Thursday, August 31, 2017

1) PANG West Papua submission to the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting

2) West Papuan independence leader to petition UN
3) Papua governor skips police questioning, again
4) Trade Ministry ready to issue export permit for Freeport
1) PANG West Papua submission to the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting
1:20 pm GMT+12, 31/08/2017, Fiji
In 2006, Pacific Leaders had expressed concerns about reports of human rights abuses in West Papua, and had called on parties (Indonesia) to uphold human rights and address the root cause of conflict in a peaceful manner. Following this call there had been silence in the region on the issue of West Papua until 2015.   
During the 46th Forum Leaders meetings in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), churches and social movements representing over 42 organisations and 13 countries and territories called on Forum Leaders to re-engage the sensitive issue of West Papua. Three out of the four regional public policy submissions through the Special Sub-Committee on Regionalism (SSCR) process in 2015 called on the leadership of PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill as Chair of the Forum, to take bold and immediate actions to protect and uphold the human rights of West Papuans.
As a result of public pressure, the 2015 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders outcomes recalled the decision of 2006 and requested the Forum Chair to convey the views of the Forum to Indonesia and to consult on a fact finding mission to discuss the situation in West Papua. In 2016, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had reported that he had written to Indonesian President Widodo, requesting a fact-finding team of Pacific Island leaders to West Papua. Despite talks for a dialogue with Indonesia, there has been no progress on the issue between PIF and Indonesia particularly around human rights violations.  
Regional public policy submissions on West Papua topped the listing once again in 2016, with much urgency for the PIF to involve the United Nations to address the ongoing human rights violations. However, Forum leaders recognized the political sensitivity of the issue and agreed to pursue constructive dialogue with Indonesia. The leaders outcome of 2016 also agreed to have West Papua remain on the agenda.
In 2017, Forum Leaders are again committed to open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on alleged human rights violations in West Papua.  The challenge now remains on the incoming PIF Chair, the Samoan Prime Minister, HE Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi to action what the forum leaders had agreed to in 2015, 2016 and again in 2017. The state of affairs has worsened and it is time the PIF Leaders to call on the United Nations to intervene on behalf of the people of West Papua.  
Current State of Affairs
Between 2014 and 2016, the political dynamics and recognition of West Papua struggle for political self determination in the region have changed significantly. The West Papuans through the leadership of the Vanuatu Government and its people had unified under the banner of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in 2014. The ULMWP’s determination to seek political recognition and support via membership of the sub-regional bloc of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and at the United Nations General Assembly has given the issue higher standing regionally and internationally.  At the same time the MSG’s platform to encourage peaceful political negotiations between both parties (West Papua and Indonesian) has been challenged.  
Political recognition for West Papua’s quest to be self-determined has however been met with aggravated violence and human rights abuse. Pacific CSOs and social movements once again draw Forum Leaders attention to the ongoing gross violation of human rights in West Papua. Such violations have been well documented by recognized international human rights monitoring bodies. Documented violations include the denial of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, torture, unlawful killings and state violence directed at men, women and children, unequal access to health and education services, and a rising HIV and AIDS epidemic among indigenous people. Furthermore, West Papua still remains ‘closed’ to international journalists despite the recent announcements to the contrary by the Indonesian government.  
Aside from these atrocities, there have also been longstanding efforts by the Indonesian authorities to eliminate the compendium of violations that make the West Papua situation an issue warranting urgent and comprehensive resolution. Juan Mendez, the former Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on genocide prevention aptly concludes that due to such high levels of violence and denials of fundamental human rights West Papua, as a nation, is at risk of extinction.
Regardless of repeated reassurances from the Indonesian government that they would resolve human rights violations in West Papua the evidence clearly shows that the human rights situation is rapidly worsening under the leadership of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The Indonesian state has failed to guarantee West Papuans right to safety and life as well as their right to freely and peacefully express a political opinion.  
Call for Action
To progress the PIF Leaders decisions of 2006, 2015, 2016 and 2017respectively; We call on our Pacific Leaders under the leadership of Samoa as the chair to:
(a) Action a regional Fact Finding Team commissioned to conduct a Human Rights Assessment in West Papua to verify the ongoing gross human rights violations. The regional Fact Finding Team must be independent and should include members from Civil Society Organisations in the Pacific.  
(b) Support the call by Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Republic of Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and Tonga, expressed at the United Nations General Assembly in September, 2016, for a UN Special Rapportuer on Freedom of Expression to visit West Papua to get an objective and independent view of the situation in the region.  
The independent assessments will inform dialogue with Indonesia on the status of human rights violations in West Papua.   
(c) Support a Pacific Islands led resolution at the UNGA to support an international supervised referendum.


