Friday, September 30, 2016

1) Jakarta urged to open up on Papua

2) MSG summit in Vanuatu put off without explanation
1) Jakarta urged to open up on Papua
2 minutes ago 
Indonesia has been urged to open up access to West Papua, following a surge of concern about rights abuses in Papua at the United Nations.
Several days ago, leaders of a number of Pacific Island countries raised concern at the UN general assembly about alleged human rights abuses against West Papuans.
Some of the leaders also called for proper recognition of Papuans' self-determination aspirations.
In response, Indonesia's government said the countries speaking out lacked understanding about Papua.
Jakarta also claimed some Pacific countries have supported groups conducting terrorism in Papua.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua's spokesman Benny Wenda says the response was typical of Jakarta's defensiveness whenever international support for Papuans' rights arises.
"They're always screaming. Even in London, if we hold an event in London, a parliamentarian meeting, in any part of the world, they’re always screaming," he said.

"And for us, it's not new. So I think the time (has come) for the Indonesian government to open the access to West Papua."
Since last year, the Indonesian government has made some moves to grant more access to Papua for foreign journalists.
However it maintains restrictions on access for leading international humanitarian and rights organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International.
Jakarta also indicated to the Pacific Islands Forum that it won’t accept the regional organisation's request to have a fact-finding mission travel to Papua to ascertain information about the treatment of Papuans.
2) MSG summit in Vanuatu put off without explanation
Next week’s planned summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Vanuatu has been postponed to December.
1:34 pm on 30 September 2016
The MSG Secretariat has confirmed this to 96 Buzz FM news without giving a reason.
This comes as the MSG grapples with a membership bid of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua which is opposed by Indonesia.
The Movement is an MSG observer while Indonesia is an associate member.
In Port Vila, the Vanuatu West Papua Association hosted the Wantok Summit this week, bringing together Free West Papua Civil Society Organisation support groups within Melanesia.

1) Regional Heads in Papua Should Unite to End Military Approach

2) Talk of Tackling Papuan Rights Violations Only to Appease International Critics
3) Bogiyategi Elementary School Poorly Equipped for 18 Years
4) Jayapura Launches Digital School Program
5) A Ray of Hope for Education in Papua

6) Ethnic Chinese to run in Papua election
1) Regional Heads in Papua Should Unite to End Military Approach
30 September 2016
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua legislator Laurenzus Kadepa reminded both current and future regional heads in Papua to urge the Central Government to change its military approach to Papua and put an end to human rights violations.
A member of Commission I of the Papua Legislative Council for Government, Politics, Legal and Human Rights Affairs, Kadepa warned the Indonesian government that international support for Papua has increased.
“It is impossible for other countries, especially the countries in Pacific, to pay attention to Indonesia without any reasons, whether it has done a historical mistake or whatever. It would also become the task of the elected heads to correct the mistakes that occurred in Papua. It’s not only the Central Government’s responsibility, because the local heads are the extended of the Central Government in the province and municipal/regency,” Kadepa told Jubi by phone on Thursday (29/9/2016).
The local heads should also follow the current dynamics, in particular on the Papua issue upon the international community instead of being paid and do nothing but let the State become a spotlight and take all the responsibilities. The local heads in Papua have a duty to assist the State to find a resolution of Papua issue and change the method of approach towards Papuan people.

“The regional heads should not only build their own good image in the media everyday and do not understand about the Papua issue and where the direction of the State would go. Do not just say that you stand for the unison of the Republic of Indonesia but do not understand about the State’s internal issue. They should able to see this dynamics globally for being able to help the Central Government in correcting the system that was applied for Papua, especially the military approach,” he said.
He said although the regional heads in Papua are from many different political parties, but they should be united to see the progress in Papua and urge the Central Government to change their method towards Papua that tends to see Papua from the political side.
“As the result the approach used for Papua is the military system and it is only to raise the issue of free Papua and the international community’s support. The world’s intervention towards Papua issue is like a slap in the face. Now, there are not only six countries showing their supports to Papua but seven. If the condition in Papua are not changing, it would gain many more supports,” he added.

