Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
AWPA Update No 5/ 2022
3 August 2022
There has been no improvement in the situation in West Papua . In fact, a new report “Don’t Abandon us: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Papua.” by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum , is warning that mass killings of civilians could occur in West Papua in the next year to 18 months if the current conditions continue to deteriorate to a worst-case scenario. Although large-scale violence against civilians is not occurring yet in Papua, early warning signs are visible and warrant attention, says the report.
Report “Don’t Abandon us: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Papua.”
46,286 troops sent to Papua from 2019 to 2021: ELSHAM
Jayapura, Jubi – The Papuan Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM) in a press release said Papua was like a constant battlefield, plagued by conflict since it became part of Indonesia. In handling the conflict in Papua, the Indonesian government always deploys excessive military forces. ELSHAM noted that during 2019-2021 there were 46,286 Indonesian Military (TNI) and police personnel sent to assist military operations in Papua.
Since the 1960s, Papua became a Military Operations Area (DOM), and ELSHAM recorded that until 2018, there had been 24 military operations carried out in Papua with various operating codes by the TNI and police. ELSHAM highlighted President Joko Widodo’s concern about the Ukraine-Russia War, wherein Jokowi said “War is egotistical, ignores humanity , and only craves power”. “From this statement, it is natural to question Jokowi’s stance on the war that is taking place in Papua? Russia’s treatment of Ukraine in the war is no different from Indonesia’s treatment of its people in Papua,” director of ELSHAM Papua Matheus Adadikam said in a written statement received by Jubi on Thursday, June 23, 2022.
In Chapter 1 Article III of the Geneva Convention
Relative to The Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, in the case of armed conflict not of an international character, point I states “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria”.
ELSHAM assessed that up to this point, a very militaristic approach is still being used by the state in responding to problems in Papua. ELSHAM urged the state to prioritize a more humane and dignified approach in order to uphold human rights in Papua, by doing the following: The President must immediately stop the use of mortars and war defense equipment which is currently being used in military operations in Papua.
The government must immediately audit the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) which has allegedly abused its duties and authorities. (*) Writer: News Desk
Humanitarian pause is much needed in Papua, Papuan Peace Network says
Papua Conflict - News Desk 24 June 2022
Most of the Nduga refugees consist of children and women. Several mothers brought their children on the day of the visit of the MRP Special Committee for Humanity who brought the medical team to check their health condition, on Saturday (4/6/2022). – Jubi/Yuliana Lantipo
Jayapura, Jubi – The Papuan Peace Network (JDP) calls for a humanitarian pause to end all armed conflicts in Papua and start a peaceful dialogue. JDP spokesman Yan Christian Warinussy stated that a humanitarian pause was very much needed in order to provide access for humanitarian workers to help the Papuan people who were trapped in the armed conflict. The prolonged armed conflict in Papua has led to a wave of internally displaced people. Warinussy said a pause would stop the government from placing a large number of non-organic military forces in Papua. According to him, sending additional troops to Papua is not effective in solving the Papua problems.
“JDP has always believed that a security approach, such as by deploying more Indonesian Military (TNI) and police personnel in Papua, is very unhelpful in building a peaceful Papua,” Warinussy said via Whatsapp on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
Warinussy called on United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to voice and support peaceful dialogue to take place in Papua, in order to resolve socio-political conflicts in Papua. Papua peaceful dialogue needs international support from UN member states. “It is important as it will give strong pressure and encouragement to the Indonesian government to start the Papua-Jakarta Dialogue in the near future,” he said. Recently, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss Papua peaceful dialogue. The Papua Peace Network said such a step was in line with the Komnas HAM’s duties as regulated in Article 75 of Law No. 39/1999 on Human Rights and Article 4 and 5 of Presidential Decree No. 50/1993 on Komnas HAM. Writer: News Desk
Free Papua Movement Warns Govt against Expansion Plan
Translator Ricky Mohammad Nugraha Editor Markus Wisnu Murti 27 June 2022 19:29 WIB
TEMPO.CO, - Sambon urged, “We strongly ask Jakarta, the House of Representatives (DPR), and President along with Cabinet members to revoke the Draft Law for the expansion of the provinces.” OPM argued that the government is overly controlling customary lands owned by indigenous Papuans. He added that the planned provincial expansion would continue to threaten the security of the region, which they claimed was under martial law. He said the expansion plan did not come from Papuans. “Martial law means that Jakarta is forcefully taking over our customary lands owned by Papuans,” said Sambon. “God did not create the Papuan lands for Indonesians, not for Jakartans, but for Papuan indigenous people.” The Indonesian government and the House of Representatives (DPR) have synchronized three legal aspects in the form of South Papua Province, Central Papua, and Papua Highlands Draft Laws. The idea of expanding Papua Provinces was initially expressed in July last year. M FAIZ ZAKI
Papua expansion will only exploit Papua’s natural resources: Students
Papua Expansion - News Desk 23 June 2022
Jayapura, Jubi – The Student Solidarity of the Meepago Region in Jayapura said the Papua expansion plan by the government was an attempt to exploit Papua’s natural resources. This was stated by Yapinus as the Solidarity’s coordinator during his speech at Mimika Dormitory, Jayapura City, on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The students’ action was held for four hours to reject Papua expansion, Papua’s special autonomy, and criticize the Mimika Regent for his declaration to support the establishment of new autonomous regions, especially the Central Papua Province.
