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    2) KNPB Activists Claim Torture by Police

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    1) Papua Governor Wants Economic Census 2016 Applied to Freeport

    7 May 2016


    Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he wanted the Economic Census that has started since 1 May 2016 by Central Bureau Statistic to also apply to PT. Freeport Indonesia in order to obtain information about what type of business run by the mining company.
    “I hope it applies to Freeport as well to show us what type of business inside of the company,” said Enembe after survey by the Central Bureau Statistic of Papua Province on Friday (6/5/2016).
    Besides Freeport, he also wanted through the Economic Census, the Central Bureau Statistic could obtain data about native entrepreneurs in Papua.
    “Indigenous Papuans need to be surveyed as well to inform the number of indigenous Papuans who run business. Therefore through this census, we hope the Central Bureau Statistic could provide the data. Because Papuans might do not have any business,” he said.
    Therefore, Governor Lukas Enembe admitted to fully support the implementation of the Economic Census that is held every ten years, because the result could be a reference for the government to apply the economic policy in Papua in the future.
    “Thus, once again I repeat the Economic Census is very important because it would provide data on the entire economic activities in Papua. So, whether it is a businessman or family head or whatsoever must provide a real data to the surveyors,” said Enembe.
    Meanwhile the Head of Papua Central Bureau Statistic JB Priyono said the result of the Economic Census 2016 would be announced in the official speech of the Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 17 August 2016.
    “At present, it is only the process of data collecting in the field,” said Priyono.
    He added that he strongly expected the data processing could be done immediately so that the result of census could be launched on time though it is still a rough figure. (Alexander Loen/rom)


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    2) KNPB Activists Claim Torture by Police

    6  May 2016

    Jayapura, Jubi – Activists from the West Papuan National Committee said they were tortured and beaten up by police during their detention.
    Protest Coordinator at Expo rally point Warpo Wetipo said the torture against seven activists took place in a special detention room named Karel Satsuitubun in the police headquarters.
    “The seven of us were treated inhumanly. They treated us like animals,” Wetipo told Jubi in Abepura, Jayapura City on Tuesday (3/5/2016)


    He said during the interrogation, officers stepped on the activists’ chests or backs, some repeatedly beat them on the head with riffle butts.
    “An officer came and hit me on my ear. For a minute I loss my consciousness. I regained consciousness when I felt something warm out of my ear. I grabbed it and it was blood,” he said.
    When other officers came, they kicked him on the chest and back. He said he felt the pain after he woke up the next morning.
    “Yesterday I didn’t feel any pain but I felt the pain. I have difficulty breathing while going up and down the stairs at the dormitory,” he said.
    KNPB activist Arim Tabuni who arrested at Lingkaran Abepura admitted the Police have acted brutally. They scattered the rally and arrested some activists.  The activists were loaded into the Police armored truck and brought them to the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters.
    “They tortured and arrested us at 9:00 am in Lingkaran Abepura. They took us into the armored truck and told us to hand up. They beat us on the chest and head, mostly on the chest. So we looked not hurts,” he said on Thursday (5/5/2016).
    In the special detention cell, he said, the temperature was extremely hot; they were told to remove their pants. Some activists refused to do it, but some officers did it.
    “Some activists refused to do so. There were officers telling not to do as well,” he said.
    During the interrogation, he said the Police terrorized the activists, threatened to kill them and throw their body to the sea.
    “These four, just kill them. Put their bodies in the sack bag and throw it into the sea for the fishes,” said Tabuni imitating the officers when interrogating at the detention cell.
    Besides the seven activists, said Warpo, there are four activists being beaten during the detention, including a female activist who arrested at Lingkaran Abepura.
    When interviewed by Jubi, she told the Police pulled her cloth.
    “They pulled off my cloth. My bra untied showing my chest. I was topless. They dragged me to the Police car injuring my right knee and elbow,” she pointed her wounds to Jubi.
    She said that her and her friends were topless when brought to the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters. The Police offered her a cloth to cover her chest but she refused it.
    “I told them I was born from a bare-chest mother. So I told them here I am. I never did something wrong,” she repeated her words to the Police on 2 May 2016.
    Papua Police Spokesperson Adjunct Senior Commissionaire Patrige Renwarin when being confirmed about this said the Police did not conduct any violence, they only secured the situation. The activists have been released in the afternoon.
    “No torture,” said Renwarin through short message to Jubi on Wednesday afternoon (4/5/2016).
    Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw who came in the negotiation with legislators of Papua Legislative Council and Rev. Benny Giay to realese the activists at Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters confirmed some activists were injured.
    “I was informed that there are four activists. Please report it if there are some who are wounded. If afraid, they could make a report through the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Frits Ramandey will stand for them. We will facilitate it,” said the Chief in his speech before the release of protesters on 2 May 2016.
    He said he appreciated the protesters who were cooperation though some were wounded.
    “We don’t want any fatalities,” he said.
    Human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer said these detention and torture just repeated the same experience. The Police never want to change their pattern to not repeat the same mistake. He said the Police should open the room for the protesters. The restriction, silencing and torturing would only fertilize the idealism.
    “Ideology, this movement would grow big and wider,” he said at the square of the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters.
    According to him, if there is a confession on torturing, it has violated the international covenant of anti-violence.
    “Telling the activists to remove their cloths; let them under the sun, it could be considered to violate the anti-violence covenant,” he said.
    Those who claimed to be tortured and beaten are Warpo Wetipo (31), Doli Ubruangge (27), Arim Tabuni (21), Matias Suu (21), Goty Gobay (23), Kombawe Wanimbo (25), Elias Mujijau (19), Agust Pahabol (23) and Izon Kobak (23). (Benny Mawel/rom)
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    Govt should settle human rights abuses in Papua through peaceful dialogue: Horta
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie Reporter
    Posted: Sun, May 8 2016 | 10:39 am

    Former president of Timor Leste Jose Ramos-Horta has expressed optimism that the Indonesian government will settle cases of human rights abuses in Papua, saying that officials should prioritize peaceful dialogue.
    Despite long decades of insurgency and rebellion from Papuan separatists, the government should not regard these people as enemies, but should instead work to rebuild trust with them, Horta said.
    The process will not be easy because the government has neglected Papua for too long, Horta added.
    President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's commitment to the Papuan people had begun to build up a sense of goodwill after a period of prolonged disappointment, Horta said.
    "They are hopeful that significant steps will be taken to improve human rights in Papua," Horta told journalists on Thursday.
    The statement follows Horta's visit to Papua from May 2 to May 4 after receiving an invitation to inspect development in the region from Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan.
    During the visit, Horta reportedly met with Papuan officials including Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, Papua Legislative Council Speaker Yunus Wonda, the Papuan People's Assembly ( MRP ), local teachers and medical assistants.
    Horta also met with former rebels who used to be active in the Free Papua Movement, but who now agreed to develop Papua as a part of Indonesia.
    The National Commission on Human Rights ( Komnas HAM ) will cooperate with human rights NGOs to investigate cases of violence in Papua, Horta said. The government should also work closely with local churches, he added.
    "Indonesia can settle the human rights cases in Papua internally without the help of foreign actors," Horta asserted.
    The government should also avoid using violence that often ended up wounding innocent civilians, Horta said.
    According to Horta, the government should find the right balance between national development and understanding centuries-old Papuan values.
    This will be difficult because Papua is a large region, Horta said.
    The government should develop programs to create more economic opportunity for Papuans, he went on to say.
    Besides developing infrastructure and reducing the disparity gap, education should also be a top priority to advance the quality of the region’s human resources, Horta said.
    Indonesia should take note of Singapore, a state with minimum natural resources, but a positive reputation in the international community, Horta said.
    "A nation can be minuscule, but if everybody studies and gets a degree from a reputable university, they can operate in a big industry," Horta said. ( dan )

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    Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

    PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088




             Summary of events in West Papua for April (–9 May) 2016



    News update.Benny Wenda- Breaking the Silence tour of Australia this Month.

    Details of Sydney events in update.




    Crack down on peaceful rallies

    The security forces in West Papua cracked down on numerous peaceful rallies throughout the past month culminating in mass arrests on the 2 May.  Up to 1700 people were arrested including KNPB members, student activists and pro independence supporters. Jubi reported (3 May) that activists were detained in Jayapura, Sentani, Merauke, Manokwari, Timika and Sorong. The rallies were called to show support for the bid by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and to support the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) who were meeting at the Houses of Parliament in London to discuss the issue.  Although the majority of activists were eventually released, during the arrests in Jayapura a large number of activists were taken to the Mobile brigade (BRIMOB) headquarters and made to remove their shirts and put in a field in the extremely hot midday sun. Seven activists were also tortured.  Jubi reported (article 6 May) that the torture against the seven activists took place in a special detention room named Karel Satsuitubun in the police headquarters.



    Activists from the West Papuan National Committee said they were tortured and beaten up by police during their detention in Brigade Mobile Headquarters – Jubi




    One activist told jubi that “The seven of us were treated inhumanly. They treated us like animals,” He said during the interrogation, officers stepped on the activists’ chests or backs, some repeatedly beat them on the head with riffle butts. “An officer came and hit me on my ear. For a minute I loss my consciousness. I regained consciousness when I felt something warm out of my ear. I grabbed it and it was blood,” he said. When other officers came, they kicked him on the chest and back. He said he felt the pain after he woke up the next morning. Jubi report at http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/knpb-activists-claim-torture-by-police/As first reports of arrests came in AWPA call on the Australian Foreign Minister to condemn the arrests of the peaceful demonstrators


    http://asiapacificreport.nz/2016/05/02/awpa-calls-on-australian-foreign-minister-to-condemn-papua-arrests/  West Papua Media also created a #liveupdatesPapua twitter feed reporting updates on the arrests.  NGO organisations around the world urged their governments to raise the arrests with their government.  AWPA letter to Julie Bishop at 

    Other rallies.

    The KNPP have been a particular target of the security forces.

    On the 5 April a number of activists were arrested including the chair of the KNPB Steven Itlay. in Timika.  It was reported they were beaten and kicked during the arrests. The Timika branch of the KNPB were simply holding a prayer meeting (“Prayers for the Papuan People’s recovery”) with local people from the area and also in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). The  Jakarta Globe on the 6 April reported that at least 12 activists from group the KNPB, were detained after a rally turned violent in Kampung Bhintuka-SP13 field in Mimika, Timika district, Papua on Tuesday (05/04).Mimika Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Yustanto said the protest was forcefully dispersed after rally coordinator Steven Itlay gave a speech about Papua independence. A West Papua Media report on the incident at https://westpapuamedia.info/2016/04/05/timika-knpb-arrests-show-space-for-free-expression-ever-more-squeezed-in-papua/



    On the 13 April rallies were again held in a number of districts of West Papua. A RNZI report (14 April) said that the demonstrations in West Papua have been described as a sign of widespread support for integration with the wider Melanesian community. The peaceful demonstrations in the main cities of Indonesia's Papua region were attended by thousands of West Papuans under the banner of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. The demonstrations, voiced support for the Liberation Movement and its bid to gain full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group, resulted in dozens of arrests. One of the key Papuan political groups in the Movement, the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, was centrally involved in organising the demonstrations. The KNPB chairman Victor Yeimo addressed the demonstration in the Papuan provincial capital, Jayapura.




    In RNZI report .West Papuans demonstrating support for the Liberation Movement had the Papuan Morning Star flag emdy and garb. Photo: Tabloid Jubi
    Franciscans International also released an U/A on the incident



    On the 29 April, surapapua.com reported on the arrest of more KNPB activists in Jayapura. The activists were arrested simply because they were handing out leaflets informing people of a rally to be held on the 2nd May. The purpose of the rally was to commemorate and protest the tragic betrayal of West Papua by the international community when West Papua was handed over by United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) to Indonesian administration on the 1st of May 1963, 53 years ago. The KNPB also called on people to show support for the meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in London. AWPA release at 

    http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/awpa-condemns-arrest-of-41-knpb.html



    Meeting in Vanuatu

    The Vanuatu Free West Papua Committee organized a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Parallel MSG Forum In Port Vila to take place leading up to the official MSG Meeting in Vila. And supported by PIANGO. Although the MSG meeting was postponed the CSO Forum took place. It started on the 29 April with an inspiring march through Vila leading up to the MSG Secretariat. The Vanuatu people turned out in force and were joined by representatives from solidarity groups from the region. 




















    More Photos of march at

    http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/photos-of-march-in-vanuatu.html




    On 1st May the forum was launched in a church opposite Independence Park and held on the 2 and 3 May.




                                                     Photos Vera Green AWPA Adelaide



    A new report “We will lose everything” was also launched at the forum in Vanuatu. The full report, on a Human Rights Fact Finding Mission to West Papua conducted by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese Brisbane at

    https://cjpcbrisbane.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/we-will-lose-everything-may-2016.pdf



    At a historic meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papuain the Houses of Parliament on the 3 May a new declaration was signed calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua. Delegates came from around the world to attend this historic meeting on West Papua’s future. The meeting was briefed by parliamentarians, lawyers and academics, all of whom discussed and affirmed the West Papuan people’s fundamental right to self-determination.

    The declaration reads as follows:

    We the undersigned Members of Parliament, being members of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua: I. Declare that continued human rights violations in West Papua are unacceptable. II. Warn that without international action the West Papuan people risk extinction. III. Reiterate the right of the people of West Papua to genuine self-determination. IV. Declare the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’ to be a gross violation of this principle. V. Call for an internationally supervised vote on self- determination in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions 1514 and 1541 (XV).

    Palace of Westminster, London, the 3rd of May 2016

    https://www.freewestpapua.org/2016/05/03/westminster-meeting-makes-new-declaration-for-the-future-of-west-papua/
    Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader drew attention to the plight of West Papuans, saying the recognition of human rights and justice should be the “cornerstone” of the UK Labour party’s foreign policy. The Labour leader made the comments in an address to a meeting of international parliamentarians, supporters and activists in London on Tuesday. The group, which included Pacific region ministers and leaders, among them the West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda, called for a UN-supervised independence vote in the Indonesian territory

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/west-papua-un-must-supervise-vote-on-independence-says-coalition



    Pacific Archbishops also make a surprise ‘fact-finding’ visit to West Papua

    A delegation of 20 bishops from the Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands were also told of Papuan desires for independence from Indonesia, during a visit to the Papuan provincial capital, Jayapura. Local rights activists were given only short notice about the visit as the bishops arrived in a vehicle convoy across the PNG and Indonesian border under military escort. In a letter presented to the bishops, Catholic Women of West Papua wrote of the significance of the visit: “Few foreigners and even fewer esteemed guests like yourselves are able to get permission to come, or are willing to risk visiting our country,” the statement said.

    “We want you to know that we are not free. 

    “We are confined in a situation that is full of violence. 

    “Because of the Indonesian police and military we do not feel safe in our own land.

    “We desire to determine our own future, freely and fairly. 

    “We want you to know that the United Liberation Movement for West Papua represents us. They have our full support.” 

     http://catholicleader.com.au/news/pacific-island-bishops-make-surprise-but-welcome-visit-to-papua



    Pacific Islands Forum submissions

    The Framework for Pacific Regionalism calls for an inclusive public policy process to identify issues of importance across the region. Each year, as part of this process, the Forum Secretariat provides an opportunity for people, groups, organisations, international agencies, and governments, to submit a policy initiative that requires the attention of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders. A number of submissions on West Papua were received and can be seen on link below.

    From PIF Secretariat website

    Secretary General Pleased with the Public Response to Call for Pacific Region Policy Initiatives

    A total of 47 regional policy initiatives were received by the closing date for the 2016 public call for submissions under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. “I would like to thank everyone who made a submission this year, as your efforts show that there is a strong appreciation and appetite for Pacific Regionalism. They also show an understanding of the benefits that can come when Forum countries cooperate and collaborate to address the big issues and interests that we face and can share together,” said Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and Chair of the Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism, Dame Meg Taylor. The submissions cover a diverse range of policy areas including energy, education, labour mobility, ocean, tourism, and health, with the highest volume of submissions centred on issues relating to climate change and West Papua.


    “It is pleasing to see new initiatives and issues emerge from across the region. It is also encouraging to see that some of the submissions this year build on regional policy priorities that emerged through this same public policy process last year. Not only is there ongoing interest and discussion around regional responses to climate change and West Papua, but there are proposals that acknowledge and seek to strengthen the work currently being done in the areas of ICT and fisheries,” said Dame Meg. Submissions were received from individuals, civil society, the private sector, multi-country consortiums, multi-lateral agencies, and academia from countries across the region - including Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.


    In speaking about the next steps of the process, the Secretary General said that, “Pacific Leaders have committed to listening to the Pacific people, and this consultative public process has identified a strong selection of policy ideas for us to consider. The Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat will be assessing and analysing each of the submissions over the next six weeks. They will be looked at against the criteria for regionalism outlined in the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, and would also be consulting with technical expertise appropriate to each submission. This will ensure that any policy initiatives that are recommended to Pacific Leaders warrant their oversight and commitment.”


    The Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism will meet to discuss the submissions in June before making their recommendations to Pacific Leaders who meet in Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia, between the 7th and 11th September 2016. The Specialist Sub-Committee will endeavour to ensure that the recommendations to Leaders consist of a handful of strategic, high level regional priorities. In doing this, the sub-committee will take stock of the current priorities and make recommendations on whether they should remain on the Leaders agenda in 2016.

    Submissions can be viewed on the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s website.



    Support for West Papua grows in the region.

    As support for West Papua grows in the region, Jakarta has tried to counter it by offering aid and visiting the Pacific countries on lobbying missions.

    From a RNZI report 7 April

    The United Liberation Movement for West Papua says Papua remains an issue for the wider Melanesian region despite Indonesia's efforts to internalise it.

    Since the Liberation Movement was granted observer status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group last year, Indonesia has increased its diplomatic engagement with MSG member states. Jakarta, which has MSG associate member status, is lobbying to fend off support for West Papuan self-determination and said it had the support of Fiji and Papua New Guinea to become a full member.

    This follows last week's Indonesian ministerial visit to PNG and Fiji where Jakarta handed over five million US dollars in cyclone relief assistance.

    One of the Liberation Movement's interior executives, Markus Haluk, said the lobbying was to be expected. "Indonesia lobby money and economy for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. But no problem, we are optimists, because West Papua problem is same Melanesia problem." Markus Haluk said that in Papua itself, grassroots support for the Liberation Movement was huge.

     

    The opening of a ULMWP office in Wamena, Papua province, in February, was attended by an estimated five to six thousand Papuans. However, following the opening, Indonesian police dismantled the Liberation Movement signage as well as detained Mr Haluk and a fellow ULMWP member for questioning over their involvement in establishing the office. Leading Indonesian government officials have said that movements which harbour independence aspirations must be crushed. Yet Papuan leaders have repeatedly identified brutal treatment of their people by the security forces as a main driver of dissatisfaction with Indonesian rule.



    From Antara News report

    Indonesia strengthens ties with South Pacific nations

    Pewarta: Fardah Kamis, 7 April 2016 

    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and his delegations recent trip to Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) demonstrates Indonesias commitment to forging strong bilateral relations with South Pacific countries. The Indonesian delegation arrived in Suva, Fiji, on March 30 for a visit aimed at boosting bilateral relations between Indonesia and Fiji. Minister Pandjaitan paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister J.V. Bainimarama, held a bilateral meeting with Fijis Minister for Agricultural, Rural, Maritime Affairs and National Disaster Management Ina Seriaritu, and a luncheon with Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

    The minister extended financial assistance worth US$5 million to help the victims of the Winston typhoon that hit Fiji in February and delivered a letter from President Joko Widodo to Prime Minister Bainimarama.  In addition to the financial aid, Indonesia also sent US$3 million worth of goods for the victims of the typhoon. The minister remarked that Indonesia will deploy engineer troops to help reconstruct Queen Victoria School in Lawaki. "In early May, the TNIs (Indonesian Defense Forces) engineer troops will arrive. We will also send 100 units of hand tractors to help develop agriculture here," Pandjaitan noted. "I have conveyed to Prime Minister Bainimarama and Foreign Minister Kubuabola that we will be consistently present in the region," the minister pointed out. Minister Seriaritu hailed the aid and cooperation offered by Indonesia. He said Indonesia was a key player in the Asian and Pacific region, and the countrys success in disaster management and mitigation had received international recognition. http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/104056/indonesia-strengthens-ties-with-south-pacific-nations




    Indonesia Objects to $1.7 Bln Freeport Asked for Stake: Energy Official
    Jakarta Globe By : Wilda Asmarini | April 11, 2016

    Jakarta. Indonesia has objected to the $1.7 billion Freeport McMoRan asked for a stake in its local unit, an energy ministry official said, because the price tag was too high and the government is considering alternative options.

