Thursday, September 29, 2016

1) West Papua remains a part of Indonesia: PNG Govt


2) Melanesian Solidarity Summit Today

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1) West Papua remains a part of Indonesia: PNG Govt


10:50 pm GMT+12, 28/09/2016, Papua New Guinea


The Papua New Guinea Government has reiterated its stance on the West Papua issue, saying that the Papua Province remains an integral part of  Indonesia.
 
This follows the attendance of the PNG delegation led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, to the United Nations General Assembly meeting where several Pacific Island nations raised the West Papua issue.
 
Minister Pato responded, during a media conference, saying that PNG’s position has been clear as announced during various regional meetings.
 
“We have a very strong relationship with government and people of Indonesia, we have a whole range of agreements and treaties that govern our relationship,” said Pato.
 
“So our position is that as far as West Papua or the Papua Province is concerned, they remain an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia.”
 
Minister Pato said human rights abuse allegations and the issue of self-determination can be raised through the proper forums in accordance with the principles of international law.
 
“There are institutions globally, including the UN systems, who will deal with those issues and we don’t have an issue with that, I don’t think Indonesia has an issue with that,” said Pato.
 
“These are matters that we agree that need to be looked at.

SOURCE: LOOP VANUATU/PACNEWS
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http://dailypost.vu/news/melanesian-solidarity-summit-today/article_286ac5b5-b3e6-503a-98cc-8bd2d49bd447.html


2) Melanesian Solidarity Summit Today

  • By Godwin Ligo
  •  

1) Listening to the Pacific beat on Papua


2) UN to grill RI on rising rights abuses
3) Amnesty wants security for Papuan leader 
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1) Listening to the Pacific beat on Papua
Budi Hernawan
Jakarta | Thu, September 29 2016 | 08:07 am

Defiance: A Papuan activist shouts slogans during a demonstration to commemorate the West Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch rule in Jakarta on Dec. 1, 2015. The Police fired tear gas to disperse more than 100 Papuan protesters during the rally.(JP/DMR)


      In an unprecedented move, seven UN member states from the Pacific raised their concerted voices on Papua during the prestigious 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York this week.
      Nauru started the intervention by highlighting the issue of human rights violations in Papua, followed by a newcomer in the discourse of Papua: the Marshall Islands.
      Vanuatu, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands followed suit and went one step further by specifically highlighting the issue of the right to self-determination for Papuans. Tonga emphasised the gravity of the problem and Palau, another novice, called for constructive dialogue with Indonesia to solve the Papua issue.
      This was a historic moment for us as we have never had such unified high-profile intervention when it comes to the issue of Papua at the UN. Perhaps the only lone ranger used to be Vanuatu, which tried to break the silence of the UN fora.
      This week’s debate at the UN General Assembly might remind us of a similar but much more colorful debate on Papua at the assembly in 1969, when the forum decided to close the chapter on Papua by accepting the result of the Act of Free Choice.
      If in 1969 some African countries expressed opposition to the assembly’s decision to adopt the result of the 1969 Act of Free Choice for Papuans, today the Pacific nations are taking the lead.
      Indonesia’s response, however, was highly predictable. Repeating the slogan of territorial integrity and sovereignty, the government’s response unfortunately does not provide us with facts and evidence of the improvement in the human rights situation in Papua.
      It may be remembered that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised to solve the killing of four high-school students in Paniai on Dec. 8, 2014. The investigation into the case has been delayed for almost two years and we have not seen much progress.
      The families of the victims recall that at least eight government institutions sent their respective fact-finding team to interview victims on the ground and personnel of the Army, the Papua Police, the National Police, the Air Force, the Papua Legislative Council, the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK), the Office of Coordinating Security, Political and Legal Affairs Minister, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). None of these teams, however, has ever published their report for public consumption.
      Similarly, the dossiers on the Wasior killings of 2001 and the Wamena case of 2003 have been pending for more than a decade at the Attorney General once Komnas HAM finished its investigation. These were not ordinary crimes but crimes against humanity, one of the most serious crimes punishable by Indonesian and international law. Unfortunately, both Komnas HAM and the Attorney General’s Office have argued over evidence and procedure for years.
      Komnas HAM insists that it has provided conclusive evidence and has followed proper procedure. On the other hand, the Attorney General’s Office has argued that Komnas HAM has not met the requirement of a pro-justice investigation as investigators did not take an oath as required by the Criminal Law Procedures Code. Both institutions have overlooked the fact that victims continue to suffer.
      Memories are still fresh on the surge in the arrests of Papuan youth when they took to the streets to express their opinions in public despite a constitutional guarantee of the right to do so.
      The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) documented that at least 4,587 individuals, men and women, were arrested by the police for expressing their political views in 13 cities, namely Dekai, Fakfak, Jakarta, Jayapura, Kaimana, Makassar, Malang, Manado Manokwari, Merauke, Sentani, Wamena and Yogyakarta.
      While most of the arrestees were released within 24 hours, the deployment of police in 13 jurisdictions across the country would not have been possible without the blessing of the National Police top brass.
      While we were grappling with human rights conditions in Papua, we were shocked by the President’s decision to appoint Gen. (ret) Wiranto as the coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister.
      In February 2003, the UN-sponsored Special Panels for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court, Timor Leste, indicted Gen. Wiranto, then the Indonesian defense and security minister and Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) commander for crimes against humanity in connection with the events in Timor Leste in 1999.
      As we were yet to recover from the President’s unfathomable choice, we were presented with another unprecedented decision when the Indonesian Military TNI chief named Maj. Gen. Hartomo to lead the military’s Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS).
      Hartomo was the commander of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) Tribuana X unit assigned to Papua when Theys Eluay was murdered. Hartomo and six other Kopassus officers were charged with Theys’ murder on National Heroes Day in 2001. He and his team were found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison by the Surabaya Military Court and discharged from the Army.
      These all are simple facts that tell us the way our government commits to human rights in Papua and elsewhere, which the Indonesian delegation to the UN General Assembly describes as “robust and active”.
      _______
      The writer, who obtained his PhD from the Australian National University, lectures in international relations at the Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy, Jakarta.
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      2) UN to grill RI on rising rights abuses
      Hans Nicholas Jong
      Jakarta | Thu, September 29 2016 | 08:52 am

