Wednesday, June 1, 2016

1) Can Jokowi assuage Papuan woes?

2) Indonesia: Police Block Pro-Papuan Independence Rallies, Detain Protesters

3) Freeport Acts as State within State, says Parliament Chairman Deputy

4) Police Still Discriminate Against Papuans, Activist Says

5) Jakarta’s Stand on West Papua Questioned


1) Can Jokowi assuage Papuan woes?

Devina Heriyanto The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, June 1 2016 | 12:39 pm

Papuans hold a rally on Tuesday demanding that the Indonesian government accommodate their aspiration for self-determination. (JP/Exclusive)

Papua is apparently special for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. During his presidential campaign, Jokowi pledged to bring about justice for past human rights violations in the restive region. While previous government administrations have been accused of ignoring Papua’s problems and of being solely interested in the region’s wealth of natural resources, Jokowi has visited the easternmost region four times since he took office to ensure that development projects, such as airports and rice estates, are being properly implemented.
Jokowi has also pledged to step up efforts to develop the region and has asked the military and the police to put an end to the cycle of violence there by adopting a softer approach.
However, doubts still linger over whether the President can ensure that central and local bureaucrats implement his commitments to the region, which, despite its abundant natural resources, remains one of the poorest in the nation.
Violence is a common occurrence in Papua, and most cases go unresolved.  A recent study by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences ( LIPI ) predicts that violence will continue to dog Papua unless the government takes immediate steps to better coordinate its security forces in the region and to involve native communities in policy-making.
The latest flare-up of violence in early May, involving the arrests of more than 1,000 Papuan protesters by the police, underlines the serious doubts as to whether President Jokowi’s administration has all it takes to get to the root of Papua’s arch problems. 
May 31, 2016
More than 300 Papuans are arrested in cities including Wamena, Sentani and Manado, according to the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute ( LBH Jakarta ), after the West Papua National Committee organizes a rally calling for the release of political prisoners and support for West Papua self-determination.
May 20, 2016
A rights activist named Robert Jitmau is hit by a car. Robert had fought for Mama-Mama Market for 13 years. Representatives from the National Commission on Human Rights in Papua ( Komnas HAM Papua ) demand a thorough investigation into his death.
May 2, 2016
More than 1,600 activists are detained following a proreferendum group rally in various cities in Indonesia. According to LBH Jakarta, 1,449 activists were detained in Jayapura, 118 in Merauke, 45 in Semarang, 42 in Makassar, 29 in Fakfak, 27 in Sorong and 14 others in Wamenaon Monday. Taking previous arrests in Merauke ( April 25 ), Jayapura ( April 30 ), Wamena and Merauke ( May 1 ) into account, 1,839 Papua activists have been detained since April.
March 15, 2016
An armed group shoots dead four employees of PT Modern constructing a highway connecting Sinak district, Puncak regency and Mulia district in Puncak Jaya regency, Papua.
Feb 3, 2016
Police confiscate hundreds of rounds of ammunition, firearms and explosives on a raid in two houses in Jayapura regency. The Free Papua Movement ( OPM ) denies ownership of these weapons and accuses the authorities of planting the arms.
Dec 27, 2015
A group of armed men attack Sinak Police station in Puncak regency, Papua, killing three police officers. It is reported that five Sinak Police officers were watching TV in a guardroom when around 25 armed civilians attacked the station.
Dec 1, 2015
Clashes break out between the Jakarta Police and the Papua Students Alliance ( AMP ) at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta during a rally demanding independence for West Papua. Hundreds of AMP members and 400 police officers are involved in the clashes after the police try to disperse the crowd using tear gas. The incident prompts a strong protest from the Alliance of Independent Journalists ( AJI ), which accuses the police of assaulting and intimidating two foreign journalists from Australia's ABC and Al-Jazeera.
November 30, 2015
A soldier is murdered by a group of people suspected of being part of an armed group in Namunaweja village in Mamberamo Tengah subdistrict. Maj. John De Fretes is shot dead by an armed group after visiting Namunaweja upon hearing that a military wing of the separatist Free Papua Movement ( OPM ) led by Cosmos Makabori had approached local villagers.
November 6, 2015
West Papua National Committee ( KNPB ) deputy chairman Agus Kossay and two other Papuans, Bano Kalaka and Nodi Hilka, are interrogated in connection with the arrival of French journalist Marie Dhumieres in Papua on Oct. 1.
August 27, 2015
August 23, 2015
May 28, 2015
Police in Jayapura arrest 47 people for gathering for a rally in support of Papua joining the Melanesian Spearhead Group ( MSG ), ending in a clash with security personnel. A police spokesperson states the protesters had no permit for the rally and were calling for independence from Indonesia, accusing them of contravening Article 160 of the Criminal Code on provocation.
Dec 8, 2014
A shooting in Enarotali in Paniai regency is the first conflict in Papua under Jokowi’s presidency.  Four civilians are reportedly shot and killed by a joint police and military force while 22 others are injured after a peaceful demonstration. Paniai Customary Council chief John Gobay accuses security officers of treating civilians as if they were members of the OPM.