2) West Papuan independence leader to petition UN
42 minutes ago 
A West Papuan independence leader says he will petition the United Nations General Assembly later this month with the signatures of his people.
The petition calls on the UN to facilitate a legitimate self-determination process for West Papua.
The leader Benny Wenda is in Geneva delivering a symbolic petition to the UN.
Mr Wenda said he would take the actual petition, with authenticated signatures of West Papuans, to the UN in New York.
He said he would present the document to the UN Secretary General and the C24, the special committee on decolonization.
Mr Wenda said he would also announce how many thousands of West Papuans have signed.
“Indonesia's always saying it's just a handful of people that are talking about independence, it's just a dream and fantasy, but now we show that all the minorities are wanting independence and that means Indonesia's presence in West Papua is illegal," he said.
3) Papua governor skips police questioning, again
Jakarta | Thu, August 31, 2017 | 06:32 pm
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said via his legal team that he could not fulfill the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department’s (Bareskrim) summons for questioning on Thursday.
“He could not come. It is postponed,” Bareskrim’s corruption deputy director, Sr.Comr. Erwanto Kurniadi, said as quoted by Antara in Jakarta on Thursday.
The police were scheduled to question Lukas as a witness in a graft case related to the use of scholarship funds for the 2016 fiscal year. 
Erwanto said Lukas’ legal team had asked to reschedule and ensured  the governor would attend the questioning scheduled for Sept.4.
“He confirmed that he would come next Monday,” the police said.
As of Thursday, the police have questioned 15 witnesses in their investigation into the corruption case. The investigation began on Aug. 16.
Bareskrim has yet to announce the amount of state losses caused by the case. (kuk/ebf)


4) Trade Ministry ready to issue export permit for Freeport
Jakarta | Thu, August 31, 2017 | 02:56 pm
Trade Minister Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita has said his ministry is ready to issue a permit for mineral concentrate exports to gold and copper mining firm PT Freeport Indonesia, after US-based Freeport McMoRan agreed reduce its stake in its Indonesian subsidiary to 49 percent and construct a smelter.
Freeport McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson told journalists on Tuesday that Freeport Indonesia had also agreed to convert its contract of work (CoW) into a special mining license (IUPK) and to increase its state revenue contribution.
Enggar said in Jakarta on Wednesday that Freeport Indonesia only needed to wait 24 hours to obtain the export permit from the time when the company submitted its proposal.
Read also: Freeport agrees to 51% divestment, other terms: CEO
He also promised to facilitate all companies that needed to export their products by accelerating the issuance of permits.
“Soon after the proposal is submitted, we will process it. It takes only two days at most, but we can do it faster. If the proposal is submitted in the morning, the permit is ready at noon, if the proposal is submitted at noon, the permit is ready in the evening, if the proposal is submitted in the evening, the permit is ready at night,” he added as reported by
Freeport Indonesia is seeking to extend its contract for the operation of the Grasberg mine in Papua, which will expire in 2021, to 2041. (bbn)


Jokowi Must Bring Justice to Indonesia’s 'The Disappeareds': Rights Groups
By : Dames Alexander Sinaga | on 3:05 PM August 31, 2017
Jakarta. A number of human rights groups on Wednesday (30/08) called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to tell families of "Orang Hilang" — Indonesia's The Disappeareds — the truth about what happened to their loved ones and bring them justice through long-overdue reparations.
The groups urged Jokowi to meet the government’s obligations under international law and fulfill his own promise — announced on Indonesia’s Independence Day in 2015 — to solve past cases of human rights violations, including forced disappearances.
"Several years ago, Jokowi said he wanted to form a search team to be managed by the coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister, but this still hasn't happened," Wanna Yeti, an activist and member of the Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared (Ikohi), said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Wanna's father went missing after the Tanjung Priok massacre, in which at least 24 were killed due to official government estimates, in North Jakarta in 1984.
Wanna said the families of 13 political activists who were "disappeared" in 1997-1998 — Sonny, Yani Afri, Ismail, Abdun Nasser, Dedi Hamdun, Noval Alkatiri, Wiji Thukul, Suyat, Herman Hendrawan, Bimo Petrus Anugrah, Ucok Munandar Siahaan, Yadin Muhidin and Hendra Hambali — continue to demand that the government uncover the truth about what happened to them over 19 years ago.
Meanwhile, victims' groups and Acehnese NGOs also urged Indonesian authorities to reveal what happened to the 1,935 disappeared and missing persons in Aceh during the 29-year bloody conflict in Indonesia’s most westernly province between the military and armed opposition group Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (Free Aceh Movement).
In East Timor, according to a report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for East Timor, at least 18,600 people were disappeared or went missing during the period of Indonesian occupation — from 1975 to 1999 — and during the chaotic period immediately following the 1999 independence referendum.
A National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) report also shows there were at least 32,700 victims of the 1965-1966 anti-Communist pogrom, whose cases have never been brought to trial.
Putri Kanesia, the deputy coordinator of advocacy at KontraS (Commission for the Disappeareds and Victims of Violence), said in 2014 at least five soldiers were arrested in connection with the disappearance of Dedek Khairudin. Dedek's whereabouts remain unknown to this day, while the government has failed to launch an independent investigation into the case.
"If our government is not serious about solving cases of enforced disappearance, cases like Dedek Khairuddin's will continue to happen," Putri said.
These rights groups stressed that families of the victims are still demanding that Jokowi fulfill his pledge to solve past cases of enforced disappearances.
The families themselves said they have been disappointed by the government's official statements and recommendations on the issue, which sounded promising at first but were never followed through.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

