ICP Brussels Appeal 2015

An appeal from the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) concerning the latest development in West Papua

We, Church leaders, human rights defenders, academics and international observers, gathered in Brussels for the International Consultation on Papua 2015 to discuss the situation of human rights in Papua. We also met in the European Parliament on 5 May 2015 upon the invitation of Ms Ana Gomes, Member of European Parliament, to discuss the current situation in Papua, with the presence of Chargé D’affaires of the Indonesia to the European Union and Indonesian diplomats from Brussels and Jakarta.

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Open Letter: Promoting human rights, peace and democracy in Indonesia

Dear Mr President, I am writing to you on behalf of TAPOL and the undersigned organisations, all of whom are deeply concerned about the absence of free and open access to the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua (henceforth: Papua) for international journalists, humanitarian organisations and human rights observers. The media blackout in Papua denies the Papuan people the right to have their voices heard and allows human rights violations such as killings, torture and arbitrary arrests to continue with impunity.

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Jokowi in Papua

Indonesia’s President Joko „Jokowi“ Widodo celebrated Christmas in Papua, together with his wife and children, the Trade Minister and the Cabinet Secretary. He visited local markets and visited the groundbreaking ceremony of new markets in Jayapura and Sentani. He also promised to be back for the inauguration of the market in Sentani at the end of 2015. Jokowi also broke his silence over the case in Paniai, where several people were shot. He explained his late comment by saying that he did not want to make a comment as long as he did not have a comprehensive account on the incident and as long as a statement would not solve the problem Furthermore, he explained, he was going to form a fact-finding team to obtain valid information and find the root of the problem to stop the violence in Papua. He said that it is important to not let these incidents happen again. He also emphasized on the importance of having a dialogue and listening to the people of Papua in order to improve the situation in Papua.

HRW: Security Forces Kill Five in Papua

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should promptly and impartially investigate the apparent use of unnecessary lethal force by security forces against peaceful protesters in Papua on December 8, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today.

Police and military personnel fired live ammunition at about 800 peaceful demonstrators, including women and children, in the town of Enarotali in Panai regency. Five protesters – Simon Degei, 18; Otianus Gobai, 18; Alfius Youw, 17; Yulian Yeimo, 17; and Abia Gobay (age unknown) – died from gunshot wounds. At least 17 others, including five primary school children, were wounded and required hospitalization. Human Rights Watch interviewed two witnesses to the incident, as well as journalists and a human rights activist in towns closest to this remote area.

“The Indonesian government needs to investigate why security forces found it necessary to fire into a crowd of peaceful protesters,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Ordinary Papuans are too often victims of security force abuse for which no one is ever punished.”

The protest was sparked by a brawl several hours earlier, on the evening of December 7, when members of Tim Khusus 753 (Special Team 753), a unit attached to the Nabire-based Army Battalion 753, assaulted 12-year-old Yulianus Yeimo. The attack was apparent retaliation after a group of children and young people, including Yeimo, shouted at a Tim Khusus 753 vehicle to turn on its headlights as it passed the group, whose members were decorating a Christmas tree and nativity scene in Enarotali’s Ipakiye neighborhood.

The Tim Khusus 753 vehicle soon returned with another truck filled with Indonesian soldiers, who chased the group and caught and beat Yeimo with their rifle butts. Yeimo’s condition is unknown. The others alerted nearby adults, who began throwing stones at the military personnel, prompting them to flee.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that on the morning of December 8, about 800 Papuan young men, women, and primary school children gathered on Enarotali’s Karel Bonay football field in front of the local police station (Polsek) and military command (Koramil) to demand an explanation for the attack on Yeimo. The protesters, some carrying ceremonial Papuan hunting bows that have a purely ritual function, expressed their grievance through a traditional Papuan waita dance, which involves shouting, running in circles and mimicking birdsong.

The police ordered the protesters to disperse and then struck them with batons and sticks when they refused to comply, witnesses said. The Papua police chief Inspector General, Yotje Mende, told the media that his officers were only “securing” their station because it was under attack. A witness told Human Rights Watch that he saw six or seven Indonesian officers chasing protesters, who ran to a nearby airfield. Between 9:30 and 9:40 a.m., the witnesses heard gunshots and saw security force personnel, including police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers, bearing rifles. Some of the shots were fired from the nearby police and military posts, about 50 meters from the field, witnesses said. It was only around seven minutes, according to a witness in the field. It is unclear if the police fired any warning shots before firing into the crowd.

Indonesian government officials offered conflicting accounts of the violence. Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said that the security forces had warned the protesters to disperse and that security forces had fired into the crowd “to defend themselves” from “a bunch of people fighting the authorities.” The Papua police spokesman, Sulistyo Pudjo, indicated that the violence was the security forces’ response to an attack on local police and military posts, but said he was unaware of the circumstances of the protesters’ deaths. "Suddenly there were victims, and we did not know who shot them,” Pudjo told Agence France Press.

Witnesses said that when the shooting stopped, women and children on the scene immediately called for emergency medical assistance. They helped bring the wounded to the public hospital in the town of Madi, about 6 kilometers from Enarotali. The witnesses said they did not see any police or military personnel provide medical assistance to the wounded or help them to get to the hospital. There are no reports of injuries to security forces on the scene.

