Wednesday, December 10, 2014

1) We didn't shoot West Papuans, say Indonesian police, military

2) Indonesia: Investigate security forces’ use of lethal force against Papuans in Paniai
3) Papuans Behind Bars Nov. update
4) New Matilda. Five Civilians Killed By Indonesian Security Forces In West Papua

1) We didn't shoot West Papuans, say Indonesian police, military

Police and military brass in Indonesia have begun distancing themselves from blame for the shooting deaths of five young West Papuan civilians in the highlands region of Paniai.
Four died when a hail of bullets was fired into a crowd during a confrontation between Papuan protesters and police and military officers in the town of Enarotali on Monday morning. The fifth man died later in hospital.
Two days later, though, Jakarta-based leaders of both the army and police began denying responsibility.
"Not the police", national police chief Sutarman said blankly on Wednesday. 

A Jakarta-based military counterpart, army chief of staff Gatot Nurmantyo, speculated that, instead of being fired by the armed soldiers and police officers in front of the protesting crowd, the fatal shots came from the top of a hill behind them. 
"I heard that from the TNI [military] commander and national police chief and also from the Papuan police and military that … shots were coming from the top of the hill," Mr Gatot said on Wednesday.
He was certain there were no members of the military or the police on the hill.
"If there were shootings from up the hill while there was no military and no police, who was it?" he asked.
The comments appear to be an attempt to suggest the Free Papua Movement, OPM, which has been agitating for a separate Papuan state, is to blame for the deaths.
Local people say the protest had nothing to do with separatism, but was a response to the beating of a child the previous night by soldiers.
Amnesty International called for a "prompt, independent and impartial investigation" into the incident and for Indonesia to "put an end to the climate of impunity for perpetrators of such abuses" by prosecuting those responsible.
It was revealed on Tuesday that the investigation will be run by a team headed by the Detective Head of the Papuan police, senior commissioner Dwi Iriyanto.
Hardliners in the military, police and political elite are said to be unhappy that the new Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, has said he wants to make welfare in Papua his priority, and to take a more pro-Papua stance. They fear it may encourage separatist sentiment in the region.
Also on Wednesday, the head of the Indonesian military, Moeldoko, announced plans to expand the military presence in Papua by opening a second command area, probably in the westernmost of the two Papuan provinces.
It would be "purely for defence purposes," not to maintain political control over the region, he said.
The army in Indonesia lost its mandate for internal security in 1999 when the police force was separated from the military. However, in Papua, the military maintains a presence in places such as the highlands where there is little danger of foreign incursion.
Under the law, the police can still call on the army to help if it needs reinforcements to ensure security.

2) AI. Indonesia: Investigate security forces’ use of lethal force against Papuans in Paniai

Index: ASA 21/032/2014 10 December 2014
 Indonesia: Investigate security forces’ use of lethal force against Papuans in Paniai
Amnesty International is extremely concerned about reports that Indonesian security forces opened fire and killed at least five men, all students, in Paniai, Papua province. The new government must put an end to the climate of impunity for perpetrators of such abuses. Amnesty International is calling for an investigation into the killings.

Four men were killed and over a dozen injured when security forces, both police and military, allegedly opened fire in the morning of 8 December on a crowd that was protesting at the Karel Gobai field located near the Paniai District Military Command (Koramil). A fifth man died from the bullet injuries a few hours later in hospital. The crowd had reportedly gathered to protest against soldiers from the Special Team Battalion 753, who had allegedly beaten a child from Ipakije village the night before, who had to be hospitalised. Before the shooting, the protesters reportedly destroyed the vehicle in which the soldiers had travelled in the night before.

Amnesty International calls for a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the killings and apparent excessive use of force by the Indonesian security forces. Findings of the investigation must be made public and those responsible, including persons with command responsibility, must be prosecuted in civilian courts in proceedings which meet international fair trial standards, without recourse to the death penalty. Victims and their families must be provided with reparations.

While Amnesty International acknowledges the challenges related to the policing of public assemblies, the Indonesian security forces must only use force after non-violent means have proven ineffective and in strict compliance with the principles of necessity and proportionality.
States have the duty to respect the right to life, enshrined in relevant international human rights law and standards. Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, provides the right of every person to be free from the arbitrary deprivation of life, which places certain limitations to the use of force. This provision, as explained by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, also requires states to conduct proper investigations where there is reason to believe that an arbitrary deprivation of life has taken place. The right to life is also provided for in Indonesia’s Constitution.

Indonesian security forces must be adequately trained and equipped in non-violent methods of crowd control. Law enforcement officials and security forces must have non-lethal means of force at their disposal to disperse the protesters if necessary, in accordance with international human rights standards.
Amnesty International believes the climate of impunity aggravates the human rights situation. Far too many times, members of the security forces in Papua do not face prosecution or are just given a slap on the wrist for a range of human rights violations including torture and other ill-treatment, unnecessary and excessive use of force, and unlawful killings.
Amnesty International continues to demand accountability for the past killing of individuals by security forces. No one has yet been held accountable for the killing of three people at the Third Papuan People’s Congress (October 2011), one at the mine strike in Timika (October 2011), three at
a religious gathering in Sorong (May 2013) or the killing of political activist Mako Tabuni (June 2013).