      The government is expected to have a hard time defending its human rights record in front of the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) after a group of civil society organizations submitted a condemnatory report to the UN.

      The group, consisting of human rights organizations such as the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), submitted last week 15 reports, which detailed the government’s failure to protect human rights.

      The UPR is the first international human rights mechanism to address all countries and all human rights by periodically examining the human rights performance of all 193 UN member states every four-and-a-half years.

      It is a compulsory mechanism for any UN member, regardless of its size or influence.

      The UPR working group is expected to use the submitted report from the civil society groups as a reference for when Indonesia’s human rights record will be reviewed in its third session, to be held in Geneva in May 2017. “The first report is a general report that highlights human rights violation cases in Indonesia,” HRWG executive director Muhammad Hafiz said.

      In general, the government has done a poor job in protecting human rights as it only followed up 20 percent of the UPR’s recommendations, made after Indonesia was last reviewed in 2012, he said.

      Indonesia received 180 recommendations, of which 144 were accepted by the government and the remaining 36 recommendations are set to be reviewed for further consideration. 

      There were some recommendations that were fully implemented, such as ratifying international conventions on migrant workers and on disabled people, Hafiz said.

      Other recommendations, meanwhile, were only partially implemented, such as revising the bill on religious harmony, which was undertaken by the Religious Affairs Ministry in 2014, only for the revision process to get bogged down, he added.

      Another recommendation that was not followed up was related to the issue of abuse of the freedoms of expression and religion, a problem that has been escalating in recent years.

      A religious freedom watchdog, the Wahid Institute, recorded 190 violations of freedom of religion and faith in 2015, a 23 percent increase from 154 cases in 2014. The violations were mostly in the form of sealing places of worship and the prohibition of their construction, as well as obstructing celebrations or the performance of rituals of certain faiths.

      Abuse of freedom of religion also comes in the form of discriminatory bylaws, as there are 57 bylaws across the country that discriminate against certain religious groups and could endanger the country’s pluralism, according to data from rights group Setara Institute.

      With the government failing to implement most of the UPR’s recommendations as well as recent developments on human rights violation cases, such as the government’s decision to expedite the execution of death row convicts, Indonesia will have an even more difficult time answering questions from the UPR, ICJR executive director Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono said.

      “There must have been a lot of critical questions for Indonesia, such as the use of the death penalty and makar [treason] in Papua,” he told The Jakarta Post.

      Supriyadi was referring to the Indonesian authorities’ decision to use articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code to criminalize dozens of peaceful Papuan pro-independence political activists over the last decade.

      During the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Pacific countries expressed their deep concern over continuing human rights violations in West Papua and called on the UN to take concrete measures to address the matter and urged the Indonesian government to solve the problems.

      The statements were strongly rejected by Indonesia’s delegation, saying that the criticism was politically motivated and designed to draw attention away from problems in their own countries.

      Nara Masista Rakhmatia, an official at Indonesia’s permanent mission to the UN, accused the countries of interfering in Indonesia’s national sovereignty.

      “Their politically motivated statements were designed to support separatist groups in the said provinces, who have consistently engaged in inciting public disorder and in conducting armed terrorist attacks,” she said.

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      3) Amnesty wants security for Papuan leader 
      8:19 pm today 
      Amnesty International has urged the Indonesian and local authorities in Papua to implement immediate and effective measures to ensure security of Agustinus Aud, 
      who is the spokesperson of the West Papuan National Committee.
      This follows reports of a weekend abduction attempt by about 10 men in plain clothes, who claimed to be police.
      The report says after some of the men had smashed some parts of his window, Mr Aud saw that two of the men were armed with rifles.
      He reportedly refused to come out and managed to make a phone call to his friends asking them to immediately come to his house.
      As soon as they arrived, the men left.
      Amnesty has called for a full and impartial investigation into the attempted abduction and other threats against Mr Aud, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials.
      This incident comes amid a debate at the UN over human rights violations committed by Indonesian forces with impunity.

