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.
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.
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.
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 kompas.com.
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.