Friday, April 28, 2017

1) Morning star rising

2) Walk for West Papuan freedom and independence

3) Recalling Arnold Ap, It’s a Wife and Child Message in Holland

1) Morning star rising

MAY 2017

A resistance gathering in the West Papuan highlands. © Dominic Brown

After 54 years of struggle under Indonesian rule, is freedom finally in sight for West Papua? Danny Chivers investigates.

Imagine a referendum in which just 0.2 per cent of the population were allowed to vote. Imagine that every one of those voters was marched to the voting station at gunpoint, and told exactly what choice to make. Would you believe the result truly represented the wishes of the people?
This is exactly what happened in the Pacific nation of West Papua in 1969. The occupying Indonesian army marched 1,026 handpicked West Papuans (from a population of 800,000) in front of election officials. These ‘voters’ were ordered to raise their hands at the right moment or be shot. This ‘Act of Free Choice’ was then presented to the world as an unequivocal vote in favour of Indonesia’s claim over West Papua, and rubberstamped at the United Nations by the US, the UK, Australia and their allies. The lands, forests and mountains that had been home to the Indigenous West Papuan people for 50,000 years were handed over to Indonesian President Suharto’s military regime – along with the vast reserves of gold, copper and natural gas buried beneath them.
Forty-eight years later, in January 2017, I’m sitting in a packed-out conference room in the UKParliament building in Westminster. We are here to see West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda launch a global petition, calling on the UN to oversee a fresh independence vote in his country to replace the sham referendum from 1969. Benny stands, ceremonial feathered headdress on his head, and tells the gathered MPs, journalists and supporters about the decades of human rights abuses his people have suffered under Indonesian occupation. His speech is accompanied by something I’ve never seen before – a video of demonstrations that took place in West Papua in the previous 24 hours, in solidarity with this meeting. We see groups of West Papuans in jungle villages holding up the Morning Star independence flag – a criminal act that carries a 15-year sentence in Indonesia – and thanking us for coming to Westminster today. One group of protesters have filmed themselves inside an Indonesian jail. Every participant in these actions will have done so at great personal risk of reprisal from the Indonesian military.
The people of West Papua are rising again, determined to reclaim the voice that was denied to them almost 50 years ago. After decades of struggle and brutal repression, recent events have propelled their fight for freedom back onto the world stage. If we’re serious about defending human rights and tackling climate change, this is the moment to stand with West Papua – the survival of an entire culture and the preservation of the world’s third-largest rainforest are hanging in the balance. But time is running out.

West Papua makes up the western half of New Guinea, the world's second-largest island. The division between West Papua and the independent country of Papua New Guinea is an artificial line dating back to when the British, Dutch and German empires colonized the island.

Paradise divided

West Papua is an extraordinary place, with a civilization stretching back tens of thousands of years and rainforests teeming with species found nowhere else on the planet. Ever since Indonesian troops first marched into West Papua in 1961, the government has sought to tighten its grip on this resource-rich, lushly forested territory. This has involved military occupation – at least 15,000 troops are stationed in West Papua1, making it one of the most militarized zones in Southeast Asia – and also the transmigration of Indonesians into West Papua. In several key regions, the Indigenous population is now outnumbered by Indonesian settlers. ‘In 1999, Indonesia had set up just nine regencies [local administrative areas] within West Papua,’ says Octovianus (Octo) Mote, Secretary-General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). ‘Today, they have 43, and are planning to expand to 73, each with its own police stations and military base. This is all to accommodate new settlers and further outnumber our people. The kind of colonial history that took Western powers many years to carry out is happening here at high speed.’
If we’re serious about defending human rights and tackling climate change, now is the time to stand with West Papua
Indonesians run the majority of businesses in cities like Sorong and Jayapura; they control most of the wealth in West Papua, while the Indigenous population is treated as an underclass. In the words of Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman: ‘When you arrive at Jayapura airport, the officers behind the desk are all immigrants, while the West Papuans are the porters. If you go into town, the shop owners are all immigrants, while West Papuans are selling betel nuts on the road.’
This kind of colonial takeover by an invading force puts Western fears over immigration into sharp perspective. Migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, Australia and the US present little or no threat to these countries’ cultural and political dominance; the people of West Papua, on the other hand, are at the sharp end of purposeful transmigration policies from an occupying power seeking to cement control over their lands and natural resources.