      Wednesday, September 28, 2016

      New West Papuan report on ULMWP web link

      AI URGENT ACTION POLITICAL ACTIVIST ESCAPED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT


      UA: 218/16 Index: ASA 21/4893/2016 Indonesia Date: 27 September 2016

      URGENT ACTION
      POLITICAL ACTIVIST ESCAPED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT

      On 24 September, men in plain clothes attempted to abduct Papuan political activist Agustinus Aud at his home in Sorong, West Papua Province. He has been very active organising peaceful demonstrations to criticise Indonesian policies in Papua.

      On 24 September at around 3am, the house of Agustinus Aud, the spokesperson of KNPB’s (the West Papuan National Committee) Sorong branch, was surrounded by at least 10 plain clothed men whose faces were covered with scarves and claimed to be police officers. They banged on his door and windows, shouting orders for him to come out. After some of the men had smashed some parts of his window, Agustinus Aud saw that two of the men were armed with rifles. He refused to come out and managed to make a phone call to his friends asking them to immediately come to his house. Agustinus Aud thought that he would be abducted and later be killed as happened to Martinus Yohame, another KNPB Sorong member, in August 2014.

      At 4am, six of Agustinus Aud’s friends arrived at his house and saw that there were at least 10 men with guns and rifles near his house with a minibus and three motorcycles. As soon as they arrived, the men left. In the last few months, Agustinus Aud had organised many press conferences and peaceful demonstrations to support a peaceful Papuan pro-independence umbrella group, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to be accepted as a full member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a sub-Pacific intergovernmental organization. He has also raised concern about many human rights violations committed by the security forces in Papua.

      The attempt to abduct Agustinus Aud highlights the unsafe environment faced by political activists in the Indonesian province of Papua and the ongoing impunity for human rights violations by security forces.

      Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language:
       Urging the Indonesian and local authorities in Papua to implement immediate and effective measures to ensure the safety, personal security and wellbeing of Agustinus Aud, in accordance with his wishes; Calling on the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the attempted abduction and other threats against Agustinus Aud, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials;
       Urging the Indonesian authorities to ensure people in the country’s Papuan region are able to freely express their ideas and opinions without fear of punishment, reprisal or intimidation.

      PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 8 NOVEMBER 2016 TO:
      Head of National Police
      General Tito Karnavian
      National Police Headquarters
      Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3, Kebayoran Baru Jakarta Selatan 12110

      Indonesia
      Fax: +62 (0)21 7200 669/721 8741 Email: mabes@polri.go.id 
      Salutation: Dear General

      Chief of Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Teten Masduki
      Gedung Bina Graha
      Jl. Veteran No. 16

      Jakart Pusat 10110 Indonesia
      Fax: +62 (0)21 345 0009 Email: webmaster@ksp.go.id

      And copies to:
      Chairperson National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Imdadun Rahmat
      Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B, Menteng Jakarta Pusat 10310
      Indonesia
      Fax: +62 (0)21 392 9227
      Email: info@komnasham.go.id Twitter: @komnasham
         
      Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. HIS EXCELLENCY DR RIZAL SUKMA, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, 38 Grosvenor Square W1K 2HW, 02074997661, Fax 02074914993, kbri@btconnect.com, www.indonesianembassy.org.uk, Salutation: Your Excellency
      Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
      URGENT ACTION
      POLITICAL ACTIVIST ESCAPED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT
      ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
      The rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a state party, as well as in Indonesian Constitution and national legislation. However, the authorities continue to use criminal law against peaceful political activities and to detain people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly, conscience and religion.

      Dozens of peaceful political activists, including members of KNPB, are currently detained in the Papuan region (provinces of Papua and West Papua), some sentenced to as long as 20 years’ imprisonment, for attending, organizing or participating in peaceful political activities or protests, or possessing, raising or waving the prohibited pro-independence ‘Morning Star’ flag of Papua. Many of those arrested are charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 (crimes against the security of the state) of Indonesia’s Criminal Code.
      In April 2016, Steven Itlay, head of KNPB’s Timika branch, was charged with “rebellion” and could face up to life imprisonment (see: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/3797/2016/en/). In July 2016, two Papuan political activists in Timika, Yanto Awerkion and Sem Ukago, were also charged with rebellion” and could face up to life imprisonment.

      Amnesty International has also documented the use of excessive force and firearms as well as torture and other ill-treatment against political activists and others accused of links to pro-independence groups. Accountability for such acts is rare, and at most security personnel receive disciplinary sanctions. See other Amnesty International’s documents on this issue: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/3010/2015/en/ and https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/1932/2015/en/.

      On 26 August 2014, Martinus Yohame, Head of the KNPB’s Sorong branch, was found dead, in a sack, floating near the Nana islands in Sorong, West Papua province, with injuries reportedly including a gunshot wound to his chest (see: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/022/2014/en/). He had gone missing on 20 August and his disappearance occurred at the same time as another political activist was arbitrarily detained ahead of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s planned visit to West Papua province for a sailing event on 23 August. The KNPB had reportedly planned to organize protests in Sorong around the President’s visit and raise the pro-independence “Morning Star” flag of Papua.

      The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is an umbrella organization established in December 2014 and formed of different factions of the Papuan independence movement. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization, founded as a political gathering in 1983, composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of New Caledonia. Indonesia is an associate member, while ULMWP is an observing member.

      Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including calls for independence. However, the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate referendums, independence or other political solutions.
      UA: 218/16 Index: ASA 21/4893/2016 Issue Date: 27 September 2016 
      ----------------------------------

      1) AI URGENT ACTION - POLITICAL ACTIVIST ESCAPED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT

      1) AI URGENT ACTION - POLITICAL ACTIVIST ESCAPED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT
      2) Indonesia Frets Over Papua Issue at the United Nations
      3) Highland Areas Vulnerable to Unrest During Elections : KPU Papua
      —————————————-

      UA: 218/16 Index: ASA 21/4893/2016 Indonesia Date: 27 September 2016

      URGENT ACTION
      POLITICAL ACTIVIST ESCAPED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT

      On 24 September, men in plain clothes attempted to abduct Papuan political activist Agustinus Aud at his home in Sorong, West Papua Province. He has been very active organising peaceful demonstrations to criticise Indonesian policies in Papua.

      On 24 September at around 3am, the house of Agustinus Aud, the spokesperson of KNPB’s (the West Papuan National Committee) Sorong branch, was surrounded by at least 10 plain clothed men whose faces were covered with scarves and claimed to be police officers. They banged on his door and windows, shouting orders for him to come out. After some of the men had smashed some parts of his window, Agustinus Aud saw that two of the men were armed with rifles. He refused to come out and managed to make a phone call to his friends asking them to immediately come to his house. Agustinus Aud thought that he would be abducted and later be killed as happened to Martinus Yohame, another KNPB Sorong member, in August 2014.

      At 4am, six of Agustinus Aud’s friends arrived at his house and saw that there were at least 10 men with guns and rifles near his house with a minibus and three motorcycles. As soon as they arrived, the men left. In the last few months, Agustinus Aud had organised many press conferences and peaceful demonstrations to support a peaceful Papuan pro-independence umbrella group, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to be accepted as a full member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a sub-Pacific intergovernmental organization. He has also raised concern about many human rights violations committed by the security forces in Papua.

      The attempt to abduct Agustinus Aud highlights the unsafe environment faced by political activists in the Indonesian province of Papua and the ongoing impunity for human rights violations by security forces.

      Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language:
       Urging the Indonesian and local authorities in Papua to implement immediate and effective measures to ensure the safety, personal security and wellbeing of Agustinus Aud, in accordance with his wishes; Calling on the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the attempted abduction and other threats against Agustinus Aud, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials;
       Urging the Indonesian authorities to ensure people in the country’s Papuan region are able to freely express their ideas and opinions without fear of punishment, reprisal or intimidation.

      PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 8 NOVEMBER 2016 TO:
      Head of National Police
      General Tito Karnavian
      National Police Headquarters
      Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3, Kebayoran Baru Jakarta Selatan 12110

      Indonesia
      Fax: +62 (0)21 7200 669/721 8741 Email: mabes@polri.go.id 
      Salutation: Dear General

      Chief of Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Teten Masduki
      Gedung Bina Graha
      Jl. Veteran No. 16

      Jakart Pusat 10110 Indonesia
      Fax: +62 (0)21 345 0009 Email: webmaster@ksp.go.id

      And copies to:
      Chairperson National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Imdadun Rahmat
      Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B, Menteng Jakarta Pusat 10310
      Indonesia
      Fax: +62 (0)21 392 9227
      Email: info@komnasham.go.id Twitter: @komnasham
         
      Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. HIS EXCELLENCY DR RIZAL SUKMA, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, 38 Grosvenor Square W1K 2HW, 02074997661, Fax 02074914993, kbri@btconnect.com, www.indonesianembassy.org.uk, Salutation: Your Excellency
      Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

      URGENT ACTION
      POLITICAL ACTIVIST ESCAPED ABDUCTION ATTEMPT
      ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
      The rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a state party, as well as in Indonesian Constitution and national legislation. However, the authorities continue to use criminal law against peaceful political activities and to detain people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly, conscience and religion.

      Dozens of peaceful political activists, including members of KNPB, are currently detained in the Papuan region (provinces of Papua and West Papua), some sentenced to as long as 20 years’ imprisonment, for attending, organizing or participating in peaceful political activities or protests, or possessing, raising or waving the prohibited pro-independence ‘Morning Star’ flag of Papua. Many of those arrested are charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 (crimes against the security of the state) of Indonesia’s Criminal Code.
      In April 2016, Steven Itlay, head of KNPB’s Timika branch, was charged with “rebellion” and could face up to life imprisonment (see: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/3797/2016/en/). In July 2016, two Papuan political activists in Timika, Yanto Awerkion and Sem Ukago, were also charged with rebellion” and could face up to life imprisonment.

      Amnesty International has also documented the use of excessive force and firearms as well as torture and other ill-treatment against political activists and others accused of links to pro-independence groups. Accountability for such acts is rare, and at most security personnel receive disciplinary sanctions. See other Amnesty International’s documents on this issue: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/3010/2015/en/ and https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/1932/2015/en/.

      On 26 August 2014, Martinus Yohame, Head of the KNPB’s Sorong branch, was found dead, in a sack, floating near the Nana islands in Sorong, West Papua province, with injuries reportedly including a gunshot wound to his chest (see: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/022/2014/en/). He had gone missing on 20 August and his disappearance occurred at the same time as another political activist was arbitrarily detained ahead of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s planned visit to West Papua province for a sailing event on 23 August. The KNPB had reportedly planned to organize protests in Sorong around the President’s visit and raise the pro-independence “Morning Star” flag of Papua.