The lack of accountability is exacerbated by the failure to revise the Law on Military Tribunals (Law No. 31/1997). Military personnel charged with offences involving human rights violations are currently tried in military courts. Amnesty International has expressed concern about the lack of independence and impartiality of these trials.
Amnesty International calls on President Joko Widodo to keep his election pledges and revise the Law on Military Tribunals so that military personnel suspected of offences involving human rights violations can be investigated and tried in an independent civilian judicial system, and victims and witnesses provided with adequate protection. 

3) Papuans Behind Bars Nov. update

November 2014: KNPB remain most targeted Papuan civil society group

In brief

At the end of November 2014, there were at least 65 political prisoners in Papuan jails.
The West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) remains the most heavily targeted civil society group in Papua. So far this year, there have been 101 arrests of KNPB activists or those suspected of being affiliated to the KNPB. The pattern of mass arrests of KNPB members continued this month with 28 KNPB members arrested for participating in peaceful commemorative activities celebrating the 6th anniversary of the formation of the KNPB in 2008. This July, 36 KNPB arrests were made in relation to a peaceful planned boycott of the Indonesian Presidential elections. There appears to be no end in sight for punitive and indiscriminate actions against the KNPB, including raids, mass arrests, arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture. Police attempts to delegitimise the KNPB as an ‘illegal’ organisation under the auspices of Law 17/2013 on Social Organisations (UU 17/2013 tentang Organisasi Kemasyarakatan) restricts peaceful expression and represents a shrinking of democratic space.
The 12 detainees in the Nimbokrang Elections Boycott case were released on bail but may yet be tried and are currently under city arrest. The four detainees in the Freedom Flotilla arrests case in Sorong in August 2013 and the two detainees in the Sarmi treason case in December 2013 likewise remain in legal limbo. In these cases, bail conditions included the possibility of re-arrest if found repeating the same ‘offence,’ such as demonstrating or boycotting an election. These stringent bail conditions together with police surveillance and restrictions on physical movement are aimed at deterring indigenous Papuan activists from exercising their right to peaceful protest. This clearly violates the rights to freedom of assembly and expression. Similarly, the inclusion of activists and leaders in police ‘wanted’ lists (Daftar Pencarian Orang, DPO) is another strategy used by police to criminalise and intimidate indigenous civil society groups.
Linus Hiel Hiluka and Kimanus Wenda, two political prisoners detained in Nabire who are serving sentences of 19 years and 10 months each, were subjected to inhumane treatment by police. The trial for Areki Wanimbo, who has been detained since 6 August, is expected to begin in December. Wanimbo was arrested alongside two French journalists who visited him as part of their investigations into the situation in Lanny Jaya. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit treason which carries a maximum six-year sentence.......
You can read the full update here:

4) New Matilda. Five Civilians Killed By Indonesian Security Forces In West Papua

By Amy McQuire
The killing has raised fresh question about the new Indonesian President's ability to bring peace to the region. Amy McQuire reports. WARNING: Graphic image in text.
Five teenagers were killed in the western region of Paniai in West Papua on Monday, and at least 12 injured, after Indonesian security forces shot into a crowd gathered in a field outside a nearby police station.
They were all civilians and not associated with any political group.
There are conflicting accounts about why the crowd were gathered, although local media are reporting it was to do with an incident that occurred the previous night, where Indonesian security forces allegedly assaulted a 12-year-old child.
Pictures depicting the dead have been shared across social media sites by West Papuan activists and supporters. They are graphic images that show victims with bloody head wounds, surrounded by mourners.

The UN Human Rights Office has already expressed alarm at the killings stating it has “been concerned about regular reports of violence in Papua in the last few years” and urged authorities to “facilitate an independent and thorough investigation” into the incidents.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has promised to follow up the deaths, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported.
The Paniani region has been the target of brutal crackdowns by the Indonesian military which escalated following the launch of Operation Matoa in December 2011, designed to break a local armed resistance movement. This operation led to the displacement of an estimated 14,000 Indigenous West Papuans.
In April last year, political prisoner Selpius Bobaii raised concerns about the escalating “violence, intimidation and unlawful detentions” by police and military in the area in its bid to cut down on the separatist Free West Papua (OPM) movement in the area.
He said there had been an increased deployment of Indonesian military in the region since February 2013, with accusations of unlawful arrests, torture, and forced kidnappings in Paniai.
In September last year, West Papua Media reported three men had been shot by Brimob paramilitary police for refusing to shave during raids targeting men with long hair, long beards and dreadlocks – seen as symbols of pro-independence supporters.
The latest deaths in Paniai follow the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, formed after a meeting of West Papuan activists in Port Vila, Vanuatu last week.
The group will make an application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which makes up the Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, as well as the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia.
West Papua has been under Indonesian rule since the ‘Act of Free Choice’ – commonly referred to as ‘The Act of No Free Choice' – was passed in 1969. It followed the withdrawal of the Dutch in the 1960s.
About 1,000 Papuans out of a population of 800,000 were hand-picked to vote, with concerns they were threatened or coerced into voting for the province to come under Indonesian rule.
Since then there have been constant concerns over human rights violations in the province and brutal and violent crackdowns on peaceful demonstrations. Activists have been jailed for raising the prohibited Morning Star flag.
The human rights violations in the province have remained largely hidden from the outside world, partly due to a strict media ban. Indonesia does not allow foreign journalists or media outlets into the country.
President Joko Widodo has promised to open up the province to foreign media, but doubt has been cast on his ability to improve the human rights situation following the appointment of his Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, who was involved in crushing the separatist movement in Aceh, and also infamously praised the soldiers who murdered Papuan leader Theys Eluay in 2001.


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