Countless and uncounted

‘Continuous violence’
Ribka Kenelak is a West Papuan activist and youth organizer
Special forces and intelligence personnel are stationed in virtually every village. There are so many cases of soldiers targeting and raping young Papuan girls and women, and there is nothing the villagers can do about it. This is an occupying army involved in continuous violence.
We see the immense wealth of our country – timber, gold, copper, oil and natural gas – exported for the benefit of others. Corporations like Rio Tinto, BP and Freeport are profiting in partnership with the Indonesians.
We need a majority of countries at the UN to support West Papua’s bid for self-determination. It would also be good to target those companies who are exploiting West Papua, and impacting them financially by not buying their products or promoting their business.
Dissent is often met with violence and arbitrary arrest. According to Jason Macleod of the University of Sydney: ‘Acts of state violence occur all over West Papua and are carried out by all parts of the security forces. [Human rights violations] include killing, torture, sexual assault and deprivation of liberty.’
Gathering statistics on these abuses is near-impossible, thanks to Indonesia’s ban on human rights organizations entering the region, and tight media restrictions. Local journalists are routinely bribed, threatened, arrested or killed; foreign media are largely banned.
Estimates of the total number of West Papuans killed by security forces range from 100,000 to 500,000.2 The vast majority of deaths go unreported by official media sources; I have been told of villagers stacking skulls in caves as evidence of atrocities that might otherwise be forgotten.
Unequal access to healthcare, education and employment means that Indigenous West Papuans have much higher rates of poverty, illiteracy, child mortality and HIV infection than the rest of the Indonesian population. Jim Elmslie of Sydney University observed that between 1971 and 2000, the Indigenous West Papuan population grew 50 per cent more slowly than the population of neighbouring Papua New Guinea, resulting in 360,000 ‘missing Papuans’.3
West Papuans gain little benefit from mining and drilling projects from companies like Freeport and BP that trash their food sources and poison their water supplies. Indonesian-backed logging and palm-oil plantations are cutting swathes through the rainforest in a process Octo Mote describes as ‘destroying the lungs of the world’.
Jennifer Robinson of International Lawyers for West Papua is in no doubt that all of this amounts to a slow-moving genocide: ‘It’s a constant, low-level conflict where West Papuans are dying all the time – from state violence, from the HIV epidemic, from a lack of access to healthcare, from being forced off their land. If we don’t act fast to secure their rights then we will lose the West Papuans as a people.’

West Papuan women paint their faces with the Morning Star flag before a freedom rally in Jayapura, 19 December 2016.KNBP

United voices

But those people have always refused to go quietly. For decades, the under-equipped and outnumbered forces of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) have maintained a guerrilla resistance from the jungle, supported by a growing civil resistance movement in the cities and now a new wave of international support.
A game-changing event was the foundation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in December 2014, an umbrella group that has succeeded in uniting the disparate factions of the freedom movement for the first time. Emboldened by their new united leadership, West Papuans have been taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers. The surge in political arrests in West Papua from 370 in 2014 to 8,000 in 2016 reflects both the growth in the movement, and Indonesia’s increasingly repressive attempts to crack down on it.
The West Papuan people are refusing to be cowed. ‘Last December, the police fired water cannons at West Papuan protesters – and they started dancing in the jets of water!’ says Veronica Koman. ‘Then 17 people were arrested in Jayapura for Free West Papua graffiti. They were released the following day, went straight back and did the very same thing again! They’re not afraid any more.’
Every significant international development now sparks mass demonstrations in West Papua. Smartphones and social media are allowing the movement to bypass the media blackout and share their struggle with the world, which has helped drive a new wave of solidarity action across the Pacific region – particularly in countries like Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands that share West Papua’s ethnic Melanesian roots. This new sense of regional solidarity has in turn helped to push Pacific governments to take an active international stand.
‘They are now free, but West Papua is still under colonialism,’ says Victor Yeimo, chair of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). ‘Melanesian solidarity is not a racial sentiment, it’s about the responsibility of our brothers and sisters to help their family in West Papua.’ Despite fierce protests from Indonesia, in 2015 the ULMWP was formally accepted as an Observer member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group of countries (MSG), and seven Pacific states spoke up in support of West Papua at the UN in 2016.

Power and responsibility

In May 2016, MPs from around the world signed up to the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP)’s ‘Westminster Declaration’, calling on the UN to oversee a new independence referendum. The event was celebrated with huge gatherings in West Papua that resulted in 2,000 arrests.
Meanwhile, the IPWP’s sibling group International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP) is calling for the recognition of Indonesia’s actions in West Papua as genocide, pushing for a UN investigation into human rights abuses, and challenging the legitimacy of the Act of Free Choice. Although the legal case is clear – the West Papuans were denied their right to self-determination – getting it heard at the International Court of Justice requires majority support at the UN General Assembly, another reason why international support is so vital for the West Papuan cause.
Meanwhile, a growing number of Indonesian citizens are joining the demonstrations. Surya Anta, spokesperson for the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua), says: ‘For the first time in Indonesian history we have a united solidarity movement which acknowledges West Papua as a nation and supports their right to self-determination.’ That solidarity is starting to be returned. Activists from the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) joined Indonesian protests against a proposed land-grabbing cement plant at Kendeng, and against forced evictions in Yogyakarta. This is extremely significant, as the support of Indonesian citizens was key to the successful campaign for the independence of Timor-Leste in 1999.
These are all hopeful signs – but this moment of opportunity could easily be lost, crushed beneath Indonesia’s ever-harsher military crackdowns. International solidarity is urgently needed, and many of us have a special responsibility here. The British and US governments knew in 1969 that the vote was a sham and that most West Papuans wanted independence.4They and their allies supported Indonesia’s claim at the UN anyway. Today, British, US and Australian corporations profit from mining projects that destroy West Papua’s forests, and from the sale of weapons used to repress its people. We must refuse to be complicit, and speak out.
Together, we can beat Indonesia’s media black­out and share West Papua’s struggle with the world. We can pressure our governments to right the wrongs of the past, and give the West Papuan people the real independence vote they have been denied for so long. As Victor Yeimo says, ‘Tell your government, your media, your church, your organization, your family, your friends. Whatever your skills or talents, find a way to bring them to our struggle. We need you.’

