Rabu, 25 April 2012

Key Visit to Indonesia and West Papua

Key visit to Indonesia and West Papua

Key visit to Indonesia and West Papua
Indonesia Human Rights Committee,

14 April, 2012
Media Release : Prime Minister John Key urged to raise human rights issues in West Papua during his forthcoming visit to Indonesia .
Prime Minister John Key must not overlook the ongoing suffering, killings and gross restrictions of fundamental freedoms in West Papua when he talks to Indonesian Government leaders. IHRC has faxed him a letter on the eve of his departure to highlight recent gross injustices – including military sweepings and the arrest on trumped up ‘treason’ charges of respected Papuan leaders. Letter follows

13 April, 2012
Rt Hon John Key,
Prime Minister,
Parliament Buildings,
Wellington .

Dear John Key,
We understand that you are about to visit Indonesia , and this morning’s media report suggests that you will seek to encourage a ‘warmer’ relationship.
Your visit follows that of the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who chose the occasion of his visit to announce the relaxation of arms exports to Indonesia as a recognition of Indonesia’s ‘democratic progress’. This move has been condemned by human rights groups as a threat to the interests of the people of West Papua , who have been on the receiving end of Indonesian military violence for decades.
New Zealand has a special responsibility not to forget our Melanesian neighbours in West Papua . We must not overlook ongoing human rights issues, in the rush to acknowledge the positive changes that have taken place in Indonesia post Suharto.
Indonesia maintains a hugely disproportionate military presence in West Papua – including crack Special Forces (Kopassus) troops - and restricts outside access, but these days with video and digital technology the reports of abuses cannot be easily suppressed. The Indonesian military has recently conducted ‘sweep operations’, in the Central Highlands of West Papua . These attacks destroy homes, churches, and traditional meeting places, while forcing villagers to flee into nearby forests for security, at the risk of starvation and disease.
According to the data collected by British human rights group, TAPOL, since 2008 at least 80 Papuans have been arrested and charged with ‘treason’ or related offences simply for peaceful actions such as raising the Papuan Morning Star Flag. They have been imprisoned for terms ranging from 10 months to six years. For example, Filep Karma, a civil servant, and Amnesty International ‘prisoner of conscience’ was arrested in December 2004, convicted of treason and sentenced to fifteen years in jail.
We have been writing to you and to Foreign Minister Mc Cully to urge you to speak out about the events in October 2011, when the Third Papuan People’s Congress was held in Jayapura, attended by hundreds of people from across the country. This peaceful Congress was violently dispersed by police and army troops who opened fire without any provocation and killed at least three people.
Since then some 17 police personnel have received ‘administrative sanctions’ but no one was held accountable for the deaths, or for the unprovoked violence which caused injuries to at least 90 people or for the arbitrary arrest of some 300 people.
The Indonesian military continue to enjoy impunity, while the five Papuan leaders (Selfius Bobii, Agus Kraar, Dominikus Sorabut, Edison Waromi, and Forkorus Yoboisembut) , who were taken into custody following the Congress were put on trial, found guilty of treason and last month sentenced to three years in prison.
We believe that the decision to convict and imprison these men for their involvement in an entirely peaceful event decision flies in the face of Indonesia ’s professed commitment to international human rights norms. Declaring a wish or commitment to freedom and independence is not ‘treason’.
Indonesia is a signatory to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and Indonesia ’s constitution also protects these rights.
We understand that New Zealand diplomatic representatives have monitored events in West Papua and followed (but did not observe) the conduct of this trial. So you will be aware of the many criticisms of the trial process, and the heavy presence maintained by armed members of the security forces during the trial sessions. We urge you to raise these issues during your meetings with Indonesian Government representatives.
New Zealand must use its close relationship with the Indonesian Government to urge it to release all prisoners currently serving sentences for peaceful political activities and exercising their freedom of expression . New Zealand should also urge open access to West Papua for journalists and humanitarian workers.
West Papuan leaders are calling for the opportunity to take part in a peaceful dialogue with representatives of the Jakarta government as a first step towards addressing the territory’s deep problems and ongoing suffering. We urge you to support this constructive proposal.
Yours sincerely,
Maire Leadbeater
(for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee)

Jennifer Robinson Scandal: Was the Wikileaks Lawyer Detained for Political Reasons??

Jennifer Robinson Scandal: Was the Wikileaks Lawyer Detained For Political Reasons?