    “We told them that for now there was no agreement on the price,” Coal and Minerals Director General Bambang Gatot told reporters on Monday, referring to a letter sent to Freeport regarding its offer. Gatot declined to give details on what price the government thought would be fair for the 10.64 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia that the U.S.-based parent company must divest. Reuters




    Upcoming events

    Benny Wenda- breaking the Silence tour of Australia this Month (see flyers)

    Benny will also be speaking at  ‘PUNKS FOR WEST PAPUA’ – THE DOCUMENTARY TOUR TUESDAY 24TH MAY – SYDNEY UNIVERSITY.

    We encourage people to come and pass on information re event to your organisations, groups and friends.





    Opinion pieces/reports/ press releases etc.



    Why today’s global warming has roots in Indonesia’s genocidal past  www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/03/genocide-indonesia-human-rights-abuse-climate-change-palm-oil



    Marap Indigenous Group claim back three oil palm plantation divisions in Arso.  https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1390



    West Papua – ‘a nation in waiting’: Behind this week’s uprising


    Silencing West Papuan independence supporters overseas


    'Sea-level rise has claimed five whole islands in the Pacific: first scientific evidence'

    -------------------------------------

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    2) Indonesia condemns MPs’ Papua meeting in London

    3) West Papua: Footage exposes new mass arrests, human rights abuses

    ————————————————————————

    1) international surge on West Papua amid mass demos
    3:29 pm today Johnny Blades, RNZ International
    More mass demonstrations are expected in Indonesia's Papua region amid growing international interest in West Papuan self-determination aspirations.
    Last week's demonstrations in cities across Papua region and other Indonesian cities came three weeks after similar public mobilisations, and resulted in mass arrests.
    It's traditional for West Papuans to demonstrate around May the 1st. This date is the anniversary of transfer of administration in the former Dutch New Guinea to Indonesia in 1963, a process in which Papuans were not consulted.
    But this year they were also demonstrating their support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid to be a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, as well as the International Parliamentarians for West Papua.

    London summit

    The IPWP, a network of politicians from around the world who support self-determination for West Papuans and are concerned about ongoing human rights abuses against Papuans, held a summit in London last week.
    One of the IPWP's founders is the British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn who said at the summit that he wanted support for West Papuan self-determination, and recognition of the human rights issues, to become central to policy in his Labour Party.

    Attended by MPs from the wider Pacific, Europe and Britain, as well as Liberation Movement leaders such as Benny Wenda, the summit resulted in a declaration calling for an internationally-supervised vote on independence in West Papua.
    The West Papua-based journalist Victor Mambor said people demonstrating last week in Papua's main centres supported this call.
    "They want a referendum, they want the right to self-determination. As far as I know the authorities never talk about that, they didn't want to talk about that," he said.
    However Jakarta insists that there is no going back on the what it calls the 'final' incorporation of West Papua into the republic, and has been swift to condemn the London meeting.
    In a series of posts on Twitter, the Indonesian embassy in Australia called the meeting a publicity stunt organised by a 'small group of Papuan separatists and sympathisers.'
    Jakarta said the United Nations and international community already recognised Papua as part of Indonesia, saying the region already has self-determination through special autonomy, elections and education.
    However, the 1969 referendum by which West Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia, named the Act of Free Choice, is widely regarded as having been stage-managed.
    A leading Vanuatu government minister who attended the London summit, Ralph Regenvanu, said there was growing international support to address what remained an unresolved decolonisation issue.
    "According to international law, that self-determination issue has never been addressed by a proper vote in West Papua, and that's been recognised at a number of forums," said Mr regenvanu.
    "Decolonisation never happened and in fact this colony was simply passed from one colonial power, being the Dutch, to another colonial power which is Indonesia which continues to colonise the territory to this day."

    Jokowi's Papua drive

    The demonstrations came just a day after Indonesia's President Joko Widodo visited Papua region to open a major port facility and preside over a new market construction designed to assist Papuans.
    Less than two years since taking office, President Widodo, or 'Jokowi' as he is known, has already visited Papua several times - more than any previous Indonesian president.
    Jokowi has embarked on a major development drive in Papua, including plans for an 800-kilometre Papuan highway and an ambitious 1,390-km railway project.
    "Within the first one-and-a-half years of Jokowi's administration, eastern Indonesia's economic growth has surpassed that of the western part of the country," according to a statement from Indonesia's House of Representatives following last week's London summit.
    The president's focus on economic development in Papua has been welcomed but for many West Papuans has not addressed the self-determination issue, nor ongoing human rights abuses.
    The Jokowi administration appears limited in its ability to rein in the military and police forces who run Papua; gains in living conditions for Papuans have yet to eventuate.
    Indonesia's leading human rights body said last month that abuses in Papua, generally by security forces, remained as rampant as they were under previous governments.
    Furthermore, health and education outcomes in Papua are typically Indonesia's worst - for instance, Papua region has a rate of HIV/AIDS which is 20 times the national average.

    Marginalised

    Indonesian police said that the West Papua National Committee (which is part of the Liberation Movement) requested permission to hold the demonstrations and failed to meet the requirements. They proceeded anyway.
    The demonstrations have gone wider, spreading even to Indonesian cities outside Papua, including Semarang and Makassar, with significant West Papuan populations.
    A Papuan who works with political prisoners, Ruth Ogetay, said there was a common theme among the demonstrators.
    "All over our land, West Papua, in cities like Wamena, Jayapura, the expression of West Papuans has been in support of independence," she said.
    While there was a more restrained conduct of police forces in handling last week's demonstrations compared with past rallies, the number of arrests was massive.
    Some local media reports had the number of arrests as high as 1700.
    In the wake of the arrests, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, not for the first time, was pressed about the rights situation in West Papua.
    "The government is concerned about these matters," he told parliament, "and the government wants to see an improvement in the situation in that part of the world.
    "The government does not believe that megaphone diplomacy will serve that objective."
    Politicians in Australia have frequently claimed that the economic and social plight of the indigenous people of Indonesia's West Papua region was improving.
    But a new report called 'We will Lose Everything', based on a fact finding mission the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Brisbane, concludes otherwise.
    Some Papuans say life in their region has improved significantly, compared to the years under the rule of Indonesia's President Suharto who fell in 1998.
    Yet the proportion of West Papuans to the overall population of their region is declining quickly as non-Papuan migrants stream in on a regular basis, via the state-facilitated transmigration system.
    As a result, in their homeland Papuans are increasingly marginalised, in terms of culture and economic activity.

    International pressure

    The internationalisation of the West Papua issue continues, despite Jakarta's insistence that it is a domestic matter.
    As Tonga's prime minister Akilisi Pohiva said following his attendance at the London summit, United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals were 'impossible to achieve without the full support for the human rights of all people living in areas of conflict throughout the world and in the peaceful Pacific region.'
    Grassroots support for governmental action on West Papua is steadily growing in the Pacific Islands region, particularly Melanesia.
    The Melanesian Spearhead Group's decision last year to grant the Liberation Movement observer status within the group was a recognition of that.
    Concurrently, Indonesia with its claims to a large Melanesian population, became an associate member of the MSG in 2015.
    The changing shape of the MSG - whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia's Kanak peoples - has become a divisive issue.
    Ralph Regenvanu said Indonesian inclusion in the MSG was supposed to have opened the way for dialogue about West Papua. But he said that unfortunately the MSG's call for Jakarta to dialogue had been ignored.
    "And in fact they rebuffed the prime minister of the Solomons (Manasseh Sogavare who is the current MSG chair). There's been no response to the letter from the prime minister of Papua New Guinea as the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum to them, asking for some sort of human rights assessment to be done," said Mr Regenvanu.
    "The question is: do they really want to engage or not? If it (Jakarta) is not coming to the table, then why are they in the MSG?"
    The MSG is expected to have a leaders summit before the end of June in Port Vila where the full members are due to discuss the Liberation Movement's bid for full membership.
    As this draws near, more West Papuan demonstrations are likely.
    ——————————————————————
    2) Indonesia condemns MPs’ Papua meeting in London
    1:24 pm today
    The government of Indonesia has condemned a meeting by international parliamentarians who called for Indonesia to address problems in West Papua.
    At the International Parliamentarians for West Papua meeting, that took place at the British Houses of Parliament in London, the leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, called for a UN-supervised independence vote in West Papua.
    A statement from the Indonesia government says the meeting was a "reflection of colonial acts" that should be condemned by the world and the British parliament.
    The statement then went on to outline President Joko Widodo's stated commitment to resolving issues in the region.
    It said within Jokowi's tenure, eastern Indonesia's economic growth had surpassed that of the western part of the country.
    In a string of tweets on Friday, the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra disputed claims at the meeting and reaffirmed the government's plan to revitalise infrastructure in Papua.

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    3) West Papua: Footage exposes new mass arrests, human rights abuses

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Nearly 2000 people were arrested in the Indonesian-occupied nation of West Papua on May 2. The crackdown came amid a mass unarmed civilian uprisings across West Papua. Jason MacLeod, the author of the recently published Merdeka & the Morning Star: Civil Resistance in West Papua, told We Are Moving Stories: “The Indonesian police were completely overwhelmed by the size, scale and disciplined defiance of the activists who came from a range of groups organised by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.”
    West Papua, one half of the island of New Guinea, has been occupied by Indonesia for more than five decades. Like East Timor, which won independence from Indonesia in 1999, West Papuans want to be free to determine their own political future. At least 100,000 people have been killed by the Indonesian military since it took control in 1963 but the West Papuans continue to struggle.
    MacLeod, an organiser, educator and researcher who has been active in the West Papuan solidarity movement since 1991, spoke to We Are Moving Stories on May 5, which is abridged below.
    ***
    How many people were arrested on May 2? Why were they arrested?
    Nearly 2000 people were arrested on May 2, in mass unarmed civilian-based uprisings across the country: in Jayapura, Wamena, Merauke, Manokwari, Timika, Sorong and Fak Fak.
    The Indonesian police were completely overwhelmed by the size, scale and disciplined defiance of the activists who came from a range of groups organised by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
    In Jayapura, for instance, activists were detained on the oval inside the mobile police brigade's headquarters. Most people arrested were released by last night. At the time of writing, 45 people, including 19 children aged 8-18, remain in detention in Fak Fak.
    The Indonesian police routinely use torture against Papuan dissenters, so we are concerned about their welfare. I expect the organisers will be charged with treason and rebellion later this week.
    At the same time we are noticing that Jakarta is becoming constrained, or at least uncertain of what to do, in the face of rising international support for a free West Papua, especially in the Pacific.
    The video shows activists being transported by an Indonesian police truck from Waena, a suburb in Jayapura, to the Mobile Police Brigade's headquarters in Kotaraja, about 15-20 minutes away, where they were detained on a sports oval.
    You can see fists being raised in defiance and hear them yelling “merdeka” (freedom). This is the fifth truck with activists that went past in minutes. The film was shot by a local organiser hidden behind a fence.
    Much of the equipment — weapons, trucks, body armour — is supplied by foreign countries, including Australia and the European Union.
    What are the demands of the West Papuans?
    Since November last year, the ULMWP has been campaigning to become a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, a sub regional forum comprised of Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and the pro-independence coalition from Kanaky (New Caledonia), the FLNKS (the National Liberation Socialist Front of Kanaky).
    In June last year, the ULMWP gained observer status. At the same time, Indonesia was accepted as an associate member. Through the MSG the ULMWP has an opportunity to take their concerns to the 16-member country Pacific Islands Forum and the United Nations.
    That is why activists in West Papua are calling for the ULMWP to get full membership of the MSG. This will legitimise and internationalise the struggle in a major way. 
    Of course, that move challenges Indonesia's legitimacy and the economic and political interests of other countries – notably Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand/Aotearoa, and is being resisted.
    Consequently, the ULMWP is taking to the streets inside West Papua to raise the political costs of the occupation for Indonesia and the same time try to compel Pacific Island countries to take a position on West Papua.
    It's a strategy that is working. Last month for instance, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat agreed to put West Papua on the agenda of the forthcoming leaders meeting in September as a result of grassroots pressure from across the region.
    Why is it so difficult to see videos about what's going on in West Papua?
    Foreign journalists are effectively banned from travelling to West Papua. In recent years, particularly since 2011, social media has been the quickest and most reliable way to get information out. It has only really been in the last six months that we have been able to send video out quickly.
    Given the Indonesian government's media blockade, citizen media activism is vital. The movement is seeking to strengthen its capacity to use video and various digital platforms to extend its reach into new audiences and deepen its impacts on those audiences, mobilising them in support of movement-led goals.
    What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
    The ULMWP together with their allies invite film makers to come to West Papua to tell the story of Papuan resistance to the Indonesian government occupation. But we are also looking for other industry people who can work with movement leaders to develop short 90 second films that we can integrate into various campaign strategies — such as the campaign to end foreign support for the Indonesian police in West Papua, to secure full membership of the MSG and other campaigns. \
    What's a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
    What would it take for film and creative industry people to work with movement leaders and solidarity groups to mobilise resources in support of West Papuans' aspirations for self determination and independence?
    Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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    2) Plane Skids Off Runway at Sentani Airport
    3) An Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn from Indonesia


    1) Dutch Journalist Goes Undercover in West Papua
    Dutch journalist and filmmaker Rohan Radheya spent five months undercover to document West Papua’s ongoing struggle for independence from Indonesia’s brutal rule.
    During Radheya’s time there, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, lifted a ban on foreign journalists in the province. That occurred in May, but Radheya says it won’t change anything because the press still has strict conditions, most notably that foreign journalists are not allowed to report critically on the Indonesian government.
    Because of press restrictions — past and present — any reporting on West Papua’s struggle for independence is rare.
    From his time working undercover, Radheya has compiled an hour-long documentary, Melanesian Dreams, which has its first screening at the European Parliament in Brussels under guidance of the UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and People Organization) at a member meeting in December.
    See the trailer to Melanesian Dreams here:
    http://www.visiontimes.com/2015/11/30/read-this-qa-with-a-dutch-journalist-who-went-undercover-in-west-papua.html
    ——————————-
    2) Plane Skids Off Runway at Sentani Airport
    By : Robert Isidorus | on 2:29 PM May 09, 2016

    Jayapura. A Cessna C-208B Caravan plane skidded off the runway at Sentani Airport in Jayapura, Papua, on Monday morning (09/05) as the pilot lost control of the plane when it was about to take off. No injuries were reported from the incident.
    Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Patrige Renwarin said the incident occurred at around 7 a.m. when the plane, operated by Enggang Air, started its run from the apron heading to the runway to take off for Mulia Airport in the Jayawijaya district.
    At exactly 7.15 a.m., the pilot failed to control the direction of the plane—which carried more than 1,050 kilograms of staple foods—causing it to run off the runway. The rudder and brake system of the plane were reportedly broken, and one of its tires fell off and was later found in a gutter.
    Pilot Tomi, co-pilot Mike Brun and mechanic Syahrul were evacuated safely from the aircraft.
    The incident may affect food distribution in some parts of Papua as people depend on light-plane services to deliver staple foods to remote areas.
    The Air Force's special unit Paskhas and Sentani Airport staff managed to remove the plane from the scene by around 8.25 p.m.
    Writing by Edo Karensa

    ——————————————————-
    3) An Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn from Indonesia
    Posted: Updated: 
    Dear Mr. Corbyn,
    We are writing on behalf of Indonesian people in the UK. As your admirers, we were surprised to read your statement published in the Guardian online edition - Helen Davidson's article titled "Jeremy Corbyn on West Papua: UK Labour Leader calls for independent vote" on 6 May 2016. We are very disappointed that you could come up with such a short-sighted conclusion about Papua and West Papua, which is simply groundless and reflects your very limited knowledge about the two provinces.
    One of us has lived in Papua and we have been educated about Papua since our early age. We know exactly what life is like in provinces of Papua and West Papua. Even those who had visited Papua and West Papua could see that socio-economic development in the two provinces is comparable and in some cases exceeds other cities/countries in the South Pacific.
    Your statement has very much undermined and hurt the feeling of 250 million Indonesians among them are 3.9 million living in 42 districts and cities in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. Every 5 years, the registered voters in Papua and West Papua, including those overseas, voluntarily take part in elections that internationally regarded as free and fair. Like other Indonesians, we in Papua and West Papua freely and directly voted for our President, Parliamentarians, Governors, Mayors and Regents. Even all of our Governors, Mayors and Regents are ethnic Papuan. We are dismayed that you believe people in Papua and West Papua do not enjoy democracy. We are puzzled that you said that we are not free to choose, free to govern and free to determine our own future. Instead, you should be cautious about the claims made by Benny Wenda and other individuals that they are representing people of Papua. Who are really they representing?
    It is difficult for us to understand your support over Benny Wenda and his friends' accusation that the Indonesian Government persecuting, oppressing, and even conducting genocide in Papua and West Papua. The facts are the two provinces have been enjoying 5-8% of annual economic growth which lifted millions of people out of poverty, accelerated infrastructure constructions, increasing population growth, improving education and healthcare and other remarkable achievements. One of us was there.
    It is truly against your personal and the general British values to support racists like Benny Wenda and his friends who are always prejudiced against Indonesians from non-ethnic Papuan background living and working in Papua and West Papua. They ridiculously believe that non-ethnic Papuan people migrating to the two provinces are part of the Indonesian Government's program to wipe out native Papuans.
    It, of course, cannot be ignored that Papua is still facing many development issues including corruption, the lack of human resources of local governments and it is further exacerbated by the complicated topology of Papua. For example within the last few years, at least eight Regents were listed as corruption suspects. In addition, the Governor of Papua for the period of 2006-2011, Barnabas Suebu, has been imprisoned for a corruption case that cost the state 10 billion IDR. However, instead of spreading rumours and triggering conflicts and polemics in Papua, it is wiser to unite and start working together with local governments and communities to develop Papua.
    As Indonesians, we feel the need to enlighten you about some of misleading information that Benny Wenda and his friends have been campaigning throughout these years:
    • Benny Wenda and his supporters argue that access for foreign journalists to Papua and Papua Province are restricted. The truth is among 22 visa requests only 5 were declined due to administrative matters. In 2015, all journalists' requests to visit Papua have been granted.
    • Benny Wenda and his supporters claim that natural resources and money are siphoned away from Papua. The fact is the special autonomy law gives the local governments in the two provinces a much bigger share of local revenues, a privilege that other provinces of Indonesia do not enjoy. Both provinces receive 80 percent of forestry, fishery and mining sectors revenues, and 70 percent of oil and gas sector revenues. On top of receiving financial transfers from the central government, Papua also receives additional special autonomy funds of up to two percent of the total national General Purpose Funds (GPF). The GPF for Papua and West Papua is eight percent of the total national GPF and is almost as big as the GPF for West Java, a region with 12 times the population of Papua and West Papua. On a province-to-province comparison, the GPF for Papua and West Papua is bigger than the combined GPF of East Java and West Java, provinces with 20 times the population of Papua and West Papua.
    • It is true that there were allegations of human rights violations by Indonesian security forces that killed four individuals who attacked a security office in Panlai in 2014. But there was an error in the handling of the conflict when there was a mass riot. It has not been reported that the incident took place as the result of a fight between two young individuals, rather than Papua's development issues. If we look at the data on violence perpetrated by the separatist movement from 2009 to 2014, there were 166 cases of violence involving the OPM. In 2012, three policemen were killed in Lanny Jaya. In 2013, an ambulance carrying several patients was fired on in Puncak Jaya, causing the death of one volunteer from the Indonesian Red Cross. Furthermore, two policemen were assassinated in Lanny Jaya in 2014 while carrying out a community empowerment programme. Two more police officers were killed in Puncak Jaya while helping to lift chairs and tables in a church. Last year, three policemen were killed in Sinak, while the most recent incident was the killing of four construction workers. These conditions should open the eyes of various parties, especially the Papuan Independence Movement as well as other groups, in order to place the issue of human rights violations in Papua in a more proportionate position. Over the years, human rights violations in Papua have been voiced as a justification to support their intention for Papuan independence. Nonetheless, those who call for independence prefer to remain silent when violence is committed against police officers or other security forces.
    • Benny Wenda and his friends in ULMWP strongly object Indonesia's membership in the MSG. One should know that there are about 11 million Indonesians of Melanesian descent concentrated in five provinces in the eastern part of Indonesia (East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua, and West Papua) making Indonesia the home to the largest population of Melanesian ethnicity in the world. As such, not only is Indonesia's membership in MSG very relevant, but also opens up greater mutually beneficial cooperation between the South Pacific nations and Indonesia - one of the world's largest economies.
    • Most recently Benny Wenda and his friends tweeted about hundreds of people being arrested due to supporting ULMWP on 2 May 2016. However, they did not tweet the facts that the same day afternoon those arrested were released nor tweeted other events celebrating the returning of Papua and West Papua to Indonesia on 1 May 2016.
    We dearly remember your saying the importance of having a connected heart and head. However, your conclusion about Papua and West Papua is based merely on empathy for certain groups without factual supports. It is very unwise of you to listen only to the few but ignore the many.
    The world is facing increasing challenges in managing democracy, human rights, multiculturalism and pluralism. Just like the United Kingdom, we in Indonesia are committed to pushing forward human rights, pluralism and multiculturalism. Both countries should work hand in hand in addressing those challenges on the basis of equality, mutual respect and understanding.
    We thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and Media Wahyudi Askar

    This letter is co-written with Media Wahyudi Askar, a Ph.D scholar at the University of Manchester and the President of Indonesian Student Association in the UK. He lived in Papua for three years and is also a contributing writer of a book on Papua.

