Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Summary of events in West Papua for September

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

Summary of events in West Papua for September  - (7 Oct.2015)

 Pacific Islands Forum
The 46th Pacific Islands Forum was held in Port Moresby during the week of the 7th- 11th September.  Civil society organizations and church groups in the region had written to the PIF leaders urging that West Papua be put back on the agenda at the PIF.  West Papuan representatives lobbied the PIF leaders on the issue urging that the PIF leaders go on a fact finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation in the territory.  The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor and the PIF leaders are to be congratulated for discussing the issue of West Papua at the Forum (a contentious issue for some of the leaders). The Indonesian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir tried to block West Papua being an issue at the PIF saying the PIF is not the place to discuss West Papuan issues. In an interview with regional journalist, Fachir says it is irrelevant to the main objective and the purpose of the establishment of the PIF.  However, after an absence of nearly 10 years West Papua was back in the official communiqué. 

From PIF Communiqué in relation to West Papua (Papua)
16. Leaders recalled their decisions and concerns expressed at their meeting in 2006 about reports of violence in Papua, in which they also called on all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents in Papua and to work to address the root causes of such conflicts by peaceful means.
17. Leaders recognised Indonesia’s sovereignty over the Papuan provinces but noted concerns about the human rights situation, calling on all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents in Papua. Leaders requested the Forum Chair to convey the views of the Forum to the Indonesian Government, and to consult on a fact-finding mission to discuss the situation in Papua with the parties involved. The full PIF Communiqué at

The Pacific leaders and in particular the MSG leaders have put West Papua on the agenda in international fora. The Solomon Islands and Tongan Prime Ministers raised the human rights situation in West Papua at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare said
"All states have a legal duty and moral responsibility to uphold, respect and promote human rights and where necessary take preventive, protective and punitive measures against human rights abuses or violations in accordance with the UN Charter and applicable international laws,” and  “Against the foregoing backdrop, the General Assembly is well aware of the continuing concerns of human rights violations in the Papua and West Papua regions of Indonesia and Solomon Islands further calls on the Geneva based Human Rights Council to do more in investigating and monitoring of allegations of human rights abuse and violence on the ethnic Melanesians there. "

Tonga's Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva also told the UN general assembly that the world community has a moral obligation to get involved. “United Nations has a duty to closely follow up this West Papua case and necessary action be taken to stop these brutal and inhumane activities.”
RNZI reported that the Solomon Islands prime minister also called on France to implement the decolonisation process for French Polynesia approved by the United Nations two years ago. In 2013, the General Assembly voted for a resolution sponsored by Solomon Islands to re-inscribe the territory on the UN decolonisation list but Paris has all but ignored the decision. France has said it won’t buy into the UN decolonisation process and also ruled out holding an immediate independence referendum as requested by the territorial assembly. Speaking at the UN in New York, Mr Sogavare has urged France to change. "Solomon Islands calls on the administrating power to fully co-operate with the work of the special committee. We note that 30 years of nuclear testing by the administrating power caused widespread atomic radiation and has resulted in considerable health and environmental concern."

Shooting in Timika
Two high school students were shot by the Indonesian security forces in Timika on Monday the 28 September. The incident occurred around 19.30hrs. 

Caleb Bagau, aged 18, died while his friend Efrando Sabarofek, aged 17, was wounded in the chest and legs. At approximately 19.00hrs while the students were sitting in a market culvert with their school friends, dozens of police officers armed with weapons and cars surrounded the area. 

Because they were afraid the two students ran, however the police shot in their direction killing Caleb Bagau and wounding Elfrando who was shot in the chest and leg. 

The family, local community and religious leaders condemned the shootings as did 
overseas NGOs. AWPA release at First reports were a bit unclear on how the incident occurred however West Papua Media released an updated report on the incident at The police chief, Inspector General (Pol) Paul Waterpauw apologised and admitted the incident but tried to claim the shooting was in self-defense. 

The families of the students rejected the apology from the Chief of Police.

