Jumat, 27 Januari 2012


Rallies to support Papuan leaders facing treason trials on Monday

January 28, 2012
by Nick Chesterfield at Westpapuamedia.info with sources
West Papua’s civil resistance movement is believed to be organising major demonstrations to support West Papuan leaders facing treason charges in Indonesia’s courts on Monday, January 30.
Indonesian prosecutors will begin proceedings in Jayapura in the treason trials for the leaders of the Third Papuan People’s Congress (KP3), which decalred independence from Jakarta on October 19 last year, after which Indonessian security forces stormed the venue.  The President of the Federated Republic of West Papua Forkorus Yaboisembut, Prime Minister Edison Waromi, together with Congress organisers Selpius Bobii, Dominikus Sorabut, Agus Sananay and Gat Wenda all face a battery of charges stemming from their involvement in the Third Papuan Peoples Congress, held for only the third time since 1961.
Papuan leaders are standing infront; Forkorus Yaboisembut S.Pd, Edsison Waromi SH .behind Dominikus Surabut, Gad Wenda, Agus Senandy Kraar and Selpius Bobii (Photos: West Papua Media)
Five of the six are charged with treason under Article 106 of KUHP (the Indonesian Criminal Code), and have also been charged under Article 53 for incitement to acts of treason, and Article 55 which states that even attempting to committ an act (in this case treason), even if unproven is the same as committing the act.  Gat Wenda is charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The use of these charges date back to the Dutch colonial times and were used extensively by the Suharto New Order regime to suppress nonviolent dissent.
Their trial will take place at Pengadilan Negeri Klas 1A (State Court 1A), according to a letter dated 17 January (reference 17/PEN.PID/2012/PN). The trial is due to start at 10:00am. The Hon. Jack Johanes Octovianus SH. MH. will be the presiding judge.
Indonesian police and soldiers stormed the Congress venue on October 19 after the independence declaration at the close of the Congress, killing at least 7 people, injuring hundreds and arresting as many as 800 participants. All but the six current detainees were eventually released, but ongoing crackdowns against Papuan nonviolent activists by security forces across Papua intensified in the weeks after the Congress, with several cases of arbitrary arrest and killings.
Papuan human rights activists have alleged, as Video footage of the attack clearly shows, Australian trained Detachment 88 anti-terror troops involved in the attack on unarmed congress participants. Six people were killed and over 300 were arrested.
All detainees were severely beaten by Indonesian police extensively in the weeks following the crackdown, with Yaboisembut sustaining multiple fractures including broken ribs and sternum, and was so badly tortured that he could not stand.
The Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (Elsham) together with the Communion of Churches in Papua (PGGP) reported in said that at least 51 people had been tortured by members of the military and police during and after the Congress. Congress participants testified that they had been “beaten and kicked repeatedly by security forces both at the congress site and while being transported to police headquarters. Some participants said they were beaten at the police station.”
In mid December, when the Indonesian police finally charged the detainees with treason, their legal team rejected this unequivocally. As reported by Bintang Papua, well prior to the Congress the committee sent a letter of notification to the police requesting permission for the congress to be held, and had also sent a letter to the Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, requesting him to be the keynote speaker at the congress. Suyanto agreed and instructed the director-general of the ministry to open the congress, though he never attended.
‘How can this be said to be treason when there have been letters received from the police and the minister?,’ said the lawyers who stressed that all their clients had done was to express their opinions, rights guaranteed under Indonesian Law the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
An SMS sent to West Papua Media from the KP3 committee has called for the people of Papua to guard the results of the Third Papuan Congress and to hold the Indonesian state to upholding the due process of law.
There is a high likelihood that the six will not receive a fair trial, according to human rights monitors and the lawyers for the six.
The Papuan detainees have requested international observers, including an Australian Government representative be present at the trial and their lawyers have advised that it is possible. The six are all peaceful protesters who were exercising their right to free speech, according to legal observers.
Demonstrations of prayers, live music and vigils are planned to be held outside the courthouse during the trials, according to West Papua Media stringers on the ground in Jayapura. The KP3 COmmittee have called for people to “maintain an escort for the trial that is peaceful and dignified” and to remain united in the face of security force provocations.
West Papua Media stringers also report that Indonesian security forces have mobilised sigificantly to prevent any “disruption” of the treason trials, expected to be a flashpoint for further crackdown by security forces on peaceful dissent. Significant deployment of military hardware is expected on Monday which may provoke an already tense atmosphere.
West Papua Media will naturally report on any developments as they happen