2) Indonesia: Police Block Pro-Papuan Independence Rallies, Detain Protesters
Victor Mambor 2016-05-31 - Jayapura

Demonstrators give pro-independence speeches in a housing complex after police prevented them from heading 
to the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP) in Waena, Jayapura, May 31, 2016.  Victor 

After officers broke up demonstrations and detained scores of protesters, police in eastern Indonesia’s Papua and West Papua provinces said Tuesday they would prevent pro-independence activists from rallying again.
“Their aspiration is for Papua independence. [W]e told them that we will never accommodate that kind of aspiration,” Jeremias Rontini, the superintendent of police in the Papuan capital Jayapura, told BenarNews, adding that his officers would block locals from holding future rallies for independence from Indonesia.
Laurenzus Kadepa, a local lawmaker and member of the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP) who attended peaceful rallies organized in the region by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), said demonstrators should be allowed to voice their support for Papuan independence.
On Tuesday, police reportedly prevented a crowd from marching from a local housing complex to the DPRP.
“Police should know that DPRP belongs to the people, a home for everybody without exception,” Laurenzus told BenarNews.
As many as 336 demonstrators were detained in Sentani and Wamena – two towns in Papua – as well as in Manado, in North Sulawesi province, while demonstrating in favor of the release of political prisoners in Papua, the Associated Press reported.
A low-level secessionist movement has simmered in Papua and West Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces, which are among its poorest and least developed and which became part of Indonesia in 1969.
On May 2, some 1,700 supporters of the West Papua National Committee were arrested while taking part in pro-independence rallies at several locations in Papua. They were released after being questioned by police.
These demonstrations were broken up although Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had pledged to solve human rights abuses allegedly carried out in the region by the Indonesian security services and to bring prosperity to the people of Papua.
Since he took office in October 2014, Jokowi has made multiple visits to Papua and ordered the release of some political prisoners.
According to Ones Suhuniap, the general secretary of the KNPB, police on Tuesday arrested some of its members for planning peaceful demonstrations to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
“Police blocked us in a housing complex in Waena. There were five military trucks and three military patrol cars. Also, there were 15 police trucks and five police cars. Around 100 police and mobile brigade blocked our way to demonstrate,” Ones told BenarNews.
Police arrested 33 KNPB members in Sentani, a town near Jayapura, before the rally began, he said.
“Around 61 people were arrested in Wamena. Some of them were arrested yesterday, when they distributed fliers informing about the rally,” Ones said.
In Jakarta, the director of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute claimed that police had denied organizers of the KNPB rallied permits for staging them.
“Police’s decision not to give permit for a peaceful rally is uncommon. This proves that police or government discriminate against Papuans,” Alghiffari Aqsa told BenarNews, adding that Indonesia’s constitution guaranteed the right of people to associate, to organize and to express opinions.