Separately, another Papua legislator Ruben Magai said the international supports towards Papua have described about something wrong has been happened in Papua. “It means that something wrong was considered happening. Other countries would not continuously highlight it if nothing is not wrong,” said Magai. According to him, it cannot be denied that the Papua issue has been worldwide. Other countries always keep monitoring the progress of Papua, especially the countries in the Pacific region. (*/rom)

2) Talk of Tackling Papuan Rights Violations Only to Appease International Critics

28 September 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – Talk of settling cases of human rights violations in Papua is only aimed at pacifying the criticism of the international community, the coordinator of human rights group Kontras Jakarta, Haris Azhar ,told Jubi on Tuesday (27/9/2016).
He was responding to a meeting of the Minister of Politic, Legal, Human Rights and Security Affairs Wiranto with Papua and Papua Barat Police, the representatives of Attorney General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Human Rights Commission and Papua human rights activists on Thursday (22/9) in Jakarta.
“The memories and suffering of Papuans have not become a lesson learned for today’s government. Jakarta and Joko Widodo’s administration are not sensitive,” said Haris.
As consequence, he said, what is applied by the state is only an image through a statement to other statement. Even it went to the UN plenary meeting in a last few days in New York.

“My assumption, the Indonesian’s plan to apply as a temporarily member at the UN Security Council is intended to block international voices against Indonesia because of the Papua issue, as the one of the reasons,” he said.
Haris also said attempts by the Minister of Politics, Legal, Human Rights and Security Affairs as well as other state’s institutions to get input and suggestions in order to settle the case of alleged severe human rights violations in Papua, as an inefficient mechanism. He also told about the problem related to the performance of government’s control, such as the role of deputies of the Presidential Staff Office (KSP).
“Under the KSP, there are deputies, who said are the military experts. Well, why did the human rights perpetrators in Papua couldn’t report to the president, or did it be ignored? It means KSP is less important than military?” he said.
For the example, the appointment of Major General Hartomo who involved in the murder case of Theys Elluay, as BAIS Chief. According to Azhar, it was occurred because the Joko Widodo’s administration is an unrespected human rights administration.

“I am personally concern to my brothers in Papua who were trapped to elect the President Widodo in 2014,” he said.
Haris Azhar admitted in general he was hardly to understand on the today’s government that seems want to solve the Papua issues with many problems of human rights violation, on the other hand the strategic position of the policy makers related to the fulfillment and protection of human rights violations are under those who had a record on severe human rights violations.
“For example, Wiranto as the Coordinating Minister of Politic, Legal, Human Rights and Security Affairs, his name was recorded as the responsible person for some human rights violations cases including East Timor 1999, Student Shooting incident 1998, Semanggi I and Semanggi II incidents. The worst is those cases never been resolved until now,” he said.
Such situation, he said, triggered the controversial and trauma.
“It’s controversial for a question whether this figure could be dealing with the human rights violations? Also Papuans might have traumatic with the military figure who handle this case,” he said.

He asserted this situation is a prove that President Joko Widodo doesn’t care and doesn’t understand about the problem of this nation, including and especially the problem related to the Indonesian Government’s mistakes in treating people and Papuan community.
In response the coordination meeting held by Minister Wiranto on last Thursday, Latifah Anum Siregar, lawyer form Alliance for Democracy in Papua (AIDP) reasserted that since the beginning the integrated team under this ministry to solve the human right violation cases in Papua has not had the formal legality.
“Team received many responses due to their inability to solve the human rights cases in Papua,” said Siregar to Jubi on Sunday (25/9/2016).

She said they don’t have the authority to determine the what cases should be solved.
“Because according to the Law no 39 Year 1999 the investigation authority is on the hand of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission and Attorney General. So that team had no formal legality to solve the human rights violation cases,” he said.
When he was sworn replacing Luhut Binsar Panjaitan as the Coordinating Minister of Politic, Legal and Security Affairs, Wirantos aid he would settle the human right violation cases. He promised to solve it fairly and referred to the national interest. 
“I will continue and solve the human rights problem in a fair, transparent, dignified, but it shouldn’t harm the national interest. Because it is still the number one,” said Wiranto as cited by CNN Indonesia.
According to him, the former Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan has attempted to solve the severe human rights violations in the past. (*/rom)