Kamis, 26 Januari 2012


West Papua Violence Hits Indonesian RSF Media Rankings

Press Release – West Papua Media Alerts
PARIS ( Reporters sans frontières / Pacific Media Watch ): An Indonesian military crackdown in the West Papua region, where at least two journalists were killed, five kidnapped and 18 assaulted in 2011, is the main reason for the country’s fall to … West Papua Violence Hits Indonesian RSF Media Rankings – NZ, Fiji Fall
PARIS (Reporters sans frontières / Pacific Media Watch): An Indonesian military crackdown in the West Papua region, where at least two journalists were killed, five kidnapped and 18 assaulted in 2011, is the main reason for the country’s fall to 146th position in the annual Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
A corrupt judiciary that is too easily influenced by politicians and pressure groups and government attempts to control the media and Internet have prevented the development of a freer press, said the 2011 RSF report released today.
West Papua strongly featured in an earlier Pacific Journalism Review media freedom report which condemned Indonesia’s human rights record in October.
Fiji, which has a draconian media decree imposed by the military backed regime that seized power in a 2006 coup, dropped again to 117th. The survey was completed before the Pacific country lifted its Public Emergency Regulations (PER) earlier this year.
Countries that have “traditionally been good performers in the Asia-Pacific region did not shine in 2011″, the RSF report said.
“With New Zealand’s fall to 13th position, no country in the region figured among the top 10 in the index.
“Hong Kong (54th) saw a sharp deterioration in press freedom in 2011 and its ranking fell sharply.
“Arrests, assaults and harassment worsened working conditions for journalists to an extent not seen previously, a sign of a worrying change in government policy.
“In Australia (30th), the media were subjected to investigations and criticism by the authorities, and were denied access to information, while in Japan (22nd) coverage of the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear accident gave rise to excessive restrictions and exposed the limits of the pluralism of the country’s press.”
The best ranked Pacific Islands nation was Papua New Guinea (35th), three places above France (38th) which has territories in the region.
Samoa (54th) ranked equal with Hong Kong, just ahead of the United States territories and well clear of Tonga (63rd) and Timor-Leste (86th). Vanuatu, which has been a problem over the past year, was not listed. Nor was the Solomon Islands.
“In the Philippines (140th), which rose again in the index after falling in 2010 as a result of the massacre of 32 journalists in Ampatuan in November 2009, paramilitary groups and private militias continued to attack media workers,” the RSF report said.
“The judicial investigation into the Ampatuan massacre made it clear that the response of the authorities was seriously inadequate.
“In Afghanistan (150th) and Pakistan (151st), violence remained the main concern for journalists, who were under constant threat from the Taliban, religious extremists, separatist movements and political groups.
“With 10 deaths in 2011, Pakistan (151st) was the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the second year in a row.”