Yapinus said that Papua expansion would only provide space for investors to be even more unimpeded to enter and take natural resources in Papua, especially in the Meepago customary area. “Natural resources are dredged through investments that enter Papua,” he said. According to Yapinus, investments will not improve the welfare of the Papuan people. On the other hand, it will destroy Papua’s forests and nature, causing the Papuan people to lose their land and place to live, as is the case with the Kamoro and Amungme tribes in Timika. “Papua’s nature and forests will be damaged,” he said.
Yapinus said that Papua expansion was the desire of local and national political elites. According to him, the Papuan people have never been involved in the discussion of Papua expansion. Further, the Meepago Student Solidarity in Jayapura also criticized the Mimika Regent, Eltinus Omaleng, who supported the expansion of Central Papua Province and said that on behalf of the Meepago community. According to Yapinus, the declaration made by Omaleng on June 14 was a political ambition for personal gain, not for the interests of the people. He said that the declaration did not involve the Papuan people, particularly the Meepago people. Yapinus said he would submit the students’ aspirations to Papuan Legislative Council. He said his party would continue to reject the expansion and demand the revocation of the Papua special autonomy law. “And give the Papuan people the right to self-determination,” he said. (*) https://en.jubi.id/papua-expansion-will-only-exploit-papuas-natural-resources-students/
Parliament passes controversial bills to create new provinces in Papua
Victor Mambor and Dandy Koswaraputra 2022.06.30 Jayapura, Indonesia, and Jakarta
Demonstrators protest outside the Indonesian Parliament in Jakarta following passage of bills to create three new provinces in its underdeveloped region of Papua, June 30, 2022. Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters
The Indonesian parliament on Thursday approved the creation of three new provinces in the restive Papua region, despite opposition from many indigenous Papuans who fear an influx of outsiders, and criticism from rights groups that the move is a “divide-and-rule” strategy. The action paves the way for the formation of South Papua Province, Central Papua Province and Papua Highlands Province, in addition to the existing provinces of Papua and West Papua. “The division is aimed at accelerating equitable development, the improvement of public services, people’s welfare and dignity,” lawmaker Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung said in parliament.
The plans to carve up Papua have been widely opposed by indigenous people. Protests involving thousands of people against the plans have been held in Papuan cities including Jayapura, Wamena, Yahukimo, Timika, Nabire and Lanny Jaya.
Ika Mulait, an activist with Papuan People’s Petition, a group which organized rallies against the creation of new provinces, warned of worsening human rights violations with the presence of more security forces. Jakarta granted special autonomy for Papua in 2001 to mollify desires for independence, but Indonesian security forces have been accused of human rights abuses during anti-insurgency operations there.
A special autonomy law for Papua, which was passed last year, allows Jakarta to create new administrative units in Papua without the approval of the provincial government and the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP).
“These three new provinces will certainly result in more many military personnel entering Papua and the Papuan people are already traumatized by the presence of the security forces,” Ika told BenarNews. Activists and Papuans said the bills were drafted without consulting the indigenous people who are represented through the MRP and the Papuan People’s Representative Council (DPRD).
“The government really has mastered the art of finding solutions to Papuan problems without listening to Papuans,” Ligia Giay, a Papuan studying in Australia, told BenarNews.