'Women are speaking out’

Rode Wanimbo is a West Papuan organizer, working with women’s organizations and churches in the rural highlands

West Papua is my paradise. But it is being destroyed. Under Indonesian oppression, there is no future, no hope. I feel like I’m a stranger in my own land. My mountains have been destroyed. My rivers have been spoiled. They call it development but it is destruction.
So many of us are now fighting for freedom. Indonesia will say, ‘West Papua wanted this in 1969’, but it’s not true. The Act of Free Choice was really the Act of No Choice.
The voices of West Papuan women are gradually being heard, but still not loud enough. In 2000, we had the first West Papuan women’s congress, where women from across the country came together – that was a historic moment. But many of the women were still being too influenced by the men and not fully speaking their own minds.
This is now changing. In this generation, there are West Papuan women who are wise and strong; they are standing up and speaking out. Sometimes our voices are not welcomed or taken seriously, but women are a vital part of this movement. We need to make sure that the new laws in a free West Papua are not just made by the men.
  1. University of Sydney, 2011, 
  2. University of Sydney, 2005, and The Diplomat, 
  3. Inside Indonesia, 
  4. The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, 
This feature was published in the May issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.


2) Walk for West Papuan freedom and independence

                      Friday, April 28, 2017
A group of West Papuans living in Australia and their supporters are walking 73 kilometres from Geelong to Melbourne over April 26 to 30 to highlight the ongoing human rights abuses experienced by indigenous West Papuans who have lived under Indonesian occupation since 1963 and to raise awareness of the campaign for a free West Papua.
The distance of 73 kilometres was chosen to signify the distance between Australian territory (Deliverance Island) and West Papua.
A local community event will be held at each overnight stop to provide an opportunity to engage with Papuans about the situation in West Papua.
Rebecca Langley a volunteer with Voice of West Papua radio program on 3CR, one of the organisers of the walk, said: "It's time to raise our voices together and show our government, the people who represent us, that they need to put pressure on Indonesia to allow international NGOs and media access to West Papua. Lift the cloak of silence. It's time to talk about West Papua."’
The Walk for West Papua was organised in association with the Voice of West Papua radio program on 3CR. The walk will finish on Sunday April 30 in Footscray at the Footscray Arts Centre from 2pm.
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A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

3) Recalling Arnold Ap, It’s a Wife and Child Message in Holland

Warning 33 years of the Arnold Apostle Ap. (Thedy Pekei - SP)

JAYAPURA, - Corry Ap-Bukorpioper (70), wife of the late Arnold Clemens Ap, from the Netherlands, participated in thanking the Papuan cultural observers in Jayapura and every year commemorating the death of Mambesak music group personnel.

"Thank you for the brothers in the homeland who today can remember the father, the husband (deceased Arnold C Ap) and ade Eduard Mofu. They did not die for the Ap and Mofu family alone. Rather they died for all the people of Papua who are still alive and struggling today, "said the deceased's wife via a video clip uploaded on Youtube's Oridek Ap account (click here).

Acknowledgments and messages from the family were delivered on the anniversary of the death of Arnold C. Ap and Eduard Mofu the 33rd.

In Jayapura, the anniversary of the death of Papuan culturalists was held at Cenderawasih University Culture Loka Museum on Wednesday.

From The Hague, the Netherlands, Mama Corry said, "You keep fighting because we also remember the spirit and spirit of Arnold Ap (Mambesak) living with the brothers. Now and the time to come. Again this is what we can say. "

"We do not donate anything to you. But we will pray for you to God for strength and long life, "said Mama Corry.

Oridek Ap, the first son of the deceased to give speech and spirit to the young generation of Papua who hingg now still continue to care for memory and against forgetting.

"I also tell all those who have taken the time to remember Kamam (father) of the late Arnold Ap and Kamam Eduard Mofu who died 33 years ago. We are here to be proud, because all of you still remember the father and we believe all your struggle is still alive today, "said Oridek.

He was convinced that Arnold Ap could unite all the tribes through the song and there was no gulf between the Papuans because of the culture and there was only one namely the Land of Papua.

"It is not the fathers who were killed because of this land, but many Papuans were killed because of this land. Father will live with you all, "the oldest son's message.