Selasa, 24 Januari 2012

Report Alertnet in Bangkok

24 Jan 2012 13:04
Source: Alertnet // Thin Lei Win
Indonesian Christian kids hold candles as they sing Christmas-themed songs in Jakarta's sports stadium in this file photo taken on December 3, 2001. REUTERS/Enny Nurahen
By Thin Lei Win
BANGKOK (AlertNet) – Violence against religious minorities surged in Indonesia in 2011, with authorities standing aside and failing to uphold the rule of law as Islamist mobs attacked Christians and Ahmadis, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its annual report on the country.
The report, part of a larger HRW publication monitoring human rights in more than 90 countries, also said violence continued to rack Papua and West Papua. The report said the authorities used excessive force against peaceful protesters in these Indonesian provinces, where a low-level separatist insurgency has been going on for decades.
Elaine Pearson, the group’s deputy Asia director, said attacks on religious minorities and police violence in Papua “got a lot worse in 2011.”
“The common thread is the failure of the Indonesian government to protect the rights of all its citizens,” she said.
The report said senior government officials, including Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali, Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, and Minister of Human Rights and Law Patrialis Akbar, “continued to justify restrictions on religious freedom in the name of public order.”
Incidents of sectarian violence “got more deadly and more frequent” last year, with 184 cases of religious attacks in the first nine months of 2011, the rights group said. Churches as well as Ahmadi mosques and communities in various places came under assault.
The Ahmadis are followers of a minority Ahmadiyya sect founded in the 19thcentury. They believe there have been other prophets of Islam since its founder Mohammad, although he is regarded as the most important. Mainstream Muslims consider them heretical, and Ahmadis face increasing threats of violence in many countries including Pakistan and Indonesia.
“Short prison terms for a handful of offenders did nothing to dissuade mob violence,” the report added, pointing to the February incident in western Java when some three Ahmadis were killed and five injured when some 1,500 Islamic militants attacked a house.
The event was caught on film – police officers were shown watching as the mob wreaked havoc – but only 12 men were charged, and none for manslaughter. One of the Ahmadis injured in the attack was later convicted of assault and disobeying police orders.
The report also said the country’s military and police continue to commit rights abuses against civilians, especially in Papua, where access is almost impossible for foreigners.
Few journalists and rights researchers can visit the two provinces on the west half of New Guinea island that belong to Indonesia, which took over the area from Dutch colonial rule in 1963.
“Impunity for members of Indonesia’s security forces remains a serious concern, with no civilian jurisdiction over soldiers who commit serious human rights abuses,” HRW said.
“Military tribunals are held rarely, lack transparency, and the charges frequently fail to reflect the seriousness of the abuses committed.”
In January, a military tribunal in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, convicted three soldiers from Battalion 753 for brutally torturing two Papuans.
Despite video evidence of the involvement of six soldiers, the tribunal tried only three, and on “lesser military discipline charges rather than for torture,” the rights group said.
They were sentenced to between eight and 12 months in prison but have not been discharged, it added.
(Editing by Rebekah Curtis)