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    2) RSF tells Indonesia to stop flouting journalists’ rights in Papua
    ————————————————————

    1) Papuan allegedly poisoned for supporting Port Vila conference
    Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 8:00 am
    By Len Garae 



    By Len Garae                                                             Peter and Allan
    Executive Officer Peter Arndt (left) shakes hands with Chairman of Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, Pastor Allan Nafuki who launches Commission's Report


    A West Papuan businessman who donated a very large sum of money towards the West Papua Reconciliation Conference hosted in Port Vila from November 30 to December 6 of 2014, which resulted in the formation of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, died in unexplained circumstances and was suspected by his people to have been poisoned by the Indonesian Military.
    • A West Timorese Catholic priest, Father Amadus Fahik, who had served in Paniai since 1996, died in November 2015. He had attracted the attention of Indonesian security forces because he constantly encouraged the Papuan people to protect their land. Many Papuans believe he was poisoned by members of the security forces.
    • In the months leading up to the Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Meeting in Honiara in June 2015, police arrested over 500 Papuans who participated in public demonstrations of support in different towns in Papua. They were showing their support for the ULMWP’s bid for membership of the MSG. Some were convicted of offences and jailed.
    • On March 19, a clash erupted between police and hundreds of young Papuans who had gathered in Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo regency, to show support for the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and to raise money for cyclone relief in Vanuatu. One was killed and Intel Senegil, 16, was wounded by the shooting. Meanwhile three young men, Elkius Kobak, 23, Putih Bahabol, 28, and Era Kobak, 26, were arrested and detained by the police.
    In a separate arrest of two young men for supporting the call for full membership of ULMWP, they were tortured and had their thumb nails removed then charged with offences, convicted and jailed.
    These are four examples of many, many more brutalities that continue to be carried out by Indonesian security forces against the Melanesians of West Papua especially now after the ULMWP’s urgent call for full membership to MSG and a cancellation of Indonesia from the Sub Regional Organisation.
    The question has to be raised as to whether Indonesia still deserves a seat in the MSG.
    With a population of about 7.5 million Catholics in Indonesia, the church made a breakthrough with its Justice and Peace Commission in February of this year, by entering restricted areas of West Papua where it confirmed continuing human rights violations of Melanesians through wanton arrests, torture, killings, intimidation and suspected poisoning by the Indonesian military.
    In its report called “‘We will lose everything’ – A report on a human rights fact finding mission to West Papua”, it made it clear that statistics from as recent as the first quarter of this year, have shown an increased rate of human rights abuse against Papuans especially in the lead up to the imminent Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit in Port Vila.
    (To be continued in next issue)
    ————————————————-
    2) RSF tells Indonesia to stop flouting journalists’ rights in Papua
      

    Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on Indonesia’s authorities to stop violating the rights of journalists in West Papua, where the Jayapura police prevented reporters from covering a peaceful demonstration in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua on May 2- the eve of World Press Freedom Day.
    The authorities must respect the rights of journalists to freely report events in West Papua (the western half of the island of New Guinea) even when journalists are covering protests by the Papuan population, RSF said in a statement.
    After hundreds of protesters were arrested in various parts of the city, they were assembled in a compound in front of the police mobile brigade headquarters in Kotaraja, Jayapura, from which reporters who wanted to cover their arrest were driven back by about 20 policemen wielding wooden batons.
    One of them said Police Commissioner Mathius Fakhiri had given them specific instructions to prevent reporters from covering how the police were treating the detainees, who were ordered to remove their clothes and shoes while standing in the square.
    Ardi Bayage, a journalist working for the Suarapapua.com news website, was arrested at the same time as other protesters although he showed his press card to the police. They authorities, who accused him of lying, broke his mobile phone and took him to the mobile brigade’s headquarters, where he was held for several hours.
    Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said:
    WE CONDEMN THIS VIOLENCE AND CENSORSHIP OF LOCAL JOURNALISTS, WHOSE COVERAGE OF THESE DEMONSTRATIONS WAS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

    “PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO’S PROMISES NOW SOUND EMPTIER THAT EVER. AFTER THE RECENT BANNING OF A FRENCH JOURNALIST WHO HAD BEEN REPORTING IN WEST PAPUA IN A COMPLETELY LEGAL MANNER, WE NOW HAVE YET FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT THE AUTHORITIES CONTINUE TO CENSOR AND CONTROL MEDIA COVERAGE ARBITRARILY.
    The West Papuan authorities are still censoring all reporters covering Papuan self-determination movements, and carrying out discrimination and human rights violations.
    In January, RSF condemned Indonesia’s ban on further visits by French journalist Cyril Payen,after France 24 broadcast a report by him from West Papua.
    The authorities also target local journalists and fixers working for foreign journalists and those who act as their sources.
    Abeth You, a journalist working for the Tabloidjubi.com website, was attacked by police on 8 October 2015 while covering a demonstration in Jayapura by a group called Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations in Papua. Police arrested and questioned two fixers working for a French journalist.
    Indonesia is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index after its performance score fell by nearly a point from 2015.
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    2) KNPB  has released an official statement about the number arrested on May 2
    ———————————————————————————

    1) They need our help Will we let West Papuans lose everything?
    Padre James Bhagwan Wednesday, May 11, 2016
    LAST week I ended my column drawing a correlation between the writing of JW Burton, Totaram Sandhya and CF Andrews on the indenture system and the recent report of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane on the injustice and human rights abuse in West Papua.
    Titled, "We Will Lose Everything: A Report On A Human Rights Fact Finding Mission To West Papua", this document seeks to present the voice of the people of West Papua as accurately as possible. The delegation's program, while in West Papua, was determined by Papuans who worked closely with them throughout the two-week visit.
    Beginning with the dealings by international powers which enabled the Indonesian Government to occupy West Papua in the 1960s without the free consent of the people, the report highlights the violence and marginalisation endured by the Papuan people. Below are extracts from the report which can be read in full at: https://cjpcbrisbane.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/we-will-lose-everything-may-2016.pdf
    The commission's delegation to West Papua in February 2016 found no improvement in the human rights situation. Reports of human rights violations by members of Indonesian security forces had not declined and the economic and social status of Papuans has not improved. The Indonesian legal and political system is unwilling and unable to address human rights violations in West Papua.
    A meeting with Papuan families living in a compound in Kuala Censana exemplifies why the fear among Papuans of security forces intimidation, harassment and violence has not declined at all in recent times.
    The families met by the delegation are Dani people who support the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). They related an incident which occurred on February 5, 2016, a public holiday to mark the coming of Christian missionaries to West Papua. The local KNPB branch had organised a meeting on an oval to celebrate the holiday, but also to present awards for a recent sporting competition and to inform people about the organisation's campaign for a referendum on independence in West Papua.
    In a report on arrests of political prisoners in West Papua between 2012 and 2014, Papuans behind Bars reported that 1341 Papuans were arrested in the two-year period and 98 per cent of those arrested were not armed. (See http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/ and for a comprehensive coverage of human rights violations in West Papua in 2015, see the International Coalition for Papua's 2015 Human Rights Report at www.humanrightspapua.org/hrreport/2015/ ).
    The delegation heard people do not go out at night for fear they will be taken by members of the security forces and will be beaten or killed. Their fears are not imaginary. They reported two men had been found dead in the town in the past year — one was found dead in the street with his scooter helmet still strapped to his head and another was a young man who is the son of a prominent pastor who is a strong advocate of the rights of the Papuan people.
    They also reported that out-of-uniform soldiers would sometimes ride motorcycles into the stalls of Papuan women in the local markets to destroy their capacity to make a living.
    In April 2016, the co-ordinator of the prominent Indonesian human rights organisation, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS), Haris Azhar, asserted that human rights violations in West Papua had continued to worsen since the election of President Widodo in September 2014. He referred to data on his organisation's records indicating there had been over 1200 incidents of harassment, beatings, torture and killings of Papuans by Indonesian security forces in the past year.
    Everywhere the delegation went in West Papua, soldiers, police and intelligence operatives were clearly visible. At one of the towns our delegation visited, the priest who hosted their visit was asked to attend the police station to answer questions on the reasons for the delegation's presence in the community.
    In several places, Papuans reported that significant numbers of military personnel being brought into the area ostensibly for non-military purposes such as undertaking audits of places of cultural significance, but locals believe their presence is intended to reinforce the capacity to monitor and control the activities of those promoting independence.
    Information from various parts of West Papua assert the security forces are often involved in businesses such as brothels and logging. If not involved as owners, they obtain income by providing security for these businesses. They also supplement their income by compelling local government authorities to employ soldiers as security or drivers.
    According to KNPB leaders with whom the delegation spoke in 2016 and with whom members of the 2015 pilgrimage also spoke, 28 KNPB members have been summarily executed by Indonesian security forces between 2012 and 2016.
    A report provided to the commission by a Catholic seminarian indicates that, on April 5, the Timika Branch of KNPB held a prayer meeting to pray for the granting to the ULMWP of full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. The prayer meeting took place in the Golgota GKI Church. A group of soldiers, police and members of Detachment 88 arrived at the meeting and removed some KNPB material and destroyed a stage constructed for the gathering.
    "When they arrived, the KNPB leader in Timika, Steven Itlay, said the prayer meeting would continue. However, the contingent of soldiers and police decided to break up the meeting. They beat members of the community and arrested Steven Itlay and eight other KNPB members. They were kicked and beaten with rifle butts during the arrests."
    The report highlighted that West Papuans are just as much concerned about their growing economic and social marginalisation as they are about the violence of the security forces. Without a doubt, the single most important factor for them in this regard is the rapid demographic changes which have resulted from the extremely high rate of migration into West Papua from Java, Sumatra, Flores, West Timor and other Indonesian islands.
    As visitors, the dramatic demographic shift is readily observable.
    Indonesian faces are as common as Melanesian faces, if not the majority, in many places the delegation visited in West Papua. In the main towns we visited — Port Numbay (Jayapura), Timika, Sorong and Merauke — they are already the majority.
    Along with the influx of Indonesian migrants have come changes in language, food, dress, religion, music, art and much more. Papuans have seen themselves pushed to one side by often more aggressive Indonesian migrants who have taken over land, the economy and cultural spaces.
    Dr James Elmslie's demographic projections for Melanesian people in West Papua present a stark picture. Since 1971, he estimates the Melanesian proportion of the population in West Papua has declined from around 96 per cent to a present day minority of 48.73 per cent; and he projects the proportion will decline to 28.99 per cent in four short years in 2020.
    It is no wonder that Papuans, seeing the rapid changes around them, believe their situation is desperate. It is also the reason why the ULMWP leadership claims that "We will lose everything!" unless there is a dramatic shift in the political situation in West Papua in the next few years.
    In the light of the delegation's findings, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane made a number of recommendations, including that:
    & Governments in the Pacific, including the Australian Government, should seek intervention at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations General Assembly to initiate a credible, independent investigation into human rights violations in West Papua;
    & Governments in the Pacific should also pressure the Indonesian Government directly and seek the intervention of the United Nations to establish a dialogue between the Indonesian Government and the acknowledged leaders of the people of West Papua, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua in order to identify a credible pathway towards genuine self-determination for the people of West Papua;
    & Churches and civil society organisations in the Pacific should continue to build a network of solidarity with their counterparts in West Papua in order to support advocacy and action on human rights violations and the pursuit of self-determination by the people of West Papua and their leaders, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua; and
    & The Australian Government should urgently consider the mounting evidence of involvement in human rights violations in West Papua by members of the Indonesian military, police force, including Detachment 88, and intelligence service. Based on this investigation, it should review any support, training and funding of any units involved in human rights violations in West Papua with a view to suspending such support until policy changes to end violations are implemented by the Indonesian Government.
    There is much more in the report than which I have shared. One reader of the report shared his hope and prayer that we in Fiji realise that while we may be suffering there are others in our midst who are suffering more. My thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters in West Papua and I pray that sooner rather than later, I will see the day when an international or regional peacekeeping, peace building force is deployed to West Papua.
    Simplicity, serenity, spontaneity.
    * Reverend James Bhagwan is an ordained Methodist minister and a citizen journalist. The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Methodist Church in Fiji or this newspaper.

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    2) KNPB  has released an official statement about the number arrested on May 2

    A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
    Original bahasa link at

    KNPB: 2024 People Arrested on May 2, 2016 in Papua
    Posted By: Aaron Rumbararon: May 10, 2016In: Headline, Mamta / Tabi, PolhukamNo Comments Print Email
    JAYAPURA, SUARAPAPUA.com - West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Centre has released an official statement about the arrests that occurred in Papua on May 2, 2016 last. KNPB revealed that as many as 2024 people consisting of KNPB activists, civilians, women and students have been arrested simultaneously on the same day.

    "" The arrested, South Sulawesi 44 people, 28 people Sorong, Merauke 200 people, 14 people Wamena, Sentani 5 people and Port Numbay 1773 people. The numbers 2024 people. Until now four people are still detained. Two people in Wamena and two more in Merauke, "said Logo.

    Logo words, all arrested while Papuans support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) accepted as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

    "From the data we have, as many as 2024 people arrested. Of these, four are still detained, "said bazookas Logo, National Spokesman KNPB Centre told reporters in Jayapura on Tuesday (10/05/2016).

    According to the logo, the arrest of 2024 people broke opinions had been built by the government in Jakarta and Papua Police and the TNI that the Free Papua talk was only a handful of people.

    "Catching the 2nd of May 2016 was noted as the most arrests in a single day in the history of Indonesia. This Pengkapan well as a history of arrests that broke the opinion that the government and people of Papua Papua Police did not scream independent but talk of development and kesejahtran, "said bazookas Logo.

    Meanwhile, Nesta Ones Suhuniap KNPB secretary said, a peaceful demonstration Papuans mediated IPWP KNPB for an international meeting in London and supports ULMWP represent Rakyat Papua became a full member of MSG.

    "As well as resisting the annexation of West Papua under Indonesian rule since May 1, 1963 Yag referred to as the integration," said Suhun.

    Explained, a peaceful demonstration was carried out in different parts of Papua. Starting from Sorong to Merauke. Even in Papua Affairs as KNPB consulate Gorontalo, Manado KNPB consulates and consulates KNPB Makassar also do a demo. Additionally AMP also perform the same action in several cities in Java, such as Bandung, Yogyakarta, Semarang and Surabaya.

    "The action is mediated KNPB on May 2 took place in several cities in Papua. Among other things, KNPB Merauke, KNPB Asmat region, KNPB region Yakuhimo, KNPB region Pengunugan star, KNPB Territory Yalimo, KNPB region Baliem swamena, KNPB region sentani KNPB Sorong area, KNPB Timika region, KNPB region Nabire, KNPB region Manokwari KNPB region sorong , KNPB Biak region, KNPB Kaimana and KNPB pakpak region, "said Ones.

    Peaceful demonstration was also attended by all students of Papua in Papua from various pergguruan high both pergguruan public and private are coordinated by the Student Movement, Youth and Rakyat Papua (uproar) and also president of the Students of the University of Science and Technology (USTJ) jayapura take part.

    Editor: Arnold Belau

    Harry Rumbarar
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    http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/303610/indonesia-has-failed-to-change-papuans'-stance

    Indonesia has failed to change Papuans’ stance

    5:24 pm today

    The chairman of the Papuan Baptist Church Alliance says five decades of Indonesian rule has failed to dilute West Papuan nationalist sentiment.
    Reverend Socratez Yoman is on a tour of New Zealand where he is raising awareness of the situation in Indonesia's Papua region, regarding human rights abuses and Papuan self-determination aspirations.
    Reiterating calls he made on his last visit to New Zealand ten years ago, Reverend Socratez wants the New Zealand government to encourage Jakarta to engage in dialogue about Papua.
    He says in their hearts all Papuans would prefer not to be part of Indonesia.
    "53 years under Indonesian occupation. 53 years from the primary school, secondary school, high senior school, university, they get education from Indonesia. But why they still against Indonesia? West Papuans never change their minds about this, they are strong nationalist West Papuan."
    Reverend Socratez Yoman says abuses against West Papuans by Indonesian security forces have only worsened since his last visit to New Zealand.
    "This is a humanitarian problem. As long as Indonesian government continue committing human rights abuses, this is a humanitarian problem. This is a global problem, global concern. My concern is my people, the owner of the land, how they're treated like, dehumanised like animals."
    According to the church leader, transmigration and Indonesian government policy have steadily left the Papua region's indigenous people marginalised demographically, culturally and economically.
    He said the international community has a role to play in helping forge a solution in West Papua, particularly with a need for a third party mediator in talks between Papuans and Jakarta.
    Reverend Socratez described how Indonesia resolved the conflict in Aceh region, with third party mediation through the Helsinki process, as a good example of a peaceful negotiation within the Indonesian context.
    He said he was at a loss as to why Jakarta won't allow a similar process in Papua.
    ----------------------------

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    2) Communist Symbolism, Debates Spring Up on Social Media and Street
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    1) International pressure building on Jakarta over Papua
    4:02 pm on 10 May 2016
    The International Parliamentarians for West Papua has called for an internationally-supervised vote on independence in West Papua and is preparing to build pressure on Indonesia over the issue.
    • Listen duration6:16
    •  
    • Download:Ogg  |  MP3

    Transcript


    The International Parliamentarians for West Papua has called for an internationally-supervised vote on independence in West Papua
    This group of politicians from around the world, who support self-determination for West Papuans and are concerned about ongoing human rights abuses against Papuans, held a summit in London last week.
    Also present were members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua which was last year granted observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
    One of those in attendance was the Vanuatu government minister Ralph Regenvanu who spoke to Johnny Blades about the IPWP's strategy.
    RALPH REGENVANU:There is also a need for the whole process of the vote of self-determination to be revisited, in light of the fact that the UN-supervised vote when it happened back in the 1960s (The Act of Free Choice) was very questionable, basically a sham. So that needs to happen again because the people of West Papua haven't been given an opportunity to decide on their future. And it's really a decolonisation issue. It's not a secession issue or anything like that. It's a decolonisation issue. For that to go forward we basically need the support of many more countries so that it can be addressed at the level of the UN General Assembly. one of the strategies that Vanuatu for example will be actively participating in, and has been, as well as the other countries that were at the meeting, is to get more countries in support of seeking an internationally-supervised vote on self-determination again in West Papua.
    JOHNNY BLADES: In the wake of that meeting in London, the Indonesian House of Representatives has condemned it and called it a "reflection of colonial acts". What do you say to that, because they're also said it's a stunt, trying to disrupt the unitary state of Indonesia?
    RR: Well, unfortunately, according to international law, that self-determination issue has never been addressed by a proper vote in West Papua, and that's been recognised at a number of levels, a number of forums. Decolonisation never happened and in fact this colony was simply passed from one colonial power, being the Dutch, to another colonial power which is Indonesia which continues to colonise the territory to this day."
    JB: Now that strategy you told me about, in terms of through the MSG forum, we've seen divisions come up around this issue. Do you have faith in the MSG to be able to wrestle with this properly, to be able to get Indonesia to the table?
    RR: Well, the point is that we are going down all avenues to address this issue. Through the MSG, we're trying to bring Indonesia to the table to talk. The (Pacific) Forum has asked for consultation regarding getting a proper human rights assessment done. We've got the International Parliamentarians for West Papua calling for a supervised vote. So there are a number of efforts happening at different levels to try and address the issue in a range of ways. And so if Indonesia doesn't want to... it hasn't actually responded to any of those. It hasn't responded to the Forum, it hasn't responded to the MSG, so basically we'll just take it to the next level. We're trying to do it at the levels we can. If there's no response, we go to the next level and we continue to address it at a higher level and ultimately the UN is going to have to take it on.
    JB: Indonesia is obviously sensitive to this pressure. It wants to engage with Pacific countries. But your government wants Indonesia to be stripped of its associate member status at the MSG, right, how does that stack up with being able to dialogue with them?
    RR: Well you have said that Indonesia wants to engage with the Pacific, ok. Unfortunately, the call by the MSG to sit at the same table has been ignored. And in fact they rebuffed the prime minister of the Solomon Islands (Manasseh Sogavare who is the current MSG chair). There's been no resonse to the letter from the prime minister of Papua New Guinea as the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum to them asking for some sort of human rights assessment to be done. The question is: do they really want to engage or not? Vanuatu will be happy for Indonesia to stay in as an associate member of the MSG if it comes to the table. But if it's not coming to the table, then why are they in the MSG? For Vanuatu the reason Indonesia is in the MSG is to be able to talk about this issue with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. If they don't want to talk about that issue, then why are they there?
    JB: And the United Liberation Movement is - depending on which MSG leader you speak to, some say they're just a technical group or a group outside of the region representing the interests of exiled West Papuans; I'm talking about comments coming from Suva or Port Moresby - but in fact we see in the demonstrations in the past few weeks in Papua that there is huge support for the United Liberation Movement and for the MSG, right?
    RR: The United Liberation Movement for West Papua is recognised mostly within West Papua. It's only because the leaders within West Papua can't get out and get in these forums that we have people who are outside of the country actively engaging, people like the secretary-general Octo Mote, people like international spokesman Benny Wenda. These are all people who escaped as refugees in fear of their lives. People inside Indonesia, they're getting arrested in mass amounts, they're getting killed, they're getting tortured. So they can't be at the forefront of anywhere the ULMWP goes to talk about this issue. But of course they are part of it, they are intrinsic members of the movement and support it. So anyone who says that the ULMWP doesn't represent the movement in West papua only has to see what's happening in country. Every time the ULMWP does anything, for example the mass protests in support of membership in the MSG, that's thousands and thousands of people in West Papua. Mass demonstrations in support of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in London, the largest arrests in the history of West Papua (took place) because of that London meeting that we attended. So at that London meeting also, we had representatives who basically snuck out fro the territory to be there. So I don't think there's any substance to the claims that the ULMWP doesn't represent the majority of the Movement.
    JB: What do you and other people in the parliamentarians group make of the Indonesian government's efforts to foster economic development in Papua, with more participation by the Melanesian population?
    RR: We received reports from... there were a few universities who presented assessments of what's happening. And while there are development efforts going ahead, there's a huge disparity on all indicators between the indigenous West Papuan population and the Javanese population that's been moved by transmigration to the territory. And in fact what we heard from one of the International Lawyers for West Papua who is based at Oxford University is that if you look at all those indicators and if you look at the historical development in the province, what's been happening, basically under international law, under the genocide convention, Indonesia is committing genocide.

