Military members attack two Papuan men with knifes in Uwibutu Village, Paniai Regency

Local human rights defenders from the Paniai Regency have reported, that two military members allegedly attacked Yus Degei and Piet Degei in Uwibutu village in Madi District, Paniai regency. The incident occurred at 09.00 am on the 1st May 2017 after the owner of a small shop in Uwibutu had accused the Papuan men of theft and subsequently reported them to members of the nearby 753 military base by phone.

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ULMWP lobbies parliament of Uganda to support West Papuan independence

Uganda's leading daily news paper 'The New Vision' published an article on 2 May 2017 about the lobby meeting between ULMWP executive director Jacob Rumbiak and the deputy speaker of the Uganda Parliament, Mr. Jacob Oulanyah. The meeting was part of a courtesy visit to the Uganda Parliament on 7 April 2017. During the meeting Jacob Rumbiak stated that the ULMWP asks Uganda to influence other African states to support the independence of West Papua at the United Nations.

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Pacific island countries deliver joint statement on West Papua at ACP council meeting in Brussels

The Pacific Island nations of Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands delivered a joint statement on 3 May 2017 at the Council of Ministers of the 79-member Africa Caribbean Pacific Group of States (ACP), in which they voiced concerns over  present and past human rights violations – including crimes against humanity - in the region. The Pacific nations also called for an eventual resolution that includes support of the right of West Papuan political self-determination. The statement was read aloud by Johnny Koanapo, a high-ranking member of the Republic of Vanuatu parliament and Parliamentary Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister.

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Press Release: Indonesia Visit by the Special Rapporteur on Health

The Special Rapporteur on the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health Mr. Dainius Pūras, issued a press release on 4 April 2017 after his country visit to Indonesia between 22 March and 3 April 2017. The Special Rapporteur appreciated Indonesia's efforts in the field of health, which he considered as being “on the right track to develop an equitable and sustainable healthcare system based on universal health coverage”. At the same time Mr. Dainius Pūras warned the Indonesian government that ”ambitious goals can be reached only if challenges are addressed”. Among the major challenges the Special Rapporteur named the availability, access to and quality of health services for all Indonesian citizens as well as barriers in law and practice which impede the realization of sexual and reproductive health rights, resulting in various forms of violence and discrimination. The Special Rapporteur was particularly “concerned about the health status of ethnic Papuans, who are two times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than the rest of the population”.  A comprehensive report on the visit to Indonesia will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018.

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Tensions and military presence due to conflict between mining companies in Nifasi increase

The customary council for the Papuan customary area of Meepago reported of increasing tensions in the area around Nifasi village of Nabire Regency, due to an ongoing conflict between two gold mining companies in the area. The operation area of both companies belong to the Wate tribe. Particularly villagers living in Nifasi village are heavily affected by the conflict, which has resulted in extensive military presence around the gold panning sites at the nearby Masairo River.  

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UN Special Rapporteur visits Indonesia - concerned about situation in West Papua

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, who visited Indonesia from March 22nd until April 3rd 2017, called on the Indonesian government to increase national budget allocations for health. "However," he said, "increased investments in healthcare only make sense if the system is efficient, transparent, accountable, and responsive to those who use it." He also expressed concern about the healthcare situation in West Papua.

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Yapen District Police officers allegedly execute Maikel Marani

Local human rights defenders in Yapen Island have reported that a special police force unit under command of Yapen District Police allegedly executed the head of the local armed independence group Maikel Marani (28 years) in the early morning hours of 27th March 2017 at Kontinuai Village, Angkaisera District, Yapen Islands Regency. According to eye witnesses, special force members in black uniforms and balaclavas approached the house of Maikel Marani's in-laws at 01:00 am, where Maikel had stayed over night. The witnesses stated that Maikel Marani was unarmed at the time of the attempted arrest. As Maikel Marani tried to escape, a police officer released shots at him, one of them hitting Maikel's leg. Despite no further attempts to avoid the arrest, the officers again fired several shots at Maikel Marani, causing his instant death on the spot. Subsequently, the police officers tortured two other villagers with the initials H.S. (30 years) and F.A. (28 years), and forced them at gunpoint to show where Maikel Marani had hidden his weapons.

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WAN-IFRA investigates media freedom in West Papua

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publisher (WAN-IFRA) launched an investigation on the media freedom situation in the Papuan cities Jayapura, Merauke and Timika between 30th January and 3rd February 2017. A delegation from the Media Freedom Committee Indonesia (MFCI) consisting of eight Indonesian journalists from Jakarta, Makassar and Solo traveled to Papua province, where they followed local journalists from Papuan news organisations during media coverage for five days. The initiative was part of WAN-IFRA's Strengthening Media and Society programme which is backed by the Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Adoption of local regulation on the restoration of Papuan female victims' rights

The Department for Internal Affairs (DEPDAGRI) through the National Women Commission (KOMNAS Perempuan) has shared information on the local regulation PERDASUS No. 1 / 2011 on the Restoration of the Rights of Papuan Female Victims of Violence and Human Rights Violations. Even though the law had already been passed under former Governor Syamsul Arief Rivai on 3 August 2011, civil society activists had not been informed about the adoption of the law until early April 2017. The regulation provides detailed descriptions and definitions of various forms of violence (Article 2) and human rights violations against women (Article 3:), with particular reference to discrimination, forms of slavery or human trafficking including prostitution, forced marriage and forced sterilization. Furthermore, it defines the rights of female victims, which includes their restoration through restitution, rehabilitation and compensation, as well as the victim's right to truth and justice.

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Human rights lawyers concerned about detention conditions of three Papuan defendants

A team of human rights lawyers has conducted a press conference in Jayapura in which they expressed their concerns regarding the detention conditions of three defendants, who are currently undergoing trial at the Nabire District Court of Papua Province. On the 13 October 2016, officers from the Papua regional police arrested Aloysius Kayame at the Sentani Airport. Jemmy Magay Yogi and Demianus Magay Yogi were arrested on 16 October 2016 in Waena, Jayapura. All suspects were charged due allegations of threats, extortion, possession of firearms and treason. The Papuan regional police linked the charges to an incident in Wotay, Distrik Yatamo, Kabupaten Paniai  on 31 January 2015. The police justified the arrests due to a conflict on customary land which had occurred after Jemmy, Demianus and Aloisius had claimed compensation for the utilization of their ancestral land  for a public road.

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