Sabtu, 05 Mei 2012

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)

West Papua: Dog and Cuscus Cannot Share a Bed in PNG

West Papua: dog & cuscus cannot share a bed

THE WEST PAPUAN CONFLICT needs global attention. The conflict is the end product of colonisation by Dutch in West Papua.  Moreover, looking at the conflict, it is very difficult to come up with solutions because of the stranglehold of the Indonesian on West Papua.
The difficulty in solving this issue is that it needs full support from all countries, but given Indonesia’s bilateral relationships, bordering countries such as Australia and Papua New Guinea find it very difficult to intervene. Tensions will escalate if either Australia or Papua New Guinea try to intervene
There is much political chaos in West Papua, crimes against humanity and many people killed, tortured and raped by Indonesian forces in silent genocide. Also, transmigration from Bali, Sulawesi and Java leads to more people coming to West Papua and leads to natives being prisoners in their own land - one of the factors contributing to the conflict.
Another factor is the Indonesian government manipulating local landowners, people who are, in the words of one observer, “becoming marginalized in their own land, due to exploitation, repression, exploitation and genocide” (Ondawame, 2000:21).
West Papuans face a crisis. It is a crisis of a man seeking to preserve his life on the edge of extreme danger; while striving to restore his identity, his power and his status. In the region, it is a similar crisis that the New Caledonians and Bougainvilleans are going through.
The first stage into solving this conflict to halt the Transmigration Program and return the aliens to their origins. This great human rights abuse is ignored by the world.
Then cut off the Bahasa Indonesia language in Papua, which represents a cultural suppression of a people.
Furthermore, the most important initiative of all is to re-visit the 1962 New York Agreement. In this agreement the rights of the Papuans were set out correctly and initially respected. But the Dutch colonisers and Indonesians neglected and abused them.
Democracy was defamed and the people subjugated and their rights obliterated into the smoke screen of rapacious greed.
In summary, nationhood is the only way out for West Papuans for as, a Kieta peoples’ proverb goes, ‘A dog and a cuscus cannot share a bed’.
* Prepared with fellow PNG Studies Year 2 students at Divine Word University Ronald Kalang, Dulcie Moab, Rachel Rekeken, Erin Malona

Press Freedom Fragile in Pacific, Says Academic in New Zeland

Press Freedom Fragile in Pacific, Says Academic

* Pacific Media Centre on Twitter -
Press Freedom Fragile in Pacific, Says Academic
AUCKLAND (Radio NZ International / Pacific Media Watch): The author of a report on Pacific media freedom says press freedom is very fragile in the region.
Professor David Robie, director of the New Zealand-based Pacific Media Centre, has launched a status report on media freedom in the Pacific.
He says while currently Fiji, Papua New Guinea and West Papua are facing the biggest challenges, it is fragile throughout the region.
“There’s a general mindset among Pacific politicians by and large - they don’t have a high regard for the press or the media generally. They reluctantly are happy enough to have the media on their side, particularly in the larger countries where the media is a lot more developed when they’re in opposition, and of course when they’re in power, they’re just as antagonistic with the media as any other politicians.”
Dr Robie says even following media censorship being lifted, Fiji is currently facing a period of rampant self-censorship.
He says because Fiji is so important, economically and politically to the rest of the region, there is a danger that the mindset can be exported to other countries.

