UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food visits Indonesia

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Ms. Hilal Elver, is currently visiting Indonesia from 9 April to 18 April 2018. The general purpose of the mission is to collect information and examine issues relevant to the right to food. In addition, she will discuss the realization of the right to food in terms of availibility, accessibility and adequacy with Government authorities and other relevant stakeholders. The findings on the country visit are goiong to be compiled in a public report, which will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2019.

 

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Security forces unlawfully arrest 45 university students in Jayapura

On 4 April 2018, members of the local Police, Intelligence (BIN), police special unit ‘BRIMOB’ and the military district comand ‘Kodim 1701 Jayapura’ searched several houses in the residential area ‘Perumnas III Waena’, located in the Heram District of Jayapura. The houses were inhabited by stundents of the Cenderawasih University in Jayapura. 45 students were arrested. Subsequently, the students were brought to the BRIMOB head quarters in Kota Raja and later detained at the Jayapura district police station. Two students were brought to the sub-district police station in Abepura (Polsek Abepura).

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Police officer beats Papuan man at public hospital in Karubaga, Tolikara Regency

The Papuan media outlet ‘Suara Papua’ has documented another case of torture which occurred on 14 March 2018 in the public hospital of Karubaga Town, in the Papuan regency of Tolikara. A member of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) allegedly tortured Yuten Gurik, a Papuan suffering a mental disorder, which is characterized by uncontrolled emotional outbursts. According to family members, the people in Karubaga tolerated his behavior and knew about Yuten Gurik’s state of mental disorder because the outbursts had repeatedly occurred in public spaces.

Around 12.00 pm, Yuten Gurik sustained an emotional outburst in front of the church congregation building Yerusalem Karubaga, near the Jurageme bridge. Thereupon, family members brought him to Karubaga General Hospital. Shortly thereafter, a mobile brigade police officer entered the hospital and saw Yuten Gurik. The officers perceived his behavior as a disturbance of public order and handcuffed him. As Yuten loudly protested against being handcuffed, the police officer repeatedly struck him with a rubber baton.

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Presence of militant Islamic leader in Kerom creates tensions

The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI-TP) has reported of growing concerns over the presence of prominent radical Islamic leader Jafar Umar Thalib (JUT) in the Papuan regency of Kerom. JUT is the founder and head of  ‘Laskar Jihat’, a militant and radical Islamic organization in Indonesia. Official government letters indicate that JUT has moved away from Yogjakarta (Central Java) and is currently residing in Kerom. The presence of JUT has lead to rejection and anxiety among many people in Kerom and Jayapura. According to JPIC, JUT has begun to build an Islamic boarding school (Pesantren) in Kerom and carried out multiple activities promoting the spreading of Islam in Kerom, Jayapura and various other places in Papua.

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Asian Human Rights Commission urges Indonesian Government to review new Penal Code Bill

The Asian Human Rights Commisson (AHRC) has published a statement in which the organisation criticizes the new version of the Indonesian Penal Code and demands a revision of the bill. The drafting committee should incorporate international human rights principles into the bill and take into account the public input and list of problems that had been discussed in a series of public hearings in the parliament. It is essential that the new penal code does not become a political tool to protect the government and criminalize dissenters and political opponents.

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Indigenous woman shot dead in Timika – seven mobile police brigade officers under investigation

The Papuan news outlets ‘Tabloid Jubi’ and ‘Suara Papua’ have reported the killing of 55-years-old Emakulata Kolaka Emakeparo, an indigenous Papuan woman of the Kamoro tribe. The incident occurred on 3 February 2018 around 10 pm, as Emakulata Emakeparo and her husband were  crossing the river in a small canoe near the Amamare cargo dock in search for drinking water. An autopsy showed that her death was caused by a head shot which penetrated the forehand. The vice chief of the Papuan regional police (POLDA Papua) Yakobus Marjuki stated in a public interview that the death was caused by a ricochet during a conflict escalation between police officers and local villagers.

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Disappointment over court ruling in Poumako Case – military court sentences perpetrator to eight months

The Human Rights Lawyers Association for Papua (PAHAM Papua) published a press release on the 20 March in which the lawyers expressed their disappointment over the court ruling in the Poumako case. The trial was processed at the III-19 Military Court in Jayapura. Chief Brigadier Yusuf Salasar was sentenced to eight months imprisonment which will be reduced by the period of detention. The military prosecutors had demanded a sentence of 15 months imprisonment. PAHAM Papua assessed both,  the court ruling and the demanded sentence by the military prosecutor as disproportionately low. The defendant was charged with the articles 351 (2), (3), which sets a maximum penalty of five, respectively seven years imprisonment.

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Parliament members in the Netherlands concerned about situation of indigenous peoples in West Papua

Members of the lower house of the Dutch bicameral parliament expressed their concern about the situation in West Papua and spoke of a "repression of the indigenous population of West Papua in Indonesia". The SGP (Reformed Political Party) asked questions on West Papua to Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra on 7 February 2018. Other political parties, such as the VVD, CDA, D66, ChristenUnie, PVV, GroenLinks, SP and the PvdA supported the inquiry.

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Joint oral statement regarding situation of malnutrition in West Papua at the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council

Franciscans International, VIVAT International, International Coalition for Papua and West Papua Netzwerk, Geneva for Human Rights and Dominicans for Justice and Peace have delivered a joint statement on 2 March 2018 at the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement was delivered in response to severe cases of malnutrition which have repeatedly occured in remote areas of West Papua throughout the past three years.

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Indonesia

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, visited Indonesia from 5 to 7 February 2018. At the end of this trip, he gave a press conference in which he expressed his concerns regarding various human rights issues in Indonesia, among other things, about the human rights situation in West Papua: "I am also concerned about the reports of excessive use of force by security forces, harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention in Papua."

He added that the Indonesian government had invited the UN to visit West Papua. "I think it's important that we travel there and see for ourselves what's going on there [...] and I hope this can happen as soon as possible". His office is now preparing for an observation mission. An exact time for the visit was not announced during the press conference.

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