West Papua Council of Churches demands the Govt to stop the remilitarisation of Papua

Through its latest open letter, the West Papuan Council of Churches (WPCC) is calling President Widodo to terminate the status of remilitarisation of the Land of Papua and to follow up on his promise to meet the Papua pro-referendum group. The letter was released on 8 October 2020 in a press conference (see intro image, taken by Rode Wanimbo). The content of the letter reads as follows:

WEST PAPUAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES (WPCC)
(Together Fighting for the 'Dream of a Generation of Church Change Pioneers for the entire Land of Papua')

OPEN LETTER To President Joko Widodo As the Supreme Commander of the Army and Police Papuan people are not enemies of the Republic of Indonesia, Stop the REMILITERIZATION of the Land of Papua and follow up on the President's promise to meet with Papuan Pro-Referendum groups. His eyes are on the ways of mortals; he sees their every step (Job 34:21). Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews:4:13)

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Military member sentenced to 1 year 10 months for killing four Papuans in 2019

A military court has sentenced first sergeant Fajar to one year and ten months imprisonment for his involvement in the death of four Papuans in 2019. Sergeant Fajar was actively involved in the forceful dispersal of political supporters during a protest in the village of Basim, district of Fayit in Asmath regency, on 27 May 2019. The violent dispersal resulted in the killing of four indigenous Papuans. A fifth victim, John Tatai, remained handicapped for life as a result of the bullet injuries sustained during the incident (see intro image). Human rights observers assessed the sentence as disproportionately low. The sentence fails to bring justice for the victims and is a further example of the lack of accountability for perpetrators among the police and military. 

The Head of the Papuan Representative Office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Frits Ramandey, declared in an interview with media outlet Wartaplus that Komnas HAM's duty is not to comment on the sentence but to ensure that cases of human rights violations are being processed through national human rights mechanisms. He explained that Komnas HAM would ensure that the perpetrator serves his sentence. Komnas HAM considers the case as closed once the verdict has been shared with the victims’ relatives.

Press release by the Civil Society Coalition against Food Estate in Papua: Stop Food Estate Plans in Papua

Ten civil society organizations (CSOs), which are members of the Civil Society Coalition Against Food Estate in Papua, strongly reject President Jokowi’s plan to develop a food estate with an area of 2,052,551 hectares. This area consists of 1,304,574 ha of a mixture of protected forest, production forest, permanent production forest and conversion forest, and an area of 734,377 ha for other purposes (APL).

Some members of the Civil Society Coalition are Papua-based CSOs, like Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI), Papua KPCK Synode of GKI in Tanah Papua, Association of Human Rights Advocates (PAHAM) Papua, Limited Association for the Study and Empowerment of Indigenous Peoples (pt.PPMA ) Papua, SKP Merauke Archdiocese, Papua People's Network (JERAT), Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat, Papuan Franciscan SKPKC, Papua KIPRa and Papuan Voices. The Coalition's National Board expressed their rejection in a press release on Monday 28 Setember 2020.

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Raid in Wuluagaima village – Security forces torture three indigenous Papuans, two arbitrarily arrested

On 1 October 2020, joint security force members raided the village of Wuluagaima in the Kurima district, Jayawijaya regency. Wulugaima is partly inhabited by various internally displaced persons from the Nduga regency. The security forces raided the village after they received intelligence information that members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) from Nduga were staying in the village.

The Foundation for Justice and the Integrity of the Papuan People (YKKMP) arrived in Wuluagaima shortly after the security force raid. According to YKKMP, three indigenous villagers were subjected to torture. The security personnel arrested two villagers during the raid and seized money for a total value of 23.800.000 IDR (about € 1.376) as well as four cell phones. The security force members also shot dead a domesticated pig. None of the seized objects have been so far returned to the owners.

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Military member allegedly shot down Catholic church worker in Intan Jaya

Another church worker has been attacked in the regency of Intan Jaya, where repeated armed clashes between the Indonesian military and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) have resulted in ongoing military operations since late December 2019. The victim was twenty-three-year-old catholic catechist Agustinus Duwitau. He was shot from a distance of approximately 1 km in Domonggau Village on 7 October 2020. Duwitau was carrying an air rifle at the time of the attack. Military members allegedly mistook the hunting weapon for a combat rifle and opened fire at Duwitau because they suspected him as a TPB PB member. Duwitau was rescued by a group of locals who brought him to the Intan Jaya General Hospital.

 

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Youth Forum concerned about the shrinking space for democracy in West Papua

The West Papua Christian Youth Forum (FPK-TP) has released another open letter called THE LOSS OF DEMOCRATIC SPACE IN THE LAND OF PAPUA. The Forum is deeply disappointed by the actions of the Indonesian Army and Police. They continue to silence democracy in Papua, where students and the Papuan people demonstrating against Special Autonomy Volume II have been forcibly dispersed with acts of violence. "Violent actions were taken to disperse the Cenderawasih students' peaceful protests, including shooting which destroyed vehicles and the doors of the University as well as beatings of the protesters. This should not have happened if the security forces had approached the situation properly," said Yandinus Mabel, Head of the West Papua Christian Youth Forum. Yandinus said, the levels of security that were carried out during the peaceful protests to reject Special Autonomy Volume II were over the top. "The duty of the security forces is to safeguard and not commit acts of violence or prohibit the expression of opinions in public under Law no. 9 of 1998 which allows every citizen to express their opinion in public.