Veronica Koman, an activist with Amnesty International Australia, said the creation of a new provinces was a “divide-and-rule” tactic. “New security bases and posts will be built in each new area, exacerbating conflicts and human rights violations through increased militarization,” she said on Twitter. “As an Indonesian, I am deeply ashamed that a new chapter of Jakarta’s settler-colonialism project in West Papua has been officially legalized by the Indonesian parliament today,” she said. Edho Gobay, director of the Papua Legal Aid Institute, said his organization would challenge the bills at the Constitutional Court in Jakarta. “We will mount a legal challenge because Papuans also have constitutional rights guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution,” Gobay told BenarNews.
Meanwhile, Sebby Sambom, spokesman for the West Papua National Liberation Army, the armed wing of the separatist movement, said the creation of new provinces was to serve only the interests of the elite. “We never asked for special autonomy or new autonomous entities. That’s what Indonesia wants through the Papuan elite,” Sambom told BenarNews . “That is the nature of colonialism. Indonesia will impose its will on Papua using the hands of the indigenous Papuans,” he said. Clashes between rebels and government forces have intensified since December 2018, after rebels killed 20 people who worked for a state-owned construction company building a road in Papua.
Papua has been home to a separatist insurgency since the 1960s. In 1963, Indonesian forces invaded Papua – like Indonesia, a former Dutch colony – and annexed the region that makes up the western half of New Guinea Island. Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a United Nations-sponsored vote, which locals and activists said was a sham because it involved only about 1,000 people. However, the United Nations accepted the result, essentially endorsing Jakarta’s rule. https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/indonesian/three-provinces-06302022133848.html
Government official admits new Papua provinces to counter OPM, exploit natural resources
MRP Papua – July 1, 2022
Jakarta – The Papua People's Council (MRP) says that a Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam) deputy told them that the creation of new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua is to narrow the space for the West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Movement (TNPB-OPM) to move. MRP Chairperson Timotius Murib said that the Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD [also] made the statement during a meeting between the Kemenko Polhukam and the MRP. Murib said that during the meeting, the MPR received a great deal of input from the Kemenko Polhukam. “One of the deputies told the MRP that the MPR should know that the DOB is an activity by the state to narrow the TNPB-OPM or KKB's [armed criminal groups] space to move", said Murib during a virtual press conference on Thursday June 30. Murib said that the deputy also said that the government will build large numbers of regional police (Polda) headquarters and regional military commands (Kodam), Because of this, the MRP believes that the creation of new autonomous regions in Papua was aimed at bringing more military into Papua and encircling the TPNPB.
According to Murib, the government is not prioritising the interests of the ordinary people but rather the desire to exploit natural resources in Papua. "And they want to build [more] Polda, Kodam, in the near future", said Murib. Murib revealed that there were many people who heard the statement by the deputy. The MRP believes that it is no longer a secret that the government is pursuing natural resources in Papua and ignoring the interests of local populations. According to Murib, the government also wants to exploit natural resources without being disturbed by other parties by bringing in large numbers of military personnel. "But brought in so when I manage natural resources in Papua no one disrupts it. Because the country's debt is indeed very big at the moment", they said. Earlier on June 30, the House of Representatives (DPR) enacted three laws on the establishment of new provinces in Papua, namely Central Papua, the Papua Highlands and South Papua.
The original text of the second paragraph in which Murib says that Mahfud MD made the statement, rather than the unnamed deputy, read, "Ketua Majelis Rakyat Papua (MRP), Timotius Murib mengatakan, bawahan Menko Polhukam, Mahfud MD menyampaikan pernyataan itu dalam salah satu pertemuan Kemenko Polhukam dengan MRP".
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Majelis Rakyat Papua: Bawahan Mahfud Sebut DOB Papua Tuk Persempit OPM".]
Papua People's Petition holds simultaneous rallies against new Papua provinces
Suara Papua – July 14, 2022
Reiner Brabar, Jayapura – Following an earlier call by the Papua People's Petition (PRP) and despite being marred by police blockades, forced dispersals and assaults on protesters, simultaneous mass actions were held in various parts of the country on
Thursday July 14, . The actions were held to conveyed the people's opposition to revisions to the Special Autonomy Law on Papua (Otsus), the creation of new autonomous regions (DOB) and demands for a referendum on independence.
