Demonstration violently dissolved - protesters tortured in custody

On April 2nd, peaceful demonstrations for the release of political prisoners in Papua took place in Abepura and at the Cendrawasih University in Waena. While the rally went smoothly in Abepura, the police in Waena disperse the demonstration violently and arrested two students who were later tortured in detention.

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Who stands for Papua?

In Papua, where state sovereignty and legitimacy is deeply contested, representation matters. So in this national election, who purports to represent Papua?

Candidate residence is one way of sizing up the candidates and the results are telling. 63 out of 114 candidates running for DPR (national house of representatives) seats in Papua province live within the greater Jakarta area. In neighboring Papua Barat, 17 out of 36 candidates live in greater Jakarta.

So, out of a total of 150 DPR candidates seeking to represent these provinces in 2014, only half, 53% to be precise, actually live in Papua.

Bad sign.

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Is a UN resolution on Papua possible?

At the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 4, Vauatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil called on the council "to consider adopting a country mandate on the situation of human rights in West Papua".

What does this motion mean? This motion is not novel. Rather, it is a renewed call by Kalosil, which he had previously presented to the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly last November.

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Military attack forces villagers to flee

According to a report by the office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Protestant Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI-TP), Indonesian security forces, consisting of members of the police and the military, conducted a raid with excessive use of force against civilians in the Papuan village of Sasawa, Yapen island, West Papua province, on Saturday, February 1st 2014. One man, Yosua Arumpayai, was shot dead during the incident.

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Vanuatu PM raises West Papua issues before Human Rights Council

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, called for international measures in order to improve the human rights situation in West Papua on March 4, 2014 in Geneva.

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EU Parliament Hearing on Human Rights Abuses in West Papua

The human rights subcommittee of the EU parliament in Brussels held a hearing on human rights abuses in West Papua, Indonesia on Thursday, January 23, 2014.

During the one hour meeting, the chair of the hearing gave an overview of human rights reports they had received in preparation for the meeting. A large group of national and international human rights NGOs had sent letters to the subcommittee’s members.

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Papuans Behind Bars January 2014

At the end of January 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

The visiting delegation of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders was a highly politically charged event, and demonstrations were predictable. However, both the seniority of the civil society leaders heading the demonstrations and the repressive police response, in defiance of the media spotlight, highlighted just how high the stakes were on all sides.

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What’s next for Papua after the MSG diplomacy?

The 2013 Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit undoubtedly marked a historic moment on the long journey of Papua's international diplomacy. During the top diplomatic gathering of the Melanesian countries, the Papuan representatives were invited for the first time.

While this political decision constitutes a breakthrough for the political impasse in Jakarta, the decision is still pending a follow-up visit by a foreign ministerial mission to Jakarta and Jayapura. The visit, however, is subject to the Indonesian government's approval, not the MSG's (The Jakarta Post, Oct. 26, 2013).

Papuan international diplomacy is not novel. If we look back to the second Papua Congress in 2000, it is one of the mandates that some 500 Papuan representatives entrusted to the Papuan Presidium Council (PDP).

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ETAN's West Papua Report February 2014

ETAN's February 2014 edition of PERSPECTIVE examines the decision of the Melanesian states, minus Vanuatu, to endorse Jakarta's control of West Papua and to forego criticism of its repression there. In UPDATE the report describes continued " sweeping operations" in the Puncak Jaya region, Papuan criticism of the Melanesian Spearhead Group's visit to Indonesia, Jakarta's linking of"Special Autonomy Plus" to repression, and testimony about human rights in West Papua before the European Parliament.

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Why is West Papua closed to foreign journalists?

Yoman portrait 200x200Earlier this year I had a meeting with a friend who is a foreign journalist in Jakarta. During our conversation which lasted almost an hour, I asked him. 'When are you planning to visit Papua to get information directly from there?' My friend said: 'We are not permitted by the Indonesian government to visit Papua. I have made several requests to visit Papua but the government has turned down all my requests.'

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More Articles...

  1. Jakarta Post publishes false article on political prisoners
  2. Verdict Released: The Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal
  3. Indonesian agents sent to Papua-New-Guinea to prevent autopsy from taking place in poisoning allegation in the murder of Danny Kogoya
  4. Papuans Behind Bars Update November 2013
  5. The Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal
  6. The MSG’s visit: A blessing or curse for Papuans?
  7. Indonesia’s Forbidden Island
  8. Petition: Free West Papua Political Prisoners
  9. Breaking the silence on Papua
  10. ‘The Neglected Genocide’ – a report detailing series of abuses in 1977–1978 in Papua is launched
  11. Isolation of Papua highlighted during ICP Consultation
  12. EU and Indonesia sign historic agreement on illegal timber
  13. Human Rights Committee considers Initial report of Indonesia
  14. Protest and memorial for the Biak massacre
  15. MSG makes positive statements for West Papua
  16. A Human Rights Tragedy 15 years ago is still Ignored by the Indonesian State
  17. Indonesia affirms restrictions to freedom of expression in Papua to UN Human Rights Committee
  18. Groups Urge Justice on 15th Anniversary of Biak (West Papua) Massacre
  19. Papuans Behind Bars: June Update
  20. Stop Being Afraid of Dialogue between Indonesia and Papua
  21. Child Dies in TNI-OPM Shootout
  22. MSG Decision on West Papua
  23. Nabire: Brimob Assaults a Civilian Due to Wage Demands
  24. West Papua's right to self-determinationStatement - by human rights lawyer, Yan Christian Warinussy
  25. Anti-apartheid leader dedicates award to the people of West Papua
  26. THIS IS THE DECISION OF THE LEADERS OF PAPUA MSG
  27. Special report on practice of torture in Indonesia released
  28. New ICP Report Details Extend of Violations in Papua
  29. New ICP Report Details Extent of Violations in Papua
  30. 14 Arrested for Torching Papua Police Station

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