1) Papua Police to monitor use of village funds

2) Fairy Meadow man found guilty of making offensive comments over Indonesian PM Facebook posts
1) Papua Police to monitor use of village funds
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura | Wed, August 30, 2017 | 07:15 pm

Less developed: A quay in Yahim village near Sentani Lake, Papua, remains the only access point for people in the village to travel to Sentani, Jayapura regency. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)
The Papua Police will monitor the use of village funds amounting to Rp 4.3 trillion (US$322 million) allocated for 5,420 villages in 28 regencies and one municipality across the province.
“The police will monitor the channeling of the village funds in Papua this year. Babinkamtibmas [police officers assigned to villages as advisors on security and public order] in villages will be trained to watch and guard the utilization of the funds,” Papua Police head Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Wednesday.
He said two regencies and one municipality in Papua would pilot the involvement of National Police (Polri) personnel in the supervision and monitoring of village funds in the province.
“The Babinkamtibmas personnel who will receive training are from two regencies, namely Jayapura and Keerom, and Jayapura city,” he said.

Struggle for life: Local women from Hobong village, Sentani, Papua, go fishing. Hobong villagers depend on Sentani Lake for their livelihood. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

Commenting on the alleged misuse of village funds in two regencies, Pegunungan Bintang and Tolikara, Boy said the police were investigating the cases.
Pegunungan Bintang Regent Costan Oktemka said the investigation into the alleged village fund misuse began from a report that a village head in the regency had used some of the funds for his personal purposes.
“He cut the funds by up to Rp 15 million, claiming he would use it to pay taxes. It’s wrong. The village head has been dismissed,” said Costan.
Central Mamberamo Regent Ham Pagawak has dismissed two village heads for allegedly misusing village funds. “They used the funds to buy private houses. We dismissed them because village funds are allocated to develop villages, not for personal purposes,” Ham said. (afr/ebf)
Illawarra Mercury Thursday August 31, 2017
2) Fairy Meadow man found guilty of making offensive comments over Indonesian PM Facebook posts

A Fairy Meadow man who used Facebook to post threatening comments about the Indonesian prime minister the day before he was due to arrive in Australia has been found guilty of offensive conduct.
New Zealand-born Ekiulu Marukore was initially unaware of the reason NSW counter terrorism and riot squad police pulled his car over at Bellambi on the afternoon of February 25 this year, however police quickly informed him they were concerned about a comment he had posted on the Free West Papua Campaign page on Facebook the previous day.
In the post, directed at Indonesian prime minister Joko Widodo, Marukore wrote “give me a gun and their whereabouts, see how they feel when their lives are threatened and their freedom taken away….doesn’t have to be this [way] but something has to happen for the world to notice and do something about it. Free West Papua”.
Officers arrested Marukore and charged him with using a carriage service to offend. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, with his lawyer, Matthew Ward, arguing Marukore’s comment, when taken in context with other vocal anti-Indonesia comments on the page, was not offensive.
However, Magistrate Les Mabbutt the offence proven.
“Once someone mentions a firearm, once someone mentions locating that person and threatening them, I come to the view that a reasonable person in contemporary society would find this comment offensive,” he said.
Marukore admitted to police his actions were “stupid” and said he never intended to carry out the threat.
Magistrate Mabbutt recorded no conviction in the case, noting Marukore was remorseful and had no record.