Based on reports compiled by Suara Papua, a PRP action in Jayapura was held under tight security by police who subsequently broke up the action resulting in several people being hit and punched by police. Four students, namely Welinus Walianggen, Ebenius Tabuni, Nias Aso and Habel Fauk were assaulted by police near the PT Gapura Angkasa warehouse at the Cenderawasih University (Uncen) in Waena, Jayapura when police forcibly broke up the student protest. According to Walianggen, one of the action coordinators, scores of police officers used batons and rattan sticks to disperse them.
Meanwhile PRP protesters arriving from several different points conveyed their demands at the Papua Regional House of Representatives (DPRP) office. Although they were blocked by police, negotiations were held at the main entrance to the parliament building. Several DPRP members then met with the demonstrators who handed over a document containing their opposition to the creation of the three new provinces (South Papua, Central Papua and the Papua Highlands), which was ratified by the House of Representatives (DPR) during a plenary meeting in Senayan, Jakarta, on Thursday June 31, and for revisions to the Special Autonomy law to be revoked.
In Timika, a PRP action was held in front of the Mimika Indonesian Builders Association (Gapensi) offices but it was broken up by police just after 9 am local time. Despite not having permission from police, several speakers were able to convey the Papuan people's opposition to Otsus, the DOBs and demands for a referendum to be held. The speakers also called for the closure of the PT Freeport gold and copper mine and the cancelation of planned mining activities in the Wabu Block.
In Nabire, PRP protesters held their ground against the police but many of the people who had gathered at Karang Tumaritis, SP 1 and Siriwini at 7 am were arrested and taken away by the Nabire district police. A short time later, demonstrators from several different points headed towards the Nabire Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) office where they packed into the parliament grounds. While they were giving speeches, the demonstrators who had been arrested rejoined the action after being dropped off by several Nabire district police vehicles.
Speakers representing various different organisations and elements of Papuan society in the Meepago region took turns in articulating the people's thoughts.
PRP liaison officer for the Meepago region Agus Tebai said that the Papuan people, including those from Meepago, explicitly reject Otsus and the DOBs in the land of Papua. Speakers also asserted that Otsus and the recently enacted laws on the creation of three new provinces in Papua must be annulled. Tebai asserted that the Papuan people are calling for an immediate referendum to determine the future of West Papua. These demands were finally handed over to the people's representatives and accepted by three members of the Nabire DPRD.
In Manokwari, PRP protesters gathered on the Amban main road and gave speeches until 1.30 pm. The hundreds of detonators were blocked by police and prevented from holding a long-march to the West Papua DPRD offices. Negotiations between police and the action coordinator achieved nothing and the demonstrators then disbanded in an orderly fashion. Similar mass actions were also held in Yahukimo, Boven Digoel, Sorong and Kaimana in West Papua province.
In Wamena meanwhile, the Lapago regional PRP was conveyed its support for protesters who took to the streets via video. According to PRP Lapago Secretary Namene Elopere there was no action in Wamena for the Lapago region in accordance with the initial schedule because they were still coordinating with the Jayawijaya district police. Aside from protest in Papua, simultaneous actions were also held in Bali, Ambon (Maluku), Surabaya (East Java), Yogyakarta (Central Java), Bandung (West Java) and Jakarta.
[Translated by James Balowski. Subheadings added by the translator. The original title of the article was "Begini Situasi Aksi PRP Hari Ini di Berbagai Daerah".]
Youtube. SBS News West Papua
Jul 15, 2022
Bennt Wenda visits region
West Papuan Leader in Vanuatu
While his latest visit has been kept under wraps, he was officially welcomed by the SHEFA Provincial Government Council (SPGC), President of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, Chief Willie Plasua and the President of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs, Chief Simeon Poilapa. His welcome by the SPGC is of significant importance since SHEFA Province has adopted ULMWP in the Melanesian way to become Melanesian brothers and sisters, which explains why the West Papua Flag is flown with the SHEFA Provincial Flag.
In fact the ceremony also witnessed West Papua Port resident Mr. Warome ensure the presentation of the West Papua Flag by Mr. Wenda, to the Malvatumauri President, Chief Willie Plasua. While traditional protocol included a kava ceremony afterwards, Mr. Wenda’s entire itinerary remains strictly with the organisers. It is not clear if or when he is going to meet with Government leaders. He is understood to be in the country for two weeks. https://www.dailypost.vu/news/west-papuan-leader-in-vanuatu/article_fead7d07-08f4-5e18-a10d-d0bb183478bb.html
In Kanaky (New Caledonia), the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreeing to mutually support each other’s independence struggles.