3) Bogiyategi Elementary School Poorly Equipped for 18 Years
29 September 2016

Dogiyai, Jubi – The Dogiyai Education Office urged the local government to renovate SDN (elementary school) Bogiyateugi at Kamuu Selatan Sub-district, saying that since it was built in 1998, it has never been revamped and only had three unfurnished classrooms to accommodate 98 pupils.
The principal, Eneas Anou, said the government has not paid attention to the school and its facilities are also inadequate.
“There are no ceilings, no furniture for each classroom, no doors as well. So we use a plank as the door. Also, the terrace’s floor have lost its base because the planks were already rotten,” the principal told Jubi in Moanemani on Tuesday (27/9/2016).
He said another problem is there are not enough teachers.
“Currently the school building only has three classrooms without any supporting facilities. Also, we only have five teachers, including one civil servant and four contract teachers who must teaching the 98 pupils from the 1st to 6th grades,” he said.
School Renovation and Teachers’ Housing
Anou asked the local government to immediately response to his proposal in order to improve the quality of education in the sub-district.

He said, besides of the school building, he hoped the government would provide facilities such as chairs and tables for the pupils as well as teachers’ housing to be built near the school location.
“I hope the local government, in this case Dogiyai Education Office, can visit soon to see the school’s poor condition,” said Anou. He said the local government would be touched and meet the school’s request.
“We hope the government is prioritizing our proposal and able to realize it (allocate in the budget) within this year or next year,” he said. However, the learning process is still running although it has been encountering some difficulties sometimes.
KNPI (Indonesian Youth National Committee) Chairman of Kamuu Selatan Sub-district, Dogiyai, Melianus Woge who’s sub-district native confirmed the principal’s statement when he was contacted. He said this elementary school has obtained less attention from the local government.
“During the time the local government has never looked after the development in the remote area, including the school at Kamuu Selatan sub-district,” said the man who just been elected for five months as KNPI Chairman at Kamuu Selatan. (*/rom)
4) Jayapura Launches Digital School Program
30 September 2016

Jayapura Jubi – The Jayapura Municipal Government has launched a digitalschool program, requiring all schools to provide both software and hardware such as computers and internet connection to enable e-learning.
The Head of Jayapura Municipal Education I Wayan Mudiasa said the computers should be installed with learning materials including modules and student working pages.
“All applications have been saved in the computers, so the students can save and also download it for learning,” Mudiasa told reporter on Thursday (29/9/2016).
He also said the learning materials and students’ tasks could be saved in the server, therefore using the password the teachers could transfer those tasks in the form of digital e-learning for students.
This program, further he said, has been applied in some referral schools, then to several schools that are ready for applying it. He expected the students from different schools could be adapted with this program, because this is a new advance in education. Mudiasa added for applying the e-learning, the Education Office has been prepared the teachers for using the e-learning as well as to the students through social digital class. This class is provided to the schools without the computer lab, so that the students could take their turn to access it.

The trained teachers could also schedule the curriculum to be put in these digital classes. Several schools in Jayapura Municipality also used the Android mobile phone, but Mudiasya said this would really disturb the students’ concentration for learning.
“I have been warned some schools to be able to differentiate the gadget. Fine if the students bring the laptops, but mobile phone would bring the negative impact,” he said.
Meanwhile one of the student’s parents, Jubaida, strongly agree if the teachers are strict with the rule for not bringing the mobile phone to school. (*/rom)


A series of photos

5) A Ray of Hope for Education in Papua

The students of Lentera Harapan School in Mamit Village, Kembu, in the district of Tolikara in Papua, sprint to their canteen at lunch break. (JG Photo/Donny Andhika Mononimbar)
By : Donny Andhika Mononimbar | on 5:00 PM September 30, 2016

Lentera Harapan School in Mamit Village, Kembu, in the district of Tolikara in Papua, is a free-tuition school. There are several Lentera Hardpan educational institutions in remote areas of Papua and in other regions in Indonesia where no state-run schools are available.


6) Ethnic Chinese to run in Papua election
Nether Dharma Somba, Apriadi Gunawan and Agus Maryono
Medan/Jayapura/Cilacap | Fri, September 30 2016 | 07:58 am

In a place like Papua where communal conflicts are common, it takes unusual courage to even express a different opinion. And, of course, the stakes are even higher for an outsider challenging Papuans in the local elections.

Defying opposition from Papuans, a Chinese-Indonesian woman is running for a top post in the Jayapura regency in the Feb. 15 poll. Yanni is not the only woman who will contest the local elections as there are two other female candidates running for the poll. But, she is the only non-Papuan to contest the local election in the region where tribal sentiment is extremely strong.