WEST PAPUA: AWPA urges Pacific Forum leaders to continue support

WEST PAPUA: AWPA urges Pacific Forum leaders to continue support 

After a fatal August crackdown on protesters ... AWPA calls on Pacific Island Forum leaders to continue West Papua support. Image: Unpo
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Item: 9987
AUCKLAND (Australia West Papua Association/Pacific Media Watch): The Australia West Papua Association has urged leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum to continue their support of West Papua. 
In an open letter, AWPA called on the Forum’s 18 members to keep raising the issue of human rights abuses with Indonesia’s government and continue applying pressure on Jakarta to allow a fact-finding mission to the Indonesian-ruled territory.
AWPA also urged that the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression be allowed to visit West Papua, with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) driving this call.
West Papua should also be given an official voice within the PIF itself, under the umbrella organisation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), it said.
“The West Papuan people have been calling for dialogue with Jakarta for years and AWPA believes the PIF can play an important role in helping facilitate such a dialogue between representatives of the West Papuan leadership and the Indonesian Government.”
AWPA Sydney secretary Joe Collins said the group was ultimately grateful for the support of the PIF.
“I would first like to thank the PIF leaders for discussing and raising concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua in the official communiqu├ęs’ at the Forum meetings in Port Moresby in 2015 and Pohnpei in 2016. We are very encouraged that the Forum Leaders agreed that the issue of West Papua should remain on their agenda.”
Pacific support strong
In March, seven Pacific island nations raised grave concerns at the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council regarding human rights violations in West Papua.
Over the past year, eight Pacific Island states have also joined the Pacific Coalition for West Papua in calling for human rights and self-determination to be upheld in the territory.
AWPA's call comes after a month of crackdowns on peaceful displays of freedom of expression by Indonesian security forces and a fatal shooting. 
Yulianus Pigai died at the hands of security forces earlier this month in a shooting which also left 16 others wounded in the Deiyai district, leaving some to question whether West Papua will ever see an end to violence
AWPA’s call also comes in the same month a petition spearheaded by West Papua Action Auckland asking for similar support from New Zealand’s government was rejected.
A British team are currently swimming across Lake Geneva to deliver a petition calling for self-determination in West Papua.

1) Indonesia: Papua Leaders Want Say in Copper Mine Negotiations

2) Papua petition swimming to UN

1) Indonesia: Papua Leaders Want Say in Copper Mine Negotiations
Victor Mambor Jayapura, Indonesia 2017-08-29
The Indonesian government’s decision to allow one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines to operate in Papua province through 2041 prompted local leaders to remind officials that their people never gave up land ownership and want a role in negotiations.
On Tuesday the U.S.-based firm Freeport McMoran announced it was giving up a majority of its ownership in Papua’s Grasber mining complex in exchange for being allowed to operate there for up to 24 more years.
“We indigenous Papuans, especially from the Amungme and Kamoro tribe communities, have never released our ancestral lands to any party, neither to the government of Indonesia nor Freeport,” John Gobay, a chairman of the Customary Council in Paniai, a district in Papua, told BenarNews on Tuesday. Two weeks ago, he met with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in Jakarta, where Gobay expressed concerns about issues involving Freeport’s operations at the Grasber complex.
He said neither the Amungme nor Komoro were seeking a share of the mine, but they should be valued as the owners of the mountain where Freeport has been operating for decades.
“We own the mountain and the land and the state has recognized it under the state 1945 Constitution and Law No. 21 of 2001 on Papua Special Autonomy,” Gobay said.
Freeport-McMoran agreed to divest 41.64 percent of its Indonesian subsidiary, PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), at a fair market price to allow 51 percent ownership by Indonesian interests. Freeport’s share of the company is 90.64 percent while the Indonesian government holds the other 9.36 percent.
“Reaching this understanding on the structure of the mutual agreement is significant and positive for all stakeholders. Important work remains on documenting this agreement and we are committed to completing the documentation as soon as possible during 2017,” Freeport Chief Executive Richard C. Adkerson said Tuesday in a news release.
As part of the agreement, Freeport agreed to construct a smelter in Indonesia by 2022, thereby lifting a government threat to ban the company from exporting unrefined copper. The smelter is estimated to cost $2 billion and is a major concession for his company, Adkerson told the Wall Street Journal.
The government is not likely to have the financing to buy all of Freeport’s share being put on the market, so the divestment could be spread across many potential buyers, analysts told the Journal.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan represented the Indonesian government and Adkerson represented Freeport at a Tuesday news conference in Jakarta where both sides announced the agreement.
Ignatius said Indonesia had agreed to extend Freeport’s license, which ends in 2021, by 10 years to 2031, and another 10 years to 2041 if the company met the contract’s requirements, including the smelter.
“The negotiation between the government and Freeport began in early 2017. But in the last three to four (days), the talks got intense and the two sides found an agreement,” Ignatius said.
Adkerson said Freeport would honor the agreement.
“We appreciate the leadership of President Joko Widodo and we have been listening carefully to what the government wants and its objectives,” he told the news conference.
Papuans demand role
But because Papuans own the land in and around the mining complex, they should have a role in the upcoming negotiations involving the purchase of company holdings, said Ruben Magay, a member of the Papuan Regional Legislative Council (DPRP).
“This is the time for the government to involve land owners in determining Freeport’s investments,” he told BenarNews on Tuesday. “There are three parties, the central government/local government, investors and indigenous people.”
He said discussions regarding Freeport should be clear on what percentage is for investors, what percentage is for the government and how much is for the indigenous people.
“During Freeport’s first work contract in 1967, until the second work contract in 1991, and this most recent one, the position of indigenous people has been unclear. The discussion has been between the central government and the investor, in this case, America,” Magay said.
Gobay expressed hope that Jokowi would hold a special negotiation session attended by the government, Freeport and the representatives of Amungme and Komoro tribes.
“If not, we will report it to the United Nations through the indigenous representatives and we will contest Freeport and the central government for not complying with its own regulation,” Gobay said.