24 years since the Biak massacre
The 6th July marked 24 years since the Biak Massacre when the Indonesian security forces massacred scores of people in Biak, West Papua. The victims, included women and children who had gathered for a peaceful rally. They were killed at the base of a water tower flying the Morning Star flag.
SMH 14 November 1998
Activists call for Biak massacre to be raised with Indonesia at Pacific Islands Forum
Green Left July 11, 2022 Issue 1353 Susan Price
Indonesian security forces massacred scores of people in Biak, West Papua, 24 years ago on July 6, 1998. The victims included women and children who had gathered for a peaceful rally. They were killed at the base of a water tower flying the West Papuan Morning Star flag.
The flag was raised above the water tower near Biak’s harbour on July 2. Activists and local people gathered beneath it, singing songs and holding traditional dances. As the rally continued, many more people in the area joined in and numbers swelled to 500.
Security forces attacked the demonstrators a few days later, massacring scores of people. Others were rounded up and later taken out to sea where they were thrown off naval ships and drowned. No Indonesian security force member has been charged or brought to justice for the human rights abuses committed against the peaceful demonstrators………. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/activists-call-biak-massacre-be-raised-indonesia-pacific-islands-forum
Fiji remains silent on West Papua issue - Ali
Rusiate Baleilevuka Wednesday 13/07/2022
FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali with other staff members and activists at the flag raising earlier today
Advocacy group condemns failure to address West Papua at Pacific Forum
By APR editor - July 19, 2022 Asia Pacific Report newsdesk
The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) has condemned the absence of West Papua in last week’s Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) official communique, saying it was “greatly disappointed” that the human rights situation in the Indonesian-ruled Melanesian region had not been mentioned. “it is understandable that the PIF has huge challenges in the region and in particular climate change. But for all the talk about inclusiveness it would appear West Papua is not a major concern for the Forum,” spokesperson Joe Collins said in a statement.
“The PIF could have shown solidarity with the Papuan people by a simple statement of concern about the human rights situation in West Papua (particularly as the situation continues to deteriorate).”
Collins called on the forum to continue to urge Jakarta to allow a fact-finding mission to the region. “The leaders would have had the support of the people of the Pacific region in doing so,” he added. https://asiapacificreport.nz/2022/07/19/advocacy-group-condemns-failure-to-address-west-papua-at-pacific-forum/
‘Doorstops’ at the Pacific Forum – why no tough questions on West Papua?
By David Robie - July 22, 2022.
Students in Papua refuse army entering campus
Military On Campus - News Desk 14 July 2022
Cenderawasih University students held a demonstration at Uncen Waena Campus, Wednesday (13/7/2022). – Jubi/Theo Kelen
Jayapura, Jubi TV – The Student Executive Board (BEM) of Cenderawasih University took to the streets on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, asking the university’s rector to stop all forms of cooperation with the security forces, especially the Indonesian Military (TNI). The protest occurred from 8 to 11 a.m. local time in front of the Gate of Cenderawasih University, Perumnas 3 Waena, involving the BEM of nine faculties.
Cenderawasih University BEM head Salmon Wandik asked the rector to cancel cooperation with the 172/Praja Wira Yakthi Military Resort Command, which is under the command of XVII/Cenderawasih Military Regional Command. Wandik worried this collaboration would hinder and limit the democracy on campus because of intervention from the military towards students’ activities, especially protests by students.
Police Cancel Papua-Related Discussion Plan, Watchdog Laments Freedom of Speech Crisis
Translator Ricky Mohammad Nugraha Editor Laila Afifa 24 June 2022 09:08 WIB
The event, organized by the university's Public Administration Student Association (HMAP), was initially aimed to discuss problems that arise in Papua and was scheduled to invite speakers from the Papuan University Alliance (AMP).
Interfaith efforts important to maintain peace in Papua
Jubi Peacebuilding In Papua - News Desk 6 July 2022
Jayapura, Jubi – Interfaith leaders in Papua gathered to discuss the “Challenges and the Role of Religions in the Struggle to Build Peace in Papua” in Jayapura City on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. The meeting was initiated by the Secretariat for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (SKPKC) Franciscan Papua. Throughout the discussion, the participants gave critical notes about the peace struggle as well as religious-based peace work. The religious leaders also presented various proposals and follow-up actions to build and maintain peace in Papua. Director of SKPKC Franciscan Papua Yuliana Langowuyo said ideas and efforts to build peace in Papua had been initiated 20 years ago but were yet to be realized to this day. “Therefore, we gather interfaith leaders to share their thoughts, discuss, and find alternative solutions for the current Papua situation. We can still work in our respective roles and capacities to seek peace in Papua,” Langowuyo said.