When Yanni, along with her running mate Zadrak Afasedanya, registered with the Jayapura General Elections Commission (KPUD) as a regent candidate, a group of local women protested her candidacy simply because she is not a native Papuan.

“Many have criticized my candidacy through social media. Some say [the chance] to become regent is the birthright [only] of native Papuans,” she said.

Yanni said the protest and criticism did not discourage her as she believed that not all Papuans had opinions and thoughts like that.

“It’s the opinion of those who do not like me, but I also cannot ignore the opinion of our Papuan brothers who support my candidacy,” said Yanni, who was a member of the Papua Provincial Legislature (DPRD) for 13 years.

For the upcoming election, Yanni was nominated by the Gerindra Party, National Mandate Party (PAN) and National Awakening Party (PKB). Another woman, Siska Yoku, is also contesting the Jayapura poll as an independent while Robeka Enembe is running for Tolikara vice regent.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) database shows that women make up less than 7 percent of candidates taking part in the 2017 regional elections. As of Thursday, data compiled by the KPU show that, of a total 644 candidates, only 44 are women.

Women’s rights activist Gadis Arivia, who is also the founder of influential feminist publication Jurnal Perempuan, said the prevailing patriarchal culture in the country had made it even more difficult for women to enter politics.

She said the government had not made sufficient efforts to promote gender equality. 

In contrast to Yanni’s experience in Papua, a candidate pair running in Central Tapanuli, North Sumatra, is a historic demonstration of diversity.

For the first time, a Catholic priest is running for regent with a Muslim running mate. 

Catholic priest Rantinus Manalu and Muslim cleric Sodiqin Lubis will register with the Central Tapanuli KPUD on Friday as an independent candidate pair. They will hand over additional copies of ID cards from their supporters as required by the law. (fac)

1) MSG Leaders Summit postponed

2) Settlement of Papua issues deserves national priority
1) MSG Leaders Summit postponed
  • By Glenda Willie

The Melanesian Spearhead Group’s Leaders Summit scheduled to be hosted in Port Vila from October 3-4 2016 has been postponed to December.
The MSG Secretariat has verbally confirmed this to 96 Buzz FM news but gave no reasons for this postponement, advising it will issue a press release in due course to clarify the reasons for this postponement. This week, the Vanuatu West Papua Association hosted the Wanton Summit which brought together Free West Papua Civil Society Organisation support groups within Melanesia, including the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). The Wanton Summit was planned months ago to be hosted in Port Vila in parallel with the MSG Leaders Summit, which unfortunately has been deferred to the end of 2016. Daily Post understands that one of the main issues to host the Wanton Summit is to convince the MSG Leaders on the admission of ULMWP as a full member of MSG. Members of the ULMWP and other Free West Papua Civil Society Organisation support groups will leave the country this weekend.


2) Settlement of Papua issues deserves national priority
Vidhyandika D. Perks
Jakarta | Fri, September 30 2016 | 08:51 am

In this dynamic, rapidly changing world, it is worth observing how the state (government) places the complexity of Papua an its domestic agenda. In reality, the issue of China and disputes in the South China Sea have seemed to dominate the state’s international affairs lately due to possible security threats. Even though Papua is, in fact, a domestic affair, it has seized international attention, and the government cannot neglect or belittle the matter.

In a multi-stakeholder discussion held by TIFA Foundation and The Institute for Social and Economic Research late last month, it was acknowledged that the Papua issue is becoming increasingly international. The issues that raised international concern focused on human rights violations, the spirit to free Papua from Indonesian “colonization” and the legitimacy of Papuan “integration” into Indonesia under the Free Choice Law in 1969. Therefore, an international solution is needed to these problems. 

The actors of the movement are the Papuan diaspora in exile, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), who found support from the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Pacific Island Forum (IPF), the International Parliament for West Papua (IPWP) and members of parliaments in Europe and Pacific countries. 

The situation today is critical because, compared to the past, when the internationalization of Papua was attempted by small NGOs through fragmented movements, the unity and solidity of those behind the current movements is growing stronger and support from members of parliaments in a number of countries has become more visible. 