2) Papua petition swimming to UN
35 minutes ago 

Campaigners for improved human rights in West Papua are swimming to the United Nations in Geneva today carrying a petition calling for action in the Indonesian territory.

The document urges the UN to facilitate a legitimate self-determination process for West Papua.

The petition is being delivered by six Britons swimming the length of Lake Geneva.
They are expected to spend over 30 hours in the water, covering 69 kilometres.
The 'Swim for West Papua' team is due to arrive at Geneva's waterfront on Wednesday evening.
The petition carries the signatures of thousands of people from the Papua region and tens of thousands from around the world who backed it online.
Tt will be presented to the United Nations tomorrow.
Signing the petition is illegal for people in Indonesia's Papua region.
The Free West Papua Campaign said the document had to be smuggled out of West Papua to get it to Switzerland.
They said as a direct consequence of the petition, two people had been arrested and 42 people had been tortured.
Campaigners said people faceed up to 15 years in prison for supporting the petition.
In 1969, the United Nations sanctioned the incorporation of the former Dutch New Guinea into Indonesia, a process regarded by Papuans as illegitimate.
Since then, widespread abuses have been reported with human rights groups and academics estimating that over 100,000 Papuans have died.
In the Pacific, support for West Papuan self-determination has been growing.
In March this year, seven Pacific countries called on the UN Human Rights Council to urgently consider the situation in West Papua.
Vanuatu's Justice Minister delivered the call on behalf of his country and Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and Solomon Islands.
The petition calls on the UN to go further.
Along with the focus on self-determination, it seeks action by the international community to hold ongoing human rights abuses in Papua to account.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Media Release: West Papua Action Auckland calls on Pacific Island Forum leaders

