Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summary of events in West Papua for July 2015

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) 
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

Summary of events in West Papua for July –(5 August)  2015

Tolikara incident
On Friday the 17 July an incident occurred in Karubaga, the capital of Tolikara district resulting in about 60 kiosks and houses being burned. The fire also spread and burned a nearby small mosque.  One student was killed and 11 civilians were injured when the security forces opened fired to disperse a gathering of residents who according to first reports had attacked a group of Muslims who were about to perform Idul Fitri prayers to celebrate the end of the fasting month Ramadan.  The incident has received a large amount of media coverage in the local and national press over the past few weeks with dramatic headlines such as “Extremists burn down mosque on Eid”. The incident is reported to have begun when a group from the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) who were holding a conference in a nearby church had complained about the volume of the sound coming from a mosque’s loudspeakers. According to the police the crowd started throwing stones at Muslims performing their outdoor Eid al-Fitr prayers resulting in the worshippers fleeing to a nearby local military office for protection. The military claim they fired warning shots however, one student, Edi Wanimbo (15 years old) was killed and eleven people injured. Full report at

Police Raid KNPB Merauke Office, Arrest Chairman
Yogyakarta, Jubi – Dozens police officers came to KNPB and PRD secretariat at around and arrested Merauke KNPB Chairman Gento Emerikus. A witness who decline to be named told Jubi about 15 minutes before the police arrived, some special army forces were seen passing through KNPB and PRD secretariat on motorcycle. Then at around 11:00 Papua time, Merauke Police led by Marthin Kuagouw came to the secretariat with the police’s truck and motorcycles. “KNPB and PRD had no specific activities when the police came and raided the secretariat shouting them to disperse and go home, but Gento Emerikus said he’s the responsible one. The police straightly,” he said on monday (3/8/2015). He further said at that time, KNPB and PRD activists were at secretariat. They used to be gathered and stay there everyday eventhough there’s no specific activities.“The police said ‘all of you are gathering to plan a boycott on the anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day 17 August 2015’. The fact is we were not in a meeting or planning something. Then Police Operation Head told us to stop gathering. ‘If you keep to do so, we will come with the army to disperse you with stricter action,” he cited the head. He explained when the special army forced passed through their secretariat, the police sent a short message to KNPB Chairman asking what did they have a meeting? His said no but the police still came at noon. Meanwhile the Central KNPB spokesperson Bazoka Logo when confirmed by Jubi said he regretted the police’s act in Merauke Regency. He said the police in Merauke must learn about the Law because they acted as same as uneducated people. “Do not think we would be afraid of their old fashioned acts. On the other hand we feel grateful because the Police is helping us to accelerate our struggle with act like uneducated people against us Papuans,” he said. He further said the professionalism and credibility of both Merauke Police Chief and Merauke Police Operation Head should be questioned as they acted violating the procedure due to the raid and arrest. “Currently KNPB and PRD had no activities but the police raided and arrested the KNPB Chairman. It’s very ashamed because there’s no activities conducted today. This country is very weird and messy. It had no idea how to apply their own law,” he said. (Arnold Belau/rom)

Thousands go hungry as freak cold wave hits Papua
International federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 29 
July 2015 By Ahmad Husein, IFRC
In recent weeks, thousands of people in the Indonesian Province of Papua have been suffering the effects of a severe cold wave that has left remote communities in need of food and clean water. The cold wave first struck at the beginning of July, hitting the district of Lanny Jaya particularly hard. The sub-districts of Kuyawage, West Wanu and Goa Baliem were struck by hailstorms accompanied by freezing temperatures which plunged to minus two degrees Celsius. "Water is an urgent need for the communities in Lanny Jaya,” said the Executive Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross Society, Ginandjar Kartasasmita. Local water sources are reportedly frozen or have been contaminated and supplies of bottled water are unavailable in local markets. In response, the Red Cross has so far distributed 500 gallons of drinking water, blankets and instant food to help 182,000 people who are in need of humanitarian assistance. All aid items have been decided following a rapid assessment carried out by the Red Cross in coordination with local authorities which have distributed five tonnes of rice to Kuyawage and deployed two doctors and five nurses. The average temperature in Lanny Jaya ranges between 17.8 degrees to 32 degrees and such an extreme cold wave hasn’t been witnessed since 1989. So far, nine people have died, half of whom were children. Hundreds of people are suffering from health problems while thousands are threatened with food shortages. The hailstorms caused severe damage to farmland and killed a large number of livestock. “Our community has suffered as the hailstorms destroyed yam crops and people have nothing to harvest. It also killed 168 pigs which are our main livestock,” said Lenius Muria Lanny, head of Kuyawage sub-district. Delivering aid to the region is a major challenge. Affected villages are nestled high in the mountains and to reach them, Red Cross volunteers walked for three days with supplies as the unstable weather has hampered efforts to send materials by small aircraft which is normally the only form of transportation that can be relied upon.   According to the Indonesian Agency for Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics (BMKG) the cold wave with accompanying hailstorms is a climatic event that could be attributed to El Niño which typically brings colder than normal temperatures to the far eastern Pacific during the June-August and September-November seasons.