      The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is an umbrella organization established in December 2014 and formed of different factions of the Papuan independence movement. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization, founded as a political gathering in 1983, composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of New Caledonia. Indonesia is an associate member, while ULMWP is an observing member.

      Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including calls for independence. However, the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate referendums, independence or other political solutions.
      UA: 218/16 Index: ASA 21/4893/2016 Issue Date: 27 September 2016 

      ——————————————————-
      http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/indonesia-frets-papua-issue-united-nations/
      2) Indonesia Frets Over Papua Issue at the United Nations
      27 September 2016
      Jayapura, Jubi – Papua legislator Laurenzus Kadepa said the Indonesian Government showed panic when the Pacific countries talked about the Papua issue and alleged human rights violations at the UN General Council plenary meeting.
      The Commission I member of the Papua Legislative Council for the Government, Politic, Legal and Human Rights Affairs said the Indonesian delegation showed it through the rights of reply in the debate session to criticize and point out the six countries that are Nauru, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Tonga as to intervene the sovereignty and integrity of its country.
      “The Indonesian Government should reflect and change its approach to Papua. It shouldn’t overreact. The Indonesian Government at the UN plenary meeting said the state has already upheld the human right enforcement; it is part of its commitment and the international community would keep asking about it,” said Kadepa to Jubi on Monday (26/9/2016).

      He urged Indonesia to make good in its promise to solve cases of human right violations in Papua.
      “Support for Papua from the international community, especially among the Pacific countries, should prompt Indonesia to change its ways in Papua,” he said.
      He said it is the time for the government, Papua legislators and security forces to reflect what have they done, especially in law and human rights enforcement and so on. “The increase of Papua human rights issue at the international community is one of warnings for the state and its apparatus. If the access to Papua is really opened to everyone, I think it wouldn’t be a problem. Let everyone come to see the firsthand condition of Papua,” he said.
      According to him, the international community has intensively discussed about the human rights issues in Papua due to their concern to Papua condition. It couldn’t be denied that up to now the settlement of the alleged cases of human rights violations in Papua as promised by the Indonesian Government has been stuck. There is no result. There was none of cases revealed. The government mentioned many barriers as the reason.
      “Also I agree with the Coordinator of Kontras Jakarta Haris Azhar mentioning the handling of human rights violations in Papua was only to response the noise from international community. It’s right. It seems the government did it only for that reason. Up to now none of cases is settled,” he said.
      Separately, other Papua legislator Ruben Magai said the future of human rights enforcement in Indonesia, especially in Papua are entering the black period. He said how the state could solve the alleged human rights violations if some parties allegedly perpetrators have position in the structure of state’s administration. “It is obviously worsen the state’s image. Therefore the human rights violation would never be ended and the international world continue to question it,” said Ruben.
      Furthermore, said Ruben, the Pacific countries keep monitoring and pushing the settlement of Papua issues. So when the Indonesian Government is not taking it seriously, the Pacific countries would highlight on those issues. (*/rom)
      ——————————————
      http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/highland-areas-vulnerable-unrest-elections-kpu-papua/

      3) Highland Areas Vulnerable to Unrest During Elections : KPU Papua
      27 September 2016
      Jayapura, Jubi – Papua General Election Commission mapped areas deemed vulnerable to violence during simultaneous elections in February.
      KPU Papua Chairman Adam Arisoi said all areas consisting of one municipality and ten regencies are considered vulnerable but the most at-risk areas are Papua highland areas.
      “Some areas are considered vulnerable, including the regencies of Nduga, Lanny Jaya, Tolikara, Puncak Jaya, Intan Jaya and Dogiyai. The six regencies have been mapped. We asked the security forces for security back-up; especially when KPU are publishing their authorized decisions,” said Arisoi on Monday (26/9/2016).
      He reminded the local KPUs to anticipate all possibilities.
      The Police also should be actively participated in helping calm the situation.
      “KPU has two decisions that would have the impact on legal and public security issues. Both decisions should be monitored by security forces to avoid the conflict that would be harmed the community,” he said.
      He said disputes might be occurr at the time KPU announcing the results for eligible candidates.
      Separately, the Deputy Chairman of Commission I of the Papua Legislative Council Orwan Tolli Wone said he expected simultaneous regional elections in one municipality and ten companies in Papua in the beginning of 2017 would be run smoothly as expected. There would be disputes between the supporters of each candidate.
      “The candidates also should be able to win their supporters’ hearts. Don’t do the opposite: provoke their supporters to do the unexpected actions,” Wone.
      According to him, win or lose in the election is normal. Not all candidates could win the election. “There is certainly only one candidate couple to be elected. However, it should be really selected in the clean democracy, not by cheating or something else,” he said. (*/rom)

      Solomon’s repeats call for UN Special Rapporteurs in Papua

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/314399/solomons-repeats-call-for-un-special-rapporteurs-in-papua

      Solomon’s repeats call for UN Special Rapporteurs in Papua

      2:47 pm today 
      Solomon Islands has called on Indonesia to substantiate allegations that Pacific nations are fabricating information when citing human rights violations in West Papua.



