Saturday, January 2, 2016

Summary of events in West Papua for December 2015

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

                Happy New Year/ Selamat Tahun Baru to all our supporters

                     Summary of events in West Papua for December 2015

West Papuan National Flag Day
In the lead up to the 54th anniversary of West Papuan National flag day (the Morning Star flag was flown officially for the first time on the 1st of December in 1961), the security forces intimidated civilians and civil society groups in West Papua hoping to create fear in any groups that might be preparing to celebrate the 1st December. 17 people were arrested in Nabire on the 28 November 
while preparing an area for a rally on Dec 1st.  On the 30th November the military intimidated residents who live in the district Aifat Aimas. The presence of military in the Aimas district caused fear in the local people with some residents leaving.

Yapen Island
We are continuously told by governments how the human rights situation in West Papua is improving. However, (just one year after the Paniai massacre) as villagers were peacefully commemorating the 54th Anniversary of West Papua National Day the Indonesian security forces arrived and opened fire at the villagers. 2 were shot dead, 2 more tortured to death and 8 others injured. Full report at

In Jakarta at least 306 Papuan students were arrested by the Police.

                                     Student were detained at Polda Metro Jaya – Jubi  (2 Dec.)

Despite the rally being legitimate and peaceful the police claimed it was illegal and that they had acted to maintain public order. Hundreds of AMP (Papua Students Alliance) members and approximately 400 police were involved in the clashes after the police tried to disperse the crowd using tear gas. The Jakarta Post reported that before the clash the AMP had planned to stage a two-part rally, to deliver four demands to the government. According to AMP spokesman Abby Douw, the rally members called for the government to hold a referendum on independence for Papua. They also demanded the government shut down all multinational corporations that cause environmental damage to Papuan land.  In addition, they wanted the government to recall all military forces from Papua, as well as disbanding all “politicized” government institutions such as the Special Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B). However, the first stage of the rally erupted in violence after the police forced the students to disperse, according to Muhamad Isnur, a lawyer from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) who gave legal counsel to the AMP during the rally.

The clash also prompted a strong protest from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) after the organization received a report that the police had assaulted and intimidated two foreign journalists from Australia’s ABC and Al-Jazeera. According to a press release from the AJI, the police beat the ABC’s Archicco Guiliano and grabbed a mobile phone belonging to Al-Jazeera’s Stephanie Vaessen because they were recording the authorities dispersing the rally. The AJI said the police had ordered the journalists to delete the recordings.
The Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers) also has expressed concern over frequent incidences of violence against journalists, including the incident on Tuesday during the AMP rally at the Hotel Indonesia (HI) traffic circle on Jl. Thamrin in Central Jakarta.
"During the past two months, there have been at least three cases of camera seizure and the erasing of photos by policemen," said Ade Wahyudin of LBH Pers' research and networking division during a media conference in Jakarta on Wednesday 2 December. Wahyudin also said that Article 18, paragraph 1 of Law No. 40/ 1999 on the press stipulated that anyone who intentionally prevented journalists from doing their job could face a two-year prison term or be fined Rp 500 million (US$36,224). Wahyudin said his institution therefore demanded that National Police chief. Gen. Badrodin Haiti instruct the Jakarta Police chief and the Papua Police chief to investigate police officers who prevented journalists from doing their job. He also called on the National Police Commission (Kompolnas) and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to conduct an independent investigation and announce its results to the public.

We are all aware how much the West Papuan people have suffered under Indonesian rule.  However in the past year the West Papuan people have also had many victories in their struggle for self-determination. From the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in Vanuatu in December 2014 to ULMWP’s achievement of gaining observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Another victory is West Papua is back on the agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and hopefully Jakarta will accept a request from the PIF leaders for a fact-finding mission to West Papua.  West Papua has been raised at the UN by various Pacific leaders and awareness throughout the Pacific has increased dramatically through the lobbying of governments in the region by West Papuan representatives, civil society organisations and church groups.  In fact, civil society organizations’ in the Pacific have committed to enthusiastically take up the fight for the people of West Papua. The issue is also being raised around the world by solidarity groups and individuals too numerous to mention. Photos of the raising of the Morning Star on the 1st December from around the world indicate the support the West Papuan people have in their struggle.
The Australian Greens also moved a Senate motion marking the 54th Anniversary of the raising of the Morning Star flag  (although denied).