East Timor’s former president Jose Ramos Horta says West Papua ‘part of Indonesia’ 
ABC News 23 July 2015
East Timor’s former president, Jose Ramos Horta, says that he does not think an independence campaign for the Indonesian province of West Papua will be successful. "I don't believe in that," the now United Nations special representative told the ABC. "Well everything is possible in the world," he added, "but I wouldn't advocate that.  "It is very much a part of the Republic of Indonesia. "Solutions for the betterment of the people of West Papua, ending any human rights abuses, economic, social exclusion of West Papuans have to be realised in the context of Indonesian sovereignty."  Mr Ramos Horta's comments go against the calls of West Papua's pro-independence supporters who seek to separate the region from Indonesia. East Timor struggled for decades for its own independence which it achieved in 2002. "I believe that if anyone can help redressing the challenges and problems in West Papua would be [Indonesia's] president Widodo," Mr Ramos Horta said. "I would urge West Papuan elites to seize on the opportunity with a new president to find the best possible arrangement between Jakarta and West Papua." Meanwhile, Mr Ramos-Horta said he believed the relationship between Australia and East Timor was good but stressed there were differences when it came to the neighbouring countries' borders. "Canberra, in a very simple manner, would like to see Timor Leste forgetting about wanting to have a maritime boundary," he said. "Any international attempt at litigation, at arbitration could end today if Canberra were to signal to Timor Leste that let's sit and settle the maritime boundary, let's draw a median line."

Top Spook Says Media Need to Be Kept in Check
Observer says BIN should be given authority to make arrests 
 Jakarta Globe  Jul 30, 2015
Jakarta. In the current era of easily accessible information, the Indonesian government needs to keep ‎an eye on the media, the recently appointed head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) said at a book launch on Thursday. BIN chief Sutiyoso explained that because everybody can find news everywhere these days, it is important to make sure no false information is being disseminated. “Media control is necessary so that there is no information bias,” said Sutiyoso, a retired general and former governor of Jakarta. The chief spook was speaking at the launch of a book written by his predecessor at the helm of BIN, Marciano Norman, on the role of state intelligence in Indonesia’s democratic consolidation. Sutiyoso said that in the current situation, one of the main challenges for the intelligence agency is that it remains very difficult to control the flow of information.

‘Toothless tiger’ Also speaking at the book launch was Tjipta Lesmana, a political communication professor at Pelita Harapan University (UPH), who said BIN should get the authority to arrest people. “An intelligence agency without the authority to make arrests is like a toothless tiger,” Tjipta said. “I think BIN’s authority should be expanded.” The observer added that certain safeguards are needed to make sure agents cannot just arrest whoever they want, like in the days of the Suharto regime. But Tjipta also stressed that BIN’s operations should be as secretive as possible. “If it’s open, it’s not intelligence,” he said. “Look at the American CIA, they’re all around the world, working underground.”

Foreign meddling in Papua Tjipta reportedly also criticized the decision by the administration of President Joko Widodo to allow foreign journalists to enter the restive Papua region.
“In Tolikara there definitely was foreign [meddling], 1,000 percent,” he said, referring to a recent riot in the Papuan district during which dozens of stalls and a small mosque were burned down and a protester was killed after police opened fire. Eleven others were injured. The incident triggered fears of sectarian violence throughout the country. “Jokowi’s policy to allow foreign media into Papua is wrong, a big mistake,” the professor was quoted as saying by RMOL, a local news portal. “Foreign intelligence agents can enter with press IDs. Seriously, who are his advisers?”