The campaigners have succeeded in tabling Papuan issues in regional and even international forums. This will pose a serious challenge to our state diplomacy and will require a new strategy to counter the internationalization of the Papua problem rather than merely doing damage control.

With such rapid development, it is worth questioning if there has been any progress to solve the complex issues in Papua, especially under the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. Domestically, Papua is still facing entrenched separatism, poverty, corruption, tribal conflicts, human rights violations and the marginalization of local Papuans. Worse, many deem the special autonomy for Papua as a failure that has only given rise to ethnic politics, in which the native people dominate the bureaucracy at the expense of a merit system. Therefore, poor and weak governance typifies Papua.

It is ironic, as well, that the current government tends to reduce the Papua issue to merely an economic matter. Economic development in Papua is, in fact, still problematic, as evidenced by the whopping transfer of special autonomy funds to the province that does not significantly increase the people’s welfare. There is also a problem of capacity among local governments trying to execute policies to realize special autonomy.

From the multi-stakeholder discussion, it was concluded that Jokowi’s ambition to open Papua to investors might give hope for the economy to blossom. However, on the other hand, it might create new problems, such as the marginalization of local people as a result of an influx of migrants, as well as conflicts stemming from land-grabbing.

Another development challenge in Papua currently is the government’s decision to cut the infrastructure budget for road construction (The Jakarta Post, Sept. 8). According to the news report, “of the cuts within Bina Marga under the Public Works Ministry, 30 percent might be sourced from the total targeted development of a 4,325 km road project that connects the cities of Manokwari in West Papua province to Oksibil and Wamena in Papua”. 

The missing ingredient to promote development in Papua rests in acknowledgement of the political dimension of Papuan affairs, which ironically eludes the government. Without taking into account this political dimension, even a highly sophisticated economic development blueprint for Papua will not work. Many parties have suggested various kinds of dialogue format as a means to take on board the political aspects of Papuan affairs and solve other pressing issues, but none seems to interest the government. 

In a broader perspective, and viewed from a state-fragility concept, solving the complexity in Papua needs strong capacity and a willingness from both the central and local governments. Sadly, passionate memories in Papua show strong capacity from the central government but weak commitment. 

There were a series of events demonstrating Jakarta’s “interventions” to undermine development in general and the implementation of special autonomy in Papua. This, in fact, has created further distrust of Jakarta’s goodwill among Papuans. Restoring confidence is a big challenge these days. 

Meanwhile, on the local government’s part is a combination of weak capacity and strong willingness, with strong capacity and weak willingness. The provincial government may be committed to implementing the special autonomy but it lacks the capacity needed to carry out the big job. On the other hand, it has a strong capacity to combat corruption but weak willingness to do so. 

Solving the Papuan complexity indeed needs a breakthrough, such as a dialogue, rather than business as usual. Jakarta must have the courage to deal with sensitive issues instead of sweeping them under the rug. Ignoring such issues and further delaying the dialogue will only exacerbate the damage done by the internationalization of Papua. 

The writer heads the Department of Politics and International Relations, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

1) West Papua remains a part of Indonesia: PNG Govt

2) Melanesian Solidarity Summit Today


1) West Papua remains a part of Indonesia: PNG Govt

10:50 pm GMT+12, 28/09/2016, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Government has reiterated its stance on the West Papua issue, saying that the Papua Province remains an integral part of  Indonesia.
This follows the attendance of the PNG delegation led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, to the United Nations General Assembly meeting where several Pacific Island nations raised the West Papua issue.
Minister Pato responded, during a media conference, saying that PNG’s position has been clear as announced during various regional meetings.
“We have a very strong relationship with government and people of Indonesia, we have a whole range of agreements and treaties that govern our relationship,” said Pato.
“So our position is that as far as West Papua or the Papua Province is concerned, they remain an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia.”
Minister Pato said human rights abuse allegations and the issue of self-determination can be raised through the proper forums in accordance with the principles of international law.
“There are institutions globally, including the UN systems, who will deal with those issues and we don’t have an issue with that, I don’t think Indonesia has an issue with that,” said Pato.
“These are matters that we agree that need to be looked at.


