International Coalition for Papua e-newsletter December 2017 PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
maandag 11 december 2017 14:49

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In this edition you will find:

  • Papuan worker disappears as armed conflict near Freeport mine escalates - AI launches urgent appeal
  • ULMWP leaders' summit held in Port Vila
  • AI Indonesia demands investigation into allegations of unlawful killing
  • Assaults on local journalists throughout November
  • Mysterious shootings at Freeport continue
  • Conflict over land results in police violence
  • Military members search house of Papuan journalist without warrant
  • Security situation at Freeport deteriorates
  • Army officers torture villagers in Moso
  • 38 people die due to absence of health services

Papuan worker disappears as armed conflict near Freeport mine escalates - AI launches urgent appeal

The international human rights organisaton 'Amnesty International' has launched an urgent appeal in relation to the disappearance of Martinus Beanal, on 7 November 2017. The disappearance occurred as the armed conflict near the Freeport mine in Tembagapura of Mimika Regency intensified. According to 'Amnesty International', the Police announced that Martinus was dead and buried by his family, a claim that has been refuted by his family. Martinus Beanal's whereabouts are still unknown.
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Download the Urgent Action


ULMWP leaders' summit held in Port Vila

The first United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Leaders' Summit was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu from November 27th to December 3rd 2017. Amongst several topics was the nomination and election of the new structure of the Executive Committee of the ULMWP Leadership for the second period of the Work Term 2018-2021.
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AI Indonesia demands investigation into allegations of unlawful killing

Amnesty International Indonesia (AII) published a statement on 2 December 2017, in which the human rights organisation demanded Indonesian authorities to immediately conduct an independent, impartial and effective investigation into allegations of torture leading to the death of Ishak Yaguar in the Kimaam District of Merauke Regency, Papua Province. AII further emphasized the state's obligation to ensure justice by prosecuting the perpetrators in a fair trial and called for all cases of human rights violations and crimes under international law to be tried before civilian courts as required by international human rights treaties to which Indonesia is a party.
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Download the public statement


Assaults on local journalists throughout November

Multiple Papuan news outlets have reported two cases of violence against local journalists in the  province of Papua throughout November 2017. On 5 November 2017, 'Pasific Pos' journalist Ridwan Cholid Abubakar was attacked by a member of the Kodim/1704 Wamena military unit in Jayapura. The Hong Kong-based human rights organisation 'Asian Human Rights Commission' (AHRC) reported that six days after the incident, a group of at least six police officers of Mimika Police Office (Polres Mimika) ill-treated 'OKE Zone' journalist Saldi Hermanto. The reason for the attack was a Facebook post in which Saldi allegedly criticized the performance of the local police in securing the outbreak of chaos during a public entertainment show at the Timika night market, resulting in public panic among the crowd.
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Mysterious shootings at Freeport continue

A series of shootings between 'Police Mobile Brigade' (BRIMOB) forces and an unknown armed group has again been reported from the Freeport mining area in Tembagapura of Mimika Regency. Throughout the past 15 years, similar incidents had repeatedly occurred in various locations along the connecting road to the Freeport mining site and cost the lives of dozens of security force members and Freeport personnel, including foreigners. However, the shootings had become less frequent throughout the past years and almost stopped throughout 2015 and 2016.
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Conflict over land results in police violence

The NGO Pusaka has reported that the illegal expansion of a oil palm plantation owned by the company PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) of the ANJ Group has resulted in multiple cases of intimidation and violence against indigenous land owners of Puragi village, Metamani sub-district, South Sorong Regency of Papua Barat Province. The indigenous land owners erected "customary land blockades" after the company had cleared forest areas beyond the boundaries of their concession area since September 2017. The company has not carried out its obligation to hold a meeting with the community to reach an agreement about the status of the land, and compensation for any ways they have been disadvantaged or lost sources of livelihood, including forest products and food sources. The company has ignored customary laws as well as community demands and continues to clear and destroy the forest.
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Military members search house of Papuan journalist without warrant

Various independent Papuan media outlets reported that six plain cloth military members came to the house of 'Suara Papua' journalist Stevanus Yogi in Enarotali, Paniai Regency around 12.00 am on the 17 October 2017. The three military officers entered his house without asking for permission or showing a warrant to him. They checked each room inside the house, while the other three officers were guarding the yard in front of the house. According to Stevanus Yogi, the military members were armed with bayonet knives and stated that they were allegedly searching for a thief.

However, the local journalist understood the incident as an act of intimidation against him, explaining that the security force members only targeted his house in the area.
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Security situation at Freeport deteriorates

Tensions in the armed conflict at the Freeport mining area in Tembagapura of Mimika Regency have increased after one further 'Police Mobile Brigade' (BRIMOB) officer was killed on 14 November 2017 during exchange of fire with members of the Papuan Liberation Army (TPN). One police officer and a Freeport employee sustained bullet wounds during the fire fight. The TPN unit under command of general Ayub Waker (see top-left image) has claimed responsibility for the ongoing armed clashes at the Freeport mining area since mid-October 2017. During the past weeks, the group uploaded a statement and several videos on the internet. The Papuan Regional Police (POLDA Papua) published a search list with 21 names in response to the videos.

Some villages in the surrounding area of Tembagapura were cut-off from supplies because the security situation along the connecting road to Timika had become more tense during past weeks.
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Army officers torture villagers in Moso

The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Christian Protestant Church in Papua (GKI di Tanah Papua) have reported multiple incidents in which members of the Yonif Para Raider 432 Kostrad Makasar military unit allegedly tortured villagers in Moso Village of the Muara Tami District, Jayapura Municipality.

On 4 October 2017, four fully armed army officers unlawfully arrested the villagers named Nolbet and Zakheus at 9.00 pm, after the two young men had disturbed other villagers under the influence of alcoholic drinks. The officers also went to the house of teacher Thomas Manufandu, entered the house without showing a warrant and arbitrarily arrested his son Kostan Manudandu as he was sleeping in his room.
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38 people die due to absence of health services

A further case of negligence of health care services has been reported by local human rights activists in the districts of Semenage and Werima of Yahukimo Regency in the central highlands of Papua Province. Between May and August 2017, 38 villagers had died of multiple sicknesses due to the absence of health services in the districts. The exact cause of death is not known but the human rights activists stated that all victims reported similar symptoms, among them coughing, flu, diarrhea, high fever and back aches.

The head of the Papuan Provincial Government Health Agency, Mr Alysius Giyai confirmed the deaths of 38 villagers, consisting of 22 males and 16 females. According to Mr Giyai, the victims suffered Bronchopneumony, TBC or other bronchial infections, as well as diarrhea, malaria and HIV/AIDS.  The lack of health services had forced the villagers to walk several days to the highlands city of Wamena, where the nearest hospital is located.
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