Papuans behind bars- June update
According to Papuans behind bars there were at least 45 political prisoners in Papua at the end of June 2015. Information received from defence lawyers in Manokwari reported that three detainees who were arrested last month for their involvement in a peaceful demonstration were severely beaten in detention by police Mobile Brigade (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) officers. At least one of the three, KNPB member Alexander Nekenem, was tortured by Brimob officers who stubbed cigarettes out on him. Under instructions from the Head of the Manokwari Regional Police, AKP Tommy H. Pontororing, lawyers were denied access to their three clients following the escape of Narko Murib, a fourth detainee in the same case. Due to barriers to access, lawyers only found out about the torture and ill-treatment endured by the detainees several days after. A second case involving arbitrary violence perpetrated by Brimob officers was that of the fatal shooting of Yoteni Agapa, a 19-year-old Papuan in Ugapuga village in Dogiyai Regency. Brimob officers shot Agapa when he started arguing with them regarding a confrontation that had occurred earlier in the day. This tendency for Brimob officers to respond in such a trigger-happy manner is not uncommon. Since the start of 2015, at least two people have died and seven have been injured as a result of excessive use of force and misuse of firearms by police in Papua. So far, there have been no independent investigations into these incidents and thus the perpetrators continue to enjoy total impunity. Ongoing investigations by the National Human Rights Commission (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) into the ‘Bloody Paniai’ incident of December 2014 seem to have stalled, reportedly due to a lack of funding. Additionally, separate investigations conducted by the Ministry of Politics, Law and Security alongside the Papuan National Police, criticized by human rights observers as lacking credibility, seem to be complicating matters still further. 14 students were arrested in Abepura and Waena for fundraising in support of the Komnas HAM investigations into Bloody Paniai. This case echoes the Yahukimo arrests in March 2015, where more than a hundred people were arrested in relation to a week-long fundraising event for Cyclone Pam victims in Vanuatu. The arrests show that public rallies of any kind in Papua continue to be suppressed, even those for humanitarian purposes. Full update at

Papua’s maternal health  lags behind, says UNFPA Jakarta Post, July 09 2015
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said that Papua continues to lag behind in maternal health compared to other areas across Indonesia despite significant improvements in the country’s health outcomes over the years. In Papua, 16 percent of women begin childbearing between the ages of 15 – 19, or twice as high as the national figure. “Health providers in Papua are not trained to deal with adolescent reproductive health issues, and hospitals and community health centers are generally unable to provide youth-friendly health services,” says UNFPA Indonesia. On Wednesday, to improve maternal health care delivery, UNFPA launched a pilot initiative entitled Men Care Papua, which aims to engage men and boys in Papua on sexual and reproductive health issues and on the prevention of gender-based violence in Jayapura. UNFPA says family planning is also not common practice in Papua, with low use of any modern methods of contraception among married couples. The contraceptive prevalence rate in Papua is only 24.5 percent, which is quite low compared to the national coverage of 61 percent. The province also suffers from a generalized HIV epidemic, with a prevalence rate of 2.4 percent among 15-49 years old. “This is triggered mainly by unsafe sexual behavior,” says UNFPA. Furthermore, UNFPA says that violence against women and children in Papua is also high. According to the National Socio Economic Survey on Violence against Women and Children in 2006, Papua had the highest prevalence of violence against women and children in Indonesia. “It is statistics like these, indicating pervasive gender inequality, which led to Papua being selected as the pilot location for the new male engagement initiative,” UNFPA Indonesia representative Jose Ferraris said during the launch of the initiative. “A second reason was because the government and civil society organizations in Papua are truly committed to working to address these challenges,” he went on. During the launch, Rutgers World Population Fund (WPF) director Monique Soesman and Men Care Papua program manager Siska Noya shared success stories and progress the program had achieved in East Java, Jakarta, Lampung, and Yogyakarta. (ebf)(+++)

