ICP News: Outrage in Merauke over church and palm oil | Quarterly Update | Indigenous Papuan tortured | KNPB activist arrested PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
donderdag 21 januari 2021 12:56

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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation
  • Human Rights Update West Papua - 4th Quarter 2020
  • Extensive public support for indigenous Papuans againts the Tambrauw Military Base
  • Top Indonesian palm oil developments in 2020
  • Cooperation between the Archdiocese of Merauke and palm oil company causes outrage
  • Attorney General establishes special team to settle 13 cases of gross human rights violations
  • KNPB activist arrested and detained – LBH Papua condemn procedural violations
  • Security force members torture indigenous Papuan on New Year’s Eve
  • Papua sawmill loses legality certification over allegations of forged permit
  • Update on law enforcement process in multiple cases of human rights violations in Intan Jaya
  • Security forces and right-wing groups prevent peaceful ‘Trikora’ demonstration in Jakarta

Human Rights Update West Papua - 4th Quarter 2020
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Statistical data on extra-judicial killings and torture do not show significant changes throughout the fourth quarter of 2020. Both figures remain high. The majority of extra-judicial killings in West Papua are related to security force raids in the central highlands. The armed conflict entails a new pattern of violations, namely enforced disappearances, which exclusively occur with military incursions. Human rights defenders have estimated that the armed conflicts in the regencies of Mimika, Intan Jaya and Nduga have resulted in the internal displacement of at least 60,000 persons. The vast majority of them are indigenous Papuans. The local and central government continue to neglect the humanitarian crisis in Papua's central highlands. Hence most IDPs do not have access to food, healthcare, education and other humanitarian services. At the same time, the ongoing security force operations prevent them from returning home.

Extensive public support for indigenous Papuans againts the Tambrauw Military Base
altAccording to the lawyer representing indigenous Papuan land owners (hak ulayat) from the Abun Tribe Customary Foundation (Lamasa), Yohanis Mambrasar, the refusal of residents of Tambrauw Regency for the establishment of the Tambrauw District Military Base (KODIM) has received support from various parties. Mambrasar claimed that 38 civil society organizations and three human rights activists expressed support. The construction of the military base, which was inaugurated on 14 December 2020, has been opposed by the community. Mambrasar said that the communities grouped under the Tambrauw Peace Loving Intellectual Youth Forum (FIMTCD), say that constructing a new Kodim is not in accordance with the community's needs. He said in a press release received by CNN Indonesia on 3 January, that they are urging President Jokowi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR), the West Papua Governor, the Speaker of the West Papua DPR, the Tambrauw Regent and the Speaker of the Tambrauw DPR to coordinate with the Indonesian Military (TNI) to cancel the construction of the Tambrauw Kodim.

Top Indonesian palm oil developments in 2020
alt In the last years, palm oil companies have been turning more and more to Papua for plantation expansion, logging and clearing millions of hectares of pristine rainforest. As part of its year-in-review series, Mongabay has published an extensive assessment of the main events related to the palm oil industry in Indonesia. The country's new palm oil frontier, in the forests of Papua, is tainted by allegations of falsified permits and violence against Indigenous communities. At the same time, new legislation exempts plantation operators from environmental requirements and allows for the whitewashing of illegal plantations in forests.

Cooperation between the Archdiocese of Merauke and palm oil company causes outrage

altUCA News has reported that the Merauke Archdiocese in Indonesia's Papua province is set to receive billions of rupiah through a collaboration with an environmentally controversial palm oil company, sparking strong protests from local Catholics. Protesters said they felt marginalized by the presence of the palm oil company, PT Tunas Sawa Erma, and its deforestation, saying this cooperation showed that the archdiocese is insensitive to their struggles. Archbishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi signed an letter of intent on 5 January with the manager of the firm, a subsidiary of the Korindo Group, and a joint Indonesian and South Korean venture. The company handed over 800 million rupiah (US$56,600), part of a 2.4 billion rupiah commitment to be given in stages over three years. Tabloid Jubi has also published an article on the topic, interviewing with environmentalist Agustinus Mahuze on the same topic.


Attorney General establishes special team to settle 13 cases of gross human rights violations
The Attorney General’s office has formed a special team to accelerate the legal processing of 13 alleged gross human rights violations in Indonesia. Its establishment followed President Jokowi’s instruction to accelerate the settlement of past human rights violations during a meeting on 10 December 2020, the International Human Rights Day. The team consists of 18 Attorney General staffers who should identify legal shortcomings for each of the cases and overcome the long-lasting discord between the Attorney General’s office and the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM). Komnas HAM has carried out investigations into all 13 cases. However, the claims were never processed by the Attorney General’s office, arguing that the case files were incomplete.