2) Melanesian Solidarity Summit Today

  • By Godwin Ligo

1) Listening to the Pacific beat on Papua

2) UN to grill RI on rising rights abuses
3) Amnesty wants security for Papuan leader 

1) Listening to the Pacific beat on Papua
Budi Hernawan
Jakarta | Thu, September 29 2016 | 08:07 am

Defiance: A Papuan activist shouts slogans during a demonstration to commemorate the West Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch rule in Jakarta on Dec. 1, 2015. The Police fired tear gas to disperse more than 100 Papuan protesters during the rally.(JP/DMR)

      In an unprecedented move, seven UN member states from the Pacific raised their concerted voices on Papua during the prestigious 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York this week.
      Nauru started the intervention by highlighting the issue of human rights violations in Papua, followed by a newcomer in the discourse of Papua: the Marshall Islands.
      Vanuatu, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands followed suit and went one step further by specifically highlighting the issue of the right to self-determination for Papuans. Tonga emphasised the gravity of the problem and Palau, another novice, called for constructive dialogue with Indonesia to solve the Papua issue.
      This was a historic moment for us as we have never had such unified high-profile intervention when it comes to the issue of Papua at the UN. Perhaps the only lone ranger used to be Vanuatu, which tried to break the silence of the UN fora.
      This week’s debate at the UN General Assembly might remind us of a similar but much more colorful debate on Papua at the assembly in 1969, when the forum decided to close the chapter on Papua by accepting the result of the Act of Free Choice.
      If in 1969 some African countries expressed opposition to the assembly’s decision to adopt the result of the 1969 Act of Free Choice for Papuans, today the Pacific nations are taking the lead.
      Indonesia’s response, however, was highly predictable. Repeating the slogan of territorial integrity and sovereignty, the government’s response unfortunately does not provide us with facts and evidence of the improvement in the human rights situation in Papua.
      It may be remembered that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised to solve the killing of four high-school students in Paniai on Dec. 8, 2014. The investigation into the case has been delayed for almost two years and we have not seen much progress.
      The families of the victims recall that at least eight government institutions sent their respective fact-finding team to interview victims on the ground and personnel of the Army, the Papua Police, the National Police, the Air Force, the Papua Legislative Council, the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK), the Office of Coordinating Security, Political and Legal Affairs Minister, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). None of these teams, however, has ever published their report for public consumption.
      Similarly, the dossiers on the Wasior killings of 2001 and the Wamena case of 2003 have been pending for more than a decade at the Attorney General once Komnas HAM finished its investigation. These were not ordinary crimes but crimes against humanity, one of the most serious crimes punishable by Indonesian and international law. Unfortunately, both Komnas HAM and the Attorney General’s Office have argued over evidence and procedure for years.
      Komnas HAM insists that it has provided conclusive evidence and has followed proper procedure. On the other hand, the Attorney General’s Office has argued that Komnas HAM has not met the requirement of a pro-justice investigation as investigators did not take an oath as required by the Criminal Law Procedures Code. Both institutions have overlooked the fact that victims continue to suffer.
      Memories are still fresh on the surge in the arrests of Papuan youth when they took to the streets to express their opinions in public despite a constitutional guarantee of the right to do so.
      The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) documented that at least 4,587 individuals, men and women, were arrested by the police for expressing their political views in 13 cities, namely Dekai, Fakfak, Jakarta, Jayapura, Kaimana, Makassar, Malang, Manado Manokwari, Merauke, Sentani, Wamena and Yogyakarta.
      While most of the arrestees were released within 24 hours, the deployment of police in 13 jurisdictions across the country would not have been possible without the blessing of the National Police top brass.
      While we were grappling with human rights conditions in Papua, we were shocked by the President’s decision to appoint Gen. (ret) Wiranto as the coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister.
      In February 2003, the UN-sponsored Special Panels for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court, Timor Leste, indicted Gen. Wiranto, then the Indonesian defense and security minister and Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) commander for crimes against humanity in connection with the events in Timor Leste in 1999.
      As we were yet to recover from the President’s unfathomable choice, we were presented with another unprecedented decision when the Indonesian Military TNI chief named Maj. Gen. Hartomo to lead the military’s Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS).
      Hartomo was the commander of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) Tribuana X unit assigned to Papua when Theys Eluay was murdered. Hartomo and six other Kopassus officers were charged with Theys’ murder on National Heroes Day in 2001. He and his team were found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison by the Surabaya Military Court and discharged from the Army.
      These all are simple facts that tell us the way our government commits to human rights in Papua and elsewhere, which the Indonesian delegation to the UN General Assembly describes as “robust and active”.
      The writer, who obtained his PhD from the Australian National University, lectures in international relations at the Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy, Jakarta.