Jokowi Urged to Rationale Number of Soldier in West Papua 
Jayapura, Jubi – Indonesian President Joko Widodo was asked to send official letter to Papua Police Chief and Cenderawasih XVII Military Regional Commander to reduce the excessive number of organic and non-organic military troop in Papua. “The excessive military placement is not related with the conditions of people, it have impact towards civilians,” Peneas Lokbere, the Coordinator of United for Truth (BUK) stated in the press conference in commemorating 16th years of Bloody Biak Incident, 6 July 1998 at KontraS Papua Office on Monday (6/7/2015). He cited a number of military posts that spread throughout Meepago region. For example, there is a number of military posts in one regency, such as at Enarotali, the capital of Paniai Regency. “At Enarotali only there are 8 military posts of each unit,” he said without elaborating which unit. The shooting against 4 students in Paniai on 8 December 2014 was occurred due to the excessive number of soldiers who have nothing to overcome their burden and embrace the people so they see people from different view. “There are so many soldiers at the post but have nothing to do so they shot people for killing time. There is a troop with unclear intention. They shot people with the weapons that were bought with people’s money,” Lokbere said. Youth activist Resco Yesnat from Garda Papua said until now the shooting continues to be happened among the Papuan people without resolution. According to him, the unsolved human right violation cases indicate the State’s point of view towards the people of Papua. “The shooting was happened because this country never consider Papuans as part of Indonesia,” he said. (Mawel Benny/rom)

The Construction of Brimob Headquarters and Military Command is Scenario ‘ to Protect’ Investors 
Jayapura, Jubi – The plan to build Brigade Mobile (Brimob) headquarters in Wamena, Jayawijaya, and establish the West Papua military command are part of efforts to protect the interests of investors, said chairman of the Papua Legislative Council on human rights, Laurenzus Kadepa. “I suspect it is a scenario that will lead to additional troops, for the benefit of investors in Papua,” Kadepa said. “The latest information I heard, PT. Freeport will the largest under ground open mining and will open up new land in Wabu Blog spreading out in Intan Jaya, Deiyai, Dogiyai and Paniai. It is a cheap scenario that will only Jaya, Deiyai, Dogiyai, and Paniai. It was the only cheap skanario harm people or native Papuans, ” he told Jubi on last week. The plans could lead to human rights violations including the killings of more Papuans, he said. “This is Indonesia way to weaken the strength of indigenous Papuans, until they are helpless. The state only fight for the interests of investors and does not see the indigenous peoples as owners of the land, “he said. State is creating it as if Papua is unsafe. So there will be mining military and military posts for the benefit of investors. “Now native Papuans are increasingly helpless. They are suffering on their own land. State seems no longer consider them, “he said. Therefore, Papua Legislative Council (DPRP) declared its refusal of development plans of Brigade Mobile headquarters in Wamena. Meanwhile, the chairman of DPRP, Yunus Wonda said he is concerned that the existence of command headquarters will add Papuans’ trauma. (Arjuna Pademme/ Tina)

Depopulation of Papuans Becomes Obvious 
Jayapura, Jubi – Human right activist Markus Haluk said the threat of Papuan population has became obvious. The population of indigenous Papuan begins to decrease while the number of non-Papua is drastically rising. It predicts the number of Papuan in 2030 would be 15% of total population in Papua comprising of 2,371,800 indigenous and 13,228,800 non-Papuans. Haluk said the change was very visible in Dr. Jim Elmslies’ research of West Papua demographical change. The research indicated the population in Papua in 1971 was 923,000 which comprising 887,000 indigenous and 36,000 non-Papuans. In 1990, it extremely changed. The number of Papuans was 1,215,827 while non-Papuans were 414,210 of total 1,630,107. Fifteen years later, in 2005, said Haluk, the number of Papuans and non-Papuans has become equal. Indigenous Papuans were 1,055,795 and non-Papuans are 1,087,694 of 2,646,489 of total population in Papua. In 2011, it became more surprising. The Papuans have become minorities on their own land. The number of indigenous was 1,700,000 compare with the number of non-Papuans that reached 1,980,000 of 3,680,000 of total population in Papua. This change then predicted that the number of indigenous Papuan would become 1,956,400 while the population of non-Papuan would become 4,743,600 in 2020 of 6,700,000 of total population in Papua. The number would continue to improve in 2030, that is the number of Papuan would turn 2,371,200 and non-Papuan would become 13,228,800 of 15,600,000 of total population in Papua. “The change of population number has extremely occurred though the number of birth was decreased. It was happening because none of leaders paying attention on this issue,” Haluk said in One-Day Seminar held by Foreign Affairs of Papua Central Highland Association of Indonesia (AMPTPI) and Student Executive Body of Jayapura Science and Technology University (BEM-USTJ) on Wednesday (29/7/2015). Meanwhile Yulianus Mabel who participated in the seminar said this change has become obvious. Poor health services towards indigenous Papuans and rapid access of non-Papuans to entry to Papua were highly influenced this change. “I hope the government could pay attention on this changing instead to regard this as regular circumstance. The government is much care about their own business and its counterparts than paying attention to the threat of the existence of indigenous Papuan,” he said. (Mawel Benny/rom)

