ICP News: 1st Dec Commemorations | UN speaks out on West Papua | 5 Papuans dead & many tortured | Special Autonomy: intimidation, threats & arrests PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
donderdag 03 december 2020 04:58

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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation
  • 1st December Commemorations in West Papua, Indonesia and other parts of the world
  • UN OHCHR calls for a platform for inclusive dialogue with Papuan people
  • Petition for the rejection of more special autonomy funds signed by 520,261 supporters
  • Members of Papuan Peoples' Assembly face intimidation and arrest during preparation of hearings about Papuan Special Autonomy
  • Papuan human rights defender threatened and stigmatised as separatist
  • Lethal shooting in Puncak Regency –Three more dead bodies discovered
  • Security force members allegedly shoot dead high school student in Puncak - second student injured by bullets
  • Eleven residents reportedly tortured and one Papuan woman killed after raid in Dormitory in Sentani
  • TAPOL speakers' plea: Stop funding military repression in Papua
  • Papuan musician reportedly tortured for singing pro-independence songs
  • Illegal logging in the Tambrauw Regency – NGOs demand Govt to take action against PT. Multi Wijaya Wahana
  • Military police investigate alleged burning of Government facilities in Intan Jaya
  • Treason trial against three Papuans from Maybrat in Sorong District Court
  • Korindo accused of illegally burning Papuan rainforest
  • "Papuan Lives Matter" - ELSAM launches new documentary about 2019 anti-racism protests
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1st December Commemorations in West Papua, Indonesia and other parts of the world
altOn 1st December 1961, West Papuans had taken first steps for building a national identity. Since 1969, the region is part of Indonesia. Every year, Papuans mark the 1 December anniversary with demonstrations that have in the past been met with mass arrests and violence by security forces. This year is no different, the anniversary has been so far marked by demonstrations in Indonesia and around the world. And while the UN OHCHR urges the Government of Indonesia to uphold people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, arbitrary arrest and excessive use of force are again marking the Commemorations.

UN OHCHR calls for a platform for inclusive dialogue with Papuan people
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On 30 November 2020, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of the UN has issued a statement (text and video) about the ongoing violations relating to protests against the prolongation of the autonomy law, recent killings of church workers, in particular, that of Rev. Zanambani and the ongoing political conflict in West Papua. In the statement the OHCHR also calls for a "platform for meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the people of Papua and West Papua, to address longstanding economic, social and political grievances". That statement comes one day ahead of 1. December, a day of political meaning for indigenous Papuans. OHCHR is now urging "the Government of Indonesia to uphold people's rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association in line with its international obligations, particularly ahead of 1 December, when there are often protests, tensions and arrests." Read more

Petition for the rejection of more special autonomy funds signed by 520,261 supporters
alt On 4 July 2020, a solidarity group consisting of a few movement organisations and student groups launched a petition (Petisi Rakyat Papua, PRP) against the prolongation of special autonomy funding (Otsus II) for the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. Meanwhile, 102 organisations have joined the ‘Peoples’ Solidarity for West Papua’. On 26 November 2020, the spokesperson of the solidarity group, Victor Yeimo, published a video message on social media according to which the petition was already signed by 520,261 people in and outside of West Papua. Papuan pro-government groups instantly reacted to the statement with a counter-campaign. Multiple representatives of such groups published videos on social media in which they urged the Chief of the Papuan Regional Police to prosecute Mr Yeimo immediately.

Members of Papuan Peoples' Assembly face intimidation and arrest during preparation of hearings about Papuan Special Autonomy

alt As the funding period is coming to an end, the Papuan Peoples’ Assembly (MRP) has launched a series of consultation hearings (Bhs Indonesia: Rapat Dengar Pendapat or RDP which can be translated as “meetings to listen to opinions”) to determine the aspirations of the Papuan people regarding a possible prolongation of Special Autonomy funding for the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. Article 77 of the law No. 21/2001 provides the legal foundation for “any proposals regarding the amendment of the Law” and mandates the MRP to hold RDP hearings across West Papua. The meetings were supposed to take place in all five customary areas of West Papua between 17 and 18 November 2020. They were finally cancelled because MRP members faced intimidation and obstruction by civil groups in multiple cities.

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Papuan human rights defender threatened and stigmatised as separatist
alt Papuan human rights defender, Theo Hesegem, was verbally attacked and discredited by members of the government’s customary organisation ‘Lembaga Musyawarah Adat’ (LMA) at the airport in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, on 15 November 2020. Mr Hesegem had come to monitor the security situation at the airport. The situation threatened to escalate as LMA members and sympathisers of the ‘Red White Front’ (‘Barisan Merah Putih’ or BMP) prevented a delegation of 62 people from leaving the airport building. Multiple plain cloth intelligence officers and military members recorded the incident with cell phone cameras without making any effort to deescalate the situation.
Lethal shooting in Puncak Regency –Three more dead bodies discovered
Only three days after security force members allegedly shot dead seventeen-year-old Atanius Murib and injured seventeen-year-old Manus Murib with bullets, three more bodies were found at the Limbaga Mountain, Gome District. The civil servant Akis Alom, 34, and two pupils named Wapenus Tabuni, 17, and twelve-year-old Warius Murib had been missing since 20 November 2020, the same day as security force members opened fire at Manus Murib and Atanius Murib. The three indigenous Papuans were on their way from the Agandugume District to Ilaga, the largest town in the Puncak Regency, where Wapenus and Warius went to school. Relatives assumed that they passed the Limbaga Mountain around 12.00 pm, approximately 60 to 90 minutes after the previous shooting.
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Security force members allegedly shoot dead high school student in Puncak - second student injured by bullets

The armed conflict in West Papua’s central highlands continues to deteriorate, costing the lives of innocent civilians. The latest extra-judicial killing was reported from the Papuan regency of Puncak. According to the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (JPIC Kingmi Papua) and the Papuan Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua), the two students were on their way from the town of Ilaga to their home village in the district of Agundugume on 20 November 2020. When the minors reached the Limbaga Mountain in the Gome District, they were intercepted by a group of fully armed security force members who reportedly tried to execute both minors. Seventeen-year-old Manus Murib sustained three bullet injuries as he escaped the execution while his friend, Atanius Murib, also 17, was killed on the spot.