West Papua Action Auckland letter to PIF leaders

West Papua Action Auckland
PO Box 68-419
Wellesley St
30 August 2017
Media Release: West Papua Action Auckland calls on Pacific Island Forum leaders to take action on West Papua next week.
‘We are pleased that West Papua is on the agenda at this year’s Forum meeting (4-8 September) and we are calling on the leaders to take decisive action to help resolve the region’s most serious human rights crisis, ’ said Maire Leadbeater, West Papua Action Auckland.
West Papua Action Auckland has written to each of the Forum leaders, urging that they do more than just express concern, as has happened in the past.  They should follow the lead of the seven Pacific nations who have raised the issue at the UN General Assembly and at the UN Human Rights Council.  Vanuatu, Nauru, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Palau have called for the UN to take account of the evidence of widespread human rights violations and conduct a systematic investigation with recommendations for actions.
We note that the Forum has granted observer status and even full membership to other Pacific nations which are yet to achieve independence.  In the 1980s the Forum was instrumental in having New Caledonia re-inscribed with the UN Committee on Decolonisation.  But the Forum has turned away from addressing self-determination for West Papua, despite the  fact that the people of West Papua were denied any say in the matter when Indonesia took over the territory in the 1960s.  
The Forum should grant observer or associate status to the representatives of the West Papuan people, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).  This would put the Forum in a strong position to mediate dialogue between the ULMWP and Jakarta.  
Specifically, West Papua Action Auckland urges the Forum to
·         Establish a regional Fact Finding Team to conduct a Human Rights Assessment in West Papua 
·         Support the  seven Pacific Nation call led by Vanuatu at the Human Rights Council for the  UN to investigate  and report on  the alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.
·         Call for the re-inscription of West Papua with the UN Committee on Decolonisation, (the Committee of 24). 
·         Support observer or associate membership at the Pacific Island Forum for the ULMWP.
For further information:  Maire Leadbeater phone 09-815-9000 or 0274-436-957.
Letter follows:
West Papua Action Auckland
PO Box 68419
New Zealand
Decisive Action needed on West Papua from the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting
Dear Pacific Island Forum leaders,
We are pleased to note that the issue of West Papua is on the agenda for the 48th Pacific Island Forum being held this year in Apia, Samoa.
The suffering of the indigenous people of West Papua is the most serious human rights crisis in the Pacific region, and Pacific leaders can no longer side-step their responsibilities to their Melanesian neighbours. This year the Forum should resolve on decisive action to support the rights of the people of West Papua, recalling that they have been subject to grave human rights violations ever since 1963 when West Papua first came under Indonesian rule.  The Forum leaders must also take into account the right of the Papuan people to self-determination as it has been well-established that the so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’ of 1969 was a fraudulent exercise carried out under extreme duress. 
The Indonesian security forces in West Papua have been responsible for extensive use of torture and killings, but still operate with almost total impunity.  For example, there has been no justice for the well-publicised massacre of  four schoolboys at the end of 2014.  At the beginning of this month Brimob paramilitary police opened live fire on demonstrators in Deiyai, killing one man and injuring many others.  The villagers were protesting against the actions of a local construction firm which had refused to help transport a dying  person to hospital.  In the weeks that have followed a police chief has been transferred but the perpetrators have not been brought to justice.  Instead many young people demonstrating against this police abuse in West Papua and a number of cities in Indonesia have been illegally arrested.
International human rights groups repeatedly condemn the unlawful restrictions on the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in West Papua.  It is outrageous that those who simply want to take part in peaceful protest or express their political aspirations are unable to do so without risking arrest, beatings and worse at the hands of the security forces. Mass detentions following demonstrations have been frequent in 2016 and 2017.
It must also be noted that the proportion of indigenous Papuan people as a percentage of the total population continues to decline as a result of migration from other parts of Indonesia. This inward migration poses a threat to the well-being of the people who live in areas targeted for exploitation of minerals and forests, or for the expansion of palm oil and other lucrative agri-business projects.
West Papua is effectively off limits to international journalists, with the possible exception of tourism writers.  Access is also denied to most humanitarian and human rights workers. 
At the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit in Honiara, July 2015, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was granted Observer status in the MSG.  Since this time political, church and community leaders in the Pacific have been speaking out for West Papua as never before.  However, this up-swell of concern has yet to translate into any action on the part of the Pacific Island Forum. 
Role of the Pacific Island Forum
Although historically, geographically and culturally there is no doubt that  West Papua belongs to the  Pacific Community, the Pacific Island Forum has so far made only tentative and token statements about the situation there.   This has led some Pacific nations to take the issue up on their own initiative  at the United Nations General Assembly and at the UN Human Rights Council.
Earlier this year in Geneva at the Human Rights Council, the Vanuatu Minister of Justice Ronald Warsal spoke for his own country and for six other Pacific nations ( Nauru, Tonga,  Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Palau).  As a response to the extensive authoritative documentation of state violence against Papuans he called for the UN Human Rights Council to request the High Commissioner for Human Rights to produce a consolidated report on the actual situation in West Papua.
The time has come for PIF to take substantive action. Specifically, we urge the leaders of the 48th PIF summit to:
·         Establish a regional Fact Finding Team to conduct a Human Rights Assessment in West Papua 
·         Support,  the  seven Pacific Nation call led by Vanuatu at the Human Rights Council for the  UN to investigate  and report on  the alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.
·         Call for the re-inscription of West Papua with the UN Committee on Decolonisation, (the Committee of 24). 
·         Support observer or associate membership at the Pacific Island Forum for the ULMWP.
We thank you in advance for acknowledging the rights and aspirations of the people of West Papua as a priority issue. 
Yours sincerely,
Maire Leadbeater (for West Papua Action Auckland)

1) Papua aims to cut transmission chain of HIV

2) Expert Highlights Problems with Latest Freeport Deal
3) Govt Prepares Scheme for State Income from Freeport 
4) Freeport to seek Rio Tinto approval for deal with Indonesia on Grasberg mine
5) Indonesia Reaches Agreement With Freeport on New Mining Permit for Grasberg