Senin, 23 Januari 2012


Wests a world apart in bloody bid for


By Kayt Davies | January 24th, 2012, 12:08 pm
WA and West Papua have a few things in common. Apart from both having "west" in our names, we are both the resource-rich cash cows of our respective nations and we've both bandied about the word "separatism".
In WA, the secessionist movement is both part of our history and a pervasive sentiment that makes talkback radio listeners grumblingly ask "why should our minerals royalties be used to pay for hospitals in Victoria?".
Most West Australians are not serious about wanting to slice ourselves off from the rest of Australia. We can see the benefits, and no one disputes that we willingly signed up to Federation. But this feeling of wanting to keep what is rightfully ours, and not sharing it, is the core of the resistance to the mining tax. In our hearts we are separatists.
Meanwhile in West Papua, separatism is a word used seriously. Some, like rebel leader Jhon Yogi, take a military approach and lead a group armed with old rifles and bows and arrows.
Yogi is a hunted man, the likes of which a movie will be made about one day. In the past few months, the Indonesian military presence in West Papua has escalated. In a gunfight last month, a police officer was shot, allegedly by Yogi's men, and in retaliation his village was surrounded by paramilitary police on December 13 and burnt to the ground. In the following few weeks, 27 villages were burnt and more than 9000 people were chased into the jungles and foothills, where they worry about starving as the military forces them higher into the mountains to places where food is more scarce.
According to West Papua media reports, four fully armed combat battalions are searching the area for Yogi but he is eluding and frustrating them.
While Yogi is swashbuckling, he is not the main attraction of the separatist movement. The real power players are the ones behind the peaceful People's Congress held on October 16-19. About 3000 West Papuans attended despite the meeting being surrounded by a ring of military with tanks and machineguns.
On the last day, Forkorus Yaboisembut and Edison Waromi were appointed president and prime minister of independent West Papua but as their positions were announced the gunfire started. In the melee at least seven people were shot dead and 800 were arrested, including the new appointees. Yaboisembut and Waromi are in custody awaiting trial for treason.
From where we stand it's easy to be baffled by their actions. Why is Yogi hiding in the jungle?
Why did these people adopt these titles if they knew it would lead to imprisonment and torture?
This is where it helps to draw comparisons. In WA, we are part of a nation by the choice of our predecessors. But what if the last century had ended differently and we had been gifted to Indonesia to appease it for some reason, like Papua was given to Indonesia in the 1960s to discourage it from siding with Russia in the Cold War? What if we had been given no say in the decision?
Or if we'd not only been given no say, but 1000 people were rounded up and threatened with death or mutilation if they didn't vote yes? Would we feel even more irritated about our mineral resources being used to fund hospitals and roads in the rest of the country?
Here we love our mines and miners. The companies pay good wages because miners work hard in harsh places. But how would we feel about the companies if our miners were being paid less than $1.50 an hour? Would that justify them doing what the Freeport miners did last year - strike for three months to get a pay rise? And what would we have them do if the company agreed to pay them $7.50 an hour but refused to guarantee that they won't be hunted down and shot for striking in the first place?
The final question is how would we feel about Australia, the country right next door, if we filmed our friends and neighbours being arrested, tortured and killed and sent the footage to the media in Australia and if the Australian Government ignored us and carried on talking to Indonesia as if we didn't exist? As if what was happening was just made up by a few crazy activists, and if instead they were so chummy with Indonesia that they invited their soldiers over for training and gave them gifts of millions of dollars worth of military equipment.
If you think about it like this, the West Papuans are just like us. History has not been as kind to them, but their responses resonate with the range of things that we would probably do in similar circumstances. On the whole, they've had enough and want a different future.
In 2001, Indonesia bowed to international pressure and gave them a special autonomy package, but it was just a piece of paper. Nothing changed.
That's why Yogi is in the jungle and why Yaboisembut and Waromi did what they did in October, knowing it would land them in prison. They're hoping the international pressure will ramp up and this time wind back the violence and the resources stripping for real.
Dr Kayt Davies is a senior lecturer in journalism at Edith Cowan University


President attacks NGOs over commenting on West Papua

West Papua freedom singers
West Papuan freedom fighters and singers dream of independence from Indonesia. Photo: Dominic Brown TG
Pacific Scoop:
Report – By a special correspondent in Jakarta
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reprimanded non-government organisations that often criticise how the Indonesian Military (TNI) handles security in West Papua, saying that they imply that the law should not be enforced in the country’s easternmost island.
“Papua is part of Indonesia. It doesn’t make sense that NGOs say something that implies that we can’t enforce the law in Papua,” he said at the TNI and National Police leaders meeting in Jakarta.
The President said the military presence in Papua was not without reason.
“They are there because there is still an armed separatist movement, which we should be aware of,” he said, emphasising that there was only a small military presence that did not conduct aggressive military operations.
The President stressed that the government was eager to improve people’s welfare on the island by implementing programs to accelerate Papua’s economic development.
‘No tip service’
“That is not just lip service – the average development expenditure per capita in Papua is the highest in the country,” the President said.
He added that he had conveyed the government’s policy on Papua to his counterparts across the globe as news regarding military activities in Papua spread quickly to world leaders.
“Many have asked me about what happened in Papua. I should explain that the military presence in Papua was not without justification,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.