Australia hosted the third Australia-Indonesia Foreign and Defence Ministers Dialogue in Sydney
Australia hosted the third Australia-Indonesia Foreign and Defence Ministers 2+2 Dialogue in Sydney on Monday, Dec. 21. Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu used the meeting in Australia as an opportunity to warn other countries to not become involved in the long-running Papua independence campaign and to respect the sovereignty of Indonesia (Jakarta Globe 21/12). Ryamizard was quizzed on the issue on Monday in Sydney after reports that international NGOs were forced to close Papua-based offices. “There are countries that are getting involved in the issue of Papua,” he said in an address to Australian media, without pointing to specific countries. “The unitary Republic of Indonesia extends from Sabang [on the western tip of Sumatra] to Papua. There is no other solution, that’s the way it is,” he said. Ryamizard was joined in Sydney by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to meet with their Australian counterparts, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister Marise Payne, to discuss security issues and potential investment. Papua was addressed during the meeting and Bishop told media that Australia respects the sovereignty of Indonesia unconditionally. “On the issue of Papua, yes, that was part of our discussions. 

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported that later on Ryamizard clarified his comments, insisting he had not meant to attack Australia and pointing out that his counterpart Payne had emphasized Australia’s respect for Indonesia’s sovereignty. His remarks, he said, had been an expression of regret directed at Vanuatu, a Pacific nation that openly supports Papuan separatist movements. “Vanuatu persists in encouraging Melanesian people to reunite. That’s not right, and I disagree with it. This is a unitary nation,” the defense minister said. Pastor Allen Nafuki, who is the Chairman of Vanuatu Free West Papua Association (VFWPA) and Unification Committee said in the Daily Post (1 Jan) “Christian churches are the conscience of the nation, and therefore have the duty to be the voice of the voiceless and must continue to stand in solidarity with our Melanesian brothers and sisters in West Papua who are still under oppression, and are still living in the current environment which can only be described as one of institutionalized enslavement and suppression of human rights. “Indonesian Government must stop state killings and human rights abuses and brutality in West Papua,” said Pastor Allen Nafuki.

Amnesty International and KontraS wrote to the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Affairs concerning the Paniai incident which occurred on the 8 December 2014 “In this letter to the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Affairs, Amnesty International and KontraS (the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence) write with regards to the use of force by the Indonesian security forces that led to the death of four individuals and injuries to 17 others in Paniai, Papua province, almost a year ago. The organisations urge the Minister to take the lead to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and victims and their families provided with full reparation”. Amnesty International and KontraS called on the Minister to undertake the following steps as a matter of priority:
Take steps to ensure that Komnas HAM’s are provided with the necessary funds to complete its 
investigations and ensure that the findings of all investigations are made public; 

-Ensure that, if sufficient admissible evidence exists that members of the security are responsible 
for arbitrary or abusive use of force, including persons with command responsibility, they are prosecuted in civilian courts in proceedings which meet international fair trial standards, without recourse to the death penalty; 

-If violations are found to have been committed, ensure that victims, including families of those killed in such circumstances, are provided with full and effective reparation and steps must be taken to provide victims and witnesses adequate protection; 

-Conduct a thorough review of police or other law enforcement officials’ tactics and the use of force and firearms during arrest, with a view to ensuring that they meet international standards, in particular the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

