MRP faces intimidation and arrest during preparation of consultation hearings about success and failure of Papuan Special Autonomy

In 2001, the Indonesian government adopted Law No. 21/2001 on the Special Autonomy for the Papua Province. The government also approved special autonomy funds for 20 years. As the funding period is coming to an end, the Papuan Peoples’ Assembly (MRP) has launched a series of consultation hearings (Bhs Indonesia: Rapat Dengar Pendapat or RDP which can be translated as “meetings to listen to opinions”) to determine the aspirations of the Papuan people regarding a possible prolongation of Special Autonomy funding for the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. Article 77 of the law No. 21/2001 provides the legal foundation for “any proposals regarding the amendment of the Law” and mandates the MRP to hold RDP hearings across West Papua.

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Palm oil conglomerate Korindo accused of clearing rainforest in West Papua with fire

A new investigation by Greenpeace International and Forensic Architecture came to the result that the Indonesian-South-Korean palmoil conglomerate Korindo uses slash and burn practices to clear rainforests in West Papua. The organisations used cutting-edge data analysis to proof the direct co-relation between the appearance of fires and the expansion of Korindo’s palm oil plantation in one of the company’s concession areas in West Papua. According to the NGOs, the fires occurred in patterns of consistent deliberate use. Indonesian law prohibits the use of fire for the clearing of forest areas.

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Korindo accused of illegally burning Papuan rainforest

Since 2011, fires have been used to clear vast areas of forests in remote areas of the Indonesian province of West Papua, including concessions sites operated by an Indonesian/Korean palm oil agglomerate, named Korindo. Forensic Architecture and Greenpeace International sought to examine this allegation independently and investigate whether the cause of the fires could be identified in Korindo's palm oil concessions in Papua.  If fire was being used to clear the concessions operated by Korindo, the company would be in breach of the Indonesian law and the credibility of the FSC investigation could be questioned.

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Humanitarian Team for Intan Jaya shares its findings concerning the killing of Pastor Zanambani

The Independent Humanitarian Team for Intan Jaya is a team consisting of a number of religious leaders, academics, and humanitarian activists in Papua. This team was formed to respond to the murder of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, who was killed on September 19, 2020, in Hitadipa, Intan Jaya. After submitting its report to Minister Mahfud, the team has publicly shared details of their investigation. The following are the findings as described in the document "Findings of the Humanitarian Team for Intan Jaya Papua" released by the team on 29 October 2020. The document provides thorough information and suggests that Rev Zanambani was killed by one or more members of the army. 

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„Papuan Lives Matter“ - ELSAM launches new documentary about 2019 anti-racism protests

The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), a Jakarta-based human rights NGO, has launched a documentary with the title “Papuan Lives Matter” on 15 November 2020. The documentary was produced in cooperation with Nalar TV, and it describes the background as well as the aftermaths of the Papua-wide protests against racial discrimination of indigenous Papuans (see top image). The demonstrations and the subsequent criminalisation campaign against protesters, human rights defenders and political activists must be regarded as one of the most significant events in Indonesia throughout 2019.

Watch full documentary “Papuan Lives Matter” in Indonesian with English Subtitles*

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Pacific Conference of Churches calls for "40 Days of Hunger for Justice and Peace" in West Papua

The Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC), based in Fiji, has called for a time of fasting for 40 days and prayer for West Papua. It calls for members to skip at least 1 meal a day in the period from 28 October to 6 December 2020. Through this action, the PCC is supporting the demands of the West Papuan Council of Churches, which calls on Indonesia to enter dialogue towards a peaceful resolution of the situation and an end to militarisation. Rev James Bhagwan, General Secretary of the PCC has openly shared the following letter. 

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Human rights lawyer intimidated in Jayapura

The ICP has credible information regarding the intimidation of Papuan lawyer and human rights defender, Gustaf Kawer (see photo, source: Jubi), in the city of Jayapura on 7 November 2020. Around 09.30 pm, Mr Kawer stopped his car in front of a store to buy something for their children, his family was with him in the car. In that moment a red pick-up truck with a police plate number (AD 1722 PJ) approached them from behind and overtook their car. The pick-up truck came so close to their car that the side doors and one side mirror of Mr Kawer’s car were damaged. Gustaf Kawer wanted to hold the driver accountable for the damage, so he followed the pick-up truck but was not able to keep pace with the fast pick-up. The pick-up truck escaped through the traffic with high speed. The following day, Mr Kawer tried to trace the owner with the plate number. He found out that the vehicle used a false plate number which was not officially registered.

