- Published on Wednesday, 22 June 2016 05:02
Agenda Item 4: General Debate - Human Rights situations that require Council’s attention
22 June 2016
Human Rights Situation in West Papua
We would like to draw the Council’s attention to the human rights situation in West Papua. As one of the most isolated areas in the world, it remains one of the last conflict regions within Indonesia. Local activists continue to report cases of arbitrary arrests by Indonesian security forces of predominantly-indigenous Papuans participating in peaceful gatherings expressing their political opinions. In several cases, the arrests are followed by torture, reflecting the widespread impunity enjoyed by security forces and the lack of effective mechanisms to prosecute perpetrators.
- Published on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:14
This report is based on testimony collected on location by members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). The information has been verified by Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) to be consistent with its own telephone witness interviews. The number of people arrested is consistent with local media reports. Some of the identities of the arrestees could not be obtained.
On 31 May 2016, thousands of West Papuans conducted peaceful demonstrations simultaneously in Jayapura, Sentani, Wamena, Manokwari, Boven Digoel, Yalimo, Paniai, Yahukimo and Manado. The demonstrations were held in support of the ULMWP to be recognized as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), to demand the release of all West Papua political prisoners and to ask the support of Africa Carribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in West Papua struggle to freedom.
In total, 574 West Papuans were unlawfully arrested in just one day which is on 31 May 2016. The details are as follows: 455 people in Sentani, 112 people in Wamena, and 7 people in Manado. Children also got arrested in Sentani. Three people were beaten in Yahukimo. Protestors were tear-gassed and one person got shot with rubber bullet in Manado.
All were released which shows that the unlawful arrest was done to prevent West Papuans to express their opinions.
- Published on Sunday, 22 May 2016 11:28
On May 2 and 3, 2016, parliamentarians, lawyers and activists from different European countries and several Pacific states, including Australia and New Zealand, participated in an international West Papua advocacy meeting in the United Kingdom. The International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) held the event to discuss common steps for future advocacy on West Papua. Among the participants were the Prime Minister of Tonga and a governor from Papua New Guinea as well as Vanuatu Minister for Land and Resources, Ralph Regenvanu. The meeting drew attention of the national media, because some high-ranking British politicians, including opposition leader and head of the Labor party Jeremy Corbyn, had attended the meeting. The most important outcome of the two-days event was the so-called "Westminster Declaration", in which the IPWP members collectively rejected the "Act of Free Choice" from 1969 as clear violation of the right to self-determination.
- Published on Monday, 20 June 2016 10:15
The people of West Papua have repeatedly voiced the demand for peace talks between West Papua and the Indonesian Central government since the beginning of the Indonesian reformation period. Various peace building initiatives, such as the road map created by the Papuan Peace Network JDP and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences LIPI, have so far failed to get both conflict parties on one table. A recent MSG meeting on 16 June brings new hope for peace in the long lasting conflict between both parties. The Melanesian Spearhead Group had invited a senior delegation from Indonesia and representatives of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
- Published on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 12:21
May 19th, 2016
At the end of April 2015, Ministry of Forestry and Environment (LHK Ministry) issued: (1) letter no. 5/1/PP-LKH/K/2015 on Principal Agreement of Forest Area Concession that can be converted into oil palm plantation to PT. Mega Mustika Plantation in Sorong District, West Papua province for an area of 9.168 hectares; and (2) letter No. 6/1/PP-LKH/K/2015 on Principal Agreement of Forest Area Concession that can be converted into oil palm plantation to PT. Cipta Papua Plantation in Sorong district, West Papua for an area of 15.310 hectares.
- Published on Monday, 13 June 2016 04:36
The first anniversary of an outbreak of communal violence in Tolikara, Papua is approaching, with a fragile reconciliation in place and many issues left unresolved. The “Tolikara Incident” on 17 July 2015 has been variously portrayed as an issue of religious intolerance (Christians toward Muslims), the product of indigenous-migrant tensions, and miscommunication. But to reduce it to one or two causes is to miss the point of the complexity of violence in Papua. It is all of the above and much more: poor governance, poor policing, corruption, isolation, and the residue of previous conflicts that have accumulated under the surface into a toxic mix. A campaign is now beginning to heat up for the election of district head in 2017 that could ignite old grievances. Among Tolikara’s many urgent needs is for the best police chief the country can offer but the likelihood of turning a remote post in Papua into a prize for the best and brightest is slim.
- Published on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:04
Jakarta, Wed, May 18 2016
When outsiders think of Papua, it may be to puzzle over why protests there seem never-ending. They may assume the main frustrations of Papuans stem from poverty and lack of development.
That is true to some degree. However, the main reason is simpler and neatly illustrated by comparing two figures: In early May, 2,109 Papuan independence protesters were arrested by police – and that number is more than double the 1,025 who were press-ganged into legitimizing Indonesia’s rule of Papua through the 1969 “Act of Free Choice”.
Despite our embassy in the UK denying in The Guardian that the arrests took place, the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute documented them all, and holds the names of every one of the 2,109 demonstrators. Compare the figure with the 1,025 who cast ballots in what Papuans refer to as the “Act of No Choice”, out of an estimated population of 800,000 at that time.
This is the historical reality that underpins today’s grievances about state violence, environmental degradation and suppression of free speech in Papua. Until it is addressed, the protests will continue and the numbers will continue to add up. As of May the figure stands at 2,282 peaceful demonstrators detained by police, according to the institute’s records.
- Published on Monday, 06 June 2016 12:36
To the attention of:
Mr. Maina Kiai,
UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
Mr. David Kaye
UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
This urgent appeal provides updated information on growing tensions in West Papua, which have resulted in an increase of cases of arbitrary arrest and torture, as described in a previous urgent appeal on Unlawful Mass Arrests of at least 1,783 West Papuans in April and early May 2016, submitted by the International Coalition of Papua (ICP), Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Franciscans International (FI)1 on May 17, 2016. The record high of mass arrests including the use of torture and ill-treatment of peaceful political protesters is related to growing political tensions in West Papua2 due to increasing popularity for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP – a political organisation of West Papua outside Indonesia) amongst many Papuans.
- Urgent Appeal - Unlawful Mass Arrests of at least 1,783 West Papuans in April and May 2016
- Delegation of 20 Bishops from the Pacific Region visit West Papua
- Report From LBH Jakarta On The Unlawful Arrests Of 1,783 West Papuans Between 25 April - 2 May 2016
- Police Officers try to Stop Papuan Journalist from Taking Pictures of Demonstration