The chairman of the Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) of Keerom Regency, Nursalim Arrozy, said that peacebuilding in Papua required the cooperation of interfaith leaders to minimize the risk of conflict in Papua. “How do people want to build peace if life across races, ethnicities, and religions is not harmonious?” he said. Meanwhile, Buddhist figure Aan Djamian said the government could start peacebuilding in Papua by increasing Papua’s human resources. Aan said human resource development in Papua was important so that indigenous Papuans can control the economy in Papua.
Aan said changes were also happening faster so everyone must adapt quickly. Efforts to build peace also require acceptance of the various changes that occur. “Even if we always demand peace, peace will not be realized as long as we don’t accept change,” said Aan. Echoing all the other participants, Pastor Avent OFM said that efforts to create peace in Papua must indeed be followed by increasing education, health, and the economy of the Papuan people, as well as efforts to build a balance by protecting the environment. “How do people talk about peace when they don’t have access to a good education? If one of these elements is not fulfilled, peace will hardly be achieved,” he said. Avent said that it was the duty of religious leaders to continue to encourage the people to actively take roles in peacebuilding in Papua. “I think that throughout their lives, religious leaders have a duty to continue to promote the importance of maintaining peace in Papua,” he said. (*) Writer: News Desk
Indonesia views Indigenous Papuans with racism: Benny Giay
Racism Towards Indigenous Papuans - News Desk 15 July 2022
The moderator of the Papuan Church Council, Rev. Benny Giay (center) with the President of the West Papua Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Socratez Sofyan Yoman and the President of the Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GIDI) Tanah Papua, Dorman Wandikbo gave a press statement to the Papuan Church Council in Sentani, the district capital Jayapura, Wednesday (13/7/2022). - Jubi/Hengky Yeimo
Jayapura, Jubi – Moderator of the Papuan Church Council Benny Giay said the recent speech of Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDIP) General Chair and former Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri proved the Indonesian’s racist mindset towards Papuans. Giay assessed that Indonesia’s view of Papuan Indigenous People is indeed biased towards racism, which triggers conflict, violence, and human rights violations against Indigenous Papuans. “God said that all human beings are good in God’s eyes. But Megawati made a racist comment on Papuans. That’s Megawati’s understanding of Papuan people,” said Giay in a press conference in Sentani, the capital of Jayapura Regency, on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
The Papuan Church Council regretted the current situation in Papua. Besides criticizing Megawati’s racist speech, the council also highlighted the Papua expansion, the ongoing Papuan conflict, and Papua’s Special Autonomy.
“The New Autonomous Regions and the new Special Autonomy for Papua can encourage further conflict in Papua. Megawati’s speech towards Papuans is racist, she told of her anxiety when she saw Papuan and black people. She said that the black gene could be changed, saying that people from the coast are saved because there are many Indonesians from outside Papua so they can intermarry,” said Giay.
This same racist mindset has also led Indonesia to turn the 1969 referendum for every Papuan to a vote by only 1,000 representatives. Racism can also be seen in the way Indonesia responded when an Indonesian Military (TNI) member made a racist remark against Papuan students in Surabaya on August 16, 2019.
Because of this situation, Yoman said, the Indigenous Papuans do not feel they were part of Indonesia. “So today, even though some Papuan people work in the Indonesian government bureaucracy, such condition is fake. Indonesia is a colonizer,” he said.
Papua Liberation Army Claims Execution of Intelligence Officer
Translator Ricky Mohammad Nugraha Editor Petir Garda Bhwana 5 July 2022 13:36 WIB
TEMPO.CO, -’s Korowai District.