News in brief

Three Officers Killed, Rifles Stolen in Attack on Papua Police Precinct
A group of armed men attacked the Sinak Police station, in Puncak Regency on Sunday 27 December, killing three personnel. The armed group also took a number of firearms and ammunition from the police station. According to reports the group that attacked the police station was led by Alegagak Murib and Kalenak Murib and assisted by the Aleka Telenggen group based in Yambi, Puncak Jaya regency. The Jakarta Post reported (30 Dec.) that the Papua Police have set up a joint team comprising police and military personnel to pursue perpetrators of the attack.  “A joint team comprising 50 Mobile Brigade [Brimob] and detective unit personnel has been dispatched to investigate and pursue the shooting perpetrators. Directly supported by commanders of military district commands, the Indonesian Military has also deployed personnel to search for the attackers and prevent such incidents from reocurring,” Papua Police spokesman Patrige Renwarin said.

TNI Officer Killed by Armed Civilian Group in Papua
The Jakarta Globe reported (1/12) that a TNI officer was shot on 30 November in Namuni Kampong. The military claim the shooting was by an armed Papuan civilian group known as Cosmas Makabori. Three officers were traveling by boat and came under attack immediately after disembarking. The surviving officers claimed they were surrounded by about 20 armed civilians who opened fire.

Victor Mambor Jubi Dec 02, 2015
Jayapura, Jubi –A lawyer for four activists of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Manokwari region, said the jail sentence of 1 year 6 months for them was too harsh because they simply expressed different views.
“Alexander Nekenem, Othen Gombo, Nopinus Humawak, Yoram Magay were convicted because of different views,” said lawyer Yan Christian Warinussy in a written statement received by Jubi in Jayapura on Monday (11/30/2015).
According to the Papuan human rights lawyer from the Institute for Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH) Manokwari, on Nov. 27, as the legal team received a copy of verdict number: 107 / Pid.B / 2015 / PN.Mnk on behalf of Alexander Dekenem et al. The letter stated that the defendants were sentenced to prison, each for one year and six months, with their time in custody deducted. Prosecutor Irna Indira Ruth sought two years imprisonment for them.
That ruling, the Warinussy is still waiting for an official copy of the decision of the Registrar Court of Manokwari, in order to learn the basic consideration of the judges who had declared the four defendants were found guilty so that sentenced them. According to the Secretary of the Regional Parliament, Rafael Natkime, the verdict will never confine their ideology.
“Be in Jail is one of the highest sacrifices for fighters,” he said.
He said four KNPB activists were detained on May 20, 2015 during a peaceful demonstration in Manokwari with three agendas, first, demanding the state to immediately open access to foreign journalists in Papua, according to a statement the president of Joko Widodo, second was to immediately open the democratic space for the people of West Papua. And the last was to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as representatives of Papuans in Melanesian Spread head Group (MSG). (Mawel Benny/ Tina)

Islands in focus: Stray bullet hits civilian in Wamena
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Sat, November 28 2015
JAYAPURA: A member of the military police in Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, Papua, is under investigation for allegedly shooting an 18-year-old student at an areca nut-eating party at the house of a local resident early on Friday.
The member, identified only as Pvt. FAN of the military police sub-detachment (Subdenpomdam) XVII – Wamena, allegedly took out his pistol and aimed at wood located some 5 meters away from him. Allegedly under influence of alcohol, he shot at the wood but the bullet passed through the wood and hit student Paskalis Marey on the back part of his waist.
“The victim is being treated at the Marthen Indey Hospital. He is conscious,” spokesperson for the Military Regional Command XVII/Cenderawasih, Col. Teguh Rahardjo, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
Teguh, however, denied that FAN was drunk and blamed the incident on the soldier’s negligence. He also said FAN was currently detained at the local military police (Pomdam) headquarters in Wamena.