A google translate of article in Jubi. Be-aware google translate can b e a bit erratic
Three People Political prisoners in prisons Wamena Reject Clemency
Posted by: Islami Adisubrata on July 9, 2015 at 23:58:23 WP [Editor: Angela flassy]
 Meky Elosak, Yusanur Wenda and Wiki Meage when met in prison Class II B Wamena. Jubi / Islami Wamena, Jubi - Three political prisoners who are now in the Penitentiary (Prison) Class II B Wamena states reject granted clemency or exemption from the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo. Yes, in August next president’s plan to re-grant pardons to prisoners of conscience and political prisoners in Papua, after the last few months five former political prisoners and detainees were released by the state. These three political prisoners who reject the clemency granted that Meky Elosak, Wiki Yusanur Meage and Wenda are all alleged to have committed acts of treason, with the decision of the prison are manifold. Meky Elosak together Wiki Meage reject granted clemency because they consider themselves innocent, so why should be granted clemency by the Indonesian government? Both himself accused of acts of treason in 2009 in the District Yalengga, Jayawijaya at which time it was found to be carrying the Morning Star flag. Yet according to Meky Elosak recognition, he and Wiki Meage carry the flag at the time there was grief and do not do the raising and both sentenced to eight years in prison. "I do not feel guilty, why should be granted clemency by the President? So we refused, “said Meky Elosak when met reporters in Wamena prison on Thursday (09/07/2015). As for Yusanur Wenda involved the burning of one of the government buildings in Tolikara in 2004, was sentenced for 17 years and refused clemency because it did not want to part with his friends at the institute. “I refused because there are friends here (in prison, ed)," said Wenda Yusanur. While the third legal counsel, Anum Siregar, SH when contacted JUBI explained, originally at around dated June 25, 2015 he was contacted by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Papua province, to inform that the President will again give pardon to political prisoners in Papua. And on June 29, 2015, Anum Siregar to Wamena to submit a plan for the granting of pardon to Meky Elosak and comrades in prison Wamena, but before him, three refused. "This pardon will be given in August, but three refused and we respect their decision. However, they are asked to make a statement that is not willing granted clemency, but was not made, "said Anum Siregar. (Islamic) islami

PIF urged to discuss rights abuse in West Papua RNZI 28 July 2015
The Australia West Papua Association is calling on Pacific Islands Forum leaders to address what it describes as a deteriorating human rights situation in Indonesia's Papuan provinces. Its call comes in the lead up to the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit to be held in Papua New Guinea in September. The group says Indonesia's security forces used excessive and often lethal force on peaceful protesters in West Papua on numerous occasions in 2014 resulting in at least four deaths. The association is urging the leaders at the summit to discuss the human rights situation in West Papua and seek Indonesia's approval for a Forum fact finding mission to West Papua. It is also calling for the release of all West Papuan political prisoners and the granting of observer status to genuine representatives of the Melanesian people of West Papua.

Tahiti Forum bid could trigger domino effect
RNZI 3 August
An academic says there could be a domino effect of non-independent territories seeking to join the Pacific Islands Forum if French Polynesia achieves membership. The French territory, which currently has observer status at the Forum, is looking at increasing its involvement in the leading regional body. A Forum mission has recently been in Tahiti to assess its membership bid. The director of Massey University's Pasifika Centre, Malakai Koloamatangi, says while France is reluctant to entertain the idea of its territories becoming independent, it wants to engage more with the region and having Forum membership could help effect this. "If it works out for the French territories, who knows, American territories might follow suit if it's shown that joining the Forum in a more meaningful way might be more beneficial for them."

Opinion pieces/press releases/letters/etc.

Photos of Freedom Flotilla at

Contesting Melanesia: The  summit and dialogue

Diocesan priests voice concern over injustices in Papua

Sapariah Saturi and Agapitus Batbual 

The article includes video footage and photos
Talk About It: Five key things to know about West Papua

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