‘I don’t know about the regulation, I just follow the order’: Truth and irony behind arrest in Papua
Hostility Towards Morning Star - News Desk 11 July 2022
Jayapura, Jubi – In the trial of the alleged treason against the seven Morning Star bearers – all of whom Papuan – on Thursday, July 7, 2022, the Public Prosecutor presented one of the police officers who arrested the seven defendants on December 1, 2021, Endriko Ary Setiawan. The seven defendants are Melvin Yobe (29), Melvin Fernando Waine (25), Devion Tekege (23), Yosep Ernesto Matuan (19), Maksimus Simon Petrus You (18 ), Lukas Kitok Uropmabin (21), and Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere (21). A panel of judges led the trial at the Jayapura District Court, chaired by RF Tampubolon with member judges Iriyanto T and Thobias B.
Trial of alleged treason in Jayapura continues, public prosecutor presents two witnesses Alleged Treason - News Desk 22 July 2022
Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura District Court on Thursday, July 21, 2022, continued the trial of the alleged treason case involving seven Papuans who raised the Morning Star flag at Cenderawasih Sports Center and marched carrying banners with the Morning Star on December 1, 2021.
The seven people being tried are Melvin Yobe (29), Melvin Fernando Waine (25), Devion Tekege (23), Yosep Ernesto Matuan (19), Maksimus Simon Petrus You (18), Lukas Kitok Uropmabin (21), and Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere (21).
Simbiak told that at that time he was at the Integrated Police Service Center (SPKT) Post, which is about 50 meters from the location where the seven people were arrested. Simbiak admitted he did not hear any of the seven defendants shouting. He also said he did not know why they were marching. He and several other police arrested them because they allegedly caused traffic jams and marched without having a permit. “They lined up in the middle of the road, disturbing road users and causing traffic,” he said.
According to Simbiak, the police who arrested Melin Yobe and his friends did not interrogate them. He said that Melvin Yobe and his friends were questioned by higher officers, not by the police who arrested them. “After they were arrested, we did not communicate with them,” said Simbiak.
Amnesty Urges Government To End Cycle Of Violence In Papua Following Latest Civilian Deaths. Kompas.com – July 19, 2022
Dian Erika Nugraheny, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid is calling for an end to the cycle of violence in Papua following the killing of 11 civilians in Nduga regency on Saturday July 16. "It's time for the state to end the cycle of violence in Papua", said Hamid in a press release on Monday July 18.
"Currently a human rights crisis is occurring in Papua where almost every day violence occurs with casualties and perpetrators from various groups", said Hamid.
The killing of the 11 civilians occurred in Nogolait Village, Kenyam district, Nduga regency, Papua province. They were allegedly killed by an armed criminal group (KKB).
Hamid said that various parties from Papua activist groups, academics and students have urged the government to reevaluate the security approach being applied in Papua. "The policy, which for decades has been applied in Papua has not in fact succeeded in ending human rights violations there and has instead caused even more civilian causalities", said Hamid. Aside from reevaluating the security approach, Hamid believes that the government must correct its policies in Papua in their entirety.
"Starting from labeling them separatists and terrorists to centralistic policies such as [creating] new autonomous regions (DOB) and the Special Autonomy [Law on Papua] which was enacted without meaningful participation by indigenous Papuans", said Hamid. "The state must avoid escalating conflicts which end with casualties and human rights violations, including reconsidering all policies which could give rise to this situation", said Hamid.
Speaking separately, Presidential Staff Deputy Chief (KSP) Jaleswari Pramodhawardani condemned the attack carried out by the KKB in Nduga. "The government condemns it and shares in the sorrow of those injured and killed as a consequence of the criminal actions committed by the KKB", said Pramodhawardani in a press release on Saturday.
"The incident in Nduga regency is currently being handled by the police and the perpetrators will be prosecuted", continued Pramodhawardani. The victims who died are Yulius Watu, Hubertus Goti, Daeng Marannu, Taufan Amir, Johan, Alex, Yuda Nurusingga, Nasjen, Mahmut Ismain and Eliaser Baner. Baner, one of those who died, was a priest. Their bodies have already been evacuated to Timika, Mimika regency. Meanwhile the two people who were injured were Sudirman and Hasdin.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KKB Bantai 11 Warga Sipil di Nduga, Amnesty: Negara Harus Hentikan Siklus Kekerasan".]
TAPOL statement on the latest events in Paniai and Nduga, West Papua
20 JUL 2022
TAPOL expresses its concern and deep sorrow at the numerous events that have occured recently in West Papua, which have led to the deaths of several people. Firstly, the destruction and repressive actions of the security forces at the Paniai Regent’s Office (Kantor Bupati Paniai) that caused the death of one person and the injury of others on Tuesday 5th July 2022; and secondly, shootings and unlawful killings of at least 11 civilians, carried out by armed groups in Nduga on Saturday 16th July 2022.