Rabu, 02 Mei 2012

Assaults, Repression, Self-consorship Plague Pacific Media, Says New PMW Report

Assaults, repression, self-censorship plague Pacific media, says new PMW report

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Brutal repression of journalists and civil rights in Indonesian-ruled West Papua, censorship and self-censorship in Fiji and abuses of a free press in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu have been highlighted in a Pacific media freedom report published today.
The 41-page report by the Pacific Media Centre’s freedom project Pacific Media Watch is a harrowing indictment of the “fragile” state of the media in the region.
Marking the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) – observed globally on May 3 each year – the report is also accompanied by an eight minute video about the media made by a School of Communication Studies crew from Auckland University of Technology.
“The state of Pacific media freedom remains fragile with setbacks across the region in spite of the brief glimmer of hope in Fiji with the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) at the start of this year,” said Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie.
“While official censorship has been lifted, the tough Fiji Media Industry Development Decree imposed by the military-backed regime is still in force and is a major chilling factor for the local – and foreign – news media.
“Self-censorship is rife and suspicion plagues rival media groups eyeing a favoured place in an authoritarian mediascape.
“It is not an encouraging environment for freedom of expression as the country looks to the promised and hoped for elections in 2014.”
Media freedom video
The media freedom video, reported by Pasifika student Jordan Puati and directed by AUT television journalism lecturer Danni Mulrennan, examines media freedom issues in New Zealand as well as the Pacific.
It also highlights freedom issues faced by Māori, Pasifika and ethnic journalists in comparison to the mainstream media culture.
The video and media freedom report will be launched at a WPFD seminar hosted by the Pacific Media Centre and chaired by Fijian Dr Steven Ratuva of Auckland University’s Centre for Pacific Studies at AUT tonight.
Dr Robie said the media freedom report had been republished in book form from an article published in Pacific Journalism Review late last year.
He said the worrying trend set last year had continued into this year and he cited the following issues:
•    Fiji: The lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER)has ended formal censorship the draconian Fiji Media Industry Development Decree 2010 is still in place:  “Many journalists and civil society advocates are still fearful of speaking out due to the harsh legal penalties that they face under the law and this will damage the democratisation process,” Dr Robie said.
•    Papua New Guinea: A rise in assaults and intimidation of journalists reporting on the ongoing political crisis with “two governments” since late last year, two violent incidents involving armed police. “The continued political uncertainty and climate of impunity has raised the stakes for journalists,” Dr Robie said.
•    West Papua: “In the past year, there have been two killings of journalists, five abductions or attempted abductions, 18 assaults (including repeated cases against some journalists), censorship by both the civil and military authorities and two police arrests (but no charges),” said the media freedom report.
Dangerous places
Dr Robie said: “Clearly the two provinces of West Papua are the most dangerous places for the media in the Pacific region.
“While politically, the territory is regarded globally as part of Indonesia, the Papuans are Melanesian and the Pacific Islands Forum and Pacific media advocacy groups should be giving their Melanesian brothers priority support.
“This is the major media freedom hot spot at the moment. But it is mostly dropping below the radar for Australia, New Zealand and independent Pacific nations.”
The WPFD seminar “Media Freedom in the Pacific: The rhetoric and the reality” will be held at the Pacific Media Centre (WT1004) in  the AUT Tower building, 2 Rutland St, Auckland, 7-8.30pm, tonight.
The media freedom video and another one from Fiji Television will be screened, followed by a lively seminar featuring independent Fiji blogger Professor Crosbie Walsh; Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) chair Iulia Leilua; Papua New Guinea journalist Henry Yamo and Pakistani journalist and media educator Rukhsana Aslam.
- Pacific Media Watch


Mr Santon Tekege 
In Papua

Kopassus Leak Exposes Targetting of West Papua Leadership

Kopassus leak exposes targetting of West Papuan leadership

Posted at 22:41 on 01 May, 2012 UTC
The self-proclaimed administration of an independent state of West Papua says Indonesian special forces are planning the assassinations of Papua leaders.
These include Papuan leaders who declared a Federal Republic of West Papua at last October’s Third Papuan People’s Congress in Jayapura.
Five of the West Papuan leadership, including President Forkorus Yaboisembut and Prime Minister Edison Waromi, are serving three-year jail terms for treason as a result of the declaration.
The administration’s Foreign Affairs spokesman, Jacob Rumbiak, says their names have emerged on a hit-list leaked from a top-level meeting of Indonesia’s special forces unit Kopassus.
“So now we should expose this issue so that we try and save other leaders. We never fear about death but we try to share with Jakarta so that it not make them very happy. It’s a risk of the movement: death or freedom.”
Jacob Rumbiak.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealan

Letter: Justice for Papuans, Please

Letter : Justice for Papuans, please

The Jakarta Post | Fri, 04/27/2012 12:49 PM
A | A | A |
Although Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Primo Alui Joelianto (“Indonesia-Australia: Beyond bilateralism”, The Jakarta Post, April 24) is right in saying that Indonesia has transformed itself from an authoritarian regime to a democratic state, there is still much work to be done in the field of human rights by the Indonesian government. Progress towards democracy in Indonesia has not translated to democracy in West Papua. 