Information spread by BIN about Warinussy is utterly ridiculous
Received from Yan Christian Warinussy on 22 September 2015
Today when I arrived home late in the afternoon, I discovered a registration list produced by BIN, the State Intelligence Agency of the Republic of Indonesia written on blue-coloured paper with the heading ‘Religious/Traditional Leaders'. It consisted of eight columns with personal information about me and my family.   I have no idea where these BIN people got this information from which, I have to say, is completely wrong. For example, the document had the wrong information for the day of my birth. The information about my wife, the place and date of her birth was also wrong. . Moreover the names of my children were wrong, It was stated that I had been calling for a referendum to be held in the Land of Papua???? where ??? when ???? how????  In another column  it was stated that I had a close relationship with separatists at home and abroad. I have no idea what was meant by the word 'relationship'.  Another of my ‘weaknesses' according to BIN is that I frequently defend separatists. So I have to ask myself why is this a weakness?. So what is my duty as a lawyer in accordance with Law 18/2003? Does this mean that I am not allowed to defend activists here in the Land of Papua?  It was also completely wrong to say that I am receiving wages from the local government. When is that supposed to have happened?   I have no idea where they got all this information from. They also wrote that I had on some previous occasion helped tourists to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I simply do not understand what on earth this is all about. I have never been on such a pilgrimage.  This is quite clear because I am not a Church leader. This is all utter nonsense Peace! Yan Christian Warinussy. [Translated by Carmel Budiardjo with my sincere apologies to Yan Christian Warinussy for not earlier circulating a translation of this important.statement]

Police Officers Shot by Air Force Troops in Papua
Jakarta globe By : Banjir Ambarita | October 02, 2015
Jayapura, Papua. Indonesian Air Force personnel in the early hours of Friday accidentally shot two police officers at Jayapura's Sentani Airport while trying to disband a group of intruders. Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said the incident happened at around 2.30 a.m. local time, when a group of people, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, was found damaging facilities at the airport. The two police officers arrived to intervene, but then suddenly members of the Air Force's Special Forces unit (Paskhas) opened fire, injuring the police officers. First Brig. Riqzan and First Brig. Wahidin, who were wearing their uniforms, had reportedly tried to let the Air Force troops know they were police officers, but to no avail. Riqzan was shot in his left thigh while Wahidin was shot in the back of his head. Both men survived the shooting, and were taken to the police hospital in Jayapura, Paulus said. “The Paskhas [troops] saw the incident and they tried to stop it. It was very dark because it was late at night. We only found out that police officers were shot when it was over,” the commander of the Jayapura Air Base at Sentani Airport, Col. Purwoko Aji, said on Friday. In a press conference on Friday, police chief Paulus confirmed that the shooting was an accident and that he would leave the investigation to the Air Force. The Indonesian Military (TNI) and the police have in recent years had a series of violent -- and sometimes deadly -- confrontations in various parts of the country, often as part of turf wars.

News in brief
Human Rights Activist Urges Troop Pullout from Papua
Semarang, Jubi – A Papuan human rights activist, Yones Douw, urged the central government to withdraw troops from Papua. He said he was very disappointed with a series of attacks against civilians in Papua, such as the shooting in Timika last August, the shooting in Paniai in December 2014 and the shooting of two vocational school students in Timika on Monday night, 28 September 2015 at around 19:00 pm. “The actions of security forces were very inhumane. It caused one person, named Kaleb Zera Bagau (18) died and Efrando Sabarofek (17) badly injured and now in the hospital. The character of law enforcement officials, especially the police and Task Forces (TNI) lately showed their misbehavior. I as observers and human rights activists in Papua condemned the perpetrators, ” said Yones when contacting Jubi, on Tuesday (09/29/2015). “We, Papuans continue to be killed and we are like animal in the eyes of Indonesia. I demand President Jokowi to pull out the military from Papua because there is no benefit at all for Papua,” he said. Member of Papua Legislative Council, Laurenzus Kadepa to Jubi said, it seems like military and police officials in Papua are racing to kill Papuans. ” Military and police are in a race to kill Papuan people like a hunted animal. Last time two military members shot two Kamoro people in Koperapoka, Timika. And then the police shot two vocational school students in Timika. The shooting of two students was happening at Gorong – Gorong market in Timika, Papua, ” said Kadepa. (Arnold Belau/ Tina) (Jubi September 30 2015_

West Papuan leader denied PNG visa again
The West Papua independence activist, Benny Wenda, has been denied entry into Papua New Guinea. Mr Wenda was invited to Port Moresby by the city's governor, Powes Parkop, to attend a conference and other events, including next week's Pacific Islands Forum Summit. But he says his visa application was denied with no explanation, and his lawyers say there was nothing wrong with the application. The denial follows Mr Wenda's deportation from PNG last year when it emerged he did not have a required visa. Mr Wenda says he received assurances he was clear to enter PNG again, but he suspects he may be on some immigration blacklist.” The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has already stated in a media interview that 'if Benny applied for a visa, he's free to come in'. So I tried to apply for a visa to enter the country, but again [I was] rejected for the second time. So I don't know whether it's a country decision to not allow me to enter."  A call has been made to Papua New Guinea's Immigration Department, but they are yet to respond. (RNZI 4 Sept.) 