      The representative of the Republic of Indonesia, Nara Masista Rakhmatia, exercises her country’s right of reply during the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session.  Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak
      Earlier Pacific leaders had expressed their concerns over West Papua at the UN General Assembly.
      Indonesia responded by accusing the leaders of interfering in its domestic affairs. It said they were politically motivated and designed to support separatist groups who had incited public disorder and conducted terrorist attacks.

      The Solomon Islands Special Envoy on West Papua Rex Horoi told the Assembly that Indonesia should allow UN Special Rapporteurs into West Papua. Photo: UN Video
      The Solomon Islands Special Envoy on West Papua Rex Horoi told the Assembly that Indonesia should allow UN Special Rapporteurs into the province if it wanted to prove that Pacific concerns were invalid.
      Mr Horoi said the issue needed collaborative attention.
      "We realise that neither we, nor Indonesia can resolve this matter alone. We are of the position that this matter needs to be brought to the attention of the body of the United Nations and it needs to be done urgently as lives are being lost with all impunity. Mr President, all lives matter, West Papuan lives matter," said Rex Horoi.

      Tuesday, September 27, 2016

      1) Commentary: Indonesia Rejects Pacific Leaders’ Statement on Human Rights Abuses in Papua


      2) In restive Papua, incumbents may not pin hopes so high
      3) Letter from Ambassador of Indonesia to Vanuatu in Vanuatu Daily Post

      4) Human rights activists remain prone to threats: Komnas HAM
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      1) Commentary: Indonesia Rejects Pacific Leaders’ Statement on Human Rights Abuses in Papua

      By : Petrus Farneubun | on 7:32 PM September 27, 2016


      In addition to discussing matters related to the early implementation of sustainable development goals and key global challenges, such as climate change and disarmament, during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York recently, it is important to highlight that the issue of human rights abuses in West Papua was raised by Pacific nations.
      Statements by Pacific leaders regarding the issue were strongly rejected by the Indonesian government.
      "We categorically reject the continuing insinuation in their statement," the Indonesian representative said during the session.

      Pacific countries, notably the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshal Islands, Tuvalu and Tonga, expressed their deep concern during the meeting over continuing human rights violations in the Indonesian part of Papua Island and called on UN to take concrete measures to address the matter and urge the Indonesian government to solve the problems. They reiterated their positions that the humanitarian crisis in the West Papua region is serious and needs an immediate international response.
      In his address to the General Assembly, Tongan Prime Minister Samiuela 'Akilisi Pōhiva, for example, highlighted several important issues regarding the human rights situation in Papua.
      Tonga, along with other Pacific countries, also raised the issue during previous sessions of the General Assembly and they did it once more to show their solidarity with Papuans and to update the current progress of the human rights situation in West Papua.

      First, the Tongan prime minister pointed out that there had been no change in the Indonesia government's handling of human rights abuses in West Papua. Second, that there is still a lack of knowledge about the actual human rights situation in West Papua due restricted access to information. Third, that the principle of being a Good Samaritan invokes a sense of humanity to help West Papuans to be free from abuse.
      Therefore, Tonga and its neighbors that are part of the Pacific Islands Forum, have consistently called for open and constructive dialog with Indonesia to discuss the status and welfare of Papuans.
      In response, Indonesia not only condemned the Pacific leaders' statements, but also said that it was disappointed over their countries' violation of the UN Charter and the principles of international law. Indonesia also explained that it has a fully functioning democracy in an effort to try and demonstrate its commitment to human rights.

      The Indonesian representative expressed shock over the fact that the Pacific countries deliberately chose not to fully address the important issue of climate change, which she said affects them the most. Instead, they decided to interfere in the internal affairs of another country by raising the issue of human rights abuses in West Papua in the General Assembly.
      According to Indonesia, the Pacific leaders' statements are based on false and fabricated information and constitutes a lack of understanding and knowledge about the history, current situation, and the developmental progress in West Papua. Indonesia called the move by the Pacific countries "unfriendly and rhetoric political maneuvers."
      Indonesia also raised its concern over Pacific leaders' lack of respect and understanding of international law and the fundamental norms set out by the UN Charter.
      According to Indonesia, the Pacific countries not only violated the purpose and objectives of the UN Charter, but also violated the principle of international law regarding relations between states, specifically regarding their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

      The Indonesian representative said it constituted a violation of international legal instruments, because the Pacific nations interfered in her country's internal affairs and by doing that, they have misused the session of the General Assembly to promote their political interests and to demonstrate their support for separatism in West Papua. Indonesia went on to call the Pacific leaders' move "highly regrettable and dangerous."
      In addition, Indonesia tried to make a comparison between its commitment to promote human rights and that of the Pacific countries. The Indonesian representative stated that of the nine core human rights instruments, the country has ratified eight and incorporated them into its national legal system. In contrast, Vanuatu has only ratified five.
      The Indonesian representative also stated that her country was a founding member of the UN Human Rights Council and that it has a national human rights commission. This demonstrates Indonesia's efforts to protect human rights.
      Further, Indonesia argued that it has a fully functioning democracy, which would make it impossible for human rights violations to go unreported.