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    2) Communist Symbolism, Debates Spring Up on Social Media and Streets


    On Monday, the police arrested the owner and an employee of a store in Blok M, a major business and shopping quarter in South Jakarta for selling a t-shirt featuring the hammer-and-sickle symbol that resembles by the long-disbanded and prohibited Indonesian Communist Party, known as PKI. The t-shirt is a memorabilia of metal band KREATOR. (Photo courtesy of Humas Polda Metro Jaya)


    By : Farouq Arnaz & Ratri M. Siniwi | on 12:19 AM May 12, 2016
    Jakarta. More than 50 years after the 1965 anti-communist purge, Indonesia has seen a reemergence of communist symbolism and debate through social media, pushing authorities to take serious action in preventing the propagation of communist ideas in the country.
    The National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said law enforcers are aware of the growing phenomenon and reminded the public that anyone found propagating the forbidden ideology — communism, marxism and leninism — by law could face a maximum 12-years imprisonment sentence.
    “Feel free to express [yourself], but please be aware what is prohibited,” Boy told reporters on Wednesday (11/05) at the National Police headquarters.
    He called on Indonesian citizens not to forward any communist propagation materials to others.
    “We already get the data ... We are monitoring it, we prevent it [from spreading] because it can cause anxiety and conflict,” Boy said.
    Overreaction?
    Communism has not just become a hot topic in the local social media recently, which has triggered some serious debate among netizens, but has also led to some arrests of merchandisers found selling attributes like clothing and toys resembling communist symbols.
    On Monday, police arrested the owner and an employee of a store in Blok M, a major business and shopping quarter in South Jakarta, for selling a t-shirt featuring the hammer-and-sickle symbol that resembles by the long-disbanded and prohibited Indonesian Communist Party, known as PKI.
    The t-shirt is a memorabilia of metal band KREATOR.
    Police have not been able to prove if the shop-owner was deliberately distributing banned attributes and the owner told local media they were not aware that the t-shirt featured the restricted symbol.
    The banning and disbanding of events hosted by education and media institutions which discuss issues related to communism has left many on social media wondering if authorities are overreacting.
    Student dialogues and even documentary film screening have been the victims of such worries by the authorities and even non-government organizations proclaiming themselves to be the guardian of Indonesia’s philosophical foundation of Pancasila.
    On Wednesday, members of the radical Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) disbanded a "Sekolah Marx" or "School of Marx" event hosted by the Student Press Association of Daunjati Institut Seni Budaya Indonesia (ISBI) in Bandung, West Java.
    The incident was triggered by a discussion with the theme "Understanding Arts Through Karl Marx's Mind," during which an FPI member involved in the debate shouted "the unitary state of the Indonesian republic is a dead price," according to local media reports.
    Last week, police raided a house party celebrating World Press Freedom Day at the Alliance of Independent Journalists, or AJI, office in Yogyakarta, as the party was to be followed by a screening of a documentary film on exiled communist writers.
    Negotiations for proceeding with the party turned ugly with more threats coming after members of the so-called Children of Military and Police Veterans Forum (FKPPI) arrived at the AJI office and began shouting slogans and dispersing the crowd.
    No arrests were made during either incident.
    Last year, a group of civic organization members assaulted a motorist for wearing a communist pin and received death threats — while police officers stood by without intervening.
    Wednesday’s Bandung incident caught the attention of Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil who condemned FPI’s disruption in an educational discussion.
    “That’s not allowed [disbandment]. It’s a campus. It’s not any different from other ideologies. I too learned about Marx, Manuel Castels and the like,” he said in his tweet.
    tidak dibenarkan. itu adalah kampus. tidak ada bedanya seperti ilmu2 lain. saya jg belajar Marx, Manuel Castels dkk. https://t.co/vVqr9g5S3q
    — ridwan kamil (@ridwankamil) May 11, 2016
    Ulil Abshar Abdalla, the founder of the Liberal Islam Network, disputed the idea that communism is on the rise in Indonesia.

    “It’s impossible for communist forces to rise in Indonesia. The hammer-and-sickle symbol is simply a fashion statement,” he said in his tweet.  



    Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo called the public to be cautious with the suspected new style of communist propaganda, with the recent cases of spreading pictures of the hammer-and-sickle not just in social media, but also in pins, clothing and hats.
    “It needs to be cautiously monitored. If it is let go [just like that], it can be dangerous,” he said, as quoted by Cnnindonesia.com.
    Still, he wondered if a third-party group had become involved in flaming the issue.
    National Police Chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti had previously told local media that, as per the 1999 Law on threats to state security: “any persons violating the law in the public, be it verbal, written and or through any mediums, spreading or promoting the teaching of communism/Marxism/Lenin will be sentenced to 12 years in prison.”
    Police will not abuse the law, he said, and will carefully investigate potential cases before continuing with charges.
    Communism, an antithesis of capitalism, was once popular in Indonesia before the 1965-66 massacre, which was triggered by a coup attempt blamed on communist supporters.
    International agencies have suggested a campaign of mass killings began after the country's second president, Suharto, took power. The campaign targeted communists and alleged leftists around the country, leaving a death toll believed to be anywhere from 500,000 to 1.2 million.
    During his decades long rule, Suharto continued propaganda against the evils of communism through pop culture and education. After he was toppled in 1998, Indonesia held on to its Pancasila ideology and communism remains a taboo subject.
    Writing by Muhamad Al Azhari, edited by Erin Cook

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    2) West Papuan plight a humanitarian issue, says church leader
    3) Indonesia Supports Palestinian Independence - What About West Papua? 
    ——————————————————————————

    1) Police question 21 people over Freeport invasion
    Nether Dharma Somba
    Jayapura, Papua  Posted: Thu, May 12 2016 | 08:35 pm






    Gold digger – Activities at a mining site owned by US-based gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia in Tembagapura, Mimika, Papua. (thejakartapost.com/Nethy Dharma Somba)




    The Tembagapura Police in Mimika, Papua, are questioning 21 residents who allegedly trespassed into a mine owned by US-based gold and copper mining company Freeport Indonesia ( PTFI ) early Thursday. They are accused of taking tailings from the mining site located at Mile 74.
    “We have taken 97 residents into custody for questioning. Currently, 21 people are still undergoing questioning at the police station,” Tembagapura Police chief First Insp. Hasmulyadi told thejakartapost.com on Thursday.
    The incident began when around 400 local residents tried to enter the Mile 74 area to take the tailings at around 1 a.m. on Thursday, but at Mile 73, they were blocked by around 120 security personnel. “Prevented from entering the site, the residents tried to burn security posts and damage several vehicles belonging to the company,” said Hasmulyadi.
    The police chief further said the invasion seemed to have been triggered by residents’ suspicions that the mining company had shut down its operations because in the past month, it had not channeled tailings into a river near the mining site. Traditional miners used to take the waste to find gold left over in it.
    “It seems local residents were provoked by the fact that the company had stopped its operation because there was no more tailings, while in fact, the waste was not channeled into the river because waste channeling equipment was damaged,” Hasmulyadi said.
    Papua Police chief Paulus Waterpauw deplored the invasion and called for an investigation into the case. “I have ordered the Security Task Force commander Sr. Comr. Joko Priadi to go to Tembagapura to investigate the incident. I also have asked the Mimika Police chief [Adj. Sr. Comr. Yustanto Mudjiharso] to continue to monitor the security situation in Tembagapura,” he said. ( ebf )
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    2) West Papuan plight a humanitarian issue, says church leader
    3:46 pm on 12 May 2016
    • Listen duration6:55
    •  
    • Download:Ogg  |  MP3

    Transcript



    A church leader from Indonesia's Papua region who is in New Zealand raising awareness about conditions in his homeland says West Papua is a global humanitarian issue.
    The chairman of the Papuan Baptist Church Alliance, Reverend Socratez Yoman says abuses against West Papuans by Indonesian security forces have not abated since his last visit to New Zealand ten years ago.
    According to him, transmigration and Indonesian government policy have steadily left the Papua region's indigenous people marginalised demographically, culturally and economically.
    Reverend Socratez told Johnny Blades that despite the new president Joko Widodo vowing to help Papuans, the Indonesian state is distrusted.
    SOCRATEZ YOMAN: Their character they never change and also their attitude never changes. They change their clothes their heart never changes. Papuans are undermined, they ignore Papuans. This is our direct experience, our daily experience. West Papua is dominated by migrants by Indonesians. A lot of military in Papua, they are removing, a genocide of local people. This is a humanitarian problem, as long as the Indonesian government continues to commit human rights abuses this is a humanitarian problem this is a global issue, a global concern. My concern is my people, the owners of the land how come they are treated like animals.
    JOHNNY BLADES: Does the government have any control over the security forces there?
    SY: Now in Papua it is not civil government control know it is military control, the civil government is powerless. For example when the President SBY , Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono period we met him, 16th of December 2011. We met him in his residence we are asking him and conveyed that to solve West Papua cases peacefully negotiations. But he said to us, he replied that okay I am willing to solve West Papua cases through peaceful negotiations but behind me are hardliners that say no. Our question is why? Here is a former military general, how and the second thing is you were elected by 300 million he has power how come he is controlled by the hard liners? But now Jokowi he is civil, he is powerless he has many time visited Papua, he plays games. He wants to tell the international communities you see I have visited Papua many times. West Papua does not need a lot of visits, we need real action. For example when the president Jokowi released five prisoners, this is real action, this is real action. We need like that. And he is also now constructing the long roads in West Papua. West Papua does not need long roads, who will use those roads? It is the military who will use them.
    JB: Many times you have called for dialogue but dialogue with a third party like in Aceh. Are you still calling for that?
    SY: Yes this is our standing we are church leaders, I as one of the church leaders from West Papua this is their way non-violence way is dialogue is the way. Now our call is a long time stand of ours in the media and all over the world. They said okay now Indonesia and West Papua go around the table to talk mediate by third party for example Aceh. Why Aceh they solved? Indonesian government they solved Aceh cases mediated by international communities why not?
    JB: What is the difference?
    SY: Yes what is the difference, this is our question, why? By now Indonesia it is too late, too late to control West Papua.
    JB: You were asking for New Zealand help 10 years ago and further back. So what do you want the government to do?
    SY: Yes so we need the New Zealand government to engage with their counterparts Indonesia government to open the way foreign journalists to visit Papua to gathering our coverage of what is happening inside. And also secondly New Zealand government also to engage with counterparts dialogue peacefully on negotiations to solve West Papua cases. West Papua today has become a part of Melanesian communities and they are like a lost son returned to his own family. And Melanesian communities or in Pacific communities the West Papuans are very happy because they come back, return from the other people. Vanuatu is the strongest long-standing supporter of West Papua. Now Solomon Islands supports West Papua, now Tonga and the Kanakys. And Fiji okay the government is friendly with Jakarta but all the churches and grassroots one hundred percent they are with Papua. PNG also the people they see our people, their people from their heart they see they are suffering. The West Papua suffering is Melanesian suffering.
    JB: So all this international support which is growing, grassroots support which is growing plus the things like the London summit and the MSG focus on West Papua. Is that having an impact? Is Jakarta taking note?
    SY: Yes Jakarta now should be aware yes and understand that West Papua is not alone anymore. Now West Papuan people have many friends and a lot of solidarity's in each corner of the world today now it is my prediction that West Papua will increasing its demonstrations, big huge demonstrations will be will come. Because now where they are now they have friends now all over the world support them. Now they have got like moral support.
    JB: Do you have trouble getting out? I mean you have left the region last week to come here have you had any trouble?
    SY: No no no I am a church leader. Who will interrupt me, I am talking about my own people. This is my responsibility I am an educated man, I understand what is happening, I will not be silent anymore. Historically I understand the background, what happened in 1969. I know I learned about that. I have written 19 books about West Papua. No we not be silent anymore when the West Papua undermine their dignity their life, their future, we will speak every where now it is time. Nobody is stopping us.
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    3) Indonesia Supports Palestinian Independence - What About West Papua? 
    Benny Wenda 05/12/2016 03:58 pm ET

    Earlier this year, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held its extraordinary summit in Jakarta with the theme “Independence is the right of all nations“. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia reaffirmed its support for the independence and sovereignty of Palestine. In fact, through a bilateral meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, Indonesia stated it had already opened an Honorary Consulate of Indonesia in Ramallah. The commitment of the Indonesian Government to support Palestine is in full accordance with its own Constitution of 1945 which stipulates that all colonialism must be abolished in this world.


    At the same time, the Indonesian Government is hiding from the West Papuan political conflict, which involves a territory which was taken over forcefully in 1962, annexed illegally in 1969 and which has been occupied and subjugated up until today through militaristic and colonialist practices, causing acute humanitarian crisesdevastation to the environment, considerable appropriation of natural resources, as well as the massive migration of Indonesians to West Papua.

    Since 1961, the Papuan people have pledged to stand alone as a nation and as a State. And since then, the people of West Papua have waged a struggle filled with sacrifices in their quest for independence and sovereignty for nearly half a century, with no amicable solution between West Papua and Indonesia in sight. If the Indonesian Government is committed to help achieving the independence and the sovereignty of Palestine, the question is what about West Papua, which lost its right to independence and sovereignty?


    We, as organizations which have come together under the umbrella of the national struggle of the people of West Papua, that is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULWMP), which is also a member observer in the sub-regional organization known as the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), are of the opinion that in reality, if one is passionate about liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation, one should also be passionate about decolonizing West Papua. How can Indonesia supports Palestine’s independence and sovereignty, while the Papuan People are still colonized by Indonesia? How can Indonesia actively be involved in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine question at the UN, while it is rejecting any form of peaceful settlement of the political status of West Papua?

    If Indonesia joins the efforts of the OIC to support Palestinian independence, Indonesia should also, as an associate Member of the MSG, promote the right to self-determination of the People of West Papua, in accordance with the 2013 MSG final communiqué. If Indonesia is also pushing the OIC for various fact-finding teams in Palestine, why does Indonesia, as a “dialogue partner” of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), not want to open access to West Papua for the fact-finding team from South Pacific nations, as agreed in the communiqué at the Forum’s last Leaders’ Meeting in Port Moresby, in September 2015? And what more, why does the Indonesian Government persist in rejecting the call of H.E. Mr. Manasseh Sogavare, Chairman of the MSG, for a dialogue with the ULMWP.

    Therefore, on behalf of the People of West Papua, we convey to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, and all members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that:


    We support the OIC’s efforts for a peaceful settlement of the political conflict between Palestine and Israel.

    We are hopeful that the Government of President Joko Widodo will join to seek a peaceful solution to the independence and sovereignty of the nation of West Papua.

    We also sincerely hope that member countries of the OIC will actively urge Indonesia to stop their illegal occupation of West Papua, and, together with the ULMWP, to resolve the political status of West Papua peacefully.


    Benny Wenda is an exiled West Papua independence leader living in the UK. He is the International Spokesman for United Liberation Movement for West Papua(ULMWP) and founder of the Free West Papua Campaign.

    Follow Benny Wenda on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bennywenda

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    2) Sogavare Supports West Papua
    3) Sade Bimantara is already free, rights protected

    4) Activists lambast TNI’s anticommunism campaign
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    1) MSG chair urges UN intervention in West Papua
    2:42 pm today
    The chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Manasseh Sogavare, says the regional body is pushing for an urgent intervention by the United Nations in West Papua.
    Mr Sogavare, who is the prime minister of Solomon Islands, has also declared his country's support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid to be a full member of the MSG.
    Mr Sogavare has just been in Port Vila where he met with his Vanuatu counterpart Charlot Salwai whose proposal to give the Liberation Movement full membership at the MSG is to be discussed at an upcoming MSG leaders summit in Papua New Guinea.
    While in Vila, the MSG chair met with visiting representatives of the Liberation Movement which has strong support in Indonesia's Papua region.
    Since the West Papuans were granted observer status in the MSG last year, Mr Sogavare said the situation in Indonesia's Papua region had become more tense, leaving the indigenous people on the "brink of extinction".
    This comes after Indonesia's leading human rights organisation said that since the new government came to power in late 2014, abuses in Papua were as rampant as they were under previous governments.

    Crossing the line

    Indonesia was granted MSG associate member status last year in a bid to foster dialogue with Jakarta on West Papua.
    However, in a statement, Mr Sogavare censured Jakarta for rebuffing his his request for dialogue on Papua.
    'Indonesia has crossed the line so we need to take some tough stance," he said.
    A recent surge in Indonesian diplomatic overtures to Pacific Islands countries is increasingly seen as being about countering the growing regional support for West Papuan self-determination aspirations.
    The Indonesian President Joko Widodo's refusal to meet with Mr Sogavare in his capacity as the MSG chair has been proffered as grounds for the Melanesian states to "take the matter up to the next notch which is the United Nations".
    Mr Sogavare said as well as the membership bid, the MSG summit would address the group's pursuit of UN action on what he called "genocides committed against humanity in West Papua by Indonesia".
    While Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia's Kanaks have signalled support for West Papua's membership bid, it remains uncertain where the other two full MSG members - Fiji and PNG - stand.
    Governments of both countries have closer ties with Indonesia than the others, and Jakarta has recently said that it has support of the Fiji and PNG for its own bid for full MSG membership.
    Vanuatu appeared to counter that when prime minister Salwai suggested Indonesia should be stripped of its membership status within the MSG.
    The West Papua issue continues to be a stern test of MSG unity.