Trans-Papuan road to be constructed
Officials in Indonesia's Papua province have indicated that around US$70 million is being made available for an initial phase of the construction of the Trans Papua road. The road, for which planning has been at the conceptual phase for years, would link a number of regions and hubs in Papua, including Sorong, Manokwari, Nabire, Enarotali, Korowai and Merauke. It will be around 4,325 kilometres long. Tabloid Jubi reports that the road has become a major priority for Papua and West Papua provinces, according to the Head of the Roads and Bridges in Papua, Oesman Marbun. Mr Marbun says that construction of the road must contend with rugged, mountainous, and heavily forested terrain but that engineers would figure out the most direct paths. He conceded the most fundamental problem for the planned highway was securing consent for construction where customary land rights must be adhered to. Mr Marbun said local government would therefore play a role in addressing related issues, in order for the road to proceed. (RNZI 9 Sept.)

Minister Marwan Contradicts Jokowi, Call Merauke is the “Heaven for Trans-Migrants”  (Jubi 11 Sept)
Jayapura, Jubi – Indonesian Minister of Rural and Underdeveloped Region and Transmigration, Marwan Jafar, contradicted President Joko Widodo’s pledge to terminate the transmigration program in Papua. Despite giving support to Jokowi’s statement, the minister said he would expand the program of transmigration in Papua. In an interview in Jakarta on last week, he said the current program is intended to move residents from densely populated areas to less-populated ones. Those people also would be provided with cash and land property if they “succeed” in Merauke. “Merauke could be considered as the borderland area that was succeed in executing the transmigration program and development of farming area in the eastern Indonesia,” said the minister to reporters in Jakarta as cited by Jakarta Globe. He further said Merauke is the “heaven for trans-migrants”. He predicted about 275 thousand people have moved to Merauke since the annexation over West Papua by Indonesia in 1969. Those migrants were often said to harm the indigenous people. They were accused ignoring the sense, habitude and tradition of the indigenous people, destroying the environment and taking the economic opportunity of indigenous people. In the meeting with public figures in Jakarta on last week, Jokowi renounced that his government will terminate the transmigration program to Papua. “The government will end the transmigration to Papua because it has caused social gaps,” through the statement conveyed by the President Spokesperson, Teten Masduki. The president, Teten said, has asked the Papua Governor to terminate the transmigration program. However, the Minister Marwan Jafar seems not paying attention to Jokowi’s statement. He said the transmigration program will accelerate the production as well to support the government’s plan to develop 1.2 million hectares of rice field in Merauke under the Merauke Integrated Rice Estate (MIRE) Project. “If the program is succeed, will bring more benefits for this district,” he said. (Victor Mambor/rom)

Violence, Arrests Fail to Extinguish Separatism
(Jubi Sept 24, 2015) Jayapura, Jubi – Violence and arrests targeting activists and those accused of being members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) have failed to extinguish the issue of separatism, a councilor said. A member of Commission I of Papua Legislative Council for Politic, Government, Law and Human Right Affairs, Laurenzus Kadepa, said the government should adopt a humane approach instead of militarism towards the people of Papua. He said in order to restore the people’s trust; the government must dare admit mistakes in Papua in the past, because it has become a worldwide issue.
“The arrests and shootings against the activists or those accused of being OPM members have strengthened the movement for a free Papua. I speak from the humane side, not representing those who support Indonesia or a free Papua. Too many lives have been taken due to conflicts of interests,” Kadepa told Jubi by phone on Wednesday (23/9/2015). In addition, he said, the regional authorities and Military/Police leaders should act as Statesmen. They must prioritize the public interest than personal or group interest. Do not let personal interest give a negative impact on the country.
“For example, logging business and so on. It’s not possible if there are culprits involved or standing behind the logging businessmen. This is an example of personal interest, but affecting the country,” he said. In the last mid-September, Papua legislator who also the Chairman of Coordination Forum of Indonesian Retired Military Personnel Youngsters, Yan Ayomi, said currently it is no need to talk about Free Papua. The people of Papua must think about how to attach the attention of Central Government to improve Papua through Special Autonomy funds. “Papuans must have a dream that one day they could lead this country. Now forget the thought of being ‘independence’,” Ayomi said at that time. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