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Minister seconds team to investigate shooting in Intan Jaya – Papuan civil society rejects team

The coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Human Rights, Mahfud MD, has formed a fact-finding team (Tim Gabungan Pencari Fakta or TGPF) to investigate the death of a military member and a Papuan pastor in the regency of Intan Jaya. The fact-finding mission consists of 30 members, comprising of government officials, religious and public figures from Papua, as well as police and state intelligence members. Members of the national human rights commission (Komnas HAM), the institution which holds the legal mandate to investigate and process human rights violations, were not appointed to the team. Mahfud MD announced that the team was given two weeks to investigate and compile a report on the incident. In response, the Papuan Governor, Lukas Enembe, announced that he would also establish a humanitarian aid team to deal with the situation in Intan Jaya. Multiple stakeholders in West Papua, including church representatives, NGOs and government officials, reject the TGPF. On 9 October 2020, a member of the TGPF and a military officer were shot down after an investigation in the Hitadipa District, Intan Jaya Regency.

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Police crackdown on peaceful student protest in Jayapura – at least two students injured

The Jayapura Municipality Police (Polresta Jayapura) and Indonesian military members have forcefully dispersed a peaceful student demonstration against the university’s scientific assessment of West Papua’s special autonomy since its enactment in 2001. The demonstration was held in the Abepurra campus of Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) Jayapura, Papua Province, on 28 September 2020. Videos of the crackdown show how police officers storm the campus with teargas, water cannons and warning shots. At least two students were injured as a result of the use of excessive force by the police against the protesters. Four protesters were arrested, temporarily detained and released on the same day. According to media outlet Suara Papua, security force members also damaged a dozen motorcycles which belonged to UNCEN students.

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The 2019 West Papua Uprising - TAPOL's publication

On 30 September 2020, TAPOL, in collaboration with human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, has published an extensive report on the 2019 West Papua Uprising ('the Uprising') on the anniversary of its last day in 2019. The trigger of the Uprising was the racist persecution of West Papuan students in the Indonesian cities of Malang on 15 August, in Surabaya on 16 and 17 August, and in Semarang on 18 August 2019. The most significant of these incidents was, however, the incidents in Surabaya where Indonesian soldiers shouted 'monkey' repeatedly at the students, a word which was later reclaimed by West Papuans who used it during protests. Indeed, the focus of the Uprising later in West Papua was largely concerned with condemning racism and prosecuting the racist perpetrators in Java, but also holding an independence referendum.

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Mysterious death of pastor in Nabire raises questions – Relatives allege police is covering facts

Only a few days after military members killed a Papuan pastor in the regency of Intan Jaya, human rights defenders have reported the mysterious death of another pastor in the Nabire regency. According to the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (JPIC Kingmi Papua), 55-years-old pastor Albert Degei was found dead in the Kalisemen village of the Nabire Barat district on 22 September 2020. Relatives noticed multiple injuries on the victim’s head, indicating that Rev Degei was murdered. Shortly after the incident, the local police chief claimed in media interviews that Rev Degei died as a result of an epileptic attack and his body did not show any signs of external violence. The relatives are concerned that the police may attempt to cover up the case because they want to protect the perpetrator.

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More Articles...

  1. UN Experts question Indonesia regarding security operation in Nduga
  2. Papuan students in Makassar attacked during peaceful protest against prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy
  3. Three KNPB activists currently tried under treason charges at Sorong District Court
  4. Peaceful protests against prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy in Nabire and Timika – Police responds with mass arrests
  5. Papuan Youth Church Leaders condemn actions of military regarding the killing of Pastor Zanambani
  6. Students launch petition against prolongation of Papuan special autonomy in Manado – Police reacts with roadblocks and tear gas
  7. Police officer in Manokwari prevents lawyers from meeting with defendants
  8. Indonesia must inform on allegations of extra-judicial killings in West Papua #PapuanLivesMatter
  9. Indigenous Papuan allegedly tortured during police custody in Merauke – Suspect dies in health centre
  10. Papuan Pastor Yerimia Zanambani killed in Intan Jaya
  11. Verdict in treason trial in Sorong - Ten months imprisonment for eleven Papuan activists
  12. Papuan activists reimburse Veronica Koman's scholarship funds to the Indo govt
  13. Joint security forces kill three indigenous Papuans near Freeport Mine in Mimika
  14. Conflict tension increases in Intan Jaya Regency
  15. Armed conflict in West Papua continues: Government deploys 500 soldiers to the central highlands
  16. East Timor - 16 people on trial for peacefully protesting in solidarity with West Papua
  17. Joint security force members torture three indigenous Papuans in Boven Digoel for not using face masks
  18. Papuan Youth Church Leaders raise their voices regarding racism, injustice and Special Autonomy
  19. Police officers obstruct journalists at the district police station in Yahukimo
  20. Raids, mass arrests and torture by security forces in Yahukimo
  21. Police officers open fire at 16-year-old Papuan in Dogiyai Regency
  22. Papuan suspect killed during police detention in Sorong – Police Chief blames detainee
  23. Indonesian govt can’t neglect internally displaced Papuans - UN requests detailed information
  24. Police officers arrest Papuan activist for Facebook post
  25. Update on prosecution of political prisoner Bazoka Logo
  26. Police finally takes action against illegal gold mine in Jayapura
  27. UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women publishes List of issue for upcoming review of Indonesia
  28. 'Balikpapan 7' finally back in Jayapura
  29. Joint Security forces torture three indigenous Papuans in Sorong Selatan
  30. PT Freeport Indonesia conducts Environmental Impact Analysis – Indigenous communities fear expansion of mining area

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