Jennifer Robinson Scandal: Was the Wikileaks Lawyer Detained For Political Reasons?
Jennifer Robinson Scandal: Was the Wikileaks Lawyer Detained For Political Reasons?Flickr
Share on Facebook
An illegitimate immigration incident involving Jennifer Robinson, the Australian lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, occurred at London's Heathrow Airport late on April 18.
Jennifer Robinson was informed that she could not board a plane to Australia until she was cleared by the Australian High Commission. Using Twitter, she informed her followers: “Just delayed from checking in at LHR because I'm apparently ‘inhibited’ — requiring approval from Australia House to travel.” Robinson added that an immigration security guard told her: “You must have done something controversial because we have to phone the embassy.”
A few days prior, Robinson had met her client, Assange, and Wikileaks had tweeted out “Jennifer Robinson met with Assange on Monday ... Australian watchlist incident Wednesday.” A decision is expected any day on Assange's appeal against being extradited to Sweden. From that country, he may be extradited to the U.S., where he was indicted by a secret grand jury in December 2010 on charges under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Robinson is a London-based human rights lawyer. She has acted in numerous high-profile free speech cases. Her work in West Papua and Indonesia during her studies at the Australian National University strengthened her interest in human rights, and she continues to advocate for the rights of West Papuans through her work with International Lawyers for West Papua.
Additional speculation is being expressed in legal circles about the Heathrow incident. Robinson's involvement with the case of Bradley Manning in the U.S. — the soldier alleged to have leaked secret U.S. cables to WikiLeaks — and her involvement with human rights cases in Indonesia's province of West Papua are suspected factors.
Robinson finally arrived in Sydney Friday morning. She has clarified that no call was made from Heathrow to Australia’s House, despite Virgin Airlines staff insisting she was an “inhibited person” and that approval was required before she could be checked-in.
Inhibited person” is not a term used by Australian agencies. New rules, accepted by the UK in March, require airlines to submit passengers' personal data to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Then the information is checked against a “No Fly” list. Airlines are required to provide DHS with details of passengers even if they were not travelling to the United States, but to countries near the U.S., such as Canada, Mexico and Cuba.
However, Robinson was flying to Australia. That raises concern over a politically-motivated attempt to hinder the WikiLeaks lawyers in their work. Article 18 of the UN Principles on the Role of Lawyers sets out clearly that “lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients' causes as a result of discharging their functions.” The freedom of individuals to access the court is now threatened by this legal overstretch.


Greens Slate Key For Silence Over West Papua

Greens slate Key for silence over West Papua

Last updated 15:26 14/04/2012
Text Size

The Greens say it's "absolutely disgraceful'' Prime Minister John Key will not raise human rights abuse concerns in West Papua when he meets Indonesian leaders in Jakarta this week.
Key and a 26-strong business delegation arrive in the capital Jakarta tomorrow on a mission aimed at boosting trade with the emerging Asian economic superpower.
During his three days in Jakarta, Key will meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vice-president Boediono, address a business seminar and attend an official state dinner.
Efforts to make West Papua independent are a contentious issue for Indonesia, which sees the province as a touchstone of its territorial integrity.
New Zealand's official policy is to endorse Indonesia's view.  It is understood the issue is often raised by the Indonesians, who seek reassurance New Zealand has not changed its stance. If asked, Key is expected to reassert the Government's position, and is not expected to raise human rights.
Greens MP Catherine Delahunty said Key should have the "ethical courage'' to discuss the issue. "Indonesia has made considerable progress in terms of democratisation in recent years, particularly in Ache, and post East Timor there have been improvements in human rights in other regions.''
But she said  West Papua was a "dirty little secret'', and that was a disgrace because it was a near neighbour to Australia and New Zealand.
The province has been locked down and is inaccessible to international journalists, and the Red Cross had been expelled.
Delahunty said she had presented Parliament with photographic evidence of torture in the province.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were concerned about the jailing of five freedom activists, known as the Jayapura Five, on treason charges.
"We have a Government that should be taking the opportunity to show leadership. We've shown leadership before, Bougainville would be a good example, and we would hope the Key Government would take the opportunity to say we would be happy to broker a peace deal between West Papuan leaders and Indonesia.''
It was "absolutely disgraceful'' Key would avoid the issue, she said.
Foreign Affairs and Trade said it closely monitored developments through its Jakarta embassy and had "open and constructive conversations'' about it.
A spokesperson said human rights issues had been discussed by the New Zealand ambassador and Indonesian ministers, and by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and his Indonesian counterpart as recently as 2010 between
After concerns about a video showing torture of two Papuan men by Indonesian military personnel, Mr McCully released a statement welcoming an inquiry into the images.

Greeting Peace!!