    Confusion over director-general's appointment

    The upcoming MSG leaders summit was already shadowed by division among the members of the appointment of a new director-general.
    Last month Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu objected to confirmation by the MSG chairman that the Fiji diplomat Amena Yauvoli had been selected for the role, which has been vacant since last year.
    Earlier, it came as a surprise to other MSG members that the Fiji Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola announced Mr Yauvoli's appointment to media, when the formal selection process was still underway.
    The MSG summit, originally scheduled for the first week of May in Vanuatu, was supposed to be when the leaders deliberated on the director-general's appointment.
    Vanuatu had put forward its own nomination for the role, its ambassador to the European Union Roy Mickey-Joy, and insisted that the selection be finalised at the summit.
    At the last minute,the summit was postponed, amid reports that Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama opted instead to attend the Queen's birthday celebrations in Britain.
    The MSG chairman said the summit would now be held next month, in Port Moresby.
    Mr Sogavare has also now indicated that he despite his earlier statements, he would allow the formal appointment of a director-general to proceed as originally planned, with a decision to be reached at the summit.
    The other priority item on the summit's agenda is the formal application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
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    2) Sogavare Supports West Papua

    Posted: Friday, May 13, 2016 8:00 am
    By Jane Joshua |
    Solomon Islands Prime Minister and Chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Manasseh Sogavare, yesterday revealed that Solomon Islands will support Vanuatu’s stand for full MSG Membership, for West Papua.
    “You have my full support Prime Minister,” Mr. Sogavare told the head of the Vanuatu Government, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai.
    He said it is time for West Papua, to be “elevated” and be a member of the MSG.
    The incumbent Government led by Prime Minister Salwai wants to see the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), which currently holds Observer Status admitted as a full member into the MSG.
    The Council of Ministers endorsed the decision to instruct the government to include the ULMWP’s full MSG membership status as part of the agenda in the MSG Leaders Summit scheduled to take place this month but then postponed to a date yet to be confirmed.
    “We will support what you have discussed,” the Solomon Islands Prime minister told PM Salwai.
    He said the MSG is a strong group and its member countries rise over all problems and face them in the true Melanesian spirit.
    PM Sogavare said the solidarity of the Melanesian countries was exemplified this week in Port Vila when the five Melanesian countries supported Solomon Islands’ bid to host the next Pacific Games.
    Prime minister Salwai congratulated PM Sogavare on Solomon Islands’ successful bid.
    He said despite the political crisis the country was thrown into, the incumbent government is committed to ensuring the Pacific Mini Games will take place as planned in Port Vila come 2017.
    The Vanuatu PM thanked PM Sogavare, the government and people of Solomon Islands for their decision to support the Vanuatu government on its stand for West Papua to gain full membership into the MSG in the next Leaders’ Summit in Papua New Guinea after the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries meeting.
    PM Salwai further revealed that he will be travelling to New Caledonia next week, where he will make time to talk to Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) Leader Victor Tutugoro and he will convey Solomon Islands’ decision to support Vanuatu on full MSG Membership for West Papua.
    “I wish to reiterate that we are cousins, brothers and we will work together for our common interests,” he told PM Sogavare.
    He said while there are outside influences, the MSG belongs to “us” and custom, culture and tradition must be revisited, adding that Melanesia represents a large mass of the people and land in the region.
    Salwai further said the issue of the new MSG Director General is a small issue and the member countries will cooperate because they are “one”.
    He dismissed allegations that Vanuatu has stopped the new MSG DG, Fijian Diplomat Amena Yauvoli from coming to Vanuatu.
    “The Vanuatu government merely raised the issue of the process of appointment but did not stop the new DG from coming over,” PM Salwai said.
    He commended the Prime minister and people of Solomon Islands for their understanding on the border between the two countries, indicating a visit in the near future.
    PM Salwai said Vanuatu will continue to support Solomon Islands PM Sogavare as chairman of the MSG.
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    3) Sade Bimantara is already free, rights protected
    Ligia J. Giay Student, Leiden University
    Posted: Tue, May 10 2016 | 03:42 pm
    A recent article by Sade Bimantara on how Papua is “already free and its rights protected” reeks of what it means to be privileged in Indonesia. I accept that everyone experiences differently what it is to be a citizen of a country, but to use one’s experience of being in Indonesia to scold other people ( in such a patronizing tone, mind you ) makes it difficult to ignore. 
    Let me make my points one by one. 
    Sade began his case by saying that the use of the word “liberation” in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua ( ULMWP ) was pretentious. Perhaps to be deliberately facetious, he asks, “[liberated] from whom or what?” But let’s pretend that the question is serious.
    Papua wants independence from Indonesia. Most Papuans have never wanted to be a part of Indonesia. Were it not for the Netherlands, Indonesia would never have had any basis on which to claim that Papua is part of Indonesia. We all know that Sukarno demanded that Indonesia inherit the entirety of what was the Dutch East Indies. If Papua were not part of the Dutch East Indies, the claim would not have any basis whatsoever.
    But Papua was a part of the Dutch East Indies. Hence, Sukarno’s claim was reified. But to say that “the people of Papua together with their brothers from other parts of Indonesia fought together in the war for independence from the Netherlands” and that ‘in 1969 the people of Papua once and for all reaffirmed that Papua was an inevitable part of Indonesia” is taking it too far. I suggest reading a book by historian P.J. Drooglever entitled An Act of Free Choice: Decolonisation and the Right to Self-Determination in West Papua.
    The idea that Papuans fought in the war of independence from the Netherland is preposterous, to say the least. Which war of independence are we talking about here? If Sade was referring to the revolutionary war in 1945-1949, I have bad news for him. In 1945-1949, Papuans did not know of other Indonesians; they were not fighting against the Netherlands. 
    If the author was referring to the 1969 Act of Free Choice ( which my friends have called affectionately ‘the Act of No Choice’ ), a cursory reading of the work above by Prof. Drooglever would debunk the idea that Papuans ever “reaffirmed” their belonging to Indonesia in the act. Prof. Drooglever took 900 pages to make this case; I will not waste ink on simply repeating it. 
    But let me get to the point of why the article reeked of privilege, and what I mean when I say that the article reveals what it means to be privileged in Indonesia. 
    To be privileged in Indonesia is knowing that you can go to the police for protection. In light of the detention of at least 1,600 demonstrators last week, you can be assured that most Papuans don’t feel protected when we think of the police, or worse, the military apparatus. 
    To be privileged in Indonesia is to be able to say that the government is committed to solving all human rights issues, and use that sentiment to end the argument. To a free Indonesian, commitment is enough. Papuans know better. Most of us do not hate Jokowi; we simply wonder how far his commitment to human rights can take us toward a better life. We like commitments; unfortunately, they are not enough. 
    To be privileged in Indonesia is to be able to read about local daily injustices in national newspapers, instead of on Facebook posts. To refer to commitment when Human Rights Watch still laments the lack of journalist access to Papua is wilful ignorance. Dear author, do you know why it is so difficult to receive “credible” information on Papua? Because any journalist you deem “credible” enough would not be able to go to Papua freely. 
    To be privileged in Indonesia is to be able to attend a university anywhere in Indonesia, without having to prove that you are not an idiot. It is about being able to leave your home region and use the local dialect, without receiving smirks. Our different dialect does not showcase our stupidity, but somehow that connection is there, and we Papuans have to prove we are not as idiotic as we sound. 
    To be privileged in Indonesia is to say that Papuans are brothers while at the same time saying that this demand for freedom is ridiculous. It thinks that we are stupid and ungrateful. That it is improper for Papuans to be still demanding liberation from Indonesia. ‘Look at all this development and progress we’ve given you - how dare you ask for more?”
    It is at the point of human rights issues that the claims fall short. Instead of referring to recent human rights reports to be able to say that we are doing great, the author has to fall back on the argument that “we are not as horrible as these separatists are saying.”  And Papuans are supposed to be satisfied with this.
    Guess what? Papuans are not satisfied. We deserve better than your commitment, your insistence that you are not committing genocide. If we were satisfied, the independence movement would not have been as strong as it is. ULMWP would have remained on the fringes of our society, not central to it. 
    Because the problem of being a Papuan is to know that when you look around you, a lot of things fall short. Because while the author has given us an extensive list of the freedom of Papuans to do things, it has not given a list of things Papuans are unfree from. Unfree from police brutality. Unfree from fear of the military. Unfree from living our lives peacefully. 
    But perhaps the point the author makes relates more to the Melanesian Spearhead Group ( MSG ) than the ungrateful wretches of the ULMWP. It is about the annoyance that the ULMWP causes to Indonesia’s membership in the MSG. Of course, while I will not dispute that Indonesia has a significant population that can be called Melanesian, I have to say that Indonesia’s interest in MSG is as old as the success of ULMWP’s lobby in the MSG. It is so recent that one may rightfully wonder whether Indonesian entrance into the MSG intends simply to force MSG members to adhere to the Agreed Principles of Cooperation of the MSG- i.e., forcing them to respect Indonesia’s sovereignty.
    I know that I will not change the author’s mind regarding the issue. I simply wish to point out that the Indonesia that Sade lives in is to Papuans as real as the magical land in The Wizard of Oz
     
    The author is a student in the history department at Leiden University in the Netherlands. 
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    4) Activists lambast TNI’s anticommunism campaign
    Jakarta  Posted: Fri, May 13 2016 | 10:20 am

    Activists are decrying the increasing involvement of the military in Indonesian public affairs, which they say is accompanied by rampant human rights violations and attempts to prevent a feared revival of communism.
    "The military doesn't have the right to arrest civilians," Alghiffari Aqsa, the director of the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation ( LBH Jakarta ), said during a discussion in Jakarta on Thursday.
    His comments follow an incident on May 3, when members of the 0505 East Jakarta Military District Command reportedly seized several copies of a book entitled Palu Arit di Ladang Tebu Hammer and Sickle in the Sugar Cane Field) by Hermawan Sulistiyo from a store on Jl. Dewi Sartika in Cawang, East Jakarta. Several T-shirts featuring a hammer and sickle logo were also confiscated at the time.
    Separately, in Ternate, North Maluku, the 1501 Ternate Military Command arrested four activists of the Alliance of Indigenous People ( AMAN ), apparently because they were in possession of books and T-shirts related to leftist movements. The activists’ books were confiscated.
    The Indonesian Military ( TNI ) was known for its dwi fungsi ( dual role ) concept during the New Order regime, which ended in 1998 with Soeharto stepping down from power. In that era, the TNI was commonly involved in politics and business.
    In 2010, the Constitutional Court annulled the 1963 law on monitoring printed materials with content that could jeopardize public order. Hence, Alghiffari said, the military had no legal basis to seize those books.
    "Under the pretext of the threat of communism they have been banning books and arresting people. Those facts show the social reality about the increasing role of the military in public and security affairs," said Gufron Mabruri from human rights watchdog Imparsial.
    Gufron added that the military had signed a memorandum of understanding with several non-military institutions to extend its authority, including agreements that allowed military deployment to guard events like demonstrations and evictions and to guard public infrastructure, such as railway stations, harbors and airports. ( vps/dmr )
    —————————————————-
    Arrest Will Not Silence Alert Protesters, say Papuan Legislator
    10 May 2016

    Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan legislator Natan Pahabol said the police’s move to suppress free speech  in Papua could not be justified.
    He said restricting people from expressing their aspirations in public is a violation of rights and democracy. The arrest of protesters would not silence them and would only raise negative perceptions towards security forces, he said.
    “Expressing aspirations is a human right in a democracy. Speeches and demonstrations are not the end of the struggle, but it is part of the process of democracy. Do not just arrest,” he told Jubi by phone on last week.
    He criticize the Police who restrict and arrest thousands of West Papua National Committee activists who conducted a peace rally at several points in Jayapura Municipality on 2 May 2016 to support the ULMWP to be a full member of MSG.
    “It wasn’t for security but contrary it made the Papuan issue to become more highlighted in the international community. The Papuan issue is not a new thing, it still existed until now,” he said.
    Whatwever happened in Papua, he said, could not be covered any longer. The current technology made all information and incidents spread out to the world immediately. “It is a mistake to restrict a demonstration. As long as it is not anarchy and run smoothly in peaceful, let the people express their aspiration,” said the politician from Gerindra Party.
    Separately, the Chairman of Papua Legislative Council Yunus Wonda said the Police must stop the arrest towards Papuans who express their aspiration, because he thought it is not the good solution.
    “The Police must do a persuasive approach when secure the demonstration. The arrest would only become a tool to counterattack the government and Police with the issue on the restriction of democracy,” said Wonda. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)
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    2) The Road to Freedom for West Papua

    3) West Papua police chief warns about illegal fishing

    4) Democratic Party Endorses Bill on Special Autonomy Plus

    5) Brimob and how the Yerisiam Gua people’s sago groves were cleared.


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    The Saturday Paper

    1) Indonesian crackdown on West Papuan independence protest

    JOHN MARTINAS

    The harassment, beating and jailing of independence protesters by Indonesian authorities in Papua continues, while Australia turns a blind eye.



    West Papua independence protesters, on May 2, in Jayapura.   Facebook
    On Monday, May 2, amid the fallout from the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruling the Australian detention centre on Manus Island unlawful, another momentous thing happened. Further west along the Papua New Guinea north coast, just over the border with Indonesia in the Papuan capital, Jayapura, 1500 people were arrested. It barely rated a mention here.
    It was the largest mass arrest of pro-independence demonstrators in Papua, and included the arrest of demonstrators in the regional centres of Sorong, Merauke, Wamena, Fak-Fak and Manokwari. Arrests were made at similar rallies in Semarang in Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi. In all, 1888 people were arrested for demonstrating for independence. Photos and video circulating both on social media and local media show the masses of people arrested in Jayapura and taken to the Indonesian police compound – forced to sit in rows in the heat and made to remove their clothes.

    According to local journalist Benny Mawel, reporting for Tabloid Jubi, the treatment of some of those detained was very rough. Activists were separated from the main group and put in cells at the main police headquarters. They were beaten – police stamping on their chests and backs and hitting them in the head with rifle butts. They were threatened with death and stripped of their clothes. The Papua police chief, Paulus Waterpauw, confirmed to Tabloid Jubi that some activists had been injured. The same outlet also reported beatings at the police headquarters in nearby Abepura, where more demonstrators were detained. “They tortured and arrested us at 9am in Lingkaran Abepura. They took us into the armoured truck and told us to raise our hands,” activist Arim Tabuni said. “They beat us on the chest and head, mostly on the chest. So we looked not hurt.” The demonstrators, both male and female, were stripped of their clothes and threatened.
    Papuan leader Reverend Benny Giay, who was involved in negotiating the peaceful release of the majority of the demonstrators later in the day, wrote this week that: “Every protest and negotiation effort by indigenous people is met with brutal responses and security operations. In talking about West Papua, the Indonesian government often uses language that obscures past abuses. Papua’s relationship with the outside world is heavily controlled”.

    I know all about that. Working there in 2002 as a journalist collecting information for a Quarterly Essay I was constantly harassed, followed, threatened and generally intimidated by the Indonesian military, police and intelligence services. Trying to interview Papuan leaders who were espousing nonviolence as a path to independence at the time was enough to have me tailed, and to fear that those I interviewed would be under threat. The intimidation and surveillance was quite open, down to the simple tactic of a police informant sitting on a bench outside my room at a guesthouse and following me wherever I went, occasionally giving me dagger looks and drawing his finger across his throat in a slitting gesture. It was as subtle as a brick in the head.
    Of course, they were noting who I was trying to contact, who I was trying to speak to. It was much worse when I returned the following year, in 2003. There was one incident outside the southern town of Merauke near the PNG border where I really thought a soldier who waved down my hired car and got inside and started threatening me with his weapon was going to kill me in that remote spot. Knowing the United States and Australia would not object, as they were busy fighting the war in Iraq, the Indonesians banned foreign journalists from Papua in 2003. Restrictions remain in place today.
    Local journalists are under great threat and intimidation. On Tuesday, media advocacy group Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) issued a statement condemning the arrest of a local journalist in the Jayapura protests and the prevention of other journalists covering the mass detention. The organisation quoted unnamed local journalists as saying police told them they were under orders to keep journalists away from the site. Police Commissioner Mathius Fakhiri was named as directly issuing the order to remove journalists, who were greeted by about 20 police wielding wooden batons to keep them away. Benjamin Ismail, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said: “We condemn this violence and censorship of local journalists, whose coverage of these demonstrations was in the public interest. President Joko Widodo’s promises now sound emptier than ever. After the recent banning of a French journalist who had been reporting in Papua in a completely legal manner, we now have yet further evidence that the authorities continue to censor and control media coverage arbitrarily.”

    Earlier reports by RSF have documented and protested at the treatment of the few foreign journalists who have managed to get into Papua, as well as the harassment and intimidation of their local translators, drivers and fixers. If you ask Indonesian officials, they will say there is no press ban in Papua, you just have to go through the right process. But the complicated, lengthy and often futile series of permissions from anyone within Indonesian foreign affairs, or its police, military and intelligence services, means permission is rarely granted and strictly controlled. President Widodo promised to alleviate this but nothing has changed. Journalists are still getting arrested and deported. If they try to enter on a tourist visa, they are jailed. Local journalists are still harassed, monitored and jailed.
    The Indonesian military are so concerned that Papua will be subject to international calls for independence they spy on everybody who takes an interest in Papuan events, politics and human rights. In 2011, leaked documents revealed that even though I hadn’t been to or reported on Papua since 2003 I was on a list of “Foreign Networks/Foreign Leaders in support of Free Papua” held by the Indonesian army special forces group, Kopassus. I came in at No. 9 on the list of Australians. Thirty-one other Australians were named, including then Greens leader Bob Brown at No. 13. The list identified current and former US senators. It also mentioned Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and members of the British parliament, Lord Avebury and Jeremy Corbyn. Also on the list were former PNG prime minister Sir Michael Somare, and former Vanuatu foreign minister Sir Barak Sope. In all, it lists 248 politicians, academics, environmentalists, journalists, artists and clergy, from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain, the US, Germany, Finland, Ireland, the European Union, PNG and Vanuatu, calling them “the supporters of Papuan separatists”.

    The reasons for the demonstrations last week were to both mark the 1963 annexation of Dutch New Guinea (Papua) when Indonesian troops arrived displacing the Dutch, and to show support for a broad coalition of groups campaigning for independence.
    The arrested protesters were also showing support for the meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in London. The meeting, attended by ministers from Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, the prime minister of Tonga and the group’s co-founder, now British opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, came out with an emphatic resolution: “The UN must be allowed to organise a referendum to allow the people of West Papua to choose between acknowledging the incorporation of their country into Indonesia or voting for independence.” It was the resolution and the high-profile recognition that has been demanded by the broad coalition of groups supporting independence for Papua for years. These groups also demanded that the international community, in the form of non-government organisations, media and international peacekeepers, be allowed access to Papua to monitor the process and the human rights situation.
    Australia has made no comment on the declaration, and the Indonesian embassy in Canberra dismissed it in a statement as a “publicity stunt”.

    Australia remains silent on both the arrests in Papua, the historical and current abuses by the Indonesian military there, and the calls for UN involvement and a resolution to the ongoing violence and isolation by Indonesia of Papua. Unlike in the late 1990s, when we finally intervened in East Timor and our conservative leaders claimed moral capital for its “liberation” from Indonesian abuses, our moral bank is empty. The Indonesians can always point to Manus and say they only arrested and beat pro-independence protesters for a day or so. Australia does it indefinitely just down the coast. Maybe that was why the story didn’t get much of a run.
    Papua, sadly for its long-suffering population, was one of the most intimidating places I have ever worked. I was in Iraq at the height of the American occupation, Sri Lanka at the height of the campaign to crush the Tamils, Burma at the height of the campaign against Aung San Suu Kyi, East Timor and Aceh under the Indonesians, Afghanistan in Taliban-controlled areas. But never have I seen a people more systematically oppressed and isolated than the West Papuans by the Indonesian military and intelligence services. And it is still happening.

    This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 14, 2016 as "Silenced protest". 
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    2) The Road to Freedom for West Papua

     05/13/2016 02:10 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago

     
        Benny Wenda


    Benny Wenda is West Papua’s independence leader, International Spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and founder of the Free West Papua Campaign. He lives in exile in the UK.


     
      
    A historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua took place in London last week. At a meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in the Houses of Parliament, a new declaration was signed calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.

    Delegates came from around the world to attend this historic meeting on West Papua’s future. The meeting was briefed by parliamentarians, lawyers and academics, all of whom discussed and affirmed the West Papuan people’s fundamental right to self-determination. 

    Amongst those in attendance was the UK Opposition Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a founding member of International Parliamentarians for West Papua. Adding his support to calls for an internationally supervised vote on independence, he also noted the recommendation calling for a visit by to West Papua by the UN special rapporteur, the reinstatement of NGOs in the region and questioning of international companies working in West Papua.

    Since their occupation of West Papua in the 1960s, the Indonesian military has made West Papua a land of ongoing military operations. It is estimated that over 500,000 West Papuan people have been killed in the genocide that Indonesia is committing in West Papua, and the killing and torture continues with reports of human rights abuses coming out on an almost daily basis. 



    Known as the Paniai Massacre, it drew widespread condemnation from the international community and human rights groups. However, to date not one single Indonesian solider has been brought to justice for this heinous crime against humanity. In fact, the Indonesian Government have forced all foreign NGOs to leave West Papua. One can only conclude that this is an attempt to try and stop news of further killings being investigated.

    The Chairperson of the Law Enforcement and Human Rights Advocacy in West Papua, himself stated recently that such military operations are evidence that the Indonesian government is not able to resolve the issues in West Papua. Calling for a political approach rather than simply a military or developmental approach, he said that operations like this will “result in more human rights violations” and would “add to the bad image of Indonesia in the eyes of the world.”