Victor Mambor Des 07, 2015
Manokwari, Jubi – The number of HIV / AIDS cases in Manokwari, West Papua Province, continues to increase from year to year, said Program Manager Health Care Association of Manokwari Denny Nepa. “Manokwari Department of Health recorded, from 2002 to 2015 the HIV-Aids cases continues to increase, between eight to164 cases per year,” said Denny in Manokwari on last week. This year, HIV / AIDS cases in Manokwari reached 1,183 cases, an increase of 113 cases from last year’s 1,070 cases.“Of the 1,183 cases, 628 cases of which have been positively identified as AIDS,” he said. He further said this cases like an iceberg phenomenon with a number ratio of 1: 100, in which the cases have a tendency to pass the virus to 100 people. “If the current number is1,183 cases, how many thousands of people who may have been infected, and it is they who have not been identified,” he said. He also mentioned that until now the profession housewife is still ranked first from other professions with 325 cases where 179 of which are already suffering from AIDS, and the rest is HIV. He added, this cases also are experienced by children under one year to 14 years. As many as 15 children infected, six of them living with HIV and the other nine are already infected with AIDS. “23 children, aged one to four years old are living with HIV- Aids, 16 of whom are already infected with AIDS. While, eight children aged 5 to 14 years old have infected with AIDS,” he said. This case is also experienced by a group of Civil Servants, members of the military and police, commercial sex workers (CSW), the private sector, labor, and student. “There are 150 civil servants infected, seven military, eight police,154 commercial sex workers, 75 private employees, 70 workers, 37 students, 40 college students and other 317 cases,” said Denny. “If all the people in Manokwari willing to check up, surely we will find how high incidence of HIV / AIDS in this region,” he said again. (*/ Tina)

3,000 Papuans to get PNG citizenship
Papua New Guinea's deputy chief migration officer says processes are underway to grant citizenship to about 3,000 West Papuan refugees. Esther Gaegamin says there are about 3,000 West Papuan refugees in camps in the Western Province, near the Indonesian border, that have been registered with the government. She says most of them are qualified for PNG citizenship and her office has commenced a registration and naturalisation project with them. Ms Gaegamin told the newspaper, The National, that some of the West Papuans have been in PNG for decades and it's appropriate that they are given a home and legal rights. RNZI 14 Dec 2015

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the province is facing a big challenge to improve education, a main indicator human development.
The average length of school participation in Papua is at 6.87 and the literacy rate is 75.92, he said. “Most of those indicators are under the national average and MDG’s standard,” Enembe said in Jayapura on Monday (14/12/2015). Thus, Enembe said, the challenge of Papua to realize the basic and qualified education service in the future is so huge. “It needs a breakthrough, big innovation and enormous creativity for the development acceleration in education sector,” he said. Breakthroughs are being made to address the problem of limited infrastructures, teachers’ high absenteeism, lack of teachers especially in rural and remote areas, books and library facilities as well as appropriate school laboratories. The additional challenge are local custom that Papuans are still not yet consider the importance of education for their children and other issues that contribute to disappearance of basic and qualified education services.
He explained the latest statistic data (Statistic Bureau, 2014) indicates the Papua Province as the province with lowest rate of the human development index in Indonesia, which is at 66.25 (Statistic Bureau, 2013). “It is still outranged from the average national HDI, that is 73.29 (Statistic Bureau, 2012),” Enembe said.
According to him there are four elements constructing the human development index, those are the average length of school participation, life expectancy and purchasing power. “When refer to it, the four elements of HDI are very closely with the development in education and health sectors, both directly or indirectly,” said Enembe. He added with public service improvement in education sector, especially in terms of access, the literacy rate and average length of school participation could be improved. (Alexander Loen/rom)