      Although on the one hand, while Indonesia's claims and its continuing defense that it is making progress on protecting human rights and supporting a fully function democracy can be justified, the human rights condition remains significantly unchanged.
      Numerous reports published by international nongovernmental organizations and faith-based networks for example, have shown that human rights abuses in West Papua continue and that the authorities still fail to bring the perpetrators to justice.
      A recently published report by the Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane for example, highlights ongoing human rights violations in West Papua and states that the abuses have not declined and that there is no significant improvement in Papuans' welfare.
      Similarly, a report on human rights conditions in West Papua between April 2013 and December 2014, published by the International Coalition for Papua in 2015, shows that there had been a deterioration in human rights conditions in West Papua compared to previous periods and that there was a sharp contrast between the living conditions of indigenous Papuans and that of migrants from other parts of Indonesia.
      Therefore, it is important that Indonesia proves its commitment to the protection of human rights by enforcing the law to prosecute and punish those who are guilty of human rights violations.

      The unresolved human rights violations that took place in Paniai district, Papua province, in December 2014, where several innocent students were shot by security officers, have to be taken seriously and this can be a step forward by the government to convince the international community of its commitment.
      Otherwise, Indonesia's repeated defense in international forums and meetings, such as at the recent meeting of the General Assembly, that it fully promotes and protects human rights in West Papua, will continue to be questioned.
      Petrus Farneubun is a lecturer at the Department of International Relations at Cenderawasih University in Jayapura, Papua, and currently pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
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      2) In restive Papua, incumbents may not pin hopes so high
      Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post

      Jayapura | Tue, September 27 2016 | 09:38 am
      Following the steps of other regional heads, all incumbents in 11 regencies and cities in Papua will vie for reelection in February, but their chances may be slim because of the local dynamics in the country’s easternmost region. 

      As many as 11 of the 80 tickets contesting the elections are incumbents. Among them are regents Henock Ibo of Puncak Jaya, Befa Jigibalom of Lanny Jaya, Matthew Awaitauw of Jayapura, Mesak Manibor of Sarmi, Toni Tesar of Yapen, Usman Wanimbo of Tolikara, Yairus Gwijangge of Nduga, Herman Aw of Dogiyai and Stephen Kaisma of Mappi and Jayapura Mayor Benhur Tommy Mano.

      “All incumbents wish to be re-elected in the simultaneous pilkada [regional elections],” said Papua General Elections Commission (KPUD Papua) member Tarwinto.

      The country will hold regional head elections in 101 regions on Feb. 15, including the 11 regions in Papua. 

      Despite the strong chance for incumbents to be re-elected in other regions, incumbents in Papua may not be so lucky. 

      In the first simultaneous elections in Papua last December, the other 11 regencies in Papua were included. 

      The results were surprising, as out of nine incumbents, only two were re-elected, namely Nabire regent Isaias Douw and Yalimo regent Er Dabi, while the rest were crushed by their rivals.

      Carolus Bolly, a Democratic Party politician in Papua, said he is optimistic that the incumbents who get his party’s support will be re-elected. 

      “There are six incumbents who are also party branch board heads contesting the elections and we are sure to win the elections in Papua,” he said.

      Security issues still become a major issue in Papua with frequent clashes among tribes and clashes between security officers and armed civilian groups. 

      Political parties have struggled to maintain support from local members as well as from voters.

      Papua is also the only region that is allowed to use a so-called noken system, a non-secret voting system in which voters place their ballots in one of several traditional bags, called noken. The number of bags corresponds to the number of candidates. Each candidate has his or her own bag to receive ballots and the bags are hung in the open for all to see.

      The lack of secrecy means that village or customary leaders are able to pressurize their people to vote according to his choice, and if there is any defiance, people could end up fighting each other. 

      The Papua Police have prepared 1,323 personnel and these are to be bolstered by 337 Indonesian Military personnel and 200 police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) members from Kelapa Dua, Jakarta, to secure the elections.

      Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said four regions taking part in the elections were considered prone to conflict because of the presence of armed civilian groups and internal splits in party support for candidates.

      The four regions are Lanny Jaya, Nduga and Tolikara regencies and Jayapura. 

      “Political parties giving split support are found in the four regions, so they are prone to conflict, although prospective candidates can understand the party’s decision to not support him or her, we fear the presence of their supporters,” said Waterpauw.

      The Papua Police, added Waterpauw, had planned the security starting from the registration of candidates until after the inauguration of the elected local leaders.