In the past year the human rights situation in West Papua continued to deteriorate, with Indonesian security forces conducting numerous military operations throughout West Papua in 2011. 

In October, there was a crackdown on the Papuan Peoples’ Congress, where security forces used excessive force to arrest up to 300 Papuans. Three people were reportedly killed and five of the organizer’s were arrested and charged with treason. 

They received three years in prison for subversion. At no time did these men commit violence and they have been jailed solely for peacefully expressing their political views, as is their right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

This week, Amnesty International released a new briefing paper “Excessive Force: Impunity for police violence in Indonesia”. The report says that “police in Indonesia shoot, beat and even kill people without fear of prosecution, leaving their victims with little hope of justice.”

Hopefully, the Indonesian government will take on the recommendations in the report. If the police and military are not  held accountable for past human rights abuses, the abuses will continue.

In relation to West Papua, next month will mark 49 years since Indonesia took over its administration from the UN in 1963. The West Papuan people still continue their struggle for justice and self-determination. 

The large number of rallies by thousands of West Papuans calling for a referendum indicates just how unhappy West Papuans are with Jakarta’s rule over their lives. 

Jakarta and the international community should be asking the question, why?

Joe Collins

Senin, 30 April 2012

Mass Rallies Across West Papua Challenge Anniversary of Indonesia Invasion Ten Thousand Defy Police Band in West Papua

Mass Rallies across West Papua challenge anniversary of Indonesian invasion

Ten Thousand Defy Police bans to march; flotilla of war canoes fly banned flags
from West Papua Media and local sources
May 1, 2012
Indonesian security forces are currently preparing to disperse a mass  demonstration near Serui, as tens of thousands of people take to the streets across West Papua to reject the Indonesian annexation of West Papua
on May 1 1963.
The yearly demonstration are being held by two sectors of West Papua civil resistance _ the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Jayapura, Puncak Jaya and Sorong, and the Federated Republic of West Papua (FRWP) has organised similar rallies in ManokwariYapen Island, and Fak-fak. Indonesian Police have generally allowed the rallies to occur across Papua, however in Yapen, Police have banned all gatherings from occuring across Yapen, and have reportedly blockaded all marches.
According to the FRWP, Head of Police in Serui Regency, Roycke Harry Langie S.IK MH, refused permission for the Federated Republic of West Papua to hold its rally, even while citing rights under Indonesian regulation No. 9/1998 concerning free speech in public spaces.
“The Police Commander’s order not only violates Regulation No. 9, but also Article 28 of the Indonesian Constitution 1945” said Jacob Rumbiak, Head of Foreign Affairs for FRWP.
Despite this ban, over 10,000 people have reportedly gathered at Wombai Beach outside Serui on Yapen. According to West Papua Media sources spoken to by phone, Ten Canoes (large outrigger war canoes) flying Morning Star flags, full of demonstrators from outlying islands, are about to land. However the Kapolres Roycke Harry Langie, is at the time publication using a loudhailer to try to force the boats to furl their flags and Morning Star paraphernalia, though it is understood that the boat crews are refusing to do. The situation is described as tense and dynamic, with the chance for armed Naval action occuring against the war canoes. However permission has just been granted for the rally to continue until 2pm local time, when a forces dispersal would be made if not already done.
In Manokwari already about 30 morning star flags have been raised in from of the Manokwari district DAP office. Around 20 have been raised during a Long march fromm the UNIPA university campus to the DAP office.  Up to 5000 people are now believed to have gathered listening to speeches and carrying on more Long marches.
Photos from Manokwari below:
No news has yet been confimred from Jayapura at this stage.
This is a developing situation – more updates as they come to hand. Please stay tuned.
West Papua Media