Soldier Killed in Jayapura Stabbing Incident
Jakarta Globe By : Banjir Ambarita September 16, 2015
Jayapura. Security forces in Jayapura have launched a manhunt for an unknown assailant who stabbed to death a soldier outside the main military base in the Papuan capital in the early hours of Wednesday. The incident occurred at around 1:25 a.m. as the soldier, identified as Master Pvt. Langgeng, was carrying out a routine patrol of the base’s perimeter. A lone assailant is believed to have jumped him and stabbed him repeatedly with a knife, just 300 meters from the base’s main guard post, out of sight of the other soldiers gathered there. The assailant fled into the dense residential area behind the base, according to Lt. Col. Teguh Pudji Raharjo, a spokesman for the base. “We can confirm that there has been a stabbing against a member of the Jayapura military base that left the victim dead,” he told the Jakarta Globe. “There were a number of other soldiers on duty at the guard post, but because the incident took place some 300 meters away, the assailant was able to get away.” Teguh said the military and police had launched a joint force to hunt down the perpetrator. He refused to speculate on the identity of the perpetrator. Similar attacks on the armed forces in Papua have typically been blamed on separatists, who have been waging a low-level insurgency since the 1960s.

One Resident Shot Near Indonesia-Papua New Guinea Border
TEMPO.CO, Jayapura - A resident of Skopron, Keerom Regency, Papua, was shot by an unidentified person near the Indonesian border with Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Wednesday, September 9, around 10 am local time (1 am GMT) Keerom Police Grand Commissioner Adjutant (AKBP) Tober Sirait told Antara that the victim was shot while cutting wood in the forest area of Kampung Skopron, Keerom, about an hour away by road towards PNG. The shooting victim had been
taken to the hospital in Arso, Keerom, and according to police was headed to the scene to investigate the shooting. "I have not received a report about a complete chronological and identity of the victims,” said Tober Sirait. ANTARA (9 SEPTEMBER 2015)

Papuan Muslims Celebrate Eid With Stone Burning Festival
Tempo. 24 Sept. 2015. TEMPO.COJayapura - Muslim community in Wamena, North Jayapura District, Papua, held an age old Papuan stone burning (bakar batu) festival to celebrate Eid al-Adha. "Our tradition is bakar batu, both during last Eid ul-Fitri. This practice is not new, we conduct it every year,” said Kahar Yalipele, the local Muslim community leader, in Jayapura on Thursday, September 24. Bakar batu is part of tradition of the Papuan people. It is a ritual of cooking together, started by burning stones until it simmers. Red hot stones then laid in a hole and covered with foliage and tubers and meat on it. The pile of meat and tuber will then be covered again with smoldering rocks and foliage. Kahar explained, Papuans are generally used to burn pig but the Muslim community replace it with chicken. He also explained that this year's Eid ul-Adha, the Jayapura Municipal Government donated a cow to Paradise Asso Mushalla, their place of worship. "We will distribute these sacrificial animals to the those in need,” he said. ANTARA

s few times ago. “PNG must reveal who did it, as well as Indonesia,” he told Jubi on Sunday (20/9/2015). He further said public in Indonesia, in particular in Papua are already assuming. And the hostage over two Indonesian citizens gives an impress of being plotted. “Public are already assuming that it’s been plotted, since within this month, both countries are facing the recommendation of Pacific Islands Forum about fact finding mission on human right violation in Papua and the supports on Papua issue to be submitted to Commission 24 about decolonization in the UN list,” said Erari who was also the former Chairman of PGI. (Arnold Belau/rom)