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      3) Letter from Ambassador of Indonesia to Vanuatu in Vanuatu Daily Post


      Indonesia and Vanuatu: Too different for a real partnership?
      Dear Editor,
      While Vanuatu is an island nation and Indonesia is an archipelagic country, the differences seem to be too great for a real partnership to work between the two countries. The difference in size is striking. From its westernmost part in Aceh to its easternmost part in Merauke, Papua, Indonesia stretches as wide as from Port Vila to Honolulu, Hawaii. For every person in Vanuatu, there are one thousand persons in Indonesia. Whereas Vanuatu’s population is primarily Melanesians, Indonesians are a mix of ethnicities: Javanese, Sumatrans, Malays, Melanesians, Chinese and so on. Differences could be unsettling. In both personal relations as well as international relations for instance, the world can be split into two. Those in the minority that delves in and are paralysed by the smallest of differences and the rest who respect differences but keep on chipping at them to bring the relations closer together. The second group realizes that the reward of working together, of having a strong partnership far outweigh the short-term gains of resentment.
      There are a number of important similarities that Indonesia and Vanuatu can use to build our relationship on. Indonesia sits on the Pacific ring of fire making it prone to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. Likewise, Vanuatu is prone to tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Both Indonesia and Vanuatu have many small islands that are vulnerable to changes in the climate. Another parallel is that since early in their modern history, leaders of both countries understood that a secure and stable region is a condition for sustained economic growth and prosperity. Leaders understood that a secure and stable region depends on good international relations. Good international relations in turn depends on mutual respect of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is thus no coincidence that Indonesia and Vanuatu engages their respective immediate regions actively. Both capitals are respectively homes to the secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), in Port Vila and the secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta. It is no accident moreover that both countries share many national and regional goals. Both countries aim for sustainable economic growth and development, better governance, a secure and stable region as well as a more prosperous population. The people of Vanuatu celebrated her 36th anniversary on 30 July. On behalf of the eleven million Melanesians living in Indonesia and all the citizens of Indonesia, let me again extend my warmest congratulations to the people and government of Vanuatu. Indonesia too, is celebrating. On last 17th of August, Indonesia commemorated our 71st anniversary. Anniversaries are usually a period for reflection. As both fellow vibrant democracies look into the future, in the next 15 years to 2030, Vanuatu, Indonesia and the region will not be quite the same. The combined region of Southeast Asia and MSG would be a formidable economic and cultural zone. With current annual growth, by the 2030s, Indonesia will be among the top ten biggest economies in the world. As member countries continue to focus on providing solutions to current financial and institutional challenges facing the MSG, by 2030 the region will be more economically integrated and dynamic. In the decades ahead, Vanuatu will perhaps have a larger tourism and services sector as well as agriculture and livestock farming complementing her more traditional export commodities of copra, coconuts, cocoa, fish and wood processing. Indonesia’s trade with and investment in Vanuatu is still relatively small, indicating a good growth potential. Indonesia’s 60-million strong middle and consuming-class is very much looking forward to establishing closer trade, investment and development links with Vanuatu and all the countries of the MSG.
      A stronger Indonesia-Vanuatu partnership that centres on those national priorities will expand trade and investment and ultimately bring more jobs and income. Thus it is important for us to concentrate the partnership on developing the tourism and agriculture sectors, boosting programs on climate change, preparing the most vulnerable communities for adaptation and mitigation. It is also important to work together on programs of disaster preparedness and disaster risk management. The US$2 million in humanitarian aid dispatched by the Indonesian government to Vanuatu in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam and the many programs of technical cooperation delivered to Vanuatu over the years are good examples of such partnership. Indonesia is a member of a number of regional trading arrangements including within ASEAN as well intra-regionally such as ASEAN-China and ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand. Indonesia is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the G20. In our experience, we found that expanding our international markets and partnerships creates more jobs, affordable products and services and boost competitiveness.
      The eastern part of Indonesia, home to five Melanesian provinces of East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua is Asia’s natural entrance to the Pacific. Conversely, Indonesia is welcoming Vanuatu and MSG countries into the rewarding markets of Indonesia, Southeast Asia and beyond through this eastern region gateway. When we concentrate on issues that bring us closer while working to resolve differences, I am confident that in the future, the leaders of both countries will be remembered as those who brought stability, security, justice and prosperity to the nation and the region. Nadjib Riphat Kesoema
      Ambassador of Indonesia to Vanuatu
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      4) Human rights activists remain prone to threats: Komnas HAM
      News Desk The Jakarta Post

      Jakarta | Tue, September 27 2016 | 08:52 pm 


      Threats and criminalization still plague human rights activists in recent years despite a guarantee of freedom of expression in the reform era, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said on Tuesday.
      Human rights activists still receive threats while providing aid to people or for staging protests, Komnas HAM commissioner Siti Noor Laila said. There were at least three threats from 2012-2015 aimed at human rights activists, such as murder, death and kidnapping threats, according to data collected by Komnas HAM.
      Even though Indonesia's democracy began after the fall of Soeharto's dictatorship in 1998, there has not been a significant improvement toward protection of human rights activists in the reform era, Siti said noting several cases of criminalization aimed at activists in recent years.
      "In the democracy era, freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Constitution, crimes against human rights activists must never happen," Siti said at a press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday.
      She cited examples, such as Yogyakarta-based activist Raden Mas Aji Kusumo who spent three and a half months behind bars in 2015 for staging a  rally to reject the construction of an apartment in Kaliurang, Sleman regency of Yogyakarta believed to cause environmental degradation.
      Two public lawyers from Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta)  Tigor Gempita Hutapea and Obed Sakti Andre Dominika have also been arrested for disobeying police orders when assisting laborers in a rally in front of the State Palace in October last year.
      Samsul, known as Salim Kancil, was a farmer and anti-mining activist who was beaten to death in September last year for organizing a protest against invasive sand mining in his village in Lumajang, East Java. (wnd/rin)
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