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Another church worker killed in Intan Jaya – Security force members accuse victim of being TPN PB member

Human rights organisations have documented the extra-judicial killing of a church worker in the regency of Intan Jaya. Mr Rufinus Tigau, 28, was shot dead by members of the Nemangkawi Joint Security Force Unit in the village of Jalae, Sugapa District on 26 October 2020. During the operation, twelve-year-old Meinus Bagubau sustained a bullet wound to the hip. Security force representatives claim that Rufinus Tigau was associated with the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). A representative of the Catholic Diocese in Timika confirmed that Rufinus Tigau was officially appointed as a catechist in the Catholic Jalae congregation.

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Indonesian Bishops call for dialogue in West Papua

Representatives of the Catholic Church in Indonesia, in particular from the West Papua province, have held talks with the country's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs. The meeting was held on Sunday at Mr Mahfud MD's residence, and were aimed at discussing the various problems afflicting the restive province. Present were Bishop Aloysius Murwito of Agats and Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi of Amboina, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Merauke, along with Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, President of Indonesia's Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Source: Vatican News (Read here).

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Verdict in treason trial against 23 Papuan political detainees in Fakfak

On 1 December 2019, members of the Police Mobile Brigade Special Unit (Brimob) and 1803 Fakfak District Military Command arrested 54 indigenous Papuans (see photo, source: independent human rights defenders) in multiple villages located in the districts Kayauni and Kramonmongga, Fakfak Regency. The Fakfak police pressed charges against 23 of them. The trials against the 23 defendants began on 18 June 2020. On 22 and 23 October 2020, judges of the Fakfak District court found the 23 defendants guilty in the sense of the indictment. The sentences varied between eleven and 24 months, to be reduced by the period of detention (see table below).

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More Articles...

  1. Allegations of enforced disappearance in Nduga Regency – Two indigenous leaders missing after military operation
  2. Police fail to respect freedom of peaceful assembly in West Papua – 13 protesters arrested, one injured by bullet during demonstration against Otsus II
  3. Update on killing of Rev Zanambani in Intan Jaya – Fact finding team submits report to Minister Mahfud MD
  4. Military members show up in church during ordination of new priests
  5. Indonesian Government plans to establish new plantations in Papua Province
  6. Update on armed conflict in Intan Jaya – Government plans exploitation of gold reserves while residents face displacement and education crisis
  7. Three Papuans shot down as police disperses unrest in Keerom
  8. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2020
  9. PAHAM Papua Media Release - Stop the transfer and processing of defendants outside of Papua with the argument Papua is not safe
  10. Pacific Islands Forum reaffirms support for open and constructive dialogue on the human rights situation in West Papua
  11. West Papua Council of Churches demands the Govt to stop the remilitarisation of Papua
  12. Military member sentenced to 1 year 10 months for killing four Papuans in 2019
  13. Press release by the Civil Society Coalition against Food Estate in Papua: Stop Food Estate Plans in Papua
  14. Military member allegedly shot down Catholic church worker in Intan Jaya
  15. Minister seconds team to investigate shooting in Intan Jaya – Papuan civil society rejects team
  16. The 2019 West Papua Uprising - TAPOL's publication
  17. Raid in Wuluagaima village – Security forces torture three indigenous Papuans, two arbitrarily arrested
  18. Youth Forum concerned about the shrinking space for democracy in West Papua
  19. Police crackdown on peaceful student protest in Jayapura – at least two students injured
  20. Mysterious death of pastor in Nabire raises questions – Relatives allege police is covering facts
  21. UN Experts question Indonesia regarding security operation in Nduga
  22. Papuan students in Makassar attacked during peaceful protest against prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy
  23. Three KNPB activists currently tried under treason charges at Sorong District Court
  24. Peaceful protests against prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy in Nabire and Timika – Police responds with mass arrests
  25. Papuan Youth Church Leaders condemn actions of military regarding the killing of Pastor Zanambani
  26. Students launch petition against prolongation of Papuan special autonomy in Manado – Police reacts with roadblocks and tear gas
  27. Police officer in Manokwari prevents lawyers from meeting with defendants
  28. Indonesia must inform on allegations of extra-judicial killings in West Papua #PapuanLivesMatter
  29. Indigenous Papuan allegedly tortured during police custody in Merauke – Suspect dies in health centre
  30. Papuan Pastor Yerimia Zanambani killed in Intan Jaya

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