    But amidst all the suffering, there is also hope. Just days after the landmark Westminster meeting on West Papuan self-determination, there was more historic support for the people of West Papua as yesterday the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare announced that he had met with Vanuatu Prime Minister Hon. Charlot Salwai and that together they had reaffirmed their backing for The United Liberation Movement for West Papua - ULMWP.

    One of the most shocking massacres occurred less than 18 months ago, when a group of West Papuan school children were massacred by the Indonesian military.

     
    On the issue of urgent UN intervention in West Papua, Prime Minister Sogavare said the Indonesian President’s apparent rejection of the resolution reached by the Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Port Moresby in 2015 for the deployment of a fact-finding mission in West Papua as well as the Indonesian President’s refusal to meet with him in his capacity as the MSG Chair to explain the position of the MSG on the issue of West Papua are very strong grounds warranting the MSG to take the matter to the United Nations.

    He said Indonesia was granted Associate membership of the MSG to allow for dialogue between Jakarta and the MSG Leaders on the issue of West Papua, and the Indonesian President’s refusal of his request to meet with him regarding MSG’s position on West Papua is a clear indication that it has another reason for joining the MSG.

    Such true Melanesian solidarity is unbreakable and the people of West Papua are filled with hope and gratitude at the strong, unwavering support that is increasingly being shown to them and their cause from right across Melanesia. We would like to convey our deepest thanks once again to Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands and Hon. Charlot Salwai, Prime Minister of Vanuatu for their consistent solidarity and compassion for the people of West Papua and the struggle for self-determination.

     
    For over 50 years the people of West Papua have been forced to suffer in silence, but our voice is finally being heard and justice is within sight. We are gaining support from all corners of the globe and we know that the power of truth and justice is on our side. We will be free people again. Nothing and no one can stop this movement.

     
    Follow Benny Wenda on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bennywenda

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    3) West Papua police chief warns about illegal fishing
    6:41 am today
    The police chief in Indonesia's West Papua province has warned about the prevalence of illegal fishing in the region.
    Tabloid Jubi reports Royke Lumowa as saying illegal fishing should continue to be a concern for both central and local governments, suggesting that inaction would allow the problem to become rampant.
    He said that because the remoteness of West Papua, as well as lack of resources for police to monitor the waters, a lot of illegal fishing went unchecked.
    Mr Royke said that to counter illegal fishing, local police needed the help of the Navy, the Marine Department and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, especially in terms of equipment.
    He explained that most illegal fishing in West Papua tended to occur around Sorong in New Guinea's far west.
    Since 2014, Indonesia has re-activated its policy of burning foreign vessels caught illegally fishing in its waters.
    Indonesian officials claim the country could be earning a lot more from its overall fishery if illegal fishing was properly countered.
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    4) Democratic Party Endorses Bill on Special Autonomy Plus

    9 May 2016

    Jayapura, Jubi – The Democratic Party has agreed to endorse the Bill on the Special Autonomy Plus in 2017 after the Indonesian House of Representatives failed to discuss it in 2014 and 2015.
    “The Democrats will be at the front to fight for it. It won’t be negotiable. If the last government didn’t submit it, but starting today, through Rakorda –Regional Coordination Meeting–, it is a momentum to fight on the bill as the best solution for Papua,” said the Secretary General of Democrat Party Hinca Panjaitan in Jayapura on last week.
    He also instructed DPP, DPD and the entire DPC, regents and mayors and the entire Democratic faction and governors to unite behind the bill.
    “As the secretary general, I will listen all information and report to the general chairman and ask the fraction at the Indonesian House of Representatives to put it into the agenda and pursue it as the issue to be discussed in the next meeting,” he said.
    “Don’t worry, the Democrat Party must be at front for the Bill on the Papua Special Autonomy Plus, and as the Secretary General of Democrat Party, I will take a lead,” he added.
    Meanwhile DPD Chairman of Democrat Party in Papua Lukas Enembe who also the Papua Governor said along his administrative since 2013, the Special Autonomy Plus would be a right solution to overcome the social issues in Papua.
    “Currently, the Papuan issue has become an incredible international issue, moreover people are shouting for Free Papua. The Special Autonomy Plus would become the affirmative action to address this issue,” he said.
    Enembe hoped Papua would not be exploited for other political interest, because Papua is equal like other provinces. Therefore he requested Papua to be trusted to conduct its development on its own. (*/rom)
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    https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1409


    5) Brimob and how the Yerisiam Gua people’s sago groves were cleared.

    Sima, 11 May 2016 – During a discussion on Monday 9th May community representatives were asked if they agreed with PT Nabire Baru’s statement that police mobile brigade (Brimob) were stationed on the company’s premises because the community had requested their presence. They instantly replied that they didn’t.
    “How could we have asked for them? How could bringing in Brimob to work as security guards be anything to do with us? We have never asked Brimob to come here. Actually their presence makes us feel nervous, not safe”, said Karel Maniba during the discussion.
    The community were protesting the presence of Brimob guards who protect the company’s operations fully armed, causing anxiety within the community. Brimob were seen on the ground when the Manawari sago grove was first cleared on 12th April 2016.
    That day Enos Abujani was the first to notice two excavators clearing the sago grove and immediately went to tell his neighbours. Armed Brimob guards were there, watching over the land clearing.
    Around 550 square metres were cleared on the 12th April 2016, including 15 stands of sago palms. “I felt my stomach churning as I watched them work. It was as if they were destroying the contents of my stomach”, said Gunawan Inggeruhi who joined three other community members in protesting the land clearance the following day. [The sago palm is the staple food of lowland Papuans].
    The community challenged the land clearance four times. On the 16th April, as the company still hadn’t stopped work, they went both morning and afternoon to complain.
    “It’s just that sago grove that we are asking they don’t clear. Because that is our livelihood. If I pound the sago inside the trunk, I can get 100,000 Rupiah, I can buy the things I need, such as salt, MSG, soap. If the grove is cleared I feel I have lost out, I feel sorrow, as if I have been stripped naked”, said Mama Yakomina Manuburi, holding back her anger.
    Some community members have already been to ask members of the District Legislative Council (DPRD) to help, or have sent complains about this problem to the Nabire police chief. A representative of DPRD Commission I has been to visit the area. However, neither the council or the police chief have shown any clear will to stop the sago groves being cleared.
    The Yerisiam Gua community collect signatures to save the Sago Groves
    The Yerisiam Gua indigenous group have collected 110 signatures supporting their opposition to the clearance of the sacred Manawari sago groves around Sima village, in Yaur sub-district by PT Nabire Baru.
    The signatures were collected on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th May, as a response to a letter from the company which stated that opposition within the Yerisiam community was only coming from a handful of people and had been provoked by certain individuals.
    “This company is pretty smart at deception, everything it says in the letter is incorrect. There are currently quite a lot of people who know about the company’s lies and oppose its presence here”, said Yance Maniburi irritatedly when the letter of response was read out in the discussion between representatives of the Yerisiam Gua indigenous group on Tuesday.
    Nabire Baru’s parent company Goodhope Holdings were responding to a protest letter from the Yerisiam Gua community concerning the company’s presence and the work being carried out. The company did not give a specific response concerning its current clearance of sacred sago groves.
    In the letter addressed to Forest Peoples Programme and dated 29th April 2016, Aditia Insani from Goodhope said that PT Nabire Baru had settled all issues of community rights, was in possession of all the required permits and had corporate social responsibility programmes in place.
    He also stated that Brimob were stationed in the company’s area because local people had requested protection from the threat of armed groups.
    “Brimob forces are not involved in acts of violence”, Aditia said in the letter.
    On the 19th April, the Yerisiam Gua commuity sent a letter protesting about PT Nabire Baru to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, via Yayasan Pusaka. The complaint was in connection with the expansion of the company’s work area to include the sacred Manawari sago grove and the presence of Brimob guards which was causing anxiety within the community.
    According to Y.L. Franky, Director of Yayasan Pusaka who forwarded the Yerisiam Gua people’s request, four issues form the basis for the community’s position.
    Firstly, PT Nabire Baru has from the outset attempted to win the support of a small group of community members to release community lands, without a general meeting or the agreement of the wider Yerisiam community which holds the land rights.
    Secondly The Yerisiam indigenous community have repeatedly complained and spoken of the problems of this land expropriation, their suffering and losses and the violent practices used by Brimob security guards in their approach to these problems, but the government and company have ignored and failed to respect the community’s complaints or opinions about these matters.
    Thirdly, the company has cleared ecologically important natural forest resulting in deforestation, and as a result the community have lost a source of income, and there has been recent serious flooding inundating Sima village where the Yerisiam people live.
    Fourthly, the company’s attempts to clear the sacred Jarae and Manawari sago groves, contravening an agreement made with the community in February 2016 which opposed a smallholder scheme in the sago area.
    The company had promised not to disturb the sago groves. “Previously they said that they would leave the sago groves as an enclave owned by the Yerisiam people”, said Agus Henawi. “But it seems as if their objective is to finish us off”.
    The Yerisiam Gua community have stressed that the promises PT Nabire Baru made since it commenced its investment have still not been fulfilled.
    “Right at the beginning they promised to build a school, a church and houses but not one of these promises has been met yet”, said Mrs Yance Rumbiak.
    She feels that since the company arrived the people have been made to suspect each other, causing divisions within families, setting people against one another and making village life uncomfortable.
    Zely Ariane reporting from Sima Village, Nabire.
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    2) Dozens taken in by police in West Papua amid mine dispute
    3) Press Council: We Never Fail In Timor Leste, Never Happen Again In Papua

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    http://dailypost.vu/news/report-urges-australia-to-review-support-for-indonesia-s-military/article_a2e8cb26-fcd3-56f3-a3cc-cb6e480ea574.html

    1) Report urges Australia to review support for Indonesia’s military


    Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2016 8:00 am
    By Len Garae |

    “The Australian Government
    should urgently consider the mounting evidence of involvement in human rights violations in West Papua by members of the Indonesian military, police force, including Detachment 88, and intelligence service. Based on this investigation, it should review any support, training and funding of any units involved in human rights violations in West Papua with a view to suspending such support until policy changes to end violations are implemented by the Indonesian Government”.

    This is one of the recommendations of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane after touring West Papua last February then printed its Report this month on May 1. The Report is also referred to as the “Voice of the people of West Papua”,
    Despite an assurance by President Widodo of Indonesia that the situation in West Papua is getting better, the Commission’s delegation to the country in February 2016 found no improvement in human rights situation at all.
    Reports of human rights violations by members of Indonesian security forces have not declined and the economic and social status of Papuans has not improved. “The Indonesian legal and political system is unwilling and unable to address human rights violations in West Papua”, it said.
    The many Papuans met by the delegation expressed immense concerns about their current situations. They live in constant fear of violence and feel desperate about their rapidly declining proportion of the population and growing marginalisation economically and socially.
    They do not go out at night for fear of being the next ones to be killed after the bodies of their families were found in the streets morning.
    Papuan women vendors at the market cannot compete with Indonesian vendors while soldiers ride motorbikes into the stalls of Papuan women to intimidate them and discourage them from earning an income.
    In light of the delegation’s findings, the Commission has recommended the following:
    • Governments in the Pacific, including the Australian Government, should seek intervention at the United Nationals Human Rights Council and the United Nations General Assembly to initiate a credible, independent investigation into human rights violations in West Papua;
    • Governments in the Pacific should also pressure the Indonesian Government directly and seek the intervention of the United Nations to establish a dialogue between the Indonesian Government and the acknowledged leaders of the people of West Papua, the United Liberation Movement of West Papua in order to identify a credible pathway towards genuine self-determination for the people of West Papua;
    • Churches and civil society organisations in the Pacific should continue to build a network of solidarity with their counterparts in West Papua in order to support advocacy and action on human rights violations and the pursuit of self-determination by the people of West Papua and their leaders, the ULMWP.
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    2) Dozens taken in by police in West Papua amid mine dispute
    3:09 pm today
    Police in Papua have taken nearly a hundred people in for questioning amid accusations they had taken tailings from a mining site in Mimika.
    The Jakarta Post reports 21 people were still being questioned and are alleged to have trespassed onto the mine owned by US-based gold and copper mining company Freeport Indonesia.
    The paper reports the incident began when about 400 local residents tried to enter on Thursday morning, but they were blocked by around 120 security personnel.
    The police say residents tried to burn security posts and damaged several vehicles belonging to the company.
    The police said the invasion seemed to have been triggered by residents' suspicions that the company had shut down its operations because in the past month, it had not channeled tailings into a river near the mining site.
    Traditional miners have been used to taking the waste to find gold left over in it.
    The police told the paper the waste was not being channeled into the river because waste chanelling equipment had been damaged.

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    A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
    Original bahasa link at

    3) Press Council: We Never Fail In Timor Leste, Never Happen Again In Papua
    ayapura, Jubi - Press Council Chairman, Joseph Adi Presetyo remind media in Jakarta in order to proclaim the problems that occurred in Papua intense.

    "We certainly do not want to repeat the experience in East Timor in Papua. At that time, we can say no news is critical, which is clearly viewed disparities development in Timor Leste, "said Chairman of the Press Council in discussions Papua Update at the Press Council Hall, Wednesday (05/11/2016) then.

    This situation, according to the Chairman of the Press Council, occurred again in Papua today. This situation requires revitalizing the role of the press, linked following coverage of the Papua issue. Discussion and update information about Papua should be intensified not only by governments and civil society organizations but also by members of the press.


    "We know, national media journalists in Papua are often rotated or pull in the news because they have no value. Then the journalists who write about issues such as politics are also considered vulnerable carries risks for journalists, "said Josep nicknamed Stanley

    He added, the Press Council hopes to put the national mass media journalists are experienced in Papua in order to proclaim Papua intensively.

    He added that East Timor was part of Indonesia, Indonesian media only writes officials visit Indonesia to Timor Leste were greeted with dances as if the people in East Timor have wanted and dreamed of being part of Indonesia. The media almost never write problems outside visiting Indonesian officials, such as the construction of injustice and human rights violations.

    "So when the President of Indonesia at the time, BJ Habibie provides the option of special autonomy or Merdeka, we believe that East Timor would vote to remain with Indonesia. What happened? 90 percent of people of East Timor voted for independence, "he said.

    Timor Leste's experience shows the press Indonesia failed to provide the facts and fail to provide information to the government.

    "We've failed in Timor Leste, do not happen again in Papua," Press Council Chairman's hope. (*)
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    2) Merauke Civil Servant Held After ‘Cake Bomb’ Joke on Plane
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    1) Govt to involve Papuans in planning
    Govt to involve Papuans in planning Jakarta  Posted: Sat, May 14 2016 | 09:54 am

    President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration plans to establish a local development authority in Papua to coordinate development and accelerate efforts to resolve serious human rights abuse cases that have occurred in Indonesia’s easternmost region.

    The authority, to comprise seven customary-based units in West Papua and Papua, will be responsible for planning and executing several development plans in the region.

     Yoedhi Swastono, the deputy for domestic political coordination at the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, said Wednesday the plans were expected to be finished within this year. 

    “The plan to establish the seven units is based on the fact that the region is divided into seven customary areas,” Yoedhi told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of a discussion regarding development in Papua sponsored by the Indonesian Science Institute ( LIPI ), the Press Council and the Papua Peace Network ( JDP ).

    The central government has long turned a blind eye to the fact that, according to Yoedhi, “customs hold an important role in the life of every Papuan”.

     According to data made available to the Post, the seven planned units will be at Domberay, with Sorong, Raja Ampat and Manokwari as its major cities; Bomberay, which consists of three regencies, including Fakfak; Mee Pago, which consists of six regencies, including Mimika; Saereri, which includes Biak Islands; Mamta, with Papua’s capital Jayapura; La Pago, which covers an area of ten regencies, including Jayawijaya; and Anim Ha, the easternmost area that centers around Merauke.

     “Those areas have different characteristics and different kinds of potential,” Yoedhi said, adding that the authority, which is expected to be established before July, would undertake several tasks, including economic empowerment and the expansion of education and healthcare services.

     Meanwhile, the effort to resolve human rights abuse cases in Papua has been ongoing, Yoedhi said. A government-established team, chaired by former Corruption Eradication Commission ( KPK ) acting deputy chairman Indriyanto Seno Adji, has been working to map out the root causes of several rights abuse cases, he added.

    “The team will partner with the National Commission on Human Rights and several rights activists and to focus on resolving cases from 1996 to 2014,” Yoedhi said.

     Those cases include the 2001 Wasior riot, the 2013 Wamena riot and the 2014 Paniai massacre.

     Jokowi has tried to build trust with Papua, which is blessed with abundant natural resources but whose native inhabitants have not enjoyed any trickle-down prosperity and who have lived in grinding poverty for decades because of neglect from the government. The poverty and repression has given rise to a plethora of separatist conflicts in the region. 

    Since his rise to power, Jokowi has regularly visited Papua, keeping his word to be directly involved in efforts to raise the dignity and well-being of Papuans. 

     However, Marthen Goo, a Papua activist who asked the Post to conceal his organisation’s name, criticised the government’s moves, calling them “irrelevant”. ( dos )
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    2) Merauke Civil Servant Held After ‘Cake Bomb’ Joke on Plane
    By : Robert Isidorus | on 6:33 PM May 14, 2016
    Jakarta. Officials at Sentani Airport in Jayapura, Papua province, have detained a civil servant after he allegedly joked about carrying a bomb while boarding a Garuda flight to Merauke.
    Papua Police spokesperson Comr. Parige confirmed the report on Saturday afternoon (14/05), adding that the incident occurred at 7.30 a.m. East Indonesia time.
    According to Parige, the passenger named Victor Mangihut Hatigoran, who works for the Merauke regional administration, was about to board when a Garuda aviation security officer asked him about his cabin baggage.
    "He answered that he was carrying a bomb. After further questioning, it emerged that Victor meant that it was a cake bomb [a type of pastry]," Parige added.
    Victor was then taken to the security room for further interrogation and security checks on his belongings.
    The items he had in his possession were a black bag containing a laptop computer, a GPS device, an external computer hard disk, four cellphones and a digital camera. He also had four boxes of cake.
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    2) PNG and Solomons Foreign Ministers Discuss Appointment of MSG Director General
    30 Fear of communism, limits on freedom of expression persist
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    1) Jakarta turns to Britain to explain Papua situation
    3:15 pm today
    An Indonesian government delegation has travelled to Britain to talk about West Papua to local MPs and church leaders.
    The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Luhut Pandjaitan, led the delegation.
    Its visit was organised hastily following the highly-publicised International Parliamentarians for West Papua summit in London two weeks ago which resulted in a call for an internationally supervised vote on West Papuan self-determination.
    Following the summit and its airing of concerns over ongoing human rights abuses against West Papuans, Jakarta has been anxious to explain its side of the story about Papua.
    To that effect, Mr Luhut's delegation met with a member of both the House of Lords and IPWP, Lord Harries, to talk about conditions in Papua.

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    2) PNG and Solomons Foreign Ministers Discuss Appointment of MSG Director General

    Posted: Monday, May 16, 2016 8:00 am

    Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato, welcomed his counterpart from Solomon Islands, Milner Tozaka, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade who visited Port Moresby from 9 – 11 May 2016.
    Minister Pato said the purpose of his visit was concerning the appointment of a new Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat.
    Minister Tozaka was tasked by the Chair of the MSG and Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare to visit the MSG capitals on the question of the appointment of the Director General and find amicable understanding.
    However, Minister Pato explained the position Prime Minister O’Neill had taken and reaffirmed that protocol and due process of appointment was not observed nor was there any consensus.
    “Whilst we acknowledge the credentials of Ambassador Yauvoli, we do not recognize his appointment as the Director General for the MSG Secretariat,” said Minister Pato.
    As a way forward, both Ministers agreed that the appointment should only be made after the Special MSG Leaders’ Summit.
    PNG is expected to host the deferred Special Leaders’ Summit on the margins of the 8th ACP Leaders’ Summit from 30 May – 1 June whilst the Senior Officials Meeting will be held in Port Vila from 18-19 May 2016.


