Is the Pacific’s solidarity for Papua on the rise?

Recently during a public forum on the issue of Papua organised by the Indonesian government think-tank (LIPI) in January 2016, we were drawn to the attention of the Pacific countries towards Papua. While the representatives from the Indonesian government and intelligence treated the issue as marginal, a Golkar parliamentarian, Tantowi Yahya, took the Pacific issue very seriously. He argued that the Papuan movement managed to mobilise support from the Pacific diplomatic fora, particularly the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) and the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF), by exposing human rights abuses committed by the Indonesian security forces.

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Urgent Appeal - Health Crisis in Nduga Regency

Urgent Appeal

16 February 2016

At least 51 Children and 3 Adults Have Died of Pertussis in Nduga Regency, Papua Province, Indonesia During Past Months After Government Neglect

The International Coalition for Papua (ICP), together with Geneva for Human Rights – Global Training, Franciscans International, Tapol, Mission21, the United Evangelical Mission, the Asian Human Rights Commission and the Westpapua Netzwerk wish to bring to your attention the recent deaths of at least 51 children and 3 adults due to Pertussis (whooping cough) in the districts Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma, Nduga Regency, Papua Province, Indonesia since November 2015. As the government social and health institutions did not respond to the serious situation of malnutrition and hard weather conditions in the affected area, many children died of otherwise manageable infections. As a result of the negligence, the Indonesian government failed to fulfill its obligations to protect the health and life, as stated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in article 11/1,2 and article 12/1, 2 (a), (c) and (d).

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Update Papua Roadmap - New LIPI Press Release

Press Release*

In 2009, the assessment team for Papua of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI Papua Team) has published the book Papua Road Map as the result of the team's studies since 2004. Subsequently, at the beginning of 2010, the LIPI Papua Team in cooperation with the Papua Peace Network (JDP) started carrying out public consultations in 26 districts and organized 6 exploratory meetings with the goal to facilitate the peace building process and reconciliation through dialogue. The exploratory meetings, which were attended by parliament members, government representatives and civil society figures, took place in Jimbaran (Bali), Manado, Lombok, Yogyakarta, Semarang and Jakarta.

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HRW releases Report on Media Freedom in Papua

They kept on having a friendly tone: ‘Yes, we’re looking for the right date, we’re more than happy to receive you, let’s look for a date.’ But they never said anything [regarding a solid date]. It was plausible deniability. I think what it shows is that there must be a lot to hide in Papua.

    —Former UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, describing the response of Indonesian officials to his 2012-13 request to visit Papua

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Read full report on HRW Homepage

 

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US Ambassador Robert Blake Visits West Papua

The US Ambassador Robert Blake visited West Papua between 17 and 22 January 2016 to view the  progress of US supported development projects, meet with government officials, the Papuan Police Chief, religious leaders, civil society activists. According to the US embassy the main purpose of the trip was to visit USAID programs aimed at reducing poverty and protecting the environment in the region through the promotion of sustainable farming methods, the preservation of the region’s rich forests and wildlife, and to monitor ongoing efforts to increase the quality and availability of primary education in West Papua.

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54 Children Have Died of Infectious Disease in Nduga Regency During Past Months

The victim solidarity group Mbua SKJM ('Solidaritas Korban Jiwa Mbua') has reported the death of 54 children between early November 2015 and 5 January 2016 due to an epidemic disease. The outbreak of the disease was confirmed by various local news platforms and has affected mostly children under the age of ten years. A survey, conducted by government health institutions in November revealed that the infectious disease might be Pertussis, also commonly referred to as the “whooping cough” or “100-day cough”. The contagious disease also killed livestock, such as pigs, chicken, rabbits and fish, which remain the main source of protein for indigenous Papuans in highland communities. The solidarity group claims that neither the local government, nor national health institutions have seriously responded to stop the epidemic.

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German Human Rights Commissioner Visits West Papua

After two unsuccessful attempts to visit West Papua in 2008 and 2012, a human rights commissioner of the German Government received the Indonesian government's authorization to enter West Papua in September 2015. During his two day visit, Christoph Strässer met with government representatives  and civil society actors.

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Indonesian Military Members Shoot Palm Oil Laborer in Keerom Regency

Antara News and several local newspapers have reported the killing of Marvel Doga, a 22 year old Papuan palm oil laborer, by a member of the Indonesian military unit Yonif 411/Raider. The incident occurred on 20 December 2015, around 22.00 East Indonesia Time, at the area of the Indonesian Palm Oil Company PT. Tandan Sawita Papua in Arso.

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Indonesian Government Plans Ambitious Road and Railroad Project in West Papua

The Indonesian Government has planned to push physical development in West Papua through the implementation of an ambitious rail road and road project in West Papua. Both projects should make the transportation of goods and people cheaper and increase the local economy in Indonesia's two easternmost provinces. The Indonesian President Joko Widodo has publicly stated that he intends to finish the Trans-Papua Road by 2019. Furthermore, he has passed plans for the construction of a railroad which should one day connect the Papuan cities Sorong, Manokwari, Nabire, Timika, Sarmi and Jayapura.

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Killings, Arrests and Torture Overshadow the 54th Commemoration of 1st December in West Papua

Every year indigenous Papuans come together on 1st December to commemorate the first raising of the West Papuan Morning Star Flag with the promise of full independence by the former Dutch colonial government. The 54th anniversary was overshadowed by security forces' violent acts against the peaceful protesters.

Local human rights defenders have reported of arbitrary arrests, torture and killings of four Papuans during commemorations in Serui, Nabire and Jakarta. At least 145 people were injured due to excessive use of force by state security forces during the violent dispersals. Furthermore, police officers intimidated and hindered two foreign journalists from filming.

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More Articles...

  1. Urgent Appeal - Indonesia: Killings, torture, mass arrests and excessive use of force against Papuans commemorating 1 December
  2. Filep Karma released from jail
  3. ICP Releases New Human Rights Report 2015
  4. Food estate project may turn Papua into forest fire hotbed
  5. The young Papuans risking life and limb in the name of resistance
  6. Tell Obama to Support Human Rights in West Papua
  7. Haze crisis spreads with hot spots found in Papua
  8. Pacific Island Forum To Seek Fact-Finding Mission to West Papua
  9. France urged to comply with UN decolonisation process
  10. Papua now on Pacific radar
  11. Papuan church leaders respond to Tolikara incident
  12. West Papua MSG Observer - Indonesia's status elevated
  13. AI Urgent Action: Papuan activists detained and charged
  14. AI Statement: End mass arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters in Papua
  15. Government unwilling to genuinely protect freedom of expression
  16. May 2015: While Jokowi releases five, nearly 500 are arrested
  17. Papuan journalist arrested as world calls for Papua press freedom
  18. ICP Brussels Appeal 2015
  19. Open Letter: Promoting human rights, peace and democracy in Indonesia
  20. Jokowi in Papua
  21. „Tanah Mama“ – The struggle of a mother in Papua
  22. No new Regions in Papua for now
  23. AI: Investigate security forces’ use of lethal force against Papuans in Paniai
  24. HRW: Security Forces Kill Five in Papua
  25. WPAT/ETAN West Papua Report December 2014
  26. KNPB remain most targeted Papuan civil society group
  27. Urgent Appeal: Extrajudicial and summary execution of five Indigenous Papuans by Indonesian National Army
  28. UN OHCHR: Papua killings press briefing
  29. Launching of Filep Karma’s book ‘As if We’re half Half Animals.’
  30. Not a mere case of bad apples: Acts of state terrorism

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