Arnold Ap was born on the island of Numfor, Biak, July 1, 1945. He died on April 26, 1984. His departure is still a mystery to date. He was a Papuan artist in the 70s to 80s.

From various testimonies, Arnold murdered the military because of the growing popularity of Papuan cultural music group called Mambesak. Through it he and his friends at that time lifted the spirit of the Papuans by singing or unifying songs of the people of Papua.

According to historical records owned by Yan Christian Warinussy, a few days before being found lifeless, Arnold was in Jayapura prison, where he was detained since November 30, 1983.

"Arnold Ap and his colleagues are serving their status as prisoners at the Papua Police Headquarters on Jalan Koti, APO Jayapura due to legal charges. But somehow Arnold Ap, who was also a curator of the Cendrawasih University Anthropology Museum, could be taken out of the detention room to his death at Base-G Beach. "

This legendary Papuan traditional musician was allegedly persecuted and even killed by a group of security officers on the coast of Base-G Jayapura, Papua. Kopassandha (now Kopassus), allegedly involved in the case.

"In his body at that time there were several injuries allegedly assaulted by extermination and firearm shots, Arnold was killed in blood and found on Base-G Beach, then his body was rushed to Army Hospital Aryoko, Kloofkamp, ​​Jayapura, to be cleaned and then Delivered to be buried in his residence in front of Uncen Campus, Abepura, Jayapura. "

Arnold Ap was buried at the Abepura General Cemetery (TPU). The former house of a Kingstreen (home of thick German heavy aluminum zinc) on the edge of the Abepura-Padang Bulan Highway, is still there today.

The late left 4 sons: Oridek (42), Mambri (41), Erisam (34), Mansorak (32). Together with mama Corry Ap-Bukorpioper (70) they lived in the Netherlands since the murder. They are forced to flee and until now survive in a land of exile.


Purchase: Harun Rumbarar


Thursday, April 27, 2017

1) Pressed into silence: West Papua, Indonesia & World Press Freedom Day

4) 93 Countries to Question Indonesia`s Human Rights Violations
5) Even One Year Arso Oil Plantation Not Producing



1) Pressed into silence: West Papua, Indonesia & World Press Freedom Day

Left: Street art in London by Dale Grimshaw (photo by Monoprixx, wall supplied by The Real Art of Street Art. Right: World Press Freedom Day 2017 Poster (UNESCO).

As Indonesia prepares to host World Press Freedom Day, accusations of hypocrisy are growing louder. The Indonesian government is notorious for restricting journalism within the occupied territory of West Papua – something that West Papuan journalist Victor Mambor and Cyril Payen of France24 have both experienced.