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    30 Fear of communism, limits on freedom of expression persist

    Elly Bahraini Faizal
    Jakarta | Mon, May 16 2016 | 11:51 am 
    It was not anticipated that a vibrant celebration of 2016 World Press Freedom Day in Yogyakarta on May 3 would lead to chaotic scenes and scuffles between journalists and security authorities.
    The breaking up of the celebration was blamed on protests by a group that reportedly disagreed with a screening of Pulau Buru: Tanah Air Beta ( Buru Island: My Homeland ), a documentary movie on the 1965 tragedy by Rahung Nasution, at the event.
    The Yogyakarta Police forcefully dispersed the gathering following pressure from people claiming to act on behalf of the Communication Forum of Indonesian Veterans' Children ( FKPPI ). They raided the venue on Jl. Pakel Baru, Umbulharjo, Yogyakarta, accusing the now-defunct Indonesia Communist Party ( PKI ) of being behind the event.
    The FKPPI also claimed the movie could trigger conflict as it featured communist ideas. A truck carrying fully armed police personnel approached the location following heightening tensions. 
    Around 100 journalists and civil society group activists attending the event resisted the dispersal. The police forced them to leave, however, claiming they did not have an event permit. The owner of a house used by the Yogyakarta chapter of the Alliance of Independent Journalists ( AJI ) as an office and the movie screening venue forced the group to move elsewhere. 
    The disbandment of the World Press Freedom Day event in Yogyakarta represented a violation of freedom of expression, many examples of which have occurred in Indonesia recently. The incident tested the implementation of citizens’ rights to exercise freedom of expression.
    Almost two decades after the Reform Era, some say Indonesia still lacks respect for people’s rights to freedom of expression. The country also shows slow progress in healing its scars from past political turmoil.
    The recent seizure of books suspected to contain communist teachings from stores across Indonesia illustrated the country’s failure to move on from the trauma of the 1965-1966 political crisis caused by the failed G30S coup blamed on the PKI. 
    In mid-May, officers from the Grobogan Police in Central Java confiscated several books containing stories on the history of the PKI and its leaders. The titles were Siapa Dalang G30S PKI ( Who Masterminded the PKI G30S ); The Missing Link G30S PKI; Fakta dan Rekayasa G30S PKI ( PKI G30S Fact Engineering ); Komunisme Ala Aidit ( Communism à la Aidit ); MussoPeristiwa 1 Oktober ( October 1 Incident ); and Nyoto Peniup Saxofon di Tengah Prahara ( Nyoto, A Saxophonist in the Middle of Hurricane ). The books were on sale in a supermarket.
    Separately, officers from the Sukoharjo Police in Central Java seized four copies of a book entitled The Missing Link G30S: Misteri Sjam Kamaruzzaman dan Biro Chusus PKI ( The G30S Missing Link: The Mystery of Sjam Kamaruzzaman and PKI Special Bureau ) from a supermarket in Baki, Sukoharjo.
    Indonesian Police chief Badrodin Haiti has called on police personnel to stop searching for books with communism-related content. He asserted that communism-themed books in book stores, libraries and universities should not be confiscated.
    Badrodin said those the police had taken action against were people or groups who had intentionally spread communism. He referred to the recent seizure of T-shirts emblazoned with the communist hammer-and-sickle emblem from stores and markets.  
    As reported in mass media, a resident from Tanjung Riau, Sekupang, Batam, was arrested on May 3 for wearing a hammer-and-sickle T-shirt. On May 8, a joint force comprising personnel from the Jakarta Police and the Jakarta Military Area Command’s ( Kodam Jaya ) intelligence division arrested the owner of a shop selling similar T-shirts in Blok M, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. On May 9, two young men identified with the initials UR and RD were arrested by military personnel in Lampung for wearing the same type of T-shirts.
    Badrodin said the symbol was prohibited in public as it could be considered an effort to spread communist teachings. He claimed that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo himself had ordered all security authorities, including the Attorney General’s Office ( AGO ) and the National Intelligence Agency ( BIN ), to tackle the distribution of communist symbols, such as the hammer-and-sickle emblem.
    Badrodin said the measures taken by security authorities were based on the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly ( MPRS ) Decree No. XXV/1966 on the disbandment of the PKI and the prohibition of the spread of communism, Leninism and Marxism.
    Separately, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasona Laoly said the use of PKI attributes was clearly prohibited in Indonesia. “It was the decision of the MPRS. This ideology [communism] is not allowed to exist anymore in Indonesia,” he said on May 10.
    President Jokowi said recently that he supported efforts to eradicate communism in Indonesia; however, he added that law enforcers should not act excessively in carrying out the task. He made the statement in response to widespread criticism on the government’s anticommunism measures, which have been deemed excessive. In Bantul, Yogyakarta, police officers confiscated a Lou Han fish because it had scaly pattern similar to the hammer-and-sickle-logo on its body.
    Violations of freedom of expression, which have also affected events aimed at discussing the 1965 tragedy, contradict the government’s initiative to resolve past human rights violations. The government in April held its first symposium on the events of 1965.
    The recent cases of violations of freedom of expression, including the disbandment of the World Press Freedom Day celebration, show that security authorities and President Jokowi are walking in opposite directions in terms of resolving wounds from the nation’s past. Political chaos resulting from such instability will slow all aspects of the country’s development.
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    2) 101 Brimob personnel sent to Papua to Keep the Freeport area
    3) Brim and How the Yerisiam Gua People’s sago Groves were Cleared: PUSAKA
    4) Activists Urge Jokowi to Stop Book Raids
    —————————————————————————
    1) Solomons PM reiterates Papua stand
    13 minutes ago
    The Solomon Islands prime minister has reiterated his support for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua.
    Manasseh Sogavare, who is also the chairman of the MSG, has returned from a visit to Port Vila where he announced his intention to support Vanuatu and push to elevate the Liberation Movement from its current observer status in the group.
    He also confirmed his plan to request United Nations intervention in West Papua due to ongoing alleged human rights abuses by the Indonesian security forces
    Mr Sogavare has criticised Indonesia for not taking up repeated efforts by the MSG and Pacific Islands governments to establish dialogue with Jakarta over concerns about West Papua.


    United Liberation Movement for West Papua members Mama Yosepha Along, Edison Waromi, Andy Ayamiseba and Jacob Rumbiak with the Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare (centre), Photo: MSG

    ——————————————————-
    A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
    Original bahasa link at

    2) 101 Brimob personnel sent to Papua to Keep the Freeport area
    JAYAPURA, SUARAPAPUA.com- total of 101 personnel of the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Regional Police (Polda) of East Java deployment to Papua on Monday, May 16, 2016. The blue beret troops were deployed with maintaining the activity in the area of ​​the Freeport gold mine of all kinds of disturbances ,

    The departure of Brimob troops to Papua detachable Deputy Chief of East Java Police, Brigadier General Gatot Subroto, in Apple Fields Police. "Members of Brimob were dispatched will be joined by members of the Papua Police for approximately four months," said Deputy Police Chief after news.viva.co.id apples as reported in its issue of Monday (5/16/2016).

    Their principal task, Gatot said, is to keep the Freeport gold mine of any interference, including interference local separatist province.

    "Apart from East Java, also will be sent to Papua in the same time members of the Police Mobile Brigade Gorontalo," he quoted from news.viva.co.id media on Tuesday (17/05/2016).

    Head of the East Java Police Mobile Brigade, Police Commissioner Rudi Kristantyo, explains, the most serious challenges facing members who served in Freeport is when dealing with the separatist group.

    "The separatists are trained in guerrilla warfare," he said.

    Even so, according to Rudi, Brimob members were sent there certainly able to deal with it because they are given the ability to attack qualified.

     "Members are in-BKO (under the control of operations / conjunct) to Papua is also equipped with weapons," he said.

    Gold mine in Papua is touted as the largest in the world. The mine operated by PT Freeport Indonesia. Since its inception until now, the pros and cons coloring Freeport mine management. Security threats from separatist groups are also common.

    Previously, as reported by the media, some time ago, the TNI has sent 450 members of the military with a mission to safeguard and secure the border areas of Indonesia and PNG in Papua. (Read: 450 TNI Members Sent to Border RI-PNG)

    Announcers: Arnold Belau

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    12 May 2016 

    3) Brim and How the Yerisiam Gua People’s sago Groves were Cleared: PUSAKA


                                                 Peoples of Sima fight for their lands – pusaka.or.id

    Sima village, Nabire – During a discussion on Monday 9th May community representatives were asked if they agreed with PT Nabire Baru’s statement that police mobile brigade (Brimob) were stationed on the company’s premises because the community had requested their presence. They instantly replied that they didn’t.
    “How could we have asked for them? How could bringing in Brimob to work as security guards be anything to do with us? We have never asked Brimob to come here. Actually their presence makes us feel nervous, not safe”, said Karel Maniba during the discussion.
    The communities were protesting the presence of Brimob guards who protect the company’s operations fully armed, causing anxiety within the community. Brimob were seen on the ground when the Manawari sago grove was first cleared on 12th April 2016.
    That day Enos Abujani was the first to notice two excavators clearing the sago grove and immediately went to tell his neighbours. Armed Brimob guards were there, watching over the land clearing.
    Around 550 square metres were cleared on the 12th April 2016, including 15 stands of sago palms. “I felt my stomach churning as I watched them work. It was as if they were destroying the contents of my stomach”, said Gunawan Inggeruhi who joined three other community members in protesting the land clearance the following day. [The sago palm is the staple food of lowland Papuans].
    The community challenged the land clearance four times. On the 16th April, as the company still hadn’t stopped work, they went both morning and afternoon to complain.
    “It’s just that sago grove that we are asking they don’t clear. Because that is our livelihood. If I pound the sago inside the trunk, I can get 100,000 Rupiah, I can buy the things I need, such as salt, MSG, soap. If the grove is cleared I feel I have lost out, I feel sorrow, as if I have been stripped naked”, said Mama Yakomina Manuburi, holding back her anger.
    Some community members have already been to ask members of the District Legislative Council (DPRD) to help, or have sent complains about this problem to the Nabire police chief. A representative of DPRD Commission I has been to visit the area. However, neither the council or the police chief have shown any clear will to stop the sago groves being cleared.
    The Yerisiam Gua community collect signatures to save the Sago Groves
    The Yerisiam Gua indigenous group have collected 110 signatures supporting their opposition to the clearance of the sacred Manawari sago groves around Sima village, in Yaur sub-district by PT Nabire Baru.
    The signatures were collected on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th May, as a response to a letter from the company which stated that opposition within the Yerisiam community was only coming from a handful of people and had been provoked by certain individuals.
    “This company is pretty smart at deception, everything it says in the letter is incorrect. There are currently quite a lot of people who know about the company’s lies and oppose its presence here”, said Yance Maniburi irritatedly when the letter of response was read out in the discussion between representatives of the Yerisiam Gua indigenous group on Tuesday.
    Nabire Baru’s parent company Goodhope Holdings were responding to a protest letter from the Yerisiam Gua community concerning the company’s presence and the work being carried out. The company did not give a specific response concerning its current clearance of sacred sago groves.
    In the letter addressed to Forest Peoples Programme and dated 29th April 2016, Aditia Insani from Goodhope said that PT Nabire Baru had settled all issues of community rights, was in possession of all the required permits and had corporate social responsibility programmes in place.
    He also stated that Brimob were stationed in the company’s area because local people had requested protection from the threat of armed groups.
    “Brimob forces are not involved in acts of violence”, Aditia said in the letter.
    On the 19th April, the Yerisiam Gua commuity sent a letter protesting about PT Nabire Baru to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, via Yayasan Pusaka. The complaint was in connection with the expansion of the company’s work area to include the sacred Manawari sago grove and the presence of Brimob guards which was causing anxiety within the community.
    According to Y.L. Franky, Director of Yayasan Pusaka who forwarded the Yerisiam Gua people’s request, four issues form the basis for the community’s position.
    Firstly, PT Nabire Baru has from the outset attempted to win the support of a small group of community members to release community lands, without a general meeting or the agreement of the wider Yerisiam community which holds the land rights.
    Secondly The Yerisiam indigenous community have repeatedly complained and spoken of the problems of this land expropriation, their suffering and losses and the violent practices used by Brimob security guards in their approach to these problems, but the government and company have ignored and failed to respect the community’s complaints or opinions about these matters.
    Thirdly, the company has cleared ecologically important natural forest resulting in deforestation, and as a result the community have lost a source of income, and there has been recent serious flooding inundating Sima village where the Yerisiam people live.
    Fourthly, the company’s attempts to clear the sacred Jarae and Manawari sago groves, contravening an agreement made with the community in February 2016 which opposed a smallholder scheme in the sago area.
    The company had promised not to disturb the sago groves. “Previously they said that they would leave the sago groves as an enclave owned by the Yerisiam people”, said Agus Henawi. “But it seems as if their objective is to finish us off”.
    The Yerisiam Gua community have stressed that the promises PT Nabire Baru made since it commenced its investment have still not been fulfilled.
    “Right at the beginning they promised to build a school, a church and houses but not one of these promises has been met yet”, said Mrs Yance Rumbiak.
    She feels that since the company arrived the people have been made to suspect each other, causing divisions within families, setting people against one another and making village life uncomfortable. (*)
    English Translation by AwasMIFEE
    ————————————————————

    TUESDAY, 17 MAY, 2016 | 22:48 WIB
    4) Activists Urge Jokowi to Stop Book Raids

    TEMPO.COBandung - A number of literacy activists in Bandung issued a statement in response to the recent book raids carried out by military officials, police and public organization on books believed to contain 'leftist' ideology.
    The statement was issued at the Indonesia Menggugat Building in Bandung on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in the presence of cultural activists, artists, students, and writers.
    Poet Ahda Imran, who represents the Bandung literacy activist said that the commemoration of the National Book Day, which falls on May 17, 2016, has been tarnished with the rampant sweeping and confiscation of books.
    Ahda argued that the confiscations is unnecessary and has violated the Constitutional Court Decision No. 6-13-20/PUU-VIII-2010.
    "Referring to the Constitutional Court Decision, police officials, military officials, moreover mass organizations, have no rights to conduct sweeping and confiscates books," Ahda said.
    Ahda also lamented President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's negligence in allowing such actions to occur. Ahda added that statements issued by Indonesian officials have been counter-productive, such as the statement issued by the Acting Chairman of the National Library Dedi Junaidi who supports confiscation of books containing leftist ideology.
    "[The Indonesian] National library is the only library in the world that issued such statement. We demanded government officials to issue counter-productive statements," Ahda said.
    IQBAL T. LAZUARDI S

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     Upcoming event-West Papuan leader Benny Wenda in Sydney 

    Benny will introduce the Documentary 
    Punks for West Papua 

    at the Sydney University , Eastern Avenue Auditorium 
    and Lecture Theatre Complex (entry of City Road)  
    on the 24 May at 7pm


    Suggestion donation ($10 ,  $5 concession, students etc.)
    All proceeds go to support the 
    United Liberation for West Papua (ULMWP) and will help West Papuan leaders in their lobbying campaign of regional and international governments.



    ---------------------------------

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    2) GUEST BLOG: Maire Leadbetter – Jose Ramo-Horta cheerleader for Indonesia’s rule in West Papua - 

    3) Papua: Pricking our national conscience

    4) Full MSG membership for United Liberation Movement of West Papua justifiable: PM Sogavare 

    5) PNG to Respect Indonesia’s Sovereignty over West Papua

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    1) Indonesia blamed for Papuan nationalism
    20 minutes ago
    A West Papuan theologian and activist says Papuan nationalist aspirations are a direct consequence of how the Indonesian state has treated his people.
    Reverend Dr Benny Giay said West Papuans have never felt a part of Indonesian society, due to state policy towards them since the former dutch New Guinea was incorporated into the republic in the 1960s.



    West Papuans demonstrate support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid to be a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Photo: Tabloid Jubi
    Thousands of West Papuans have recently participated in demonstrations in major cities of Indonesia's eastern region, in support of the United Liberation Movement.
    Dr Giay said Papuans have always been treated as primitive and uncivilised by Jakarta and its policies have reflected that by systematically marginalising Papuans in their own land.
    "So we Papuans feel that we are not part of Indonesian modern society," he explained.
    "We have not been treated that way, and I think in the fifty years of interaction with Indonesians, that process gave birth to West Papuan nationalism."
    Reverend Dr Benny Giay said that when he looks back over five decades under Indonesian rule, there's been no progress in the situation.
    Dr Giay said that peaceful dialogue was the approach that should be taken to resolving issues in Papua.
    —————————————————————

    2) GUEST BLOG: Maire Leadbetter – Jose Ramo-Horta cheerleader for Indonesia’s rule in West Papua - 
    By   /   May 18, 2016

    It would be hard to overstate the importance of the role that Jose Ramos Horta played during the long dark years when Timor Leste was occupied by Indonesia. As ‘foreign minister’ in exile he developed quite extraordinary advocacy and diplomatic skills that other liberation movements could only envy. 
    It would be hard to overstate the importance of the role that Jose Ramos Horta played during the long dark years when Timor Leste was occupied by Indonesia. As ‘foreign minister’ in exile he developed quite extraordinary advocacy and diplomatic skills that other liberation movements could only envy. His international work with states and solidarity movements made a vital contribution to Timor Leste’s liberation in 1999.
    Reflecting on this role I am saddened and bewildered that he has become an apologist for Indonesia’s repressive rule in West Papua. Back in his campaigning days Ramos Horta regularly rubbed shoulders with his West Papuan colleagues at international conferences and at the United Nations. When he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 he said in his acceptance speech that the Timorese were not alone in seeking self-determination but struggled alongside millions of others including the people of West Papua.

    However , since he has become an establishment figure, Ramos-Horta has been telling the West Papuans to moderate their demands and to settle for autonomy rather than independence. This month he took things even further by visiting the territory as the guest of the Indonesian Security Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan. Afterwards he pronounced that the human rights situation was improving and Indonesia could solve any remaining problems without outside help.
    Did he see anything of the spectacularly large peaceful demonstrations that were taking place while he was there? On 2 May as many as 2000 young Papuan activists were arrested across the country – the largest mass arrest in West Papua’s history. In Jayapura those detained were hoarded into an open police compound and held stripped to the waist in searing temperatures. Journalists were barred from covering the events and one was detained. Ramos-Horta could have sought out the human rights defenders and Church leaders who went to monitor the police actions and call for the release of the young people. They would have explained that the entirely peaceful demonstrations were held to show support for international initiatives including an important meeting of Melanesian leaders in Vanuatu and a London meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua.
    Perhaps Jakarta was keen to recruit Jose Ramos-Horta to its support team to help counteract the tidal wave of support for West Papua sweeping across the Pacific. Jakarta’s nightmare is that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will elevate the West Papuan umbrella group United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) from observer to full member status as the Prime Ministers of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu now propose. To stave this off Minister Panjaitan has been strenuously lobbying in Suva and Port Moresby. A generous cheque for cyclone relief seemed to impress Fiji’s Prime Minister Bainimarama. Panjaitan’s initiatives have not gone down well with grassroots Pacific movements which are expanding day by day. Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva took part in the well-attended London meeting for parliamentarians.

    West Papuan Church leaders, like Reverend Socratez Yoman who is currently touring Aotearoa, says nothing will stop the momentum of the movement now that the ULMWP has been recognised by the MSG. Unrestrained migration has tipped the demographic balance in favour of the newcomers and resource exploitation is stripping away life-giving lands and forests. The people are determined not to stay silent any longer in the face of what they see as a ‘slow genocide’.
    Since his country’s liberation Jose Ramos-Horta has held high office as Prime Minister and President of his country as well as serving as a UN envoy in Guinea-Bissau, but he cannot have forgotten everything his learned during his long exile. Does he think about the brave actions of young activists in pre-liberation Timor-Leste? Timorese took to the streets whenever there was a chance they could get their message out into the international media, just as the West Papuans do now. Sometimes the results were lethal – 271 young demonstrators were massacred in 1991 at the Santa Cruz cemetery. Today in Timor Leste the young martyrs of this non-violent struggle are rightly honoured – they sparked a new wave of international solidarity and paved the way for change.

    What is more Jose Ramos-Horta knows what it is to be shunned and sidelined and to refuse to give up. In 1978 he was invited to tour New Zealand but the Muldoon Government was reluctant to give him a visa. He did not tour that year but the debate generated by the attempt to turn him away gave the cause unprecedented publicity. A ‘Let Horta Speak’ campaign grabbed the headlines and journalists sought out this controversial spokesperson for phone interviews. Two decades later a New Zealand foreign minister finally agreed to meet him.
    Defending his changed stance Ramos-Horta says that Indonesian rule over West Papua can be justified by the fact that the territory was once ruled by the Dutch as part the Dutch East Indies, forerunner of modern Indonesia. Timor-Leste was a Portuguese territory prior to the 1975 Indonesian invasion. The West Papuans remind us that they were on their way to independence as part of the Pacific family when a new colonisation was forced on them. Indonesian rule came about as a result of 1962 negotiations between the Netherlands and Indonesia brokered by the United States. The Papuan people were not consulted. Yes, the UN, to its shame, acknowledged a fraudulent self-determination process which took place in 1969. But it is clear from eye-witness reports and declassified documents that the “Act of Free Choice’ was a manipulated ‘Act of No Choice. There were only 1022 press-ganged participants out of a population of a million – they were sequestered away from their communities before the vote and threatened with violence if they did not make the right choice.
    Jose Ramos-Horta was once a beacon of hope to oppressed people around the world. Now he is on a different path and it seems to me like a wrong turning.
    Maire Leadbeater is a Former East Timor and current West Papua solidarity activist

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    3) Papua: Pricking our national conscience

    Veronica Koman Jakarta | Wed, May 18 2016 | 07:21 am
    When outsiders think of Papua, it may be to puzzle over why protests there seem never-ending. They may assume the main frustrations of Papuans stem from poverty and lack of development. 