Government open to holding dialog with anyone: President Jokowi
Rabu, 30 Desember 2015 17:47 WIB 
Wamena, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Indonesia government is open to holding a dialog with anyone in the context of development, including in Papua, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated here on Wednesday. 
 "From the onset, I have no problem in holding a dialog with anyone in the context of development," the head of state remarked after dedicating and inspecting the district government offices in Jayawijaya. He said dialog had also been initiated to settle the problems in Aceh. While referring to groups conducting violence, the president said he had ordered security agencies to take firm action. In the context of dividing the Papua province, the president said he had received inputs from various parties on the matter.  "I have to discuss with various parties first, including with the governor here (about it)," he noted. On the issue of limited supply of electricity and internet services, the president remarked that similar complaints had also been received from other regions. "This is our task. We must build a power plant, and it takes three to four years to realize it," he affirmed. The head of state remarked that by undertaking frequent visits to Papua, he would be able to gain a better understanding of the problems being faced by the people in the region, such as limited infrastructure that had caused the prices of commodities, such as cement, rice, and fuel oils to increase. "With adequate infrastructure, it is hoped that the prices of cement and fuel oils would drop by 50 percent from the current rates," he emphasized. He remarked that the extension of the runway at the Wamena Airport would make it possible for bigger aircraft to land and help to boost the regions economy. "The facilities at Merauke Port also need to be upgraded along with increasing the number of cranes and extending the pier. The work on these facilities will all be completed next year," he affirmed. The president said if the infrastructure such as the roads and ports are good, the economy in Papua would grow faster, while the distribution of logistics as well as the flow of goods and passengers would improve. (Reporting by Agus Salim/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

Indonesian President visits West Papua
The Indonesian president Joko Widodo spent the end of year on a 3-day tour of West Papua. He promised major infrastructure plans for Papua during his tour saying by 2018 all regencies will have proper roads.

Jayapura, Jubi – Human rights activists said President Joko Widodo has not been able to resolve cases of human rights violations in Papua a year after he took officer.  Acts of violence by security forces are still happening in Papua, said the Coordinator of Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violation in Papua (SKP HAM Papua), Penehas Lokbere. SKP HAM Papua said it recorded 11 incidents of violence that occurred after Jokowi assumed office, killing ten people and injuring 39.
Security forces arrested at least 268 people, Lokbere said during peace rally to commemorate the International Human Rights Day in front of the Papua’s Parliament office, Jayapura City on Thursday (10/12/2015).

In front of hundreds of crowd, Lokbere revealed the list of violence that occurred in Papua since November 2014:
1.  1 December 2015, shooting incident occurred in Serui, 1 dead, 1 in critical condition at hospital, up date condition of 2 victims has not clarified yet.
2.  8 October 2015, dissolution over peace rally in front of the Catholic Church Gembala Baik Abepura held by SKP HAM Papua. 18 were arrested.
3.  09 October 2015, three KNPB activists were arrested in Sentani.
4.  28 September 2015, shooting incident occurred in Mimika, 1 dead, 2 injured.
5.  28 August 2015, shooting incident occurred in Mimika, 1 dead, 4 injured.
6.  17 July 2015, shooting incident occurred in Tolikara, 1 dead, 11 injured.
7.  25 June 2015, shooting incident occurred in Dogiyai, 1 dead, 1 in critical condition.
8.  22 June 2015, 14 members of Student Independent Forum were arrested in Jayapura.
9.  28 May 2015, 47 KNPB members were arrested in Jayapura.
10. 21 May 2015, dissolution over peace rally in Biak, 25 arrested.
11. 20 May 2015, KNPB activists were arrested in Biak.
12. 30 April to 1 May 2015, the arrest against 178 Pro-Democracy activists.
13. 14 April 2015, the arrest against 4 delegations of Papua Independent Committee.
14. 08 March 2015, shooting incident occurred in Yahukimo, 1 dead, 5 injured and 11 arrested.
15. 08 December 2015, shooing incident occurred in Paniai, 5 dead (4 high school students and 1 civilian), 17 injured.
16. 19 November 2014, the arrest against 8 KNPB activists in Nabire.

“The data shows that the Jokowi’s government is still carrying the security approach in tackling the situation in Papua. It indicates the new ruler is making the same mistake of former SBY’s administration for a decade. The promise to build the peace dialogue between Jakarta and Papua and to realize the Peace Papua is nonsense that merely used as the polish imagery tool,” said Lokbere.
With many actors involving in security situation in Papua, instead of protecting the civilians, the fact is they used their power and improper discretion excessively.
In order to materialize peace dialogue that he promised during the presidential election campaign, Jokowi’s Government must take a promptly action in tackling the violence and human rights violation issues given those could not only resolved through a promise but clear instruction towards the State’s instrument to act.