3) Freeport Acts as State within State, says Parliament Chairman Deputy
31May 2016
Jakarta, Jubi – First Chairman Deputy of Papua Legislative Council Edoardus Kaiza accused PT. Freeport Indonesia of showing off its power by violating the local government’s regulations, in particular regarding tax.
“Freeport seems to act like it was a state. States are not allowed within in the Republic of Indonesia. United States of America can’t exist in here. All this time it seems it acts as if it were a state,” said Kaize when meeting with Commission XI of the Indonesian House of Representatives at the Indonesian Parliament Office last week.
According to him, one of evidences showed how arrogant the Freeport is when the Papua Provincial Government charged the company for water surface tax, it took it by suing the local government.
“Freeport should have good intention, it’s funny if it charge the government. The government provided permit for it to conduct the mining operation in the territory of the Republic Indonesia, in particular in Papua. Instead of paying the taxes, it charged or filed a legal action towards the government,” he said.
According to him, Freeport was not only sued the Papua Provincial Government but also the Indonesian Government. Papua is part of the Republic Indonesia; it couldn’t be separated. Therefore the Central Government couldn’t let it happened to the Papua Provincial Government.
“The Central Government shouldn’t remain silence but should provide intervention until the Court. If it not, it means the Central Government has done ignorance. We asked to the Comission XI of the Indonesian House of Representatives to provide support towards the Papua Provincial Government related to the case of government against Freeport,” he said.
Meanwhile the member of Special Committee on Freeport who also the Chairman of Asset and Revenue Working Committee of the Commission III of the Papua Legislative Council Carolus Kelen Bolly said it was described in the Freeport’s argument in the trial at the Tax Court, either visually or document based, the mining company was more referred to the Contract of Work. That’s their legal base.
“If the Contract of Work was used as reference, it means the legal order in this country would be corrupted. Is this Contract of Work more legitimated than the Law? The reference used by the Provincial Government to charge the water surface taxes is the Tax Law and Regional Regulation on Tax Legislation. The amount of outstanding taxes is high enough. Based on the count by the Regional Income and Revenue Office, it is more than Rp 1 trillion. Whether now we are on the right side or wrong side,” said Bolly.
Meanwhile, the representative of Directorate General of Taxation of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance David during the meeting with the Special Committee on Freeport said Freeport might file a lawsuit because the water surface tax was not included in the Contract of Work.
“Regarding to the lawsuit, the Contract of Work should be reviewed first. Usually the officials at the mining sector considered the Contract of Work as lex specialist. Even the law is weak upon this Contract of Work. I don’t know about this case yet. Perhaps the issue of water surface tax came after the Contract of Work. And when it was billed, they sued it because it was not included in the Contract of Work,” said David. (*/rom)

4) Police Still Discriminate Against Papuans, Activist Says

31 May 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – The police’s decision to often not issue a permit for peaceful demonstrations in Papua and arrest protesters is evidence that the Government are biased against Papuan people, said the director of Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, Alghiffari Aqsa SH.
When asked by Jubi on Monday (30/5/2016) to response the legal status of series of peace demonstration on self-determination and support for ULMWP in Papua, he asserted as long as these aspirations were conducted peacefully, the Police and Indonesian Government must respect it.
He explained the Police’s refusal to issue STTP (letter of permit) was not common in other regions (in Indonesia) and was a discriminatory act.
According to him, it violated Article 13 Paragraph (1) of Law No. 9 1998 about the Freedom of Expression in the Public. It is also against the Indonesian Constitution of Article 28 E Paragraph (2) and (3) which states that everyone has the right to gather, express aspirations and opinions.
Further, in Human Rights Law Article 25 Paragraph 19 of the Law No. 12 Year 20015 that ratifying the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights is also protect the right of freedom expression and gathering. He lamented that what was applied in other places just not worked in Papua. According to him, it could be an indication of denial over Papuans as the Indonesian citizens.
On Friday (27/5/2016), the Central West Papua National Committee (KNPB) accepted a letter from the Police state it would not issued the permit regarding to a notice of peace rally on 31 May. In the letter, the Police asked KNPB about the compliance of statute and structure of organization as requirement for demonstration.
Aqsa said this request is overreacted to ban the freedom of expression in Papua. At other regions, the Police never asked for it. “It’s only happened in Papua,” he said. He further explained that according to Article 17 of Indonesian Police Regulation No. 7 Year 2012 states the Police oblige to file the identity and statute of organization but it is not a requirement to obtain the permit. “It is an obligation for the Police to make documentation, but it is not the obligation of protesters. Furthermore the Article 17 said the statute of organization need to be file if “available”,” he said.
He added the Police oblige to issue the permit because according to the Law the demonstration requires a notice not a permit. Even in Paragraph 14 of Police Regulation, it is said the Police still need to issue the permit even for the action that potentially disturbed the safety and order with a note said the action was not suggested.
In the letter signed by Director of Intelligent and Security of Papua Police Alfred S.IK, it said that KNOB and ULMWP are illegal and against the Republic of Indonesia. In fact both ULMWP and Indonesia are the members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) that means though they have a different status, but their existence is equally admitted in the official forum of the Southern Pacific.
In response this, Aqsa said the action taken by KNPB to give notification to the Police about their planning should be respected because the problem is not about the protesters. What is happening now is the protesters have followed the procedure in accordance to the Law No 9 Year 1998 but they were banned by the Police.
“The Police could say the rally was illegal, but it is occurred because of the intention of the Police,” he said. “In my opinion, the demonstration remains legal because the Constitution and Law 9/1999 is ultimate than the procedural obstacle by the Police,” he said. He also added that accordance to the Article 6 No 9/1998 the Police oblige to maintain the integrity and unity of the nation in expressing their aspiration, but it could not become a reference rejecting to issue the permit. “Expressing the aspiration was not happened yet, how come it could be charged by Law?” he said.
Closing his phone conversation, Alghiffari Aqsa said the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute as part of Papua Itu Kita (Papua is Us movement) give supports and respect towards the peace demonstration held by Papuan people. He expected it could be run peacefully and protesters to not being provoked by the Police and documenting their actions or arrest conducted by the Police and invite media to cover it so that the public could recognize about the arbitrariness if it was occurred.
Meanwhile, from this morning until noon, the Police have arrest dozens of KNPB activists when distributing the pamphlets about peace demonstration on 31 May. The Police arrested 25 activists in Sentani at around 09:00 in the morning and 26 activists in Jayapura at around 13:40. (*/rom)