Military to Tighten Security on Border after Hostage-Taking Incident
Jubi SEPTEMBER 22, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi – The military will tighten security on the border with Papua New Guinea following the hostage taking of two Indonesians in the neighboring country, the regional military chief said. Relations between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea have been good and are getting better as demonstrated in efforts to rescue the hostage from armed men, Regional Commander XVII / Cenderawasih Maj Hinsa Siburian said on last week . “The border security will be tightened so that the similar incidents will not occur in the future. However, there will be no additional troops, ” Siburian said during an function to deploy Special Forces Command in Rindam. He said besides tightening the security at the border, the territorial approach will be also improved by urging the community in order to increase its own security in the region. Related to the process of the release of the two hostages without any request on the part of the perpetrator, military commander said, in an effort to free hostages are always put forward a persuasive approach but also prepared other alternatives. Earlier, head of Border and Foreign Cooperation Relations Papua, Susana Wanggai said the acquisition process by means of persuasive conducted by the Army PNG against the perpetrator. “For that, of course we will maintain this relationship. As proof we have the same look that the liberation efforts and negotiations went well. The most important is the two of our citizens in good shape and healthy, “she said. (Roy Ratumakin/ Tina)

Government Signals to Extend Freeport Deal
TEMPO.COJakarta - Energy and Mineral Resource Minister Sudirman Said said Monday, September 21, he supports PT Freeport Indonesia’s step to continue investing in the country. The government is seeking a way so that a decision can be taken without violating regulations and without causing turmoil in society. “What is most needed and awaited by Freeport is the decision on the investment which we have not currently decided due to the constraint of Government Regulation,” Sudirman said when visiting Freeport mine on Monday. The regulation referred by Sudirman is Government Regulation No.77 Year 2014 that regulates the quickest time limit for contract extension is two years and no later than six months before the deal expires.   Evidently, in the temporary study by the ministry, the time hampers investment, especially the ones with great value including Freeport’s underground mining. This revision of the regulation is included in the Energy and Mineral Resource version of economic policy package. The changes plans to extend the deadline contract of mineral metal mines to become 10 years at the longest and two years at the quickest. Meanwhile non-metal minerals deals will be five years at the quickest and two years at the latest. After 30 years, Freeport contract will expire in 2021. Its the second agreement since the company first operated in Indonesia in 1967. Freeport is currently building a processing and refining facility, as set in the Constitution No.4 Year 2009 on Mineral and Coal. The company based in United States (US) has also confirmed its capability to switch cooperation plans from Work Contract to Special Construction Permit. Sudirman said his effort is backed by President Joko Widodo. “Freeport is not an exception, Freeport must be supported in order for its operation to continue,” he said. ROBBY IRFANY (Tempo  21 Sept. 2015)

Police Arrest Two KNPB Activists in Yahukimo
Yogyakarta, Jubi – Two activists of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Hariel Luluk and Arpius Magayong, were arrested by the local police in Yahukimo while distributing flyers announcing the results of the Pacific Islands Forum meeting on the West Papua issue. The chairman of KNPB in Yahukimo, Erius Suhun, said armed police officers in a patrol car came, stopped in front of a store and immediately arrested the two activists who were distributing the flyers. Then both were taken to the local police station. “But, when we went to the police station and talked with the officers, they had been released since this afternoon. They were beaten by the police but currently they are already with us,” Suhun said on Wednesday (16/9/2015). The Central KNPB spokesperson Bazoka Logo confirmed to Jubi about the arrest of their two activists in Yahukimo. He said the political matter of the Papuan people is not final yet. Papua issue is currently being worldwide. “Now, we warned the police to behave and maintain their attitude. Because the Papua issue is not merely a domestic matter but also get attention from the worldwide,” he said. Meanwhile, the Papua Police spokesperson Senior Commissionaire Patrige Renwarin has not yet being confirm. (Arnold Belau/rom) (Jubi Sept.18 2015)

Comments/opinion pieces/press releases/reports etc.

ULMWP Acknowledges Pacific Leaders for Supporting West Papua Aspirations at UN

West Papuan teenager beaten, tortured and electrocuted by the Indonesian police

Papua now on Pacific radar

Native Affairs – Inside West Papua – Part 1
 Part 2

Search for truth continues 50 years after Indonesias purge

Indigenous Communities and Biodiversity

Aust/NZ should support a fact-finding mission to West Papuan 

Indonesian food project violates local rights: activists

Maire Leadbeater: A glimmer of hope for West Papua?


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