (Sararti and Wombu)”, explained Kostan Natama, as he related the victims’ testimony.
The community did report these violent incidents, but local government, the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and the police never took any action, neglecting the victims. Just as in the ‘bloody Wasior’ crime against humanity, the perpetrators and responsible institutions have remained out of the law’s reach.
As of today, there is still a military post occupying the Naikere district office in Naikere village, beside the route of the only road from the village to Wasior city. The people of Wombu and Sararti are very nervous to pass the army post, which is guarded by armed soldiers.. They are forced to sneak past when they visit their families or children which go to school in Naikere village, and they have to put off going to the health clinic for treatment. “The people are afraid to pass the army post, whose officers often ask people questions or watch over them . They sometimes hide when they are carrying produce from their gardens or the forest, and are scared to go to the clinic”, said Stevanus Marani, another community member who has been affected.
The indigenous community in this area are asking the government to close down PT KTS and withdraw the military from the villages, as they are only making the community nervous and feel unsafe. “We also ask the government to restore and rehabilitate the rights of the victims of the violent incidents in Wasior in 2001” said Yunus Surumi from Wondiboi, another victim who gave evidence.


6) Komnas HAM’s National Inquiry into Indigenous Rights arrives in Papua

Commissioners of Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) arrived in Jayapura last week for the Papuan leg of their National Inquiry into the rights of Indigenous People living on land classified as forest. Between 26th and 28th of November 2014 in Jayapura, the inquiry listened to the testimony of local residents from five areas of Papua where large-scale investment has marginalised their communities, been imposed against their wishes or brought violence and intimidation from the authorities.
A range of NGOs had pushed for this National Inquiry, which had already heard from indigenous communities in other parts of Indonesia in recent months. The initiative is part of efforts to encourage the state to address the Constitutional Court’s landmark decision 35/2012, which clarified that ancestral land communally owned by indigenous communities can no longer be classed as state forests.
Other parts of the Indonesian state have yet to deliver a comprehensive response to this decision, including supporting legislation which would clarify how such forest lands are to be managed. It is clearly a major challenge to a system where the normal practice has been for the state to dole out permits to logging, mining and plantation companies, which then at best may conduct some tokenistic attempt to consult with the indigenous inhabitants before pressing ahead with their projects.
Komnas HAM’s Inquiry is an attempt to document some of these cases, especially where indigenous communities are not in full agreement with a development project, and have therefore suffered intimidation and/or aggression from state security forces when they express their oppositions or concerns. From theInquiry’s webpage:
“A national inquiry is a useful tool to address complicated human rights situations, of a historic and systematic character, and which need throrough reports and investigations”
Five cases were to be presented to the Inquiry as representative of the Papuan situation. One was the oil palm plantations in Keerom, which were first started by state company PTPN II in 1982 while the area was gripped by conflict, and the company is believed to have benefitted from the fact that many indigenous residents had fled to the forest or to neighbouring Papua New Guinea to escape state repression. The plantation facilitated a transmigration program which would eventually mean that Papuans became seriously economically and demographically marginalised in the area.
A more recent case of oil palm companies violating human rights is in Nabire, where subsidiaries of a Sri Lankan multinational Carson Cumberbatch have brought misery to the lives of the Yerisiam and Wate indigenous groups. Operating without the necessary permits such as an Environmental Impact Assessment, and without a proper process to obtain community consent and compensate indigenous landowners, these companies instead rely on guards from the police mobile brigade to intimidate the community, and there have been a string of incidences of violence or arbitrary arrest, often targeted at those who oppose the plantation.
Around 40 plantation companies are involved in the third case which was presented: the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate. A megaproject conceived in the corridors of power to increase Indonesia’s agricultural output and hand potentially millions of hectaresof indigenous lands to plantation companies, the Malind indigenous people had no say whatsoever in a project which will change their way of life forever. A catalogue of problems has emerged as the companies have moved in, including violence and intimidation, the emergence of inter-community conflict, pollution and even malnutrition in some areas.
The impact of the logging industry was also examined, focussing on the Wondama Bay area. Here, in 2001, community protests against logging companies active at that time provoked a huge and violent backlash from the military, in which many people were killed. The ‘bloody Wasior’events are among the many gross human rights violations which have never been resolved. Despite ongoing trauma in the community, in 2009 the government proceeded to award a new logging concession in the same area, to a company PT Kurnia Tama Sejahtera, a company whose owner, Tommy Winata, is closely linked to the military. Soldiers were also stationed to guard the company’s operations, and in 2013 once again committed serious acts of violence against local indigenous residents. (more details here).
The last case is from a remote part of the highlands in Deguewo, Paniai, where a gold rush has bought a myriad of problems. The miners are mostly informal fortune hunters from Sulawesi, but Australian company West Wits Mining is also involved, and eventually wants to set up a more regular operation in the area. It is widely accepted that the gold mining has become a disaster for local indigenous people – as well as the sporadic violent incidents that have broken out since mining started in 2006, the settlements have brought problems connected with alcoholism, criminality and a HIV/AIDS epidemic into this remote community. Local government has repeatedly spoken of shutting the mining area down, but gold is a valuable commodity and the political will to take action has not yet emerged.
Komnas HAM will no doubt publish its findings in due course. However, the very next day one of the witnesses to the inquiry experienced again the climate of fear which is universally imposed on all those who wish to defend indigenous rights and the Papuan forest. This report from Yayasan Pusaka’s website relates what happened as Paulinus Balagaize returned home to his village in Merauke:

Paulinus subject to intimidation returning home from Human Rights Commission Inquiry.

A prominent community member from Onggari village, Paulinus Balagaize, feels he was subjected to intimidation recently in Merauke. There are indications that the intimidation resulted from certain individuals who were displeased with the testimony he gave, explaining the problems around MIFEE and the Rajawali group’s sugar-cane plantation companies in Onggari village to the Testimonial Hearing of the National Human Rights Comissions’ (Komnas HAM) National Inquiry which took place at the regional office of the Law and Human Rights Ministry in Jayapura from 26th-28th November 2014
On Friday moring (29/11), Paulinus had just arrived at Mopah airport in Merauke when his mobile phone rang. It was a call from one of the staff at the Kurik local police station who asked Paulinus his current location, which Paulinus could confirm was still at the airport.
Paulinus explained, “I was concerned and asked around what the purpose of this phonecall might be, because it didn’t seem normal. Then I went and rested until lunchtime in the house of my family in Merauke. After that I left for Onggari village with my younger sister on the back of the motorbike. After crossing the Seven Wali Bridge, I noticed that there were two Kijang cars tailing me from behind”. Paulinus said.
In the Wendu area, Paulinus stopped his vehicle for a short break and took the chance to look and see who was in the cars which had stopped some distance away. However, the dirvers and passengers of the black and cream Kijangs were not visible. Paulinus continued his journey to the crossing point of the Kumbe River. Paulinus was picked up by his children in Kumbe village and only arrived in Onggari at night.
Paulinus sent an SMS asking Komnas HAM and the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) to get an explanation from the head of the Kurik police station and the Merauke police chief concerning the intimidation he had experienced, as there were indications it was a human rights violation. Sandra Moniaga, a Komnas HAM Commissioner in Jayapura, said that she would follow up the request.
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