5) Jakarta’s Stand on West Papua Questioned

30 May 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – Indonesia’s insistence that West Papua is strictly an internal matter is being tested in the wider Melanesian region.
This comes amid criticism by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) chairman that Indonesia has rebuffed requests for a dialogue over concerns about ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua, Radio New Zealand reports.
MSG chair Manasseh Sogavare claimed Jakarta failed to respond to requests by the MSG and the Pacific Islands Forum for a dialogue about the situation in Papua.
Sogavare, who is also the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, suggested Indonesia joined the MSG for the purpose of protecting its own interests, rather than discussing Papua. This drew a sharp rebuke from Jakarta.

Indonesia’s director general for Asia, Pacific and Africa, Desra Percaya, said Sogavare’s claims violated the MSG’s basic principles of sovereignty and non-interference.
In a responding statement, the MSG Chair’s Special Envoy on West Papua, Rex Horoi, said Sogavare sought to remind Jakarta that one of the overarching principles of the MSG is about decolonisation of Melanesia.
“This is a fundamental principle that binds the Melanesian countries and all MSG members together,” Horoi said. “In this principle, MSG stands for its defence and promotion of independence as the inalienable right of indigenous peoples of Melanesia.”
Atmadji Sumarkidjo is the special assistant to Indonesia’s Co-ordinating Minister of Politics, Legal and Security, Luhut Pandjaitan, who he said was very clear about Papua on his recent Pacific regional tour.
“We like to have a good relationship with those countries. But we stated also that the problem of West Papua is our own problem. We don’t want to compromise our sovereignty on Papua. This was clearly stated during our visit to respective countries in the South Pacific.”
Atmadji denies suggestions that Jakarta is not open to communication regarding Papua.
“Two weeks ago we had a meeting in our office here to settle down human rights problems in Papua,” he said.
“And we invite the ambassador from Papua New Guinea, from Fiji and Vanuatu to also be present at the meeting so that they can fully watch and hear what really happens and how we solve our problem openly.”
But the United Liberation Movement for West Papua  is concerned that some Pacific governments are being misled by Jakarta.
Its spokesman Benny Wenda says extensive ground reports from Papua indicate ongoing rights abuses against Papuans.
Like Indonesia, the Liberation Movement is part of the MSG and is seeking full membership.
Wenda says West Papuans believe the MSG is an ideal forum for addressing their grievances under Indonesia because long-running calls for meaningful dialogue with Jakarta have come to little.
“Since we declared at the  Papuan People’s Congress  in 2000, West Papua always request dialogue, but it’s nearly a decade now and I don’t think Indonesia intends to engage in dialogue.
“But they want to rather  wipe out the entire Papuan population and trying to get control over our resources.”
The membership bids are due to be deliberated on at an upcoming MSG leaders summit in Port Moresby within the next month.
MSG chair Sogavare has since reiterated his offer to the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, to discuss matters of common interest within the space provided by the MSG. (*)

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