Acts of violence against civilians, when they lead to deaths whoever is responsible, should be condemned. We call on these two incidents to be investigated in an impartial, independent, appropriate and comprehensive manner by those who have the authority and competency to do so.
It is important that these cases are handled with measures which are legal and proportional and according to human rights principles. If the perpetrators are caught and detained, they must be judged in a fair judicial framework. Experience says that, in Papua at the present time, security operations conducted by the TNI and Polri in response to attacks by armed groups lead to situations where human rights violations are felt by the civilian population.
Security operations and the vengeful pursuit of perpetrators are not able to stop the cycle of violence in West Papua, especially when it results in civilian casualties. The government must ensure that the search and pursuit of perpetrators by the security apparatus will not be done in an arbitrary or high-handed way, as this will increase feelings of fear in other civilians and also repeatedly force them to flee.
Human rights crimes in Papua can be solved through customary law: KKR Team
Jayapura, Jubi – Head of the Cenderawasih University’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) Team Melkias Hetharia said that violations of human rights in Papua can be resolved through customary law. For this reason, the soon to be formed Truth and Reconciliation Commission must pay attention to the culture of the Papuan people, Hethaeia said in an online discussion held by the Alliance for Democracy for Papua, on Friday, July 29, 2022. According to Hetharia, the settlement of human rights violations in Papua through customary law was the right choice because the life of the Papuan people was inseparable with customs. Therefore, a reconciliation according to the customary law might provide a sense of justice, especially to the indigenous Papuan people. “In Aceh, they use religious law or Islamic law for the reconciliation of human rights violations,” he said.
Prof. Dr. Melkias Hetharia when he was a speaker in the discussion of the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its Challenges in Papua,” on Friday (29/7/2022). – Jubi/YouTube Catch ALDP
Hetharia stated that although customary law is the main priority in resolving human rights violations in Papua, they still pay attention to settlements through state law and international law. “The form and system of the KKR that we hope for is indeed proposed in the form of a Presidential Regulation by the Governor of Papua, but we need to pay attention to the local wisdom of the Papuan people,” he said. Hetharia said he hoped the Truth and Reconciliation Commission could be permanent, not only ad hoc. “Usually when the human rights crimes is resolved, the KKR will also be dissolved. But we hope that it will be a permanent institution,” he said. (*)
International Parliamentarians for West Papua: European and Pacific action on human rights abuses in West Papua
CRAWFORD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY | ANU PACIFIC INSTITUTE
In 2019 the Leaders of the Pacific Island Forum, including Australia, called for the Office of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to conduct an independent investigation into the human rights situation in Indigenous West Papua. Since 2019 permission for this visit has not been granted by the Indonesian government. This seminar will focus on the European, Pacific and West Papuan efforts to progress international attention of human rights abuses that are taking place in West Papua, including the large-scale displacement of around 70-80,000 people. The event will take place in person at the Molonglo Theatre, as well as online via Zoom. Register here for the Zoom link or use the button on the right hand side to register for the in person event.
Book Launch Gleebooks -Sophie Chao – In The Shadow of the Palms
LAUNCHED BY SONJA VAN WICHELEN
With In the Shadow of the Palms, Sophie Chao examines the multispecies entanglements of oil palm plantations in West Papua, Indonesia, showing how Indigenous Marind communities understand and navigate the social, political, and environmental demands of the oil palm plant.
Opinion pieces/media releasers/reports etc.
Two interviews by Cammi Webb-Gannon on WP
A radio interview by Cammi with Cairns Conversations on Cairns 89.1FM
‘Doorstops’ at the Pacific Forum – why no tough questions on West Papua? https://asiapacificreport.nz/2022/07/22/doorstops-at-the-pacific-forum-why-no-tough-questions-on-west-papua/
AWPA Statement -24 years since the Biak massacre
AWPA Statement -West Papua not mentioned in Forum Communique
Another Indonesian province moves to reclaim forests from palm plantations
Papua Division Enflames Tensions
No permit? No problem for palm oil company still clearing forest in Papua https://news.mongabay.com/2022/08/no-permit-no-problem-for-palm-oil-company-still-clearing-forest-in-papua/