Pastor of St. John and Peter Parish of Jayapura Diocese, Father Paulus Tumayong read the joint statement before hundreds of crowd and parliament’s members. “We are from Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violation in Papua (consisting of SKPKC Franciscan Papua, BUK-Papua, KontraS Papua, FIM, FPP, AMPTPI, PMKRI, GMKI, Catholic Youth, SEMA STFT Fajar Timur, BEM USTJ, BEM Uncen, Gempar, KPKC Kingmi Papua, KPKC GKI, and Marinus Yaung (Academician of Cenderawasih University Papua), urge the President of the Republic of Indonesia to fulfill his promise to Papuans as stated in the National Christmas Celebration event on 27 December 2014 at Mandala Stadium, Jayapura to solve the human rights violation case occurred in Paniai, 8 December 2014. The President of the Republic of Indonesia to immediately instruct the National Human Rights Commission to endorse the Human Rights Investigation Team to lead the legal process against the shooting perpetrators in Paniai,” said Father Tumayong getting applause from the crowd.
He said the Indonesian Government must immediately open the space of democracy for Papuans and open the access for international media to come in Papua. “Papua Legislative Council to escort the Ad Hoc team that already formed on 15 October 2015 to work in revealing the shooting perpetrators in Paniai on 8 December 2014,” he said. He further said the parliament also must immediately invite the Papua Police Chief and Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander to conduct an official evaluation on the security situation in Papua and to terminate the impunity of security forces who commit the human rights violation in Papua. (Abeth You/rom)

Armed groups stole 32 firearms from police
Jumat, 1 Januari 2016 
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - Armed groups in the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua have stolen 32 firearms of different types from the police in 2014 and 2015, a senior police officer stated. The firearms included 10 AKs, 15 SS 1s, and five pistols, Chief of the Papua Provincial Police Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw stated on Friday. Most of the weapons were taken away from police officers stationed in the provinces hinterland, he remarked. While the number of attacks on police posts has declined, the number of firearms stolen by armed groups was on the rise, he pointed out. Late last year, a group of unidentified people attacked the Sinak police precinct in the province, killing three police officers and leaving two others injured.   The attackers also took away seven firearms of different types and several rounds of ammunition.(*)

Papuan children's deaths due to virus and bacteria
Researchers say respiratory bacteria and a mosquito-borne virus caused the death of dozens of children in Indonesia's Papua region last month.

The Papua Health Office announced in November that 41 children died in Nduga regency from an unidentified disease. The Jakarta Post reports tests on samples taken from the victims showed that the respiratory bacteria, pneumococcus, and Japanese encephalitis were spreading in the area. Health authorities sent teams of doctors, nurses and researchers to investigate the deaths of the children, who were mostly under the age of two. The researchers say the Japanese encephalitis virus could be transferred from humans to animals or vice versa. People have been urged to keep their neighbourhoods clean to prevent mosquitos from breeding. RNZI 16 December

Opinion pieces/reports/books/press releases etc.

Punks for West Papua will be releasing their film on West Papua in mid January. Many people ask how can they help West Papua. A simple way is to download the video when released ($10). The funds raised are being generously donated to the West Papuan umbrella organisation, The ULMWP by the P4WP. In a series of nation wide gigs the Punks have already raised over $6000 for the ULMWP. When available the film can be downloaded at
  punks4westpapua.comBut further info will follow

New book. Merdeka & the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua: (Peace and Conflict Series) AUTHOR: MACLEOD, JASON

DFAT reply to AWPA letter

ICP Releases New Human Rights Report 2015

Human Rights Watch Report 
Something to Hide? Indonesia’s Restrictions on Media Freedom and Rights Monitoring in Papua

Merauke District Council and Indigenous People’s Association take issue with military working on one-million hectare rice estate

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