1) Papua aims to cut transmission chain of HIV
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura, Papua | Tue, August 29, 2017 | 05:46 pm
The Papua administration is stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of HIV by providing antibody tests to pregnant women seeking healthcare services at hospitals or community health centers.
By finding pregnant women who test positive for HIV, health authorities can take measures to prevent the transmission of the chronic disease to their babies.
“This is one of the ways to cut the HIV transmission chain in Papua,” Papua Health Agency secretary Silwanus Sumule said in a public dialogue in Jayapura on Tuesday.  
The Health Ministry’s HIV sub-directorate official Triya Novita Dinihari said the government was aiming to achieve the “three zeroes” by 2030, during which Indonesia would see no more new HIV/AIDS infections, AIDS-related deaths or stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (ODHA).
Triya said all stakeholders must work together because preventing HIV/AIDS was not the sole responsibility of the Health Ministry.
“All societal elements, including religious and traditional leaders and community figures, must be involved. This is because introducing HIV control and prevention in grassroots communities will be effective only if it involves leaders in society,” said Triya.
Data shows that 97 percent of HIV infections in Papua have been transmitted via sexual intercourse. Around 16,620, 57.57 percent, of total HIV cases in the province affect people at the productive age of between 25 and 49 years. 
The Papua Health Agency records that as of June, it found 27,771 HIV/AIDS cases, which had spread in the province since 1992. Of the total, 10,134 cases are HIV while the remaining cases are AIDS, of which 1,883 patients have died. (ebf)
WEDNESDAY, 30 AUGUST, 2017 | 01:30 WIB
2) Expert Highlights Problems with Latest Freeport Deal

TEMPO.COJakarta - The Indonesian government and American mining giant Freeport Indonesia finally agreed today on Tuesday, August 29. Despite this, legal mining expert of Universitas Tarumanegara Ahmad Redi argues that the deal has its flaws. 
The first is regarding Freeport’s special mining business permit (IUPK) that he considers is not in accordance with the mineral and coal law (UU Minerba). “According to the law, an IUPK can be given after the state reserve territory has been determined and approved by the House of Representatives. The IUPK itself is prioritized to be given to State Owned Enterprises,” Redi explained.
He also questions Freeport’s commitment in the deal to construct a domestic smelter within the five-year limit after the IUPK is issued. Redi argues that Freeport had long been promising to build one but is yet to be realized. 
He also claims that buying divested shares during the end of a working contract (KK) is a policy that is disadvantageous for Indonesia. "Because without buying out Freeport's divestments in 2021, Freeport could already be owned by the government," he said.
Freeport's stock divestment deal is stated in the extended working contract of 1991, where the company was initially obliged to divest 51 percent of its shares in 2011. But Redi regrets that Freeport has yet to realize the deal in the contract up until this moment. 
“This deal is reinforcing Freeport Indonesia in exploiting Indonesia’s natural resources,” Redi stated.
TUESDAY, 29 AUGUST, 2017 | 17:02 WIB
3) Govt Prepares Scheme for State Income from Freeport  

TEMPO.COJakarta - The government will soon formulate a state revenue scheme from Freeport Indonesia. The scheme will be designed after the government meets and the US-based miner reaches an agreement in the negotiations over its mining contract.
One of the points to agree on is the increase in state revenues contributed by the mining company.
"[Future] state revenue from Freeport Indonesia's operations must be greater than what we received through the Contract of Work," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said in a press conference in Jakarta, Tuesday, August 29.
Sri Mulyani did not elaborate on the composition, percentage, and amount of state income, saying that there are other elements to be taken into accounts such as Non-Tax State Revenues (PNBP), royalties, and taxes.
Details of the scheme, said Sri Mulyani, will be attached to the Special Mining Business License granted to Freeport Indonesia.
In addition to state revenues, another agreement that needs to be reached is the 51-percent divestment of Freeport Indonesia's shares for national ownership. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan said the government is currently negotiating the details of the stages and timing of the divestment.
Jonan said that the divestment scheme will also be attached to the Special Mining Business License granted to Freeport Indonesia.
The next agreement is related the construction of smelter by Freeport Indonesia within five years after the IUPK is issued, or no later than 2022—unless a force majeure happened within said period.  

AUGUST 29 2017 - 11:28PM
4) Freeport to seek Rio Tinto approval for deal with Indonesia on Grasberg mine
Jakarta: US mining giant Freeport McMoRan has signalled it believes a breakthrough agreement allowing it to continue operating a massive gold and copper mine in Indonesia will win the approval of Rio Tinto.
Indonesian Energy and Minister Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said on Tuesday that after "tough negotiations" Freeport had agreed to give up its majority stake in the Grasberg mine to Indonesia.
The agreement will require Freeport to cut its ownership of the mine from 90.64 per cent to 49 per cent, provide more state revenue, adopt a special licence and build a second smelter by 2022.
Freeport's chief executive Richard Adkerson said the mining company would need to obtain approval for any changes from Rio Tinto, which has been a partner in the operations in Papua, a restive eastern province of Indonesia, since the mid-1990s.
"We have been working with Rio Tinto on a co-operative basis as Freeport has represented these operations with the government," Mr Adkerson said in Jakarta.
He said his own view was that if Freeport viewed the changes as appropriate and beneficial it would be able to obtain Rio Tinto's agreement.