      2) UN to grill RI on rising rights abuses
      Hans Nicholas Jong
      Jakarta | Thu, September 29 2016 | 08:52 am

      The government is expected to have a hard time defending its human rights record in front of the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) after a group of civil society organizations submitted a condemnatory report to the UN.

      The group, consisting of human rights organizations such as the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), submitted last week 15 reports, which detailed the government’s failure to protect human rights.

      The UPR is the first international human rights mechanism to address all countries and all human rights by periodically examining the human rights performance of all 193 UN member states every four-and-a-half years.

      It is a compulsory mechanism for any UN member, regardless of its size or influence.

      The UPR working group is expected to use the submitted report from the civil society groups as a reference for when Indonesia’s human rights record will be reviewed in its third session, to be held in Geneva in May 2017. “The first report is a general report that highlights human rights violation cases in Indonesia,” HRWG executive director Muhammad Hafiz said.

      In general, the government has done a poor job in protecting human rights as it only followed up 20 percent of the UPR’s recommendations, made after Indonesia was last reviewed in 2012, he said.

      Indonesia received 180 recommendations, of which 144 were accepted by the government and the remaining 36 recommendations are set to be reviewed for further consideration. 

      There were some recommendations that were fully implemented, such as ratifying international conventions on migrant workers and on disabled people, Hafiz said.

      Other recommendations, meanwhile, were only partially implemented, such as revising the bill on religious harmony, which was undertaken by the Religious Affairs Ministry in 2014, only for the revision process to get bogged down, he added.

      Another recommendation that was not followed up was related to the issue of abuse of the freedoms of expression and religion, a problem that has been escalating in recent years.

      A religious freedom watchdog, the Wahid Institute, recorded 190 violations of freedom of religion and faith in 2015, a 23 percent increase from 154 cases in 2014. The violations were mostly in the form of sealing places of worship and the prohibition of their construction, as well as obstructing celebrations or the performance of rituals of certain faiths.

      Abuse of freedom of religion also comes in the form of discriminatory bylaws, as there are 57 bylaws across the country that discriminate against certain religious groups and could endanger the country’s pluralism, according to data from rights group Setara Institute.

      With the government failing to implement most of the UPR’s recommendations as well as recent developments on human rights violation cases, such as the government’s decision to expedite the execution of death row convicts, Indonesia will have an even more difficult time answering questions from the UPR, ICJR executive director Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono said.

      “There must have been a lot of critical questions for Indonesia, such as the use of the death penalty and makar [treason] in Papua,” he told The Jakarta Post.

      Supriyadi was referring to the Indonesian authorities’ decision to use articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code to criminalize dozens of peaceful Papuan pro-independence political activists over the last decade.

      During the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Pacific countries expressed their deep concern over continuing human rights violations in West Papua and called on the UN to take concrete measures to address the matter and urged the Indonesian government to solve the problems.

      The statements were strongly rejected by Indonesia’s delegation, saying that the criticism was politically motivated and designed to draw attention away from problems in their own countries.

      Nara Masista Rakhmatia, an official at Indonesia’s permanent mission to the UN, accused the countries of interfering in Indonesia’s national sovereignty.

      “Their politically motivated statements were designed to support separatist groups in the said provinces, who have consistently engaged in inciting public disorder and in conducting armed terrorist attacks,” she said.

      3) Amnesty wants security for Papuan leader 
      8:19 pm today 
      Amnesty International has urged the Indonesian and local authorities in Papua to implement immediate and effective measures to ensure security of Agustinus Aud, 
      who is the spokesperson of the West Papuan National Committee.
      This follows reports of a weekend abduction attempt by about 10 men in plain clothes, who claimed to be police.
      The report says after some of the men had smashed some parts of his window, Mr Aud saw that two of the men were armed with rifles.
      He reportedly refused to come out and managed to make a phone call to his friends asking them to immediately come to his house.
      As soon as they arrived, the men left.
      Amnesty has called for a full and impartial investigation into the attempted abduction and other threats against Mr Aud, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials.
      This incident comes amid a debate at the UN over human rights violations committed by Indonesian forces with impunity.