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„Tanah Mama“ – The struggle of a mother in Papua

„Tanah Mama“ is a movie made by Asrida Elisabeth and tells the story of Halosina, who lives in the Highlands of Papua and struggles to raiser her four children without the support of her husband. Through the movie, Elisabeth tries to urge the government to not forget about Papua and to try and understand the people of Papua. The movie was made in a local language of Papua and has Indonesian and English subtitles. It was released on the 8th of January.

WPAT/ETAN West Papua Report December 2014

This edition's Perspective is the first part of an article by Made Supriatma about Indonesian security force deployments in West Papua. In Update: Papuan leaders from around the world gathered in Vanuatu. Peaceful Papuan demonstrators were detained and shot during events commemorating the founding of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). Papuan Behind Bars reports that 69 West Papuan political prisoners are currently in Indonesian government custody. The U.S. government plans to expand its support for "modernization" of the Indonesian military (TNI). Reform of that deeply corrupt, human rights abusing and unaccountable institution is not on the U.S. or TNI "modernization" agenda. Indonesia's new defense minister plans to re-institute military influence in civilian sectors. The plan would undo much of the limited post-Suharto reforms with specific negative consequences for West Papua. Another military plan, apparently endorsed by President Widodo, would put new military commands in West Papua. In Chronicle, Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma is interviewed by Michael Bachelard. A review of the 2001 Bloody Waisor incident provides important context to new logging plans. Budi Hernawan revisits the murder by Kopassus of Theys Eluay and the disappearance of his driver. Finally, we note a timely analysis of Indonesia's growing efforts to wield influence in Melanesia where support for West Papuan self determination is growing.

West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)

The full report is available at: http://www.etan.org/issues/wpapua/

No new Regions in Papua for now

On the 28th December in 2014 the government in Jakarta explained that there will be no new regions in Papua for now, as the existing regions had not yet succeeded in increasing the well-being of the society and would therefore only be a financial burden for the state-budget. At the moment, Papua is divided into two regions, Papua and West Papua, these consist of several cities and regencies. As these regions had not succeeded in increasing the well-being of the inhabitants, the question was raised to further divide the existing regions into smaller regions.

KNPB remain most targeted Papuan civil society group

Papuans Behind Bars reports that at the end of November 2014, there were at least 65 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

The West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) remains the most heavily targeted civil society group in Papua. So far this year, there have been 101 arrests of KNPB activists or those suspected of being affiliated to the KNPB. The pattern of mass arrests of KNPB members continued this month with 28 KNPB members arrested for participating in peaceful commemorative activities celebrating the 6th anniversary of the formation of the KNPB in 2008.

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AI: Investigate security forces’ use of lethal force against Papuans in Paniai

Amnesty International is extremely concerned about reports that Indonesian security forces opened fire and killed at least five men, all students, in Paniai, Papua province. The new government must put an end to the climate of impunity for perpetrators of such abuses. Amnesty International is calling for an investigation into the killings.

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Urgent Appeal: Extrajudicial and summary execution of five Indigenous Papuans by Indonesian National Army

We, the Papuan Customary Council of Paniai (Dewan Adat Paniai), the Coalition of Human Rights NGOs in Papua, Franciscans International, VIVAT International and the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) Indonesia with the support 6 other organizations hereby submit an urgent appeal to UN Human Rights Council Special Procedures regarding the killing of four Indigenous Papuan civilians on the 8th December 2014 (and the subsequent death of two more indigenous Papuans injured during the incident) in Paniai District, Papua Province by members of the Indonesian National Army.

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More Articles...

  1. UN OHCHR: Papua killings press briefing
  2. Launching of Filep Karma’s book ‘As if We’re half Half Animals.’
  3. Not a mere case of bad apples: Acts of state terrorism
  4. New Report on Yotefa Market Incident
  5. JFCC : Statement on Access to Papua, Detention of Journalists
  6. AI Urgent Action: Human Rights lawyer attacked
  7. 18 Houses Burnt Down - Police Fails to Prosecute Perpetrators
  8. Civilian Shot by Police during Tribal Conflict
  9. Statements on Papua Delivered before Human Rights Council
  10. Military Members Stab Two Brothers
  11. Papuan Shot because of Road Block
  12. Police Initiate Investigation against Prominent Papuan Human Rights Lawyer
  13. Attempted Criminalization of Papuan Human Rights Lawyer by Law Enforcement Authorities
  14. French Journalists and Indigenous Leader at Risk of Prosecution in Papua
  15. Human rights Defender Called for Questioning
  16. Activists Arrested for Peaceful Boycott
  17. Joint Statement: Human Rights Abuses in Papua and West Papua
  18. New Ormas Law used to back police repression in Papua
  19. UN Committee's Concluding Observations on Economic Social and Cultural Rights in Papua
  20. Demands of Human Rights Organisations for a New Government
  21. Joint Statement to the Next Government of Indonesia on Human Rights
  22. Indonesia Is at a Crossroads - Its Future as a Pluralistic Democracy Hangs in the Balance
  23. Freedom of expression and Assembly in West Papua, Indonesia
  24. Live Webcast UN Side Event: Freedom of Expression and Assembly in West Papua
  25. ETAN's West Papua Report May 2014
  26. EU - Indonesia PCA agreement in effect
  27. Letter to Catherine Ashton - EU parliamentarians raise concerns over Papua
  28. UN body questions Indonesia on Papua, land-grabbing and human rights
  29. Lives endangered
  30. Papuans Behind Bars March 2014

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