KNPB activist arrested and detained – LBH Papua condemn procedural violations
alt Police officers arrested the chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) local branch in Intan Jaya, Nataniel Tipagau, on 4 January 2021 in front of the Yapis University Campus in Jayapura. According to the Papuan Police Chief, Paulus Waterpauw, the police was already looking for Nataniel Tipagau since January 2020 for alleged violation of Article 1(1) of the Emergency Law No. 12/1951 on illegal use, possession or distribution of firearms. The Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) raised concerns over allegations of various procedural violations during his arrest and detention. LBH Papua will provide legal support for Tipagau but could not meet him during detention.

Security force members torture indigenous Papuan on New Year’s Eve
alt The ICP has received credible information about the torture of 22-year-old Petrus Tebai in the village of Mauwa, Dogiyai Regency, on New Year’s Eve. Petrus Tebai was inside his house as he heard people arguing in one of the neighbouring huts. Around midnight, he went out to look where the sound was coming from, as a group of security force members intercepted Petrus Tebai and allegedly beat him up until he lost consciousness. The informants stated that Mr Tebai also sustained a bullet injury as one of the officers shot at him.
Papua sawmill loses legality certification over allegations of forged permit
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Since late 2019, a series of allegations of fake permits involving major certified timber operations has been raised, indicating that illegal logging operations had been officially certified and are legal under Indonesia’s timber verification scheme. These operations are linked to widespread deforestation and corruption in Indonesia. The revocation of Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries' (TJTI) legality certificate in August 2020 was the one of the latest development in this long-running faked permits fiasco surrounding sawmills and palm oil projects. In December 2020, Mongabay published an extensive review of the latest developments and particularly about the Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries.

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Update on law enforcement process in multiple cases of human rights violations in Intan Jaya

alt The Commander of the Army Military Police, Dodik Widjanarko, has promised to settle multiple human rights violations related to ongoing military operations in the Papuan highland regency of Intan Jaya. During a press conference held in Jakarta on 23 December 2020, he informed the public about the current status of law enforcement operations in four cases of human rights violations in Intan Jaya. The military police have launched investigations into (1) the arson of government health facilities in the Hitadipa district on 19 September 2020, (2) the shooting of catholic catechist Agustinus Duwitau on 7 October 2020, (3) the enforced disappearance of Luther Zanambani and Apinus Zanambani on 21 April 2020 and (4) the torture and extra-judicial execution of Rev. Yeremia Zanambani on 21 September 2020. Widjanarko emphasised that all military law enforcement institutions will settle the cases following legal provisions and applicable procedures. He promised that the military would ensure full transparency in all law enforcement processes.
Security forces and right-wing groups prevent peaceful ‘Trikora’ demonstration in Jakarta alt

Joint security forces and multiple right-wing groups have prevented Papuan students from holding a peaceful demonstration in commemoration of Jakarta's Trikora speech. On 19 December 1961, Indonesia’s first president Soekarno held the Trikora Speech. He expressed Indonesia’s claims regarding the former Dutch colony of Nederlands Nieuw Guinea; today commonly referred to as West Papua. Supporters of the Indonesian Peoples’ Front for West Papua (FRI WP) and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) met in central Jakarta on 19 December 2020, around 12.30 pm, and began to walk towards the presidential palace.

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About the ICP

Human Rights and Peace for Papua is an international coalition of faith-based and civil society organisations (the Coalition) addressing the serious human rights condition in West Papua and supporting a peaceful solution to the conflict there. West Papua (Papua) refers to the western half of the New Guinea island in the Pacific and comprises the eastern most provinces of Indonesia. Indigenous Papuans are suffering from a long and ongoing history of human rights violations and security forces subject them to violence including killings, torture and arbitrary arrests. Impunity prevails. A lack of adequate access to health care and education as well as demographical and economical marginalisation and discrimination mark the living condition for Papuans. A heavy presence of Indonesian security forces, lack of access for international observers such as journalists, corruption and transmigration from other parts of Indonesia aggravate the situation. Political prisoners and the persecution of political activists shows the extent of repression with which freedom of expression and indigenous peoples’ rights are being violated. Papua’s wealth in natural resources attracts businesses and security forces resulting in exploitation through mining, logging, harmful agricultural projects, and environmental degradation. This dynamic challenges traditional indigenous culture while Papuans demand their right to self-determination.
visit our website at www.humanrightspapua.org