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Eleven residents reportedly tortured and one Papuan woman killed after raid in Dormitory in Sentani
altHuman rights organisations have documented a further case of military violence against indigenous Papuans in the town of Sentani, Jayapura Regency, on 4 November 2020. According to the Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (PAHAM Papua) the Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), members of the Yonif 751 Sentani Military raided the Soloitma Dormitory and tortured eleven residents. One of the victims, Demisien Kobak, 19, was reportedly kicked in the abdomen and both thighs although she had pointed out earlier that she was sick. She died shortly after her admission to the Yowari Hospital as a result of the injuries which she sustained from the torture.
TAPOL speakers' plea: Stop funding military repression in Papua
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Campaigners at a TAPOL-hosted global webinar have called on the people of Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States and other countries to stop funding military training for Indonesian security forces who are “killing innocent West Papuans”. Rosa Moiwend, a member of the War Resisters International, said West Papuans wanted to live peacefully without any oppression by the military – this was the hope of the indigenous Melanesian people. “If your government is actually behind this scenario, I think the main thing you have to do is to go and talk to your government, Parliament members and question them about your tax money,” she said. This article has originally been published by Asia Pacific Report on 25 November 2020.

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Papuan musician reportedly tortured for singing pro-independence songs
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The Papuan musician, Kris Douw, was allegedly tortured by military members at the Kodim Military Complex in the Papuan town of Nabire on 21 November 2020. The posts contain a short narrative and photographs of Kris Douw’s injuries. He sustained multiple bruises in his face and body, including several broken teeth. According to information received, military special force members beat up Kris Douw for writing and publishing a song and a video which promote Papuan political independence and the armed struggle by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB).

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Illegal logging in the Tambrauw Regency – NGOs demand Govt to take action against PT. Multi Wijaya Wahana
alt A coalition of NGOs in the Sorong Regency demand local government and law enforcement institutions to investigate allegations of illegal logging which have reportedly been committed by the company PT. Multi Wijaya Wahana (PT. MWW) in the regency of Tambrauw. According to Charles Tawaru, the director of Papua Forest Watch (PFW), the NGOs found illegal logging practices during investigations between 2018 and 2019, which the company uses until today. The NGOs demand that PT. MWW’s logging concessions shall immediately be withdrawn if investigations confirm the allegations of illegal logging practices. PT. MWW’s logging concession had been extended twice in 2013 and 2018 ignoring strong indications for the violation of multiple laws and local regulations.
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Military police investigate alleged burning of Government facilities in Intan Jaya
The military police are investigating allegations on the deliberate arson of a public health facility during a military operation in the Hitadipa District on 19 September 2020. The operation also resulted in the execution of Rev Yeremia Zanambani. The investigation had been launched after multiple investigation teams had reported the arson to various government institutions and representatives. Currently, eight army members, namely Capt. SA, Second Lt. KT, Second Sgt. MFA, First Sgt. S, Second Sgt. ISF, Second Cpl. DP, First Pvt. MI and Second Pvt. MH. Dodik are under investigation concerning the fire which destroyed multiple buildings. The local health department had built the houses as accommodation for medical staffs.
Treason trial against three Papuans from Maybrat in Sorong District Court
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On 15 September 2020, the panel of judges launched another political trial in the Sorong District Court. The Papuan defendants: Marten Muuk, Simon Sasior and Yakobus Assem have been charged with three indictments, among them the Articles 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on criminal conspiracy and Article 106 KUHP on treason, the latter carrying a maximum penalty of live imprisonment. The three Papuans were arrested during a police raid in the regency of Maybrat, Papua Barat Province. The arrest occurred on 23 April 2020 in the Tigihmana Village of the Aifat District.

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Korindo accused of illegally burning Papuan rainforest
alt Since 2011, fires have been used to clear vast areas of forests in remote areas of the Indonesian province of West Papua, including concessions sites operated by the Indonesian-South Korean palm oil conglomerate Korindo. Forensic Architecture and Greenpeace International have examined this allegation independently and investigated whether the cause of the fires could be identified in Korindo's palm oil concessions in Papua. The investigation concluded that Korindo has been using slash and burn practices to clear rainforests in West Papua and is therefore in breach of the Indonesian law. The organisations used cutting-edge data analysis to prove the direct correlation between the appearance of fires and the expansion of Korindo's palm oil plantation in one of the company's concession areas in West Papua.
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"Papuan Lives Matter" - ELSAM launches new documentary about 2019 anti-racism protests
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The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), a Jakarta-based human rights NGO, has launched a documentary with the title “Papuan Lives Matter” on 15 November 2020. The documentary was produced in cooperation with Nalar TV, and it describes the background as well as the aftermaths of the Papua-wide protests against racial discrimination of indigenous Papuans. The demonstrations and the subsequent criminalisation campaign against protesters, human rights defenders and political activists must be regarded as one of the most significant events in Indonesia throughout 2019.
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