    That is true to some degree. However, the main reason is simpler and neatly illustrated by comparing two figures: In early May, 2,109 Papuan independence protesters were arrested by police – and that number is more than double the 1,025 who were press-ganged into legitimizing Indonesia’s rule of Papua through the 1969 “Act of Free Choice”. 

    Despite our embassy in the UK denying in The Guardian that the arrests took place, the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute documented them all, and holds the names of every one of the 2,109 demonstrators. Compare the figure with the 1,025 who cast ballots in what Papuans refer to as the “Act of No Choice”, out of an estimated population of 800,000 at that time.

    This is the historical reality that underpins today’s grievances about state violence, environmental degradation and suppression of free speech in Papua. Until it is addressed, the protests will continue and the numbers will continue to add up. As of May the figure stands at 2,282 peaceful demonstrators detained by police, according to the institute’s records. 

    International attention to this ongoing historical injustice is not going away either. Last week Papuans took to the streets en masse to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua ( ULMWP ) and its bid for admission as a full member of the regional intergovernmental organization, the Melanesian Spearhead Group ( MSG ). They also wanted to send a message of support to the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, due to meet the following day in London. 

    At that meeting, over 100 parliamentarians and lawyers from a score of countries announced the Westminster Declaration, rejecting the 1969 “Act of Free Choice” as a gross violation of the right to self-determination, and calling for an internationally supervised vote in Papua. Besides attendees from our neighbors Papua New Guinea and Australia, representatives came from several Pacific nations, France, the US, Sweden, New Zealand, Finland, Czech, the Netherlands and perhaps most notably British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who declared his support for “the right of people to be able to make their own choice on their own future”.

    I am not one of the purported millions of non-Papuan Indonesians hurt by Corbyn’s declaration, according to “An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn from Indonesia” published by the UK edition of The Huffington Post recently. In fact, many of my fellow Indonesians share my concern, and take action through solidarity organizations such as Papua Itu Kita ( Papua is us ). 

    As an Indonesian, let me tell you why we’re upset by what’s going on in Papua. Freedom of expression is being systematically suppressed. Proud of our national anthem, we’re sickened to learn that police tarnished it when they kicked and beat six peaceful protestors who refused to sing it while under arrest on April 12 in Papua’s Yahukimo district police station. We’re worried for a young Timika man, Steven Itlay who faces a possible life sentence for treason after leading a mass prayer in a churchyard last month in support of the ULMWP. 

    We’re angry that two people were arrested on April 25 when they were delivering a notification letter about the upcoming demonstrations to Merauke police near the border with Papua New Guinea. Likewise about the 41 people arrested in the Papuan capital of Jayapura on May 1 for distributing leaflets calling for peaceful demonstration. The list goes on.

    As long as violence, unlawful arrests, and long prison terms for “treason” are used to suppress freedom of expression in Papua, the argument made by the Indonesian Embassy in Australia ( The Jakarta Post, May 9 ) that Papuans benefit from Indonesian democracy will fall flat. Whether or not one supports independence for Papua, the right to freedom of expression, guaranteed under the Constitution, must be upheld. 

    Freedom of the press is another cornerstone of democracy under threat when it comes to Papua. Local journalists have faced harassment and violence, and Papua was mostly off-limits to the foreign media until President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised easy access in May 2015. Foreign journalists are nevertheless still being refused visas, or face long screening delays, restrictions on locations and being chaperoned by intelligence agents while in Papua. One London-based journalist recently had to wait 18 months to be granted a visa. 

    In October last year Johnny Blades and Koroi Hawkins of Radio New Zealand faced the absurd demand that they provide six recommendation letters from contacts in Papua. France 24 TV correspondent Cyril Payen’s documentary on Papua last year so angered the government that his application to visit again was refused in January.

    When journalists do visit, their interviewees can face intimidation, as with three Papuan activists led by Agus Kossay, arrested by police after they met with French journalist Marie Dhumieres last October. The year before, Martinus Yohame was kidnapped and later found dumped in the sea in a sack with his hands and feet tied, tortured and murdered after meeting French Arte Television journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat.

    Over recent years, international development organizations have been forced out of Papua, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid, and Peace Brigades International. Oxfam UK was ordered out last December, even after Jokowi’s declaration of openness.

    The ULMWP is the umbrella for many organizations across Papua and has a legitimate political and cultural mandate to represent the Papuan people. The organization holds observer status, and the Indonesian government holds associate member status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. If the government undermines and criminalizes the ULMWP, it disrespects the MSG as a diplomatic forum. 

    If however the government is seriously committed to the MSG, it should take up the MSG’s offer to mediate a peaceful dialogue between the government and ULMWP.

    President Jokowi has claimed there are no problems in Papua. Yet his actions said otherwise last week when he sent a barrage of government figures to do damage control in London: deputy speaker Fadli Zon, coordinating minister of politics Luhut Pandjaitan, and national counter-terrorism agency head Tito Karnavian all tried to damp down talk about Papua’s problems while in the UK. Last month Luhut also went to Fiji and PNG to discuss Papua.

    Sending these senior figures overseas on a face-saving mission, and sending proxies such as former East Timor president José Ramos-Horta to Papua is simply avoiding the root of the problem. 

    Last century, former foreign minister Ali Alatas described East Timor as a “pebble in the shoe” for our nation’s diplomacy. Papua will continue to be a thorn in our side until we finally listen deeply and engage in dialogue about Papuan aspirations, including self-determination.
    __________

    The writer is a public interest lawyer at the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute ( LBH Jakarta ) and a participant in the Papua Itu Kita ( Papua is Us ) movement.



    ——————————————————-
    Published On:May 17, 2016
    4) Full MSG membership for United Liberation Movement of West Papua justifiable: PM Sogavare 

    Granting of full membership status to the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMP) in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is justifiable as Indonesia had sought membership of the regional bloc to only protect its own interest other than engage in dialogue about the serious human rights issues in West Papua.

    Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare reiterated this at a press conference in Honiara Monday upon returning from Vanuatu where he had the opportunity to meet with his Vanuatu counterpart Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and a delegation of leaders from the United Liberation Front for West Papua (ULMWP) at the sidelines of the 2023 Pacific Games Bid presentation.

    One of the issues discussed in the meeting between the two Melanesian Prime Ministers is motion to be tabled by Prime Minister Salwai at the upcoming MSG Leaders’ summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea for granting of full MSG membership to ULMWP for which Prime Minister Sogavare registered his full support.

    In the meeting between Prime Minister Sogavare and the ULMWP delegation, the latter party presented a two-point petition for consideration by the MSG Chair for discussion at the upcoming leaders’ summit and these are the elevation of ULMWP’s membership of the MSG and a request to the United Nations for intervention in West Papua to neutralise the ever increasing rate of genocide there.

    Sogavare told the Press Conference that Indonesia’s apparent rejection of the resolution reached by the Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Port Moresby in 2015 for the deployment of a fact-finding mission in West Papua as well as the Indonesian President’s refusal to meet with him in his capacity as the MSG Chair to explain the position of the MSG on the issue of West Papua are very strong grounds for elevating the status of ULMP to full membership.

    “Indonesia leaves the MSG no alternatives on bringing the West Papuan issues on the table for discussion, except to elevate the status of West Papua from Observer status to full membership, so that the MSG Leaders can be able to discuss the West Papuan issues more strategically,” he said.

    Prime Minister Sogavare is adamant that Indonesia will continue to downplay West Papua human rights issues until a possible United Nations Resolution on West Papua is achieved in the future.

    He said as Chair, the MSG will take aboard such matters as priority issues to address.

    The Prime Minister said fresh accounts of on-going human rights violations in West Papua are continuing to emerge, however the Indonesian President’s refusal to meet him in Jakarta to convey the MSG’s position on West Papua is a clear indication that Indonesia has other reasons for joining MSG other than discussing West Papua human rights issues.

    He said the Indonesian President’s noncommittal attitude warrants the MSG to take the matter up to the next notch-United Nations for intervention.

    Prime Minister Sogavare said he is aware that said since the ULMWP was granted an Observer status of the MSG in 2015, the situation in West Papua became tenser, leaving the indigenous people now at the brink of extinction.

    Last week, while in Port Vila, Prime Minister Sogavare said Indonesia’s refusal of his request for dialogue gives him all the reason to take this matter back to the MSG, adding that ‘Indonesia has crossed the line so we need to take some tough stance.”.


    SOURCE: PACNEWS


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    5) PNG to Respect Indonesia’s Sovereignty over West Papua

    14 May 2016 


    The country’s permanent representative to the United Nations Assembly Ambassador Max Rai said.
    Speaking to Loop PNG in an interview, he said PNG who share a land boundary with Indonesia have always maintained a peacefully relationship since gaining independence.
    “Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in Bali some years ago stated that the issue of sovereignty is not questionable. We recognize West Papua as part of Indonesia’s sovereign territory. I will closely work with the Indonesian delegation in UN to ensure that the West Papua issues are address adequately as far as human rights are concerned,” Ambassador Rai said.
    PNG’s foreign minister, Rimbink Pato said to Radio New Zealand International on last month, PNG’s position is and has always been that the province of Irian Jaya (the old name of Papua region) is an integral part of the sovereign nation of Indonesia.

    “So we’re not interested in entertaining the issue of self-determination, because that’s never an issue for us, and that’s never a concern for us. And we’ve made it very, very clear, it’s in the heart of our bilateral relationship with Indonesia, and of course the issue of human rights in West Papua and Papua provinces and some of the other Melanesian provinces of Indonesia, “ Pato said.
    He added it’s a matter in respect of which the Pacific Island leaders Forum in Port Moresby passed a resolution last year. He told Radio New Zealand International that PNG’s prime minister has written to President Widodo and informed him of the resolution of the Pacific Island leaders.
    “And there will probably be a response to it. But that is not an issue that has to do with any call for self-determination,” Pato added. (Victor Mambor)
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    2) Sogavare declares full West Papuan membership in MSG ‘justifiable’
    ————————————————————————-
    1)  Leingkon calls for unity in West Papua freedom struggle
    Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 8:00 am
    By Thompson Marango | 0 comments

                                             By Thompson Marango
    Vanuatu Foreign Minister, Bruno Leingkon, has called for unity within countries and people who are in support of West Papua’s right to self determination.
    Leingkon was one of the two Vanuatu Government Minister’s including Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu who attended the International Parliamentarians for West Papua meeting in United Kingdom recently.
    In his speech Minister Leingkon reaffirmed Vanuatu’s clear stand on its support for the people of West Papua saying “we all want what we all believe in and that is the freedom of West Papua”.
    He said Vanuatu condemns all human rights violations in West Papua and says no to violence to fellow Melanesian “brothers and sisters”.
    “West Papua, like Vanuatu has the right to ask for genuine self determination,” said Leingkon.
    The Foreign Affairs proudly informed his colleagues of about the Vanuatu Government’s unanimous decision to support the application of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders’ Summit scheduled for this month. Leingkon spoke about the first Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Walter Lini who said that “Vanuatu would not be truly independent until all of Melanesia is free”.
    “Today we remind us all of this, our stance and belief.
    “For it is through this belief and faith that our people and societies know that the day will come when the Morning Star flag will fly high and our West Papuan families will be free in their own free state.”
    The meeting was an historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua. It was during the meeting that a new declaration was signed calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.
    Representative from countries around the world are part of the meeting including parliamentarians, lawyers and academics, all of whom discussed and affirmed the West Papuan people’s fundamental right to self-determination.
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    2) Sogavare declares full West Papuan membership in MSG ‘justifiable’
    By PMC Editor May 18, 2016

    Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (right) shakes hands with Benny Wenda as other West Papuans look on. Image: Waging Non Violence
    Granting of full membership status to the United Liberation Movement of West Papua in the Melanesian Spearhead Group is justifiable as Indonesia had sought membership of the regional bloc to only protect its own interest, says Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands.
    Indonesia has no desire to engage in dialogue about the serious human rights issues in West Papua.
    Sogavare reaffirmed these views at a media conference in Honiara after returning from Vanuatu where he had the opportunity to meet with his Vanuatu counterpart, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, and a delegation of leaders from the United Liberation Front for West Papua (ULMWP) at the sidelines of the 2023 Pacific Games bid presentation.
    One of the issues discussed in the meeting between the two Melanesian prime ministers was a motion to be tabled by Prime Minister Salwai at the upcoming MSG Leaders’ summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, for granting of full MSG membership to ULMWP.
    Prime Minister Sogavare registered his full support for this West Papua initiative.
    In the meeting between Sogavare and the ULMWP delegation, the West Papuans presented a two-point petition for consideration by the MSG chair for discussion at the upcoming leaders’ summit.
    The issues are the elevation of ULMWP’s membership of the MSG and a request to the United Nations for intervention in West Papua to neutralise the ever increasing rate of genocide there.
    Sogavare told the media conference that Indonesia’s apparent rejection of the resolution reached by the Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Port Moresby in 2015 for the deployment of a fact-finding mission in West Papua as well as the Indonesian president’s refusal to meet with him in his capacity as the MSG chair to explain the position of the MSG on the issue of West Papua are strong grounds for elevating the status of ULMP to full membership.
    ‘No alternatives’
    “Indonesia leaves the MSG no alternatives on bringing the West Papuan issues on the table for discussion, except to elevate the status of West Papua from observer status to full membership, so that the MSG Leaders can discuss the West Papuan issues more strategically,” he said.
    Prime Minister Sogavare is adamant that Indonesia would continue to downplay West Papua human rights issues until a possible United Nations resolution on West Papua is achieved in the future.
    He said as chair, the MSG would take on board such matters as priority issues to address.
    The prime minister said fresh accounts of ongoing human rights violations in West Papua are continuing to emerge.
    However, the Indonesian President’s refusal to meet him in Jakarta to convey the MSG’s position on West Papua is a clear indication that Indonesia has other reasons for joining MSG other than discussing West Papua human rights issues.
    He said the Indonesian president’s noncommittal attitude warrants the MSG to take the matter up to the next notch – the United Nations for intervention.
    Prime Minister Sogavare said he was aware that said since the ULMWP was granted an observer status of the MSG in 2015, the situation in West Papua had became more tense.
    This was leaving the indigenous people now at the brink of extinction.
    Last week, while in Port Vila, Prime Minister Sogavare said Indonesia had refused his request for dialogue gave him all the reason to take this matter back to the MSG, adding that Indonesia had crossed the line so we need to take some tough steps.

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    2) Govt to settle all human rights cases in Papua

    3) Jayawijaya Faces Humanitarian Emergency, says Father John Djonga

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    http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/papua-police-asked-to-open-aristoteles-masoka-case/

    1) Papua Police Asked to Open Aristoteles Masoka Case


    18 May 2016

                                                                       Aristoteles Masoka – Jubi
    Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Police have been urged to investigate the disappearance of Aristoteles Masoka, the driver of late Theys Eluay who was killed  by Special Force members on 18 November 2001.
    “The murder case of Theys Eluay is already closed because the perpetrators have already been punished. But the case of missing Aristoteles still remains a question until the Papua Police asked for an investigation,” said the First Deputy of the Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs Major General Yoehi Swastono in Jakarta on last week.
    He explained the order to conduct an investigation was decided as the result of a limited discussion about the documentation of human rights cases at the Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs office in Jakarta in last April.
    Separately, Commissionaire of Indonesian Human Rights Commission Sandra Moniaga justified the decision to investigate the missing of Aristoteles Masoka. According to her, the Human Rights Commission, the Indonesian Police and the Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs have recorded 12 cases of human rights violations in Papua, which must be resolved.
    “Mapenduma and Biak cases would be resolved politically through approval of the Indonesian House of Representatives, while Wamena and Wasior case would be solved under the Law 26 Year 2000, but the reconstruction of the cases must be redone. The investigation on Paniai case still continue, while some cases has been done or under legal process. And the Aristoteles Masoka case is quite unique. Papua Police Chief and Military Commander were requested to conduct an investigation on this case immediately,” said Sandra Moniaga on Tuesday (17/5/2016).
    Aristoteles’ father Yonas Masoka said his son was missing at the age of 21 years old. At that time he was a student of the second semester at the University of Jayapura Sains and Technology majoring construction engineering. He decided to work to not burden his parents by becoming Theys’ personal driver.

    “Lady, I and the Lord (late Theys Eluay) was kidnapped,” said Yonas Masok memorizing the last words of his eldest son Aristoteles Masoka before missing. He added these last words were delivered to the late Eluay’s wife  Jeanike Ohee by mobile phone. “He was only a driver. He has nothing to do with Mr. Eluay’s politic,” said Yonas Masoka. (*)

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    2) Govt to settle all human rights cases in Papua

    Kamis, 19 Mei 2016 08:11 WIB | 890 Views
    Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is committed to resolve all human rights cases in Papua by the end of this year, a senior minister said here on Wednesday.

    "I am optimistic that the human rights cases in Papua will be settled this year. The people of Papua also wish to settle the cases (and) the government will facilitate it," coordinating minister for political, security and legal affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.

    He informed that he would also involve the commander of the defense forces (TNI) in the efforts to settle the cases.

    "I do not care about the identity of the perpetrators. We will disclose all the existing information and the identity of whoever is wrong, and we will punish him," he declared.

    A commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights, Imdadul Rahmat, has said that resolving these cases should become the long-term commitment of all parties.

    "They must commit to enforce human rights in Papua so that such cases do not recur. There must be more approaches for a dialogue to deal with political stability in Papua so that Papua can enjoy real and everlasting peace acceptable to all," he explained.

    He advised that the settlement of the 12 human rights cases in Papua by the government by the end of this year must also comprehensively cover other aspects, besides social and political, such as land rights, traditional community rights and the welfare of the people of Papua.

    All the parties involved must be in unison with the government so that no institution later claims it had a different view on the matter.

    "Such commitment must be enforced through law. We must not do things in a half-hearted fashion. We have often said that we carry no burden. We must remain open," he argued.

    The settlement of the human rights cases in Papua is very important. Rahmat stated that besides proving that Indonesia is more democratic, such a move is necessary to safeguard the integrity of the unitary state of Indonesia.

    "Each case takes its own time to reach a solution and faces its own peculiar set of difficulties. We wish all such cases are settled this year," he explained.(*)

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    3) Jayawijaya Faces Humanitarian Emergency, says Father John Djonga
    17 May 2016



                                                            Nurses held a protest in Jayawijaya regency – Jubi


    Wamena, Jubi – Yap Thiem Award 2009 winner Father John Djonga warned that Jayawijaya Regency is facing a humanitarian emergency following a demonstration by midwives and other health workers in Wamena on Friday (13/5/2016).
    The protestors urged the Jayawijaya Government and Police to immediately provide a security guarantee for health workers because they are vulnerable to sexual harassment and rape.
    Father Djonga asked both Local Government and Police to respond this situation immediately.
    “I respect and support what they (midwives) have done,” he told Jubi in Wamena, Jayapura on Monday (16/5/2016).
    He said at least there are 37 cases of sexual harassment and violence towards the medical staffs working at the villages. The Police, Customary Community and the Church decided to be silenced towards this issue. “Currently the situation in Jayawijaya is on alert. The humanitarian workers such as nurses, midwives or teachers and others feel being threatened,” he said. According to him the threat of rape or murder towards medical staffs indicated the authority has failed to protect their people.
    “If the midwife was not there, the mortality rate of mothers and children might be even higher. It means the population of Papuans is threatened. So, I hope the Customary Community, the local figures to protect the medical staffs, teachers and other humanitarian activists,” he said.
    He said if the government wants to eliminate the mortality rate of mothers and children, they should protect the medical workers as well as the teachers. “Stop the bad behaviors to pretend drunk or threat to do violence or even to kill,” he said.
    Jayawijaya Police Deputy Chief Commissionaire Fransiskus Elosak said the Police have invited the district chiefs related to the attempted rape against a midwife at Libarek, Pisugi and Witawaya sub-districts. They were asked to help the Police in revealing the case by reporting the perpetrators to the Police. “If they couldn’t take the perpetrators to the Police, they must provide information to us. We are ready to arrest the perpetrators,” said the deputy chief.
    He said the number of Police personnel at Jayawijaya Police is limited although there is ‘One Police One Village’ Program of the Indonesian Police to ensure the security. Therefore he expected the replacement of medical staffs to be reviewed and coordinated with the sub-district chiefs, village chiefs and community leaders to obtain protection and security assurance from the local community. (Islami Adisubrata/rom)
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