Fairfax Media sought comment from Rio Tinto.

Grasberg is the world’s second-largest copper mine.

Rio Tinto is entitled to a 40 per cent share of output from Grasberg above specific levels until 2021 and 40 per cent of all production after 2021.
However the company indicated in April it might not take ownership of 40 per cent of copper production after 2021.
"Rio Tinto's participation beyond 2021 is likely to be affected due to the application of force majeure provisions in the joint venture agreement between Rio Tinto and Freeport McMoRan," it said at the time.
The preceding month Rio Tinto Group chief Jean-Sebastien Jacques had flagged it was considering the future of its stake in the Grasberg mine.
The result of the negotiation is in line with President Joko Widodo's instruction to put forward the national interest.
Indonesian minister Ignasius Jonan
The mine was at the centre of violent protests in August after Freeport furloughed thousands of workers earlier this year in response to export restrictions related to the lengthy permit dispute with Indonesia.
Indonesia eventually granted a six-month permit allowing Freeport to temporarily resume copper concentrate exports, but they were at risk of being again halted when the temporary permit expired in October.
The timing and price of the divestment are yet to be resolved, with Mr Adkerson emphasising that the agreement to divest the 51 per cent stake and build a second smelter were "major" concessions.
Mr Jonan said Freeport would be able to immediately apply for a 10-year permit extension.
Its current 30-year contract at Grasberg is due to expire in four years.
"We agreed that the first extension is for 10 years and and the next one will be for 10 years," Mr Jonan said.
"Legally they will not be automatic."  
Freeport is one of Indonesia's largest taxpayers. It had been seeking an agreement that would run until 2041 and provide certainty for a multibillion-dollar underground expansion.
Mr Jonan said the government and Freeport would work together to immediately finalise the documentation of the agreed structure and Freeport would get the necessary corporate approval.
"The result of the negotiation is in line with President Joko Widodo's instruction to put forward the national interest, the interest of the Papuan people, state sovereignty in managing natural resources and providing a conducive investment climate," he said.
With Karuni Rompies

5) Indonesia Reaches Agreement With Freeport on New Mining Permit for Grasberg
By : Wilda Asmarinia & Hidayat Setiaji | on 11:01 AM August 29, 2017
JakartaIndonesia and Freeport-McMoRan on Tuesday (29/08) reached an agreement to allow the US miner to keep operating its giant Grasberg copper and gold mine, though the timing and price of a 51 percent divestment in the mine still needs to be worked out.
Freeport, the world's biggest publicly traded copper company, can apply for an immediate 10-year permit extension to mine at Grasberg beyond 2021, said Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan. Grasberg is the world's second-biggest copper mine.
"The mandate of the president, which has been agreed to by Freeport, is that the divestment should reach 51 percent in total," Jonan told a joint news conference, alongside Freeport's Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson. "All that is left is to discuss the timing. The price will be negotiated later," said Jonan.
Revised rules in Indonesia require miners to divest a 51 percent stake, relinquish arbitration rights and pay new taxes and royalties. Freeport has insisted on getting the same fiscal and legal protection as in its current contract.
The mining minister said Freeport could "immediately apply" for its first 10-year permit extension and a second extension could be proposed before 2031.
Freeport's copper concentrate exports from Indonesia were at risk of being halted again if the two sides had failed to reach an agreement on a new mining permit before the current temporary permit expired in October. Freeport exports around two-thirds of the copper concentrate it produces at Grasberg and the remainder is processed domestically.
Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport has held lengthy talks with the Indonesian government over issues such as the amount and valuation of the divestment and the development of a new smelter to extend its 30-year mining contract, which is due to expire in four years time.
Adkerson said the existing contract of work would remain in place until everything was settled, but stressed that the company had given ground.
"We want to emphasize that to divest the 51 percent [stake] and to build a [second] smelter are a major concession," said Adkerson.
Adkerson, who has been personally involved in the negotiations, in April had called the divestment rule "a form of expropriation".
Freeport had said it wanted an agreement that would run to 2041 and provide the fiscal and legal certainty it needed to proceed with a multi-billion dollar underground expansion for Grasberg. The mine is located in Indonesia's eastern province of Papua, on the island of New Guinea.