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UN Special Rapporteur Speaks Out against Restrictions to Free Speech in Papua

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UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kiai - UN

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kiai – UN

Jayapura, Jubi – UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kai, highlighted the issue of Papua in his report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday (17/6/2016).

In the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council Plenary, he reported what was occurring in Papua is a phenomenon which has connection with cultural fundamentalism and nationalism.

He spoke of the domination of a particular culture, a particular language and even a particular tradition which is claimed superior than others.

“My report documented about the phenomenon occurring in China that restricts the rights of assembly and association of Tibetans and Uighurs; in Indonesia against the West Papuans and in other places such as India and Mauritania against the individuals considered a lower caste,” said Kiai in his report in the plenary.

He also mentioned about the significant rise of fundamentalism in the last few years, as seen in the rising popularity of many right-wing political parties, in particular in Austria, Denmark, Hungary and Switzerland.

“The fundamentalism cases initially may look different, but it has the same interest. In each case, the superiority has triggered the process of dehumanization or delegitimizing of particular groups. Gradually, these groups would lose their humanity and rights. This process can lead to devastating consequences, because history has proved it many times,” said Kiai in his report.

In addition to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur, the civil society group who concerned about Papua issue also reported the restriction of freedom of expression in Papua. Franciscans International. VIVAT International, International Coalition for West Papua, West Papua Nezwerk, Tapol, and Minority Rights Groups International, Geneva for Human Rights and The World Council of Churches urged the UN Human Rights Council for asking the Government of Indonesia to conduct investigation on the arbitrary arrests in Papua and other places. The Government of Indonesia was asked to guarantee the rights of freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and association for Papuans.

“We also ask the UN Human Rights Council to urge the Government of Indonesia to open the access on Papua for the international community and set a date for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Expression an allow other mandate holders to visit Papua,” said Budi Cahyono, the Coordinator for Asia Pacific Franciscans International Program in Geneva to Jubi through email on Sunday (19/6/2016). (Victor Mambor)

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Provincial health team takes more rest than work, says Kopkedat

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GIDI church missionaries, pastor and Kopkedat Papua provide public health services in Okmakot Village, Seradala Sub-district, Yahukimo District. – Jubi/Agus Pabika

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Humanitarian Care Community for Remote Areas Papua (Kopkedat) Yan Akobiarek states despite education, public health services in Papua’s remote areas are still an issue.

Although the provincial health office has provided services to remote areas through several health programs such as Satgas Kaki Telanjang, Save Korowai and Nusantara Sehat, these programs have not well implemented.

“I think sending teams to remote areas is a good idea, but I get the impression that some team members only come for vacation, to work less and get more rest,” said Akobiarek told Jubi by phone on Tuesday (10/7/2018). For instance, he pointed out the team of Satgas Kaki Telanjang who are supposed to provide health service to villagers in Korowai. After the Ied al-Ftir break, their members are still not returning to their duty station.

Meanwhile, Maria Duwitau, the Vice Chairman of the Commission V on education and health of the Papuan House of Representative said doing health services in Papua, in particularly remote areas, is always connecting with a commitment. “No matter how greater of the offer, but without willingness and commitment, I think it’s useless,” Duwitau told Jubi not long ago. (*)

 

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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SKP HAM urges the government to open democratic space for Papuan students

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SKP HAM in a press conference in LBH Papua office. – Jubi/LBH Surabaya.Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violation (SKP HAM) Papua urge the Indonesian Government to open democratic space for Papuan students and conduct a thorough investigation on sexual harassment by a police officer at Papuan dormitory in Surabaya on last Friday (6/7/2018).

The Coordinator of SKP HAM Peneas Lokbere said the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia of1945 in the Article 28E Paragraph 3 and the Law No. 39 of1999 on Human Rights Article 24 Paragraph 1 state, “Each person has the right to associate, assemble and express his opinions peacefully” but what have been occurred to the Alliance of Papuan Students is a violation against the constitution.

“The police and military officers and members of the civil service police unit came to student dormitory trying to stop the weekly discussion. The students also witnessed the security forces carrying long-barrier guns. It was such an ironic,” Lokbere stated in the press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (11/8/2018).

Further, he stated that according to the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Surabaya, the incident occurred when the Tambaksari Sub-district Chief accompanied by the police, military and civil service police unit of Surabaya Municipality came to the dormitory in the inspection of civil registration. “However, when students and public attorney from LBH Surabaya asked for an official letter, the sub-district chief was not able to show it.”

Meanwhile, the Director of LBH Papua Simon Pattirajawane said what have done by the security forces, in this case, is a violation against the human rights. “The Human Rights Commission should immediately form an investigation team to investigate this alleged case of intimidation, terror and racism against Papuan students in several cities in Java, including Surabaya, Malang and Yogyakarta.” (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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West Papua activists stopped by Solomons police

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Ben Didiomea displays the West Papuan flag as Indonesian staff try to usher him away. – Photo: Facebook/ Ben Didiomea

Solomon, Jubi – Solomon Islands police says they confiscated a West Papuan flag at the Melanesian Arts Festival to stop any provocation aimed at the Indonesian delegation.

Ben Didiomea had his flag taken by police over the weekend after he held it up in front of Indonesia’s festival stall to protest its inclusion at the event.

A video on Facebook shows Mr Didiomea – who was part of a group of demonstrators – holding up West Papua’s Morning Star flag as Indonesian officials tried to move him away from the stall.

He was then approached by Solomon Islands Police who confiscated the flag.

Mr Didiomea said he had been standing in solidarity with fellow Melanesian people of Indonesia’s Papua region, where the Morning Star is banned.

He said the Melanesian Arts Festival, which Honiara hosted over the last ten days, was not intended as an Asian festival.

Police issued a statement saying the flag was removed to prevent provocation of the Indonesians, reminding the demonstrators that it was not a political event.

Mr Didiomea, who along with two other demonstrators was questioned by police, said the inclusion of Indonesia at the Arts Festival was a political move by the Solomons government.

“Because it was a festival of Melanesia, Indonesia is not part of Melanesia. So why does it need an Indonesia stall at the arts festival? It’s a Melanesian festival, so what are Indonesia coming to arts festival?”

Changing relationship

According to Mr Didiomea, the police action was a sign that the country was forming a closer relationship with Indonesia.

The Solomon Islands government under prime minister Rick Hou has recently shown signs that it was pursuing a different policy regarding West Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

However after he was replaced by Mr Hou late last year, the Solomons government has been notably less vocal about West Papua human rights issues in international fora.

A visit in April by a Solomons delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta was billed as having added “balance” to the government’s view on West Papuan issues.

The Solomons government told RNZ Pacific in May that it was consulting with the provinces as it formulated an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues. (*)

 

Source: radionz.co

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