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UN Committee have requested Indonesia to formally respond to allegations of racial violence

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Anastasia Crickley speaking at the Donegal Traveller Project 20th Anniversary event in the Regional Cultural Centre - Clive Wasson

Anastasia Crickley speaking at the Donegal Traveller Project 20th Anniversary event in the Regional Cultural Centre – Clive Wasson

Jayapura, Jubi – The request made by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to Indonesia to formally respond to allegations of racial violence and discrimination against Papuans by November is a sign that the attitude of the UN to West Papua’s case is beginning to change.

Pacific Islands Association of NGOs executive director, Emele Duituturaga expressed these sentiments following UN CERD chair, Anastasia Crickley’s notification to Indonesia’s UN Permanent Representative, Triyono Wibowo that the committee’s recent session had considered allegations of killings and violence of indigenous Papuans in West Papua.

“I write to inform you that in the course of its 90th session, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has considered, under its early warning and urgent action procedure, allegations of excessive use of force, arrests, killings and torture of persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people in West Papua, Indonesia, and allegations of discrimination against this people, that have been brought to its attention by a non-governmental organization,” Ms Crickley stated in the October 3rd dated correspondence.

“Reportedly, between April 2013 and December 2014, security forces killed 22 persons during demonstrations and a number of persons have also been killed or injured since January 2016. It is alleged that, in May 2014, more than 470 persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people were arrested in cities of West Papua during demonstrations against extraction and plantation activities.”

The letter stated, “… Such arrests have reportedly increased since the beginning of 2016 amounting to 4000 between April and June 2016 and have included human rights activists and journalists. Such acts have reportedly never been investigated and those responsible have gone unpunished.”

“The submission claims that repression of persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people is the result of a misinterpretation and lack of a correct implementation of the Special Autonomy Law by local and national authorities of Indonesia. The submission also claims that actions by security forces constitute violations of the rights of freedom of assembly and association.”

Duituturaga said the committee’s specific requests for information indicates how seriously it is treating the allegations made by civil societies to the UN about the treatment of indigenous West Papuans by the Indonesian government.

“CERD has given Indonesia until 14 November to provide information on its response to the allegations, the status of implementation of the Special Autonomy Law in West Papua, measures taken to ensure the effective protection of indigenous people in West Papua from arbitrary arrests and detentions as well as deprivation of life,” she said.

Indonesia has also been requested to report on measures taken to ensure that indigenous people from West Papua effectively enjoy their rights to freedom of assembly and association including persons with dissenting opinions, measures taken to investigate allegations of excessive use of force by security forces including killings and steps taken to improve access to education of Papuan children in West Papua in particular those living in very remote areas by the UN CERD.

“Indonesia is not only the third largest democracy in the world, they are an emerging economic powerhouse but their inability to apply democratic principles in West Papua threatens their credibility with the international community.”

“The ball is in their court now and Pacific civil societies are eagerly awaiting November 14 alongside UN CERD to read their response,” Duituturaga said. (*)

Headlines

KNPB supports Kanaky for self-determination

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KNPB and Gempar Papua activists at the Secretariat of Central KNPB. – Jubi / Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – Central West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a limited discussion to support FKLNS (Organization of the Liberation Struggle of the Kanaky Tribe in New Caledonia) which has been well received by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to conduct a referendum in November 2018.

The First Chairman of Central KNPB Agus Kosay said it’s time for Kanaky to get self-determination from French colonialism.

“Kanaky must declare their self-determination. If Kanaky gets their independence, it would be able to give their support to West Papua because we share the same situation, which lives under the colonialism,” he said on Wednesday (08/12/2018) in Jayapura.

Meanwhile a member of Gempar (Papuan Youth and Student Movement) Nelius Wenda said as a nation oppressed by Indonesia, West Papua fully supports the referendum agenda of New Caledonia.

“Kanaky must determine their destiny. It must be far better than being under the French colonialism. In the future we Papuans are just like Kanaky,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Headlines

In Papuan human rights context, Jokowi considered no different from Prabowo

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Papuan students and youth are arrested by the police on Tuesday (4/9/2018) in a rally to support Vanuatu to bring up the issue of West Papua in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). – Jubi / Doc.

Jayapura, Jubi – The current president of Indonesia Joko Widodo is considered to be no different from Prabowo in Human Rights violations in Papua.

If Prabowo recognised as a perpetrator of human rights violations in Papua, Widodo considered allowing violent conflicts and human rights violations in Papua to continue. Now both will compete in the Indonesian presidential election 2019.

“For us from Mimika District, Jokowi is no different from Prabowo. Why? If Prabowo is a perpetrator of human rights violation in Papua, the current president Jokowi knows about these violations but let it happened repeatedly,” said Odizeus Beanal, the Director of Amungme Tribal Society (Lemasa) told Jubi on Tuesday (11/9/2018) while mentioning some cases of human rights violations occurred in Paniai, Timika, Ndugama and other regions.

Today the allegations of human rights violations in Papua still continue. Some violent incidents against civilians that resulted in casualties and arrests of random people still occur under the current administration.

The Amnesty International Indonesia has recorded 38 cases of extrajudicial killings from 2014 to mid-2018 that confirmed 51 victims. This report launched in mid-July 2018.

Government efforts and victims rejection

The Indonesian government through the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security has formed an integrated team whose task to collect data and information, make analyses and report to the president. The team who consist of 39 members from Papua and Jakarta established in May 2018 as an integrated team to resolve cases of alleged human right violations in Papua. However, it obtained rejection from many Papuans to consider them as not neutral.

“It is impossible to accept those who suspected as perpetrators to become referees. Furthermore, we know this team facilitated by the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security who has a military background. From the beginning, the Police has supported this team. So how could we believe them?” said Peneas Lokbere, the Coordinator of United for Truth (BUK).

According to Lokbere, who continuously are accompanying victims of Papuan human rights violations, the team only maintained the strategy of former minister Wiranto who at that time suggested that the alleged human rights violations in Papua resolved through the customary law.

Moreover, he said until now there are hundreds of victims of human rights violations in Papua who still fight for justice. For instance, the family of victims of the Bloody Paniai incident of December 8th, 2014. The number of victims might be up to thousands because these alleged human rights violations have occurred since Indonesia annexed Papua in the 60s.

“Jokowi once expressed in front of five thousand more Papuans at Mandala Stadium in Jayapura that he would immediately resolve the Bloody Paniai case. But it was only a promise, “said Tinus Pigai, a relative of Apinus Gobai who was the victim of the incident at Karel Gobai Square, Paniai.

According to him, Jokowi’s visits to Papua were in vain, because he had not been able to fulfil his promise to resolve the Bloody Paniai case. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Economy

Legislator urges PT BIA Inti Agrindo to stop cheating

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The location of future palm oil factory in Muting sub-district. – Jubi / Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – Regional Representative Council (DPRD) of Merauke District speak up after people’s action to block the location of a planned palm oil factory owned by PT BIA Inti Agrindo.

“I fully support the landowners, because it is their rights after the company ignored to listen to them,” said a local legislator of Merauke District Hendrikus Hengky Ndiken on Thursday (08/30/2018).

Further, he reminds the company to not cheating on people. If the community blocks their land, the company must respect and should not obstruct it.

Meanwhile, a member of Papua People’s Assembly (MRP) John Wob stress that MRP would bring the results of the visit in Muting sub-district to the plenary meeting of MRP.

“It recommends that the palm oil factory must be stopped because if it operates, the company will discharge their waste automatically into the Kouw River. It is sure that the water, which is the source of the community’s livelihood, would be polluted.” (*)

 

Reporter: Frans L Kobun

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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