Victor Mambor: Indonesia’s double standards
Every year, on May 3rd, we celebrate the basic principles of press freedom. World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) exists to give an annual evaluation of global press freedom; to stand up for the independence of the press from violence; and to pay tribute to those who have lost their life carrying their journalistic duties.
This year, Indonesia is the host of WPFD. Many activities are planned for the celebration from May 1st to 4th, 2017, which will include 1200 participants from 100 countries. It seems that Indonesia, a country which ranks 124 out of 180 on the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2017 Press Freedom Index, wants to convince the international community that media freedom is in fact its priority.
Unfortunately, the Indonesian government’s record does not match its rhetoric, particularly in the eastern Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua (often known collectively as West Papua). These two provinces have faced serious issues: restrictions are placed on foreign journalists, while violence and discrimination against Papuan journalists and bribery are common occurrences.
Access denied
In May 2015, President Joko Widodo declared that access restrictions for foreign journalists in West Papua would be lifted, and Indonesia claimed they then gave permission to 39 foreign journalists to report in the region. However, figures from the Alliance of Independent Journalists in Papua show that only 15 foreign journalists have in fact been permitted to enter West Papua since 2015, and many have faced difficulties in reporting independently.
The visa application for Radio New Zealand International reporter, Johnny Blades took almost two years to be approved, and only after he was able to convince the Indonesian Embassy that he would only cover development issues. Even then, he was accompanied by police and military officers who would not let him film everything he wanted.
Radio France reporter, Marie Dhumieres, was spied on by police while reporting from West Papua in 2015. ‘The police arrested two Papuan civilians for helping me gain access to a plane. They were interrogated by the police,’ said Dhumieres.
Discrimination and violence
In February 2017, research by WAN-IFRA (The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) concluded that government officials and security forces are discriminating against Indigenous Papuan journalists, who are stigmatized as supporters of the Free West Papua Movement. One reporter from Papua Selatan Pos admitted that he experienced intimidation from the police and government, including the banning of two of his publications in 2007 and 2008. He was threatened with criminal charges and prohibited from reporting on President Joko Widodo’s investment programme in the Merauke region.
When Papuan civilians are shot or arrested, Indigenous Papuan journalists find it very difficult to get any information from the security forces. ‘When a shooting incident took place towards a civilian in Boven Digoel, I asked for confirmation from the police chief via text message. Instead of confirming the incident, he said “I thought you were banned from reporting”,’ revealed Arnold Belau, a reporter from Suara Papua.
Indigenous Papuan journalists including the late Octovianus Pogau, Abeth You (Koran Jubi), and Ardi Bayage (Suara Papua) have experienced violence from police officers during their coverage of peaceful public rallies in West Papua.
Abeth describes one such incident from 2015: ‘After I took pictures of activists, police officers from Jayapura Municipality Police later came out from a police truck to disperse the protesters. There was a police officer that acted brutally against the demonstrators. He came towards me, seized my camera and deleted my photos. He insisted that I was a demonstrator, although I showed him my press card.’
Ardi Bayage was even put in the Abepura police cells for covering a West Papua National Committee (KNBP) demonstration in support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). He was arrested and put in jail with seven other demonstrators. Later, the police said they did not know that Bayage was a journalist.
From 2012 to 2016, the Alliance of Independent Journalists of Jayapura Municipality recorded 63 cases of violence against journalists in West Papua. None of these cases led to any legal consequences for the police.
Cash for good news
‘At first, I was amazed to see so many journalists waiting around at the end of interview sessions with officials. I then found out that they were actually waiting for their money.’ said one journalist who works for a media base in Jakarta. Another journalist confessed that regional officials are willing to give large sums of money to make up news about the success of development projects in West Papua, even if the real facts are very different.
Bribery has become a serious issue for journalists in West Papua. According to RSF’s 2017 Press Freedom Index, the practice is partly driven by the low salary of journalists in West Papua. Journalists receive bribes from officials as a reward for writing positive stories about the region. As a consequence, journalists rarely report problematic issues such as environmental degradation from development projects or violence against civilians from the security forces.
Tightening the web
The government of Indonesia is now treating communications technology as a threat. Websites that have raised the issues of human rights violations in West Papua are now starting to be banned in Indonesia. After was banned in 2016, the government has also blocked a range of websites including and
‘The government claims that access has been restricted because those websites had “separatist” content. But we need to ensure that any such restrictions meet accepted human rights standards,’ said Asep Komarudin, Research Coordinator of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers Jakarta). He believes that websites should not be restricted unless the process is clear, transparent and recognized by law. Any determination of content should be carried out by a judicial authority or an independent body, not the government.
All of these issues should be of great concern to anyone involved in celebrating World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta. Double standards in press freedom are not something to be proud of!
Victor Mambor is Editor of the West Papuan newspaper Tabloid Jubi. He was former chairperson for The Alliance of Independent Journalist in Papua (2010-2016). Now he is a press expert of the Indonesia Press Council.


Cyril Payen: ‘Too good to be true’
I have lived and worked for more than 20 years in Asia. My reporting took me from Burma to North Korea, from the jungles of the Southern Philippines to Tibet - but there was still one place, a remote, wild and inaccessible region bordering Asia and the Pacific, an area I had always dreamt to visit: West Papua.
This remote region annexed by Indonesia had always been a journalist’s fantasy, an impossible challenge. There were a few amazing stories over the years of colleagues spending months in the Papuan swamps among machete-wielding guerrillas, or of foreigners vanishing at the border with Papua New Guinea. Stories of daring reporters too, being arrested and deported from Jayapura and banned from Indonesia after trying to get into the region undercover.
More than five decades ago Indonesia brutally annexed this region with no noticeable reaction from the outside world. The area had been always off limits to humanitarian organizations as well as foreign journalists. Forty-five thousand troops were said to be currently stationed here: more than anywhere else in the country. Years of repression had resulted in hundreds of thousands of victims among the local West Papuan population. Why did Jakarta have such an interest in this land? Why were they keeping it sealed up?
Then, in 2014, a new reform-oriented president was elected in Indonesia. Joko Widodo’s ideas, programme and intentions sounded very promising.
After just a few months in office, the new president declared that off-limits provinces like Papua and West Papua were now accessible to anyone without needing a permit. It sounded too good to be true, so I immediately contacted officials from the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta. Surprisingly, it took less than two weeks to obtain a press visa for West Papua. On a misty morning of June 2015, I was finally landing at Jayapura airport after a long flight over the immense Indonesian archipelago.
Working in a place which has been closed for decades is not easy. Fully aware of the huge military intelligence network in place in Indonesia that I had experienced in East Timor, Aceh and Ambon over the years, I was instinctively watching my back upon arrival in West Papua, checking the streets for distinctive men with black leather biker jackets – a trademark look for Indonesian undercover police. More importantly, I did not rush to get in touch with local dissidents and human rights activists so as not to compromise them. It really goes with the job to be cautious, and not take for granted any sudden change of rules. Frankly, I was expecting to be followed and spied upon. After a few days, it was clear I was not.
Staying for a while in Jayapura, I could work quite freely, even sneaking into the provincial jail to meet political leaders and ‘Papua Merdeka’ (Free West Papua) members. Jayapura was obviously becoming a carbon copy of other major industrialized Indonesian cities. Sadly, all traces of Papuan culture had nearly vanished already. Through a massive and uncontrolled transmigration plan, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians had been relocated here. Dramatic demographic changes had occurred already: the Papuans had become a minority.
So I decided to leave the city. And then the problems started.
I left for the Baliem Valley, at the heart of the island. I headed through one of the wildest and most remote regions on earth to reach Tolikara, a village perched almost 2000 meters above sea level. It was less than a century ago that outsiders stumbled across this remote area. Today a growing number of Indonesians are migrating to Tolikara, creating an uneasy peace with local tribes. Here, I started to be followed, and my contacts began to be watched. My Papuan driver mysteriously changed overnight, being replaced by an Indonesian man from Java who happened to be a military intelligence operative. The day after my visit, violent incidents started in Tolikara. The police shot several local villagers demonstrating against the Indonesian presence. After a few days into the Baliem Valley, I radically changed my way of working, starting to be very cautious and to move quickly. Back to Jayapura, two intelligence officers were waiting for me, quietly sitting in the lobby of my hotel. It suddenly looked like the old days. My filming was done. The next morning, I was gone.
A few months later, my documentary ‘La Guerre OubliĆ©e des Papous’ (‘Papua’s Forgotten War’) was broadcast worldwide on France 24. The Indonesian embassy in Paris immediately reacted by summoning the French Ambassador in Jakarta to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the tense meeting, the diplomat was told I had ‘betrayed’ their trust and that my film was ‘biased’. As a result, I would be denied any Indonesian visa from that day forwards. The president’s promises had not lasted long. It was, indeed, too good to be true.
Cyril Payen is the Middle East correspondent for France 24. Some of his coverage from West Papua can be seen on France 24.
The May edition of New Internationalist magazine, Freedom in sight? Why the world’s forgotten occupation needs you, is dedicated to West Papua




Ulis Turot, the shooting victim, after the surgery in Sorong hospital – IST
Jayapura, Jubi – Residents around SMP Negeri I Aifat, South Sorong, was shocked last Thursday (20th April) by the shooting of an ordinary citizen conducted by a mobile brigade member (Brimob). The victim, named Ulis Turot, was shot on the right back of his hip until the bullet penetrated into the front of his abdomen.
Mario, an eyewitness to this incident said it occurred around 12:00 at local time. Before the shot, the victim was seen asking for cigarettes at a stall owned by a teacher of SMP Negeri I Aifat.
“The teacher did want to give a cigarette and Ulis who was under influence of alcohol drinks pressed the teacher to give him cigarette. The teacher was panic and call Brimob on the phone,” said Mario via telephone, Friday (April 2st 2017).
Shortly after, three members of Brimob (still unidentified) came to the kiosk location, and then hit the victim. The victim ran to his house, not far from school. He came out again with a machete and went to the back of the house. The three members of Brimob followed the victims. Somehow, two shots were heard. Then the victim Ulis ran to the front of his house while holding his stomach.
“Ulis was shot on the right back of his and the bullet penetrated into the front of his abdomen,” explained Mario.
At that time, continued Mario, an adult woman named Magda wanted to record video of the victim. However, he was reprimanded by one of the Brimob officers so she did not record it.
“While in front of the house, the Brimob still beat Ulis, handcuffed and dragged him into Brimob Patrol car. This event was witnessed by local residents and Head of North Aifat District, Roni Kocu, “continued Mario.
He was then being brought into the brimob car and took him to the Kumurkek Police Station without informed his family. The district chief followed the authorities.
Seli Kosho, victim’s family in Sorong just learned about the shootings after received a call by a TNI member in the afternoon. Seli was told that Ulis was in Sorong General Hospital, which is about 200 km from Kumurkek or 6 hours by car.
“Friday, April 21st 2017, at 10:00 am Ulis was having surgery for the second time in Sorong hospitals,” said Seli.
Jubi called the phone number of South Sorong Police Chief, AKBP Iwan Surya Ananta, S.IK on Saturday (22nd April) to confirm this incident. But the number cannot be contacted. Ealier in Friday night, Jubi also had asked the Police Chief via WhatsApp channel and sent pictures of the victim after the surgery to get him confirmation. But the Chief did not respond. (*)
Reporter : Victor Mambor
Editor     : Zely Ariane


Timika, Jubi – Branch chairman of Chemical, Energy and Mining Workers’ Union (SP-KEP) SPSI Mimika Regency, Papua Province fully supports PT Freeport Indonesia’s worker strike’a plan from 1 May.
Chairman of SP-KEP SPSI Mimika Aser Gobay in Timika, Wednesday (26th April), said that PT Freeport employees have the right to hold a strike, which is guaranteed by Law No. 13 of 2003 on Labor.
The strike planned to last for a whole month from May 1 to 31, 2017 was raised by the Head of Work Unit (PUK) SP-KEP SPSI PT Freeport.
“Please feel free if the security forces advise employees to discourage their intention to strike, but employees also have the right to strike, it is guaranteed by law,” Aser said.

He responded to opinion of the Manpower, Transmigration and People’s Housing Office of Mimika who called employees strike to have no legality since it was not caused by a failure of negotiation with the management.
“The strike is not merely based from failed negotiation, but the union asks Freeport’s management to negotiate, which they refused, that is why the strike is legitimate,” explained Aser who is an employee of PT Kuala Pelabuhan Indonesia (KPI), one of a privatization company that manages transportation within PT Freeport.
Aser said that the PUK SP-KEP SPSI has yet to discuss in detail what activities will be held on May 1 to coincide with the commemoration of International Day of Work (May Day) in Timika.
According to him, PT Freeport employees’ strike which was followed by all employees of Freeport subcontractors this time was triggered by various problems within PT Freeport and subcontractor companies, among others, the layoffs policy, forelock (laying off) employees.

The forelock policy imposed on more than 1,000 PT Freeport employees, he said, has no legal basis as it is not regulated in the Industrial Relations Guidance book and the Collective Labor Agreement (PKB) and has never been negotiated with the union.
He said thousands of workers of PT Freeport and subcontractor companies who meet daily at the Secretariat Office PUK SP-KEP SPSI PT Freeport on Jalan Budi Utomo Timika is no longer working because they are all threatened to be laid off and dismissed by the management company.(*)
Source: Antara
Editor: Zely Ariane


THURSDAY, 27 APRIL, 2017 | 21:22 WIB
4) 93 Countries to Question Indonesia`s Human Rights Violations

TEMPO.COJakarta - As many as 93 countries have signed up for United Nation`s human rights board where they will question Indonesia’s human rights enforcements in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
“There are 93 countries that have submitted their review,” said Presidential staff expert Ifdhal Kasim today, April 27. Ifdhal is yet to be notified on the questions that will be asked by the delegations.
He is not sure that each country will have the time to deliver their questions, considering that the Indonesian delegation will only be provided with a 3.5 hours window.
According to Ifdhal, reviewers often ask questions related to the death penalty that still exists in Indonesia. In addition, President Jokowi has considered a death penalty moratorium following pressure from the public. “We can’t deny the death penalty. We will report what we have done with our death penalty system. It can be seen in the criminal code revision,” he said.
Indonesia will also explain the development of past human rights violation incidents, such as the Wamena Wasior case.
“It’s being discussed by the attorney general’s office to determine whether the status will be improved to an investigation or not,” Ifdhal said.
In another occasion, Foreign Ministry’s Human Rights Director Dicky Omar says that UN`s third cycle of human rights board will be an opportunity for Indonesia to respond to UPR’s previous recommendation in 2012.
“We urge the countries to review Indonesia’s human rights cases proportionally. Deliver your recommendations but in a realistic way that can be implemented,” Dicky said.
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

5) Even One Year Arso Oil Plantation Not Producing

Action of nucleus plantation owned by PT. PN II Arso, Keerom, Wednesday 27 April 2016. (Aaron Rumbarar - SP)

JAYAPURA, - PT. Perkebunan Nusantara (PT PN) II Arso Garden, a state-owned enterprise (SOE) which is currently engaged in the oil palm plantation, today, Thursday, April 27, 2017, even a year not operating due to the demands of indigenous peoples can not be met.

The palm plantation owned by PTPN II Arso in particular the core gardens, ranging from one to five core core gardens originally housed by indigenous peoples of the three major tribes in Arso: the Abrab, Marap and Manem tribes, were forced to propagate to a factory strike resulting from no harvesting activity , Transport, and (PAO).

According to Dominika Tafor, the coordinator of indigenous peoples who are still still doing the action together with public figures stated that the government and the company neglected to see the condition of people who live suffering on customary land.

"Our demands are simple, that is, we ask the company to compensate for the land used for 34 years. And if there is an extension of the contract, then we as the first party to give consent, "said Tafor when confirmed, Thursday (4/27/2017) afternoon.

The demand is not new this time, he said, the same thing was delivered last year. "Exactly April 27, 2016, we made a run in the core garden. We will do the same thing this year with the target factory and office of PTPN II Arso, "he said.

Reported by this media before, the action was carried out by residents in the village of Yamara PIR V, Manem district, Keerom district, Papua, Wednesday (4/27/2016).

Perkebunan Nusantara II, having its address at Tanjung Morawa Medan North Sumatra, received approval from the central government through the Letter of the Minister of Agriculture No. 851 / Mentan / X1980 dated October 8, 1980 and Letter number 4781 / Mentan / VI / 1992 dated June 4, 1982 to build a plantation in the Arso , Jayapura District (now Keerom County) with the aim of accelerating development in the border area.

This is known at the time of the auditing of Keerom and the Governor of Papua Province last month.

Servo Tuamis, a local community leader who currently serves as chairman of the Indigenous Council of Keerom deeply regretted the actions of the government in this case the head of Keerom and the governor of the Papua Province which has not been able to solve this problem.

"We are not objects or other things that are easily used by the company and the government," Servo said a few days ago when interviewed in Arso.

He also asserted, indigenous people will not compromise before there is clarity. "We will not open the palm oil plantation until there is clarity and resolution of this issue through our demands," he said.

Admittedly, the land area of ​​50,000 ha used by the company did not have a positive impact for local residents. "This is the land used since the 80s until now we got what? Trada. In fact, we are the victims in the name of development in Keerom, "said Servo Tuamis, who since 1985 until now still persistently fight for their rights.

Data from the Plantation and Forestry Office of Keerom Regency, the area of ​​oil palm plantations in the area reached 11,921 hectares, with a harvested area of ​​10,195 ha. The palm oil mill PTPN II Arso has been operating since April 1992 with a capacity of 15 tons of FFB / hr.

Purchase: Harun Rumbarar


Jayapura, Jubi – The management of PT PLN Papua and West Papua (WP2B) will increase the electrification ratio in Papua by building a number of PLTMGs that will be in existence from 2017 to 2019.
General Manager of PLN WP2B Yohanes Sukrislismono estimates that in September 2017, PLTMG (Phase I) of 50 MW will be built to get surplus of electricity power in Jayapura.
“PLN also built PLTMG Nabire with a capacity of 20 MW targeted for completion later this year, following PLTMG in Timika 40 MW, Biak 35 MW, Merauke 40 MW, Serui 10 MW, Manokwari 20 MW, Fakfak 10 MW, Bintuni 10 MW, and Kaimana 10 MW and Raja Ampat 10 MW, ” he added.
He hopes that by 2018 the electricity supply in Papua will be available with the addition of new power plants.

Quoted from, PT PLN (Persero) budgeted Rp2, 53 trillion to run electricity projects into the village this year in North Maluku province, Maluku, West Papua and Papua.
Most of the budget is allocated for Papua and West Papua are Rp1.81 trillion or 71.53 percent of the total funding plan.
Regional Business Director of Maluku and Papua PLN Haryanto WS said the budget is allocated to 564 villages in Maluku and Papua. A total of 365 villages are located in Papua and the remaining 199 are located in the Maluku archipelago.
“We allocate the budget Rp1, 81 trillion for electricity to be able to reach into the village in Papua and Rp752 billion in Maluku,” said Haryanto, Tuesday (April 25th)
Although the number of villages to be reached in Papua is almost twice that of Maluku, the village’s electricity budget in Papua is almost three times then of Maluku. Haryanto said, the high cost incurred due to Papua’s geographical location is difficult to penetrate the road. (*)
Reporter: Sindung Sukoco
Editor: Syofiardi

Sorong, Jubi – The Pacific Aquatic Resources Research Center (P2SP2) of Papua University confirmed that the turtle population in Kaimana, West Papua province is almost extinct.
It is said only seven species of turtles in the world and six of them are from Indonesia. Four from the six species of Indonesian turtles are exist in West Papua province, they are green turtles, hawksbill, cleaved turtles, and leatherback turtles whose movements spread to Aru, Kei, Southeast Maluku, Kaimana and Fakfak, West Papua Province.
In March-October 2016, P2SP2 conducted research on turtles. The survey conducted at Etna Bay (Lakahia and Ombanariki) and Venu Island, Kaimana.

Unipa Lecturer of Marine Biology and Conservation Ricardo Tapilatu said the number of turtles decreased due predators such as pigs, monitor lizards, hawks and sharks. Environmental conditions also greatly affect, such as high sand temperatures and high tides.
“There has been a drastic reduction in the number of turtles. For example leatherback turtle species in 2008 is about 15,000 nests per year, dropping to 2,000 nests per year in 2011. Last year there were only 1,500 nests per year,” he said in a written statement received by Jubi in Sorong, Tuesday (25/4 / 2017).
The biggest threat to turtles, he said is human behavior. The use of fishing tools such as hooks and fishing rods choked the turtles off and threaten its survival. In addition, the plastics that turtles eat caused them to die.
The turtle plays an important role for the conservation of the marine environment. Green turtles, for example, are the key species that feed on sea grass, so the sea grass fertility increases. While hawksbill consume sponges, but also maintain the fertility of sponges.
“Turtles release their eggs on sandy beaches could be a good indicator of the coastal environment. The turtles only seek clean waters and beaches free from pollution with natural ecosystems, “said Director of Indonesia Marine Conservation International, Victor Nikijuluw.
Kaimana Deputy Regent, Ismail Sirfefa said there should be socialization of this issue to the community, and invite them to also protect species of turtles and it environtment. “(and) People should stop consuming turtles,” he said.(*)
Reporter